Summary: We need to stop being ashamed of the gospel and start being proud of it.
Proud Of The Gospel
Text: Rom. 1:16-17
1. Illustration: No matter what you are looking for, you can find a religion or philosophy to fit your state of mind. We find this culture creating pressure on the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. We find people church-shopping--looking for the right "fit" for their needs. And I realize that we need to "become all things." But you can't shop for a church that's not for sale. Perhaps this may sound a little old fashioned but in this hour more than ever we need to stand in the pulpits across America and the world and present Christ to the crowd. We need to preach him in our homes and on our jobs. We need to echo the words of the Apostle Paul “I am not ashamed of the Gospel - it is the Power of God!" (--W. L. Vincent)
2. There's a real problem in Christianity right now in that we have been apologizing for the gospel. We've started saying things like "I'm sorry, I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but..."
3. I don't know about you, but I can't imagine the Apostle Paul saying he was sorry for speaking the truth. Because Paul was not ashamed of the gospel! We need to stop being ashamed of the gospel!
4. Paul is not ashamed of the gospel because it is...
A. Expression Of God's Power
B. Revelation Of God's Righteousness
5. Let's all stand together as we read Romans 1:16-17.
Proposition: We need to stop being ashamed of the gospel and start being proud of it!
Transition: First, the gospel is the...
I. Expression Of God's Power (16).
A. It Is The Power Of God
1. At the end of the previous section we looked at Paul expressed that he was eager to come to Rome so that he could preach the Good News. Now he tells us why he is so eager.
2. In the first part of v. 16 Paul says, "For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ..."
A. In four short clauses Paul summarizes the purpose of his letter that salvation is not a humanly controlled occurrence but it comes entirely from God.
B. In v. 15 Paul expresses his desire to preach in Rome, and here in v. 16 he declares why, because he is not ashamed of the Gospel.
C. There are two aspects of not being ashamed of the Gospel, first, the fearless proclamation of the gospel in difficult circumstances, and second, the positive confession of the saving power of God to the world.
D. The difficulty of shame for the gospel caused by fear of the negative reactions occurred as much in the first century as it does today.
E. Jesus warned the disciples against being ashamed of him (Mark 8:38), and because of Timothy's timidity in condemning the false teachers in 2 Timothy 1:7-8, Paul had to challenge him to not be ashamed of the Lord or of Paul.
F. Mark 8:38 (NLT2)
38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
G. The problem of being reluctant to share the gospel, that is in essence shame, is a great problem among Christians today as it was in Biblical times.
H. So Paul stresses that the gospel centers on the righteous judgment is the revelation of God's faithful exercise of his power in bringing about salvation.
3. The main reason he is not ashamed of the gospel is because "...It is the power of God at work.."
A. Paul is not ashamed of the gospel because â€œit is the power of God at work."
B. Divine power produces salvation not human effort. The gospel is a powerful source that carries with it the call to salvation.
C. Nearly one third of all the references to power in the NT are from Paul, and all three members of the Trinity are connected to this divine power for salvation.
D. At the heart of salvation is the concept of deliverance, with the imagery stemming from Israel's deliverance from slavery in Egypt.
E. The idea is connected to the concept of liberation from evil powers, and in the ultimate sense deliverance from hell itself.
F. Here there is both a present and future dimension comprising liberation from the power of sin, reconciliation with God and deliverance from the final judgment.
G. The Greek word for power (dunamis) is the source for our words dynamite and dynamic.
H. Dynamite was not invented by Nobel until 1867, so it is obvious that Paul did not have that specific picture in mind. Instead, the inventor of the explosive took its name from the Greek.