Summary: Three good reasons why we are not ashamed of the Gospel
A pastor, a boy scout, and a scientist were the only passengers on a small plane. The pilot came back to the cabin and explained that the plane was going down but there were only three parachutes and four people. The pilot then added, "I should have one of the parachutes because I have a wife and three small children." So he took one and jumped. The scientist jumped up almost immediately and said, "I should have one of the parachutes because I am the smartest man in the world and everyone needs me." So he took one and jumped. The pastor turned to the Boy Scout and with a sad smile said, as I am sure that all of you would, "You are young and I have lived a rich life, so you take the remaining parachute, and I’ll go down with the plane." Then the Boy Scout said, "Relax, pastor, the world’s smartest man just jumped out of the plane with my backpack!" One man’s boast can be another man’s salvation. Paul had many reasons to boast but he chose to boast in the Gospel.
Rom 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
Today we are starting a new series called Romans -Unashamed, Undeserved, Unstoppable. It is fitting that today we have baptisms and our message is entitled Not Ashamed. In stepping forward and being baptised today these people are really living out this sermon today.
There are a lot of things in my life that I am not proud of. I am not the perfect father, just ask my kids. I sometimes get impatient and I loose my temper. There are times I am not the role model that I want to be for my kids.
I am no the perfect husband, just ask Naomi. I am not great a very good listener and I sometimes have a hard time expressing emotions.
I am not the perfect pastor. I am not always very organized and I admit that I am often much more task oriented then people oriented.
This is not a perfect church. It never has been and never will be. The reason that it is an imperfect church is that it is filled with imperfect people who make mistakes. If you are new to BBC let me just apologize now if you get offended.
The global church around the world is not perfect either. It has often has not done a very good job communicating Gods love and character to the world. In fact, many have been turned off Christianity and hurt by the church in the past. Again, if you have been wounded by a church in the past as a pastor I apologize.
This nation of Canada we live in is not perfect. Certainly the province of Ontario is not perfect. I mean, any province that would elect a premier like … oops, let’s not get into politics.
There are a lot of things I am not proud of. One thing I am proud of is Jesus. He has never let me down. I am not ashamed to be called His follower and I am not ashamed of the bible because in it is the message of salvation.
1. The Gospel is Good News – our strength (the power of God for salvation)
Paul was not ashamed of the gospel because he understood what it was. The Gospel is the Good News of salvation. It is the information through which the Holy Spirit leads people to pass from death to life. It releases God’s dynamic power for salvation. There are six basic Greek words in the New Testament that are translated POWER. The word found in Romans 1:16 is DUNAMIS from which we get our word, “dynamite”. The gospel is dynamite!
I have been asked before why I felt I had the right to “push my beliefs upon other people”. The prevailing thought in the world today is that religion is a private decision. People say things like “you believe what you want to and I’ll believe what I want to” as if it was just believing that saves you. The truth is that it is not just believing but what you believe in that brings salvation. Many Christians today shrink away from sharing their faith because they are made fun of when they try to share it.
When we lived in Kuwait I was asked by a Muslim official if I was granted residency would I proselytize my faith – which was illegal in that nation. I said yes. If I had the cure for cancer but kept it to myself I would be terrible person. Only a monster would withhold the cure for AIDS from the world if he had it. E.g. Commercials - Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.