16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek
Have you ever felt embarrassed? I mean really, really embarrassed. I have countless stories of times where I have made a fool of myself. Don’t you? We embarrass ourselves. Others embarrass us. Everyone has been there.
I remember one time I was in the grocery store with one of my kids who was really young. There was a lady next to us with a peculiar appearance, and my child blurted out, “Dad, why is that lady so _____?” (You can use your imagination to fill in the blank.) Wow! I wanted to crawl under the grocery cart, and at the same time I wanted to have a conversation about what is appropriate in public. Embarrassment is a part of life.
And if we are honest, at times we have all felt somewhat embarrassed in our walk with Jesus.
Paul says in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.” Why would he say that? What reason would he have to be ashamed? Some have suggested that since Rome was the leading metropolitan center of the world, a person might be reluctant to bring to the sophisticates of that city the story of a Jewish carpenter who rose from the dead and claimed to be the very Son of God.
But I think there is another reason why he wrote it. I believe he was saying, “I am proud of the gospel!”
We all know how bold Paul was. He fiercely proclaimed the gospel and was willing to be imprisoned on many occasions for Jesus. It seems like he was never ashamed or embarrassed. Yet Paul also said in Romans 7:15, “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” Even Paul struggled with how to be all Jesus wanted him to be. However, he kept fighting. Failure didn’t keep him down. In the end, he wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Maybe there has been a time when you were embarrassed, even ashamed, in your walk with Jesus. Join the club! We have all failed. No one is perfect. However, we serve a God who NEVER fails and who will never give up on us. Keep walking. Keep fighting. Keep growing. Keep walking with your King. Never forget what else Paul said in Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Is there an area where you feel embarrassed or ashamed in your walk? If so, remember, God loves you, He died for you, and He will never let you go. Take a moment to confess that to God, and then feel His sweet forgiveness in a fresh way!
- Where can you demonstrate this week that you are proud of the gospel? Can you be bolder in gospel conversations? Can you reach out and love someone in Jesus’ name? Where can you, in love and in Jesus’ name, take a stand for the gospel?