Summary: Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel because he knew that it came from God
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
The following is a quote in a letter by Dr. Paul Luther, the youngest son of the reformer Martin Luther. “ In the year 1544, my father, in the presence of us all, narrated the whole story of his journey to Rome. He acknowledged with great joy that, in that city, through the Spirit of Jesus Christ, he had come into the knowledge of the truth of the everlasting gospel. It happened this way. As he repeated his prayers on the Lateran staircase, the words of the prophet Habakkuk came suddenly to his mind, “The just shall live by faith.” Thereupon he ceased his prayers, returned to Wittenberg, and took this as the chief foundation of all his doctrine.” (A bunch of Everlastings, by Frank Boreham, pp. 19-20)
Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel because he knew that it came from God (v. 16). He was taking to sinful Rome the one message that had the power to change men’s lives. He had seen this Gospel work in other wicked cities, such as Corinth and Ephesus, and he knew that it would also work in Rome. In fact these very verses were used to transform Martin Luther in the sixteenth century, and John Wesley in the eighteenth century.
Here are some definite reasons that he was not ashamed of the Gospel:
1. Its origin (v. 16a) - How could Paul be ashamed of a message that came from God and centered in His Son, Jesus Christ?
2. Its operation (v. 16b) - Paul knew the power of the Gospel and how it had transformed his own life, and that it would do the same for others.
3. Its outcome (v. 16c) - Paul knew that the Gospel was the only thing that could deliver sinners from both the penalty and power of sin.
4. Its outreach (v. 16d) - Paul knew that the Gospel was for all people, no matter what their need might be.
5. For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed (v. 17a)
6. For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is received by faith (v. 17b)
The world does not need better education, more social reform, or new ideas in religion. It needs the gospel that can make drunken men sober, crooked men straight, and sensual women pure.
Just as the Apostle Paul, I must never be ashamed of the Gospel, but always be ready to preach it, teach it, and share it with those I meet. It alone has the power to meet man’s deepest needs.