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Unashamed of the Gospel

Romans 1:16-17
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’ (NIVUK)

Paul was totally committed to preaching the gospel although it got him into a lot of trouble (2 Corinthians 11:22-28).  The good news about salvation through Jesus was the Apostle's passion because it had totally revolutionised his own life.  He knew the message was powerful to bring people to faith in Jesus - Jews and Gentiles alike.  Therefore, he was not embarrassed at all when he told people how the death of Jesus could bring them to new life.

The power in the gospel message is like a seed, which when lodged in a rock can crack it open as it grows.  The Apostle Paul’s personal experience was of being so hard against Jesus that he resolved to destroy His church.  But when the truth dawned in his heart as Jesus spoke to him, he became a different man (Acts 26:12-23).  Then the Lord taught him during three years in the deserts of Arabia as he was meditating on what had been written about Christ throughout the Old Testament (Galatians 1:13-17).  As a Jew, Paul felt an obligation to explain the gospel to his people first, but when they refused to listen, he went to the Gentiles (Acts 18:5-6).

The gospel message explains how to get right with God (Romans 5:1-2).  It is not by us doing everything right because we are all sinners (Romans 3:23).  It is God who does the right thing in accepting the death of Jesus as the substitute for the punishment that we deserve so that we might be considered as righteous through God’s grace alone (Isaiah 53:6; 2 Corinthians 5:21).  Everybody who puts their faith in what Jesus has done receives everlasting life (John 3:16).  If this is unfamiliar to you, or you do not know how to explain it to others, please watch www.crosscheck.org.uk

Many religious teachers urge people to please God by doing more acts of charity, praying more and trying to live a better life.  But that is not God's gospel message.  We can never do enough to satisfy the righteousness of God, and never eliminate all our sins to satisfy His holiness.  Only Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself to bear our sins can make us right with Him (1 Peter 2:24).  Our part is simply to believe that Jesus died for us, repenting of our sin and receiving His Holy Spirit. Nothing more, nothing less.  So don't be ashamed of the gospel; it is powerful to bring both self-righteous and shamefully sinful people to Jesus.  If you believe in Jesus, share the good news ... at work, where you live, as you travel; when you write or email (you could send them the link to 'CrossCheck' and discuss it with them).

Wonderful God. Thank You for sending Jesus Christ to accept the responsibility for my sins in His death. I am sorry when I forget the preciousness of the gospel message, which I should pass on to others; or when I am ashamed of admitting that I belong to Jesus. Please help me to be so grateful for Your salvation that I am unashamed to tell others about Jesus - whose sacrifice is for them too. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams