Summary: This sermon is the introductory sermon in the series of preaching through the letter of Paul to the Romans which seeks to introduce the gospel of God which is the overall subject of Paul’s letter.
Janet Paschal sings a song written by Dawn Thomas entitled, “I’m Not Ashamed.” The chorus communicates the meaning of my message today. It goes, “That’s why I am not ashamed of the Gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. No, I am not afraid to be counted but I’m willing to give my life. See, I’m ready to be all He wants me to be, give up the wrong for the right. No, I am not ashamed of the Gospel; no I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Paul proudly stated that he was not ashamed of the gospel. And he gave several reasons why he felt this way. The word for “gospel” came from the Old English “godspel,” which meant good story or good news. The good of which Paul was not ashamed was that God provided salvation and righteousness, deliverance and right standing, healing and acceptance, forgiveness and assurance through the life, death, resurrection, ascension and life of Jesus in every believer. The truth is, Paul felt passionately unashamed of the gospel.
I don’t know what you FEEL about the gospel or THINK about the gospel nor do I know what you have done or DO about the gospel. Every one of us has been created with the God given likeness and ability to think, feel and will. As far as feelings go there are 5 basic feelings: mad, sad, glad, afraid and ashamed. Paul used a feeling word to describe the theme of his message. In other words, he was emotional about the gospel. I want you to be too! And while I’m at it, let me tell you what I think about the gospel – it’s the truth! And what do I DO about the gospel is tell it! And as for how I FEEL about it – I like Paul am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So let’s look at 3 reasons why:
I. THE GOSPEL IS A PROMISED GOSPEL verses 1-4
The gospel is not some “Johnny come lately.” Verse 2 says, “the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures.” It’s the gospel God promised long ago which goes all the way back to Genesis 3:15 to the “proto evanggelion” the first mention of the gospel. Paul isn’t just referring to the major and minor prophets here, but to Moses, David and every other OT writer who prophesied about Jesus as the good news coming from God. The NT also affirms the promise of God in Acts 13:32-33 . . . That’s the gospel in itself – it’s a promised gospel. In other words, God gave us His word, He made a promise and God made good on His word because:
God’s promise was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. God fulfilled His promise to provide for our salvation and righteousness in Christ life, death, resurrection, ascension and life of Christ in every one of us. He was the perfect provision for our sin as the text indicates. He was God as verse 4 indicates and became man as verse 3 reveals. He died for our sin on the cross and was resurrected to give us life and that’s the good news.
As the “God With Us” musical reflects in one of its songs, “God promised to provide a way where there seemed to be no way.” God is a God who keeps His promise. And while there often seems to be no way to find meaning and purpose, contentment and fulfillment, happiness and peace in our lives God has provided a way and Jesus Christ is that way! The gospel is a promised gospel. Another reason I’m not ashamed is:
II. THE GOSPEL IS A PREACHED GOSPEL verses 14-15
John the Baptist came preaching as Matthew 3:1 says, “In those days, John the Baptist came preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, ‘Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.’” And according to Mark 1:14-15 “After John was put into prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!’”
Paul states that he was separated, set apart for the gospel of God. According to Acts 9:15 he was appointed to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. And here Paul was “called” by God to preach His good news. So it’s obvious there’s an upper calling to preach the gospel because the gospel is a preached gospel.
There’s also an inner compelling to preach the gospel. Paul indicated that he was “obligated,” he had a debt to pay to the civilized and uncivilized, to the educated and uneducated and that to the fullest extent of his ability, he was eager and ready and motivated to preach the gospel at Rome, at your home, everywhere and anywhere. 1 Corinthians 9:16 says he was compelled because of his calling to preach the gospel, proclaim the good news, share his story, tell our testimony. That’s the Great Commission and the love of Christ constrains us to do so according to 2 Corinthians 5:14-15. We are compelled by the love of Christ to preach the gospel. And we need not be ashamed of the gospel because it is a Promised and Preached as well as: