In Romans 1:16, the Apostle Paul wrote, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” It seems unreasonable to suppose that anyone could be, or would be, ashamed of the gospel! Yet, I am sure that there are those today, both in and out of the church, who are ashamed of it. In this article I would like for us to consider what is involved in being ashamed of the gospel.

TO BE ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL, ONE WOULD HAVE TO BE ASHAMED OF GOD

The reason for this is the fact that He is the author of the gospel. The gospel did not begin when Jesus was born, nor when He died on the cross, or even when He arose from the dead. Indeed, the gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). But it did not begin there without any foreknowledge of Deity (Ephesians 3:11). How foolish it would be for man to be ashamed of the gospel. In doing so, he would show his shame for God and that which He gave to man.

TO BE ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL, ONE WOULD HAVE TO BE ASHAMED OF CHRIST

This is so because of the fact that Jesus is the subject of the gospel (Romans 1:1-3). There can be no denial, Jesus is the substance and the sum of the gospel, thus to be ashamed of it is to be ashamed of Him. If we were to remove Christ from the gospel, there would be no gospel. What a tragedy it would be to be ashamed of Jesus. It is important to recognize that such a feeling toward the Lord and His word will result in the Lord being ashamed of us on the Judgment Day (Luke 9:23).

TO BE ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL, ONE WOULD HAVE TO BE ASHAMED OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The reason for this being the case is the Holy Spirit is the revealer of the gospel. He is the One who made it known unto mankind (2 Timothy 3:16). Were it not for the Holy Spirit, we would not know anything at all about the gospel (1 Corinthians 2:10; 2 Peter 1:21). Thus, to ashamed of it, is to be ashamed of Him.

TO BE ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL, ONE WOULD HAVE TO BE ASHAMED OF THE PROPHETS OF OLD

This is true because they foretold the gospel. In Romans 1:2 Paul wrote concerning the gospel. Often, the apostles and New Testament preachers did not teach anything new. They simply taught a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (Acts 26:22, 23). Those who are ashamed of the gospel are likewise showing their shame of the Old Testament Prophets.

TO BE ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL, ONE WOULD HAVE TO BE ASHAMED OF THE APOSTLES

The reason for this is they were the ones who introduced it. Remember, according to Matthew 16:19, Peter had the “keys of the kingdom”. Thus, we show our shame of Peter and the rest even though they were speaking as they were led by the Holy Spirit. If we are ashamed of the gospel, we are ashamed of those who had willingly taken upon themselves the mission of preaching the gospel to a lost and dying world.

TO BE ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL, ONE WOULD HAVE TO BE ASHAMED OF THE CHURCH

The church is the proclaimer of the gospel. To be ashamed of the gospel is to be ashamed of that which God has designated to spread the gospel throughout the world. The mission of the church is to proclaim or make known to the world the saving gospel as found in the New Testament. According to the Apostle Paul, the church is the “pillar and the ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). Thus to be ashamed of the gospel is to be ashamed of that which proclaims it.

TO BE ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL, ONE WOULD HAVE TO BE ASHAMED OF SALVATION

This is seen in the fact that salvation is the end of the gospel. The aim of the gospel is the salvation of mankind (Romans 1:16). Those who are engaged in the work of preaching the gospel are engaged in the greatest work in the world. Should they become ashamed of the gospel and fail to use it no souls could possibly be saved by our efforts. This is why we dare not substitute anything for the gospel (Galatians 1:8).

In conclusion, we must not be ashamed of the gospel for, indeed, “it is the power of God unto salvation”.

Advertisements