Summary: A sermon on Romans 1:16 (Outline from Croft Pentz)
What is this? A starfish! At one time, this starfish was alive and swimming in the ocean. You probably know what happened. As so often happens, this starfish was washed up on the beach and because a starfish can't live out of water, it died.
I heard a story about a man who was vacationing in Mexico. One day he was walking along a deserted beach when he saw a man approaching from the opposite direction. As he watched the man, he saw that the man kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water. As he got closer, he could see that the man was picking up starfish that had washed up onto the beach and he was throwing them back into the water.
As the two men met, he said, "Good morning. I was wondering what you are doing."
"Why, I am throwing these starfish back into the ocean, because if I don't, they will die."
"I understand, but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach and you can't possibly get all of them. Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?"
The man bent down and picked up another starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He smiled at the man and said, "I made a difference to that one, didn't I?"
All over the world there are people who are like a fish out of water. They are dying because they don't know about Jesus. Can we make a difference? Maybe we can't get to all of them, but we can tell those that we meet each day about the love of Jesus. Each time that we tell someone about Jesus, we can say, "I made a difference to that one."
Read Romans 1:8-17.
In our series through Romans focusing on grace through Jesus Christ, we come to two verses in the middle of ch. 1 that summarize what Paul is going to talk about throughout ch. 1-8.
Up to vs. 16 Paul has used the word gospel 4 times. One each in vs. 16 and 17.
The word gospel simply means “good news.” So much bad news, good to hear good news.
Thesis: Let’s talk about the gospel from vs. 16
The Pride of the gospel- I am not ashamed of the gospel
If one of my sons was to do something daring, courageous, or outstanding, I would be proud of him and boast of him. “He is my pride and joy.”
Not saying that we shouldn’t do that, but the one thing that we need to be proud of is Jesus Christ and the gospel. We need to brag on God for what he has done for us. Galatians 6:14: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ
The opposite of boasting is to be ashamed of something or someone. For some, if their children are disappointments or do something scandalous, then we try to avoid discussing anything about that child. If they are brought up we try to cover over their faults and failings.
Some Christians do this with the gospel of Jesus Christ. They avoid discussing it and if it is brought up they try to cover over the possible negative aspects of it.
I remember a time in my life when I was like that. Had difficulties in junior high, high school
I am so thankful that there are youth today who are not ashamed of the gospel and take a stand for Jesus by openly praying in public. September 28 is See You At the Pole. See You at the Pole began in 1990 as a grass roots movement with ten students praying at their school. Twenty years later, millions pray on their campuses on the fourth Wednesday in September. See You at the Pole is simply a prayer rally where students meet at the school flagpole before school to lift up their friends, families, teachers, school, and nation to God. See You at the Pole is a student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led event.
Now Paul did not have confidence in his own powers and abilities to proclaim the gospel, but he had every confidence in the gospel itself, or rather in the One of whom it speaks- Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:12: I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.
One time a young Christian tried to preach; he could not preach very well, but he did the best he could- but someone stood up and said, “Young man, you cannot preach; you ought to be ashamed of yourself.” The young man said, “I am, but I am not ashamed of my Lord.” Do not be ashamed of Christ- of the man that bought us with His own blood.