Not Ashamed of the Gospel

Text: Romans 1:16-17

When Paul wrote to the Romans, he said he was “not ashamed of the gospel” (Romans 1:16). Because of his confidence in Christ’s message, he was “eager to preach the gospel” (Romans 1:15). We need to have the same confidence in the gospel that Paul had. Can we say we are “not ashamed of the gospel”? To answer that, we should consider what we would be willing to do with and for the gospel.

If we are not ashamed of the gospel, we must be willing to…

Teach

  • Paul was “eager to preach the gospel” (Romans 1:15) – not part of it, but all of it (Acts 20:27; cf. 2 Timothy 4:2)
  • Not all will publicly proclaim the gospel (James 3:2) – but we all must support it so we can be “fellow workers with the truth” (3 John 8)
  • If we are ashamed of the gospel, we will be unwilling to help the gospel to be spread

Confess

  • When Jesus taught, not everyone who believed His message wanted others to know it (John 12:42) – they valued the approval of men over God (John 12:43)
  • Christ will either confess or deny us based upon whether we confess or deny Him (Matthew 10:32-33) – Timothy made “the good confession” publicly (1 Timothy 6:12); we must be willing to do the same
  • If we are ashamed of the gospel, we will be afraid to confess our faith before others

Answer

  • Peter said we must be ready to give an answer for our hope (1 Peter 3:15) – this must be done even in the face of intimidation (1 Peter 3:14)
  • We are up against “speculations…raised up against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:5) – the world sees the gospel as “foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:18); be “ready to make a defense” (1 Peter 3:15)
  • If we are ashamed of the gospel, we will be reluctant to give an answer for our hope

Exemplify

  • Jesus said we must let our light shine before others (Matthew 5:16) – if we believe in the Lord and follow His word, that should be apparent to others by our actions
  • Paul told Timothy to be an example of the believers (1 Timothy 4:12) – we are called to be different (Romans 12:2); others will look for a reason to slander us as evildoers, so keep your behavior excellent (1 Peter 2:12)
  • If we are ashamed of the gospel, we will not want others to see us living according to the gospel and different from the world

Submit

  • We must submit to the authority of Christ (Colossians 3:17) – claiming to do things for Christ is not enough (Matthew 7:21-23); do what He has commanded/authorized
  • Jesus has “all authority” (Matthew 28:18) – therefore, we must “observe all that [He] commanded” (Matthew 28:20); we should be content with this standard (2 Timothy 1:13)
  • If we are ashamed of the gospel, we will follow a different standard of authority

Suffer

  • We should be willing to suffer for the gospel (2 Timothy 1:8) – persecution, in some form, is inevitable for the faithful (2 Timothy 3:12)
  • When we suffer, we should not be ashamed, but glorify God (1 Peter 4:16) – be “faithful until death” (Revelation 2:10), even if it means being put to death for the cause of Christ
  • If we are ashamed of the gospel, we will compromise and/or deny the faith in order to avoid persecution

Conclusion

  • Why we should not be ashamed of the gospel – it is God’s power for salvation (Romans 1:16)
  • It may seem that life will be “better” if we refuse to teach, confess, answer, exemplify, submit, and suffer – but it will not be worth it (Matthew 16:26)

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