Summary: Continuation of the study of the 1st chapter of Romans
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Pastor James May
ARE WE ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL?
Romans 1:16-17, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."
Paul was never ashamed of the gospel. He was compelled to preach the message of the Cross wherever he went for he knew that it was the only message that people could hear that would have the power to convert them and heal their heart and spirit.
He understood that the voice of a single man would not be heard or heeded by the power of the Roman government. He knew that he was limited in his power to persuade people to hear and believe the gospel, but Paul also knew Jesus of whom he preached. His message was not that of other men of the time who made great speeches but had no power to change the heart of man.
Paul also understood that every man needed to hear and believe the message of the gospel. Every man, from Caesar to the prisoner in the deepest dungeon needed to hear the gospel. Paul was ready to preach it anywhere, anytime, and to anybody who would listen.
Oh that we, in modern Christianity, would have that same conviction and desire to see souls saved. There would be no lack of missionaries or ministers if we really understood and believed the message of the gospel.
In our time we look toward so many sources of help but we tend to ignore the message of the gospel in its simplicity. We hear messaged from our counselor, psychiatrist, doctor, friend, professor, boss, TV, radio, newspapers, etc., but none of those voices have the power to save.
Great orators, motivational speakers and gurus of success may give speeches that stir the spirit, make courage arise within us and lift us to the place where we are able to achieve greater things than we would have without them but none of their speeches can wash the soul clean and make the heart sing with the peace that only god can give.
You give me one preacher of the gospel, uneducated, simple and full of the Holy Ghost, and I will show you a man who, with God’s anointing, can see multitudes changed through the preaching of the gospel message of Jesus Christ.
And yet, even the preaching of the gospel cannot save unless those that hear will believe that message.
There is power in the gospel message. All the power of Heaven, all of God’s love, mercy, holiness and forgiveness are behind the words that we speak when we minister to a lost soul about the salvation that Jesus offers.
The power of that message can cross national, ethic, and ideological and religious boundaries to change the heart of a man or woman who will accept it.
Hitler’s vaunted SS Storm Troopers who put their faith in a mentally deranged madman, the Japanese Imperialist Emperor who sat in place of god to those under his rule, the Iron Curtain of Soviet Russia, the Bamboo Curtain of Red China, and every little two bit dictator have done their best to stifle the gospel message – but there was not stopping it!
God ordained that His message would go forth and change the hearts of men. His Word is powerful, quick and sharper than a two-edged sword and it can cut through every barrier to reach a heart that is ready to hear and believe.
Paul first named the Jews as those who would first hear the gospel message and indeed they did. The nation of Israel’s roots, way back at the time of Abraham, before Jacob was ever born, was given the truth of the gospel. Abraham had faith in God and that faith saved him.