Romans 1:16-17, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’”

III.  Paul not ashamed of the gospel of Christ 1:16-17)

The Greek word Paul uses here for “ashamed” is a very strong word.  It does not mean timid.  It is not unusual for a follower of Jesus to be timid or even intimidated in a spiritual conversation.  In those times we need to agree with God that He “has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and sound mind.”  To be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, means that a person does not want to be associated with Jesus or His message, particularly His claim that He is the only access point to the Father and eternal life.   A person who is ashamed of Jesus and His message is either:

1.  not a believer – (we do not expect unbelievers to be all about the Gospel).
2.  a believer in a spiritually unhealthy condition.  If we ever find ourselves in this place, it should be an immediate red flag.  We should confess our sinful heart and ask God for help.

A.  For it is the power of salvation (1:16)
Paul is not ashamed because he is convinced that the Gospel of Christ is what people need for salvation.  He knows that salvation is found in no other source.  Remember that Paul lived in a very pluralistic society just as we do.  We do not do anyone any favors by hiding the truth of God’s message from them. We have a responsibility to share the message of hope.

People are often taken back by Paul’s statement, “for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”   The reality is that through God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s sons the Israelites are God’s chosen people who were entrusted with the OT Scriptures, they were also the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, and the Apostles who gave us the NT Scriptures.  Paul was a Jew and though he was called to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles he had a distinct pattern of evangelism when he would go to into a city.  First, he would go to the synagogue and preach there to his countrymen and then He would go to the Gentiles and preach to them.  We who are Gentiles should be thankful for the Jewish people of God – particularly the Prophets, Jesus Himself, and the Apostles.
I believe that God still has a plan for the Israelites, though we are not obligated to speak to one race before another.  As far as sharing the Gospel goes, we should look to share with our sphere of influence, and whoever God puts on our hearts…our next door neighbors and people across the world.  We should be actively praying for people near and far.

B.  The just shall live by faith (1:17)

In closing, let me give you something to stick in your noodle to consider.  I find that at many points in life those who have been made ‘just” by God through faith are not living with much faith.  It seems that many of us are prone to trust God for our eternal souls and yet not trust Him for today and the few short years we have on the earth. When we get to the heart of the matter, it is an issue of kingship.  Am I the king of my life or is God?  If He is King then I must live by faith!  Is God truly your King?

Advertisements