Introduction: How many in this room have ever said something that you were embarrassed about after you said it? If you are like me, you have stuck your foot in your mouth plenty of times.
Right after my wife and I got married, I committed one of the worst sins against my wife that any new husband could commit. Every man has ever been married has probably committed this same sin at some point in their marriage.
The sin I am talking about is when you walk in the kitchen while your wife is cooking, and make the comment, “Momma doesn’t do it that way!” For some reason, men just don’t know any better! Right after we got married, I made the mistake of saying that to my wife on a couple of occasions...of course, I got the standard comment of, “Well, I ain’t your momma!”
One day however, she really got me good. It was Sunday morning, and I was supply preaching for Sandy Run Baptist Church in Roxobel. I walked into the kitchen where she was searing a roast, getting ready to put it in the crock pot for lunch. I didn’t know how to cook a roast at that time, and so I asked her politely, “Shouldn’t you put some water in the pan while you are cooking that? And she promptly replied, “OH, is that how momma does it???”
In contrast, the apostle Paul makes a statement in Romans chapter 1 that he is not ashamed to make. We are going to look at that statement for the next few minutes. We could consider vv. 16&17 to be the thesis statement for the entire epistle to the Romans. It should be the battle-cry for every one who has been born again by the Spirit of God. “I am NOT ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it IS THE power of God to salvation for everyone who believes,...”
You have to wonder, why would Paul raise such a question? Certainly, he did not doubt the validity of the Gospel. Perhaps some of his readers had some doubts??? Although there are many reasons why the believers of that day may have been tempted to be ashamed of the Gospel, we are going to look at some that are hinted at in the text.
This morning, we are going to examine three reasons why Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel, and why we don’t need to be either! We are going to ask three what if...questions as we look at these reasons...
Perhaps some here may be tempted to be ashamed of the Gospel?? My prayer is that after today, you will have complete confidence in the Gospel like Paul did.
I. THE GOOD NEWS WASN’T AS GOOD AS IT IS MADE OUT TO BE? (GOSPEL = good message)
1. We live in a day when we are confronted with an overwhelming amount of hype and high-pressure. Illus. -- Infomercials, Psychic Hotline, advertising [beer commercials] These things don’t always live up to their claims!
2. What if the good news of Jesus Christ was like some of those things? Just a bunch of hype? What if it was all a trick? What if it didn’t live up to its claim?
(1) “After all, we live in the modern world -- we have...computers, space travel, science, technology, psychology...”
(2) “What does a man dying a criminal’s death on a cross two-thousand years ago in Palestine have to do with me?”
3. We don’t have to be ashamed of the good news of Jesus Christ because as Paul says: “it is THE power of God to salvation...”
(1) “Times may change, our culture may embrace different values and ideas, technology may improve our lifestyles, BUT the human heart still remains the same and needs a change. “Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”
(2) The good news IS that the GN still changes hearts and lives today! (what does GN mean? -- new beginning!)
II. THE GOOD NEWS WASN’T FOR EVERYBODY?
1. Indeed there were some in Paul’s day that wanted to limit the Gospel to the Jews, and said you had to become like a Jew in order to be saved. (What if the good news was only for a specific group of people?)
2. Let’s say you were telling your friend about the GN.
(1) “Hey Bob! I have some great news, did you know that God loved you so much...”
(2) You realize that someone else was listening in... “Oh, I am sorry, did you hear that? You were not supposed to hear that...no, this message is not for you, you have your own temples, and your own God!.”
3. We don’t have to be ashamed of the good news of Jesus Christ because as Paul says: “it is THE power of God to salvation for everyone who believes,...”