Romans 1:16-17 (NIV)
16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
I. Introduction: Paul claims that he is not ashamed of the Gospel. He is ready to share the good news with anyone who will listen. The reason for this is that it had changed his life, and he knew it had the power to change the lives of others. He who considered himself the worst of sinners found that God could take all of his sin, and all of his shame, all of his guilt and all of his regrets, and give him new life. He found himself under the condemnation of God and subject to the wrath of God, but God, delivered His good news to Paul personally through the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. A man destined to eternal damnation found that Christ had provided atonement for his sins, and the love of God penetrated his blindness and the scales fell off of his eyes. He was able to see the truth that Jesus saves to the uttermost. This became the truth of His life, and the purpose of His existence. He was sent to carry the good news he had received to others. His shame lie buried with his sins. His glory in the cross.
Why is it that when the Gospel is presented today, it is often delivered with apology, or embarrassment. People are not bold enough to convince people that what they have to say is real. G. Campbell Morgan, in Preaching (p. 36) told of a minister that had the opportunity to speak with a famous actor. He asked the great actor, “What is the reason for the difference between you and me? You are appearing before crowds night after night with fiction, and the crowds come wherever you go. I am preaching the essential and unchangeable truth, and I am not getting any crowd at all.”
The actor’s answer was this: “This is quite simple. I can tell you the difference between us. I present my fiction as though it were truth; you present your truth as though it were fiction.”
God help us share the Gospel with others out of a life clearly touched with the truth of the Gospel. May we never be embarrassed by such glory and promise. It is not only our only hope, it is the hope of all who find it. The Gospel is news meant to be shared. Not shared with embarrassment, but shared with joy. It must be real to us, before we can share it effectively with others. If we present it as though we are embarrassed to tell it, however, it contradicts the very message of the Gospel itself.
II. There Is No Shame In Sharing The Gospel
A. We Should Be Sharing Boldly
B. We Are Sharing Good News
III. There Is The Power Of God In The Gospel
A. The Gospel Is The Power Of God For The Salvation Of Souls
B. The Gospel Is The Power Of God For All Who Believe
IV. There Is A Righteousness From God In The Gospel
A. In The Gospel There Is A Righteousness From God Revealed
B. In The Gospel There Is A Righteousness That Is By Faith
C. In The Gospel There Is A Righteousness That Offers Life
V. Conclusion: Paul knew the life changing power of the Gospel. He not only knew about it, he knew it personally. It had changed his life. He shared it with others because he knew it was real, and that it had the power of God in it. The power to save lives. The power to erase shame. A power available to all who would believe the good news. There is no shame in sharing such good news with others. The shame lies in being too ashamed to share it. Jesus said, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38 NIV) May we never be too embarrassed or ashamed to tell those headed for destruction the good news of salvation.