“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16, ESV)
Shame is a powerful motivator and demotivator in our society. Deep embarrassment, regret, and fear can cover us when we come face-to-face with the things that bring shame to our lives. May things can cause or bring us shame in our lives; our sinful behavior, pride, indifference and lack of love. Some things that cause us shame aren’t sinful, they’re just goofy. The YouTube video that’s out there of me singing karaoke is one such example. Shame, however, can cancel out our ambitions and courage to display and declare great things.
Yet, the gospel should never be one of those reasons for shame. Instead, the gospel should be a great catalytic and motivating reality for boldness and courage. The gospel should be a driving force that has captured our hearts and compels us to declare “be reconciled to God!” The gospel is the very fuel and focus of the mission we have been given by God. Why?
Paul declares that the gospel — the good news of that Jesus has lived, died, and been raised to life again so that we would be reconciled to the Father — that good news is power. It is God’s power to save and it is God’s power to save everyone who believes. The gospel word is a powerful message of God’s grace and love and care. The gospel message is a call, a declaration, a broadcast of reconciliation to the world that Jesus is King, come and be reconciled to him! The gospel is power. And its power is the power to save. The gospel takes those who were dead in their trespasses and sins and makes them alive together with Christ. The gospel opens ears and eyes and replaces stone hearts with hearts that beat fresh with life again. The gospel turns the broken into healed, takes the captive and gives liberty, blesses the downtrodden with God’s favor. The gospel is the power of God to bring salvation.
So who is this power for? Everyone who believes. Every person who sees the glorious grace of Jesus and turns from their sin to bank their life on him will receive salvation. The promise is universally available, there are no exclusions.
This is why Paul says he’s not ashamed of the gospel. He knows what that message can do and who it is for. The message is for the world, and the message brings salvation. Which of course begs the question, what do we think of the gospel?
Are we ashamed of it? Does it embarrass you? Is it something you’d rather hide and only bring out from time to time because it’ll make everything awkward? Or does the promise of salvation and and the scope of mission empower and engage you? Does it make you bold?
Easter Sunday is just a few weeks away. It is a prime time for us to trust and believe that the gospel is powerful and that it is available and to not be ashamed of it. I want to challenge you this month to give yourself to investing in some specific people and inviting them to join us on a Sunday morning this month. Have a meal with them. Invite them into your home. Share life with them. But more specifically invite them to Jesus. Declare the gospel to them. Invite them to worship with us on Sunday where they will hear the gospel proclaimed. Demonstrate and declare to them how great Jesus is, so that they might turn and call on the name of the Lord.
Let’s not be ever ashamed of the gospel ever! But specifically this month, let’s be motivated by the gospel of God, which brought us from death to life, and share that with everyone we know! I am eager to see a great harvest of souls this month as many come to faith in Christ. I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes!
Sunday at Woodside
This is the last week of our Kadima series as we talk about moving from Bible knowledge to Knowing God. Our text will be Colossians 1:9-11. As we sing together we will be signing the following songs to exalt God and worship him in every way. Here’s the Spotify playlist for Sunday morning that you can listen ahead of time:
- Found In You
- Holy Spirit
- Good Good Father
- Revelation Song
- Lord I Need You
We also want to remind you to return the baby bottles this weekend that we distributed for the AAA Pregnancy Center on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday back in January. We want to continue to bless and support this ministry in their effort to help women and men who are experiencing an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy.
I am looking forward to worshipping with you together on Sunday and celebrating the greatness and grace of God. Let’s continue to be faithful in advancing the gospel for the glory of God!