People who love God should be ashamed of certain things. All right thinking people should be ashamed of all the ungodly and evil forces at work in our society. The murder of innocent babies (abortion) occurs daily primarily because of sin and selfishness. God will always hate the shedding of “innocent blood” (Deuteronomy 19:10; Proverbs 6:17), and all people who are not immoral should abhor and be ashamed of the butchering of unborn babies.
Homosexuality is another abomination (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13) that our society should be ashamed of. It is foolishness and not wisdom that flouts the Creator’s laws (Rom. 1:22). The apostle Paul specifically mentions those who were determined to commit “vile passions” in saying, “for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due” (Romans 1:26-27). Nothing is more unnatural than the sin of sodomy!
What is sad today is that so many people are ashamed of that which they should love, and they are tolerant of or advocate that of which they should be ashamed. The “anti-God,” “anti-gospel” movement in America is a case in point. The apostle Paul boldly declares what should be the sentiments of every person in saying, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is good news with the power to save the soul and yet millions detest and reject this godly message.
One who is ashamed of the gospel either does not believe or has forgotten the words of Christ who said: “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of man also shall be ashamed of him, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38). We should strive to be like Paul who:
- Was not ashamed to believe the gospel! One who truly surrenders himself to the Lord will always listen to the Word of God which tells him what to do to be saved (Acts 9:6). One who believes the gospel will also act upon his belief and do what the gospel says for one to do.
- Was not ashamed to confess the gospel! Paul was never embarrassed by the gospel and made such clear in saying, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
- Was not ashamed to suffer for the gospel! Some of the sufferings of Paul are detailed in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28. He was willing to pay the price, whatever the cost, to be a faithful child of God. This world is not the Christian’s home, and thus we should never forget that “all that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).
Another thing we note is that Paul was not ashamed of the gospel because “it is the power of God” (Romans 1:16). The same God who “created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1) works today through the powerful medium of His Word. The gospel is thus:
- The power of God unto salvation! The same power that spoke this great universe into existence now speaks to lost humanity through His Word. Jeremiah describes the Word of God as like a fire and a hammer in saying, “Is not my word like fire? saith Jehovah; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” (Jer. 23:29). The Word of God can “melt” the most hardened heart and “break” the most stubborn will. The Word of God is truly God's “dynamite” to save lost sinners. There is no other power to save the soul of man than the gospel (Galatians 1:6).
- The power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth! Bible belief encompasses doing what true faith demands. Two illustrations will suffice. In John’s gospel account we read, “Nevertheless even of the rulers many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, lest they should be put out of the synagogue” (12:42). Will one argue that these rulers were saved simply because they believed that Christ was the Messiah? In James 2:23 we read, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God” (2:23). How do we know that “belief only” was not sufficient for Abraham to be counted as righteous? The divine commentary also states, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar?” (James 2:21, emph. MLW).
The good news for all people (Jew or Greek) is that the gospel will save all who believe and obey it. May we never be ashamed of that which is God’s power unto salvation!
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