I Am Not Ashamed
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Paul was certainly not ashamed of the faith that he had in the gospel. Imagine the distance he had come from persecuting the believers to openly admitting his faith and proclaiming it everywhere that he could. He may have been ashamed of what he had done previously but was certainly not ashamed of the new life that he had in Christ.
He had learned to follow Christ and realized the power of God, resurrection power, which was available for all of humankind. Jews and Greeks alike were provided with salvation through the good news of Jesus Christ. Paul wanted everyone to know!
The world isn’t overly fond of Christians these days. I wear my NTS pin nearly everywhere I go and there, proudly displayed in the center is a cross. It is a reminder of the Christ-centeredness of our understanding of holiness. I am not ashamed of Christ and yet — people look at that pin and sometimes immediately frown. It’s amazing to me how in such a short period of time being a Christian has become viewed so negatively by society.
At the same time, I am not ashamed! Just as Paul was called to share the good news of salvation to the world, so are we. We are challenged in the face of hostility to live the Spirit-filled life, reflecting Jesus to the world. I don’t want people to just see a cross on my pin, I want them to see Jesus living in and through me. My prayer is that if they see Christ they will see what Christianity truly is about — for it’s about him!
The challenge for Paul was to first seek Christ. This he did and spent valuable time in prayer and seeking the face of God. As a result, he was not ashamed of the gospel for he had already experienced its power. His own salvation story was extraordinary, but he continued to see the power of God for salvation in his daily ministry. He was not ashamed for he knew the reality of God’s transforming work in the lives of those to whom he had ministered.
It’s not time to be ashamed, but it is time to walk deeper with Christ, knowing him and sharing him with our world.
Lord, may I be deepened in my walk with you and may you lead me to proudly proclaim you on a daily basis. Amen.