“I’m not ashamed of the Gospel…” (Rom. 1: 16)
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes…” (Rom. 1:16)
The Apostle Paul’s strong statement recorded in Romans 1:16, is the great theme of apostolic preaching. And the central message of the Bible.
The gospel. The redemptive message of God in Jesus Christ. Of Jesus Christ nailed to the Cross, paying the debt for our sin. The message that everyone must hear to get saved. That eternal salvation is available through Christ Jesus.
“There are no two verses of greater importance in the whole of Scripture than these two verses” (Romans 1:16-17), said the great preacher Martin-Lloyd Jones.
Understanding the meaning of these two verses was the turning point for Martin Luther. So, in a sense, these two verses are responsible for sparking the Protestant Reformation.
Why did Paul say, “I’m not ashamed?” Because many believers were ashamed, embarrassed, or fearful in Paul’s time to proclaim the gospel message of salvation. They shrunk back, as many do today, from the ridicule or scorn or hostility that often results. The Apostle Paul is helping us.
The gospel is “the” message of Christianity. And Paul was urgent to preach it. Jesus was not “a” god nor “a” savior, but “the” God and savior. The Most High God became a man to reconcile sinful man to Himself.
But no culture ever embraced the gospel. The gospel becomes acceptable to an individual only through the power of God.
This is the greatest miracle. That the power of God is supernaturally revealed through the crucified and resurrected God-man. And that man is supernaturally empowered to believe.
The power of God saves a person from the condemnation of sin: and from the power of sin. Over time freeing a believer more and more from sin; and in the process making that person more and more like Christ.
The gospel reveals what God did for man in Christ. He made a way of escape from eternal damnation. And in its place, offered the way of eternal life with Him in glory.
It’s a profound message, that the Apostle Paul understood in a profound way. And he declared, “I am not ashamed of the gospel.”
--- Beverly Nickles