Summary: We have no reason to be ashamed of the Gospel
A Bold Spirit
Have you ever been in a situation where you found yourself embarrassed by something you did or something you had? Like coming to a stop in your car at a crowded intersection and your brakes were squealing very loudly? Or a squealing fan belt? It sort of makes you feel like you wish you were invisible.
There may be some things about yourself you may be embarrassed of. What about our faith in Christ? Are we bold about it before others? Or have there been times when confronted by a supposedly intellectual person who questioned the validity of Christianity, we feel intimidated? Why is that? If anything, the opposite should be true.
In our verse this morning, the apostle Paul gives us the reason why he is eager to share the good news of Jesus Christ with anyone he meets. It reminds me of the scene from the movie “Crocodile Dundee” where Dundee is threatened by a mugger with a switchblade. The lady with him says, “Mick, give him your wallet.” “Why?” he replies. She says, “He’s got a knife.” To which Dundee replies, “That’s not a knife”, draws a huge Bowie knife and says, “That’s a knife!” and proceeds to slash the mugger’s jacket and the mugger and his friends run away.
When confronted by the philosophical elitists of his day, he felt nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of when declaring salvation by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ. Paul’s confidence sprang from his estimate of the Gospel. Let’s look at three very pertinent truths in Romans 1:16.
I. The Effect of the Gospel – Salvation
A. Paul says he is not ashamed.
1. ashamed – feelings of guilt or of inferiority.
B. Many are ashamed of the Gospel.
1. Some fear ridicule, rejection, loss of recognition, position and livelihood.
2. They fear two things in particular
a. There is the fear of intellectual shame. This is the fear that the Gospel does not measure up intellectually.
b. There is the fear of social shame. Many fear that if they accept and proclaim the Gospel they will be:
1) Ridiculed and mocked
2) Rejected and ignored
3) Left without a job and livelihood
4) Left without friends
3. Pastor John McArthur writes, “It is said that if a circle of white chalk is traced on the floor around a goose that it will not leave the circle for fear of crossing the white mark. In a similar way, the chalk marks of criticism, ridicule, tradition, and rejection prevent many believers from leaving the security of Christian fellowship to witness to the unsaved.”
C. The Gospel has the power to change a person’s life.
1. dunamis – force or miraculous power – The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, “The Gospel is identified as the infinite resource of God (dunamis – “spiritual ability”) applied toward the goal of salvation in the life of everyone who believes, regardless of racial background.
2. The Gospel carries with it the omnipotence of God, whose power alone is sufficient to save men from sin and give them eternal life.
3. People have an innate desire to be changed.
a. Look better
b. Feel better
c. Smell better
d. Be smarter