As promised in my previous post, this is the first of eight weeks you and I will be going through the book of Romans together! These are some of my most cherished verses of Scripture as God use them to grow my affinity for Him by about a hundred fold.
In the following video, Austin and I will take you briefly through the first two chapters of this incredible book, revealing some of the context as it is. After you watch the video, continue reading for a quick study of what it means to be unashamed of the Gospel.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
(Romans 1:16-17 ESV)
Like most little kids, I grew up assuming that I was WAY cooler than my little sister. With a vast four years between us, I was clearly more established in the world, and having a mere child around would only diminish my own wisdom and stature.
HAH. In reality, I along with most of you, had a person in my life who I chose to be ashamed of. Not because of anything she did wrong, but because of my own pride. Consequently, this pride led me to avoid her in public places, to choose other friends over her, and to hide any affection I might have for her beneath my more prominent affections for popularity.
The consequences were real.
Not only was my relationship with her hindered in public, but it was different in private. I would rather sit alone in my room many days than spend time with a person made in God’s image.
We spoke less when I was more ashamed. We rarely revealed the deepest desires and passions of our hearts. I did not let her into my world and she grew callused to mine.
Though this example may seem futile, and in many ways, normal between young siblings, I fear that it all too often mirrors our shame of the Gospel we claim saved us. Just like a relationship with other people can be hindered by our shame, our relationship with our God will be too.
We cannot be ashamed of the Gospel because of its power
Being ashamed of the Gospel means allowing the world to be our authority, telling us when to be quiet. It means staying silent when eternity lies within the story and love of Jesus.
When we neglect to boast joyously in the salvation we have been given by the suffering Savior, we neglect to share that same saving power with our neighbors. The power that freed us from the yoke of sin. The power that will usher us into the gates of heaven.
Hear me say, oh Christian, that you and I do not possess any kind of power to save. Yet God calls us to be used. He calls us to act. And He wants to use us to save more of His children. He wants the friends you think are too far gone. He wants the little girl the world thinks is too shattered to produce anything good. He wants every individual that cultural Christianity would deem unworthy. He wants us to be the hands of Christ. The same hands who reached down to the prostitute and pulled her out of her slavery and into a kingdom where she could reign as a co-heir with Christ.
His power is infinite. His grace is sufficient. We get the opportunity to be used by it. Just not if we are ashamed of it.
We cannot be ashamed because it goes against the very nature of Faith
Being ashamed of the Gospel means letting our fear rule over our faith. It means suppressing the Spirit within, that our flesh be seen and known by the world.
“Now faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
Let me put it this way. When we have a new favorite TV show that we binge on Netflix or Hulu or cable, are we quiet about it? Or do we let everyone know that THIS should be the thing they are watching.
My husband and I have recently gotten into the NBC series, This is Us. We are captivated with the authenticity of the show. We are aware of the brokenness of the world when we watch it and spurred to recognize the hope in the Gospel. We are also big acting and writing nerds, and if you know anything about This is Us, you know that these two areas do not disappoint.
We tell everyone that they should be watching it. We proclaim that it might be the best show on TV.
Here’s the sad thing: we might even talk about this TV show more often in our secular circles than we talk about the good news of Jesus.
For that, I question my faith, oh friends.
I question my own love for this Gospel.
I am clearly more focused on a fleeting TV show than I am a kingdom that has eternal implications for ever soul with whom I come in contact. I am sure that I love This is Us. It is certainly one of my favorite things to watch.
All the while, my actions might beckon that I am unsure of Christ when I choose to avoid the conversation or when I ignore that twinge in my spirit to say something that would be contrary to the world.
The very nature of faith is that we are sure and certain. It is the house in which we live built on the firm foundation of the Rock who is Christ.
And my shame contradicts that faith to its core.
We cannot be ashamed because Christ has made us Righteous
Finally, sisters, being ashamed of the Gospel means that our imputed righteousness plays little to no role in our day to day lives. Shame is the last thing we should demonstrate because Christ has made us more than that.
Shame creeps into our hearts when Satan wants the world to think that anyone can be righteous in and of themselves. Shame takes over our words when He is beckoning the world deeper and deeper into the lie of sin. Shame then makes its way into our own quiet times. It makes us question if we really need to be in God’s word today. If we really need to hear from Him. If prayer really is our answer.
Or if the world is.
It will hide Christ’s righteousness like a child covered by a blanket. We know someone is in there, we just don’t know who.
Stand firm against shame, oh sisters.
Let’s cry out to our Savior that He alone would redeem us from our worldly passions. That He alone would bring us into a daily repentance.
Shout His Gospel from every rooftop in our city. Sing it when the world would tell you to sing your own praises. Boldly proclaim that Salvation is His alone. That He is calling His children. That no one is too far gone. That He loves the world. And that could include the person sitting across from you.
The person who the enemy is telling you does not want to hear it.
The person who might not want to hear it.
The person who needs it more than they need life and breath itself.
Do not be ashamed sisters. For shame was first felt at separation from God and should be the last thing felt from those who are one with Him. He has freed us from our shame. He has brought us away from our transgressions. He has imputed righteousness and freedom upon our weary souls.
So rejoice in the Gospel instead of cowering in shame, oh sisters. Rejoice long. Rejoice loud.
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To continue going through Romans with us, read the following verses this week.
Romans Series Reading Plan:
Monday: Romans 1:1-7