Word from Scotland
by Sandy Shaw
It is sad when you meet people who are ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and who may be embarrassed when being connected with a Church or Fellowship where men and women believe the Gospel. Yes, it can be costly. Yes, it is costly.
As we make through Romans Chapter 1 , we see how Paul had that passion and zeal and love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Never be ashamed or embarrassed by believing and holding fast to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Staying in the Word of God – reading the Word of God regularly – feeding up the Word of God will help prevent that falling away – or compromise – or embarrassment.
It was Derek Prince who taught that we should never feel ashamed or embarrassed for believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ – and not should we ever feel intellectually inferior for believing and holding fast to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.
Paul's ministry went against the grain - against the culture and philosophy of the day - which was Greek. And Paul's preaching went against the theology of the Jewish Church of the day.
What might be part of the background to this opening part of the Roman letter? Is there the slightest hint here that some were saying - why doesn't Paul come to Rome and preach - is he ashamed or embarrassed by the Gospel? If this sort of thing were not being said why should he use the word "ashamed"?
Verse 16 - I am not ashamed or embarrassed to come to the capital of the Empire and preach the simple Gospel. I preach the same Gospel everywhere I go - and I will do that in Rome - and I am eager and keen and willing to do it.
It is possible to be ashamed of the Gospel. Never be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ - nor reluctant to speak about the Cross and the precious blood Jesus Christ shed to save sinners from their sins.
I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ - because it is the power of God. This is why we speak and witness and use every opportunity to proclaim the Gospel in all its various aspects. The Gospel is POWER.
The Romans worshipped POWER - Roman might - and the power of their legions. Paul is saying - I have a power the forces of the Roman Empire do not have!
The Gospel is POWER - DYNAMITE. I am not ashamed of the dynamite of GOD. It is the power of God for salvation - to everyone who believes - to the Jew first and ALSO to the Greek.
It is the power of God to rescue and transform all who accept it by faith.
Salvation is one of those comprehensive words covering so many aspects of life. It has that meaning of ‘salvage’.
When we send out an S.O.S. message we really mean save our bodies.
Salvation includes the physical and mental, as well as the spiritual. Saved from wrong thinking as our mind surrenders to Jesus Christ.
The whole aim of the Gospel is to save in a spiritual way. Primarily, salvation is spiritual - saved from spiritual danger - saved from hell, for heaven - saved from the curse for the blessing.
Saved from the penalty of sin – and being justified – (Justification) - and saved from the power of sin – and being sanctified – (Sanctification) - saved from guilt for liberty and freedom to glorify God.
And the power of God is for salvation - not civilisation.
The Gospel is not primarily aimed at civilising people - but saving them - and civilisation is a by-product. Remember that there are civilised respectable people who are not saved by Jesus Christ.
Salvation comes before service - service will follow.
It is for everyone who believes. The Gospel of Jesus Christ works anywhere - Nairn - Europe - America - Africa. Christianity is a universal Gospel for everyone who believes. But the medicine has to be taken - no use just having it sitting there.
And - one KEY BLESSING of the GOSPEL is that it brings us a righteousness that cannot be had from any other source.
This verse does NOT mean that everyone will be saved. It is for Jew and Gentile - that is God's division. Every writer of the Bible was a Jew except one - Luke. It was God's Will to take the Gospel to the Jew first. Paul always went to the Jew first - into the synagogues first - only to be thrown out time after time.
The Jews had, and have, an experience - an awareness - of GOD - and God has invited us Gentiles to come in and share the privileges of His Chosen people.
We come and become part of the people of God through Jesus Christ.
“Almighty God – our heavenly Father – Help us to realise that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is power – power to change people’s lives – power to transform darkness into light – power to lift up what is down – power to relieve where there is pain and hurt and brokenness. Help us to share the fulness and grace and love and healing of Jesus Christ. Amen”
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Alexander 'Sandy' Shaw is pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship in Nairn, Scotland. Nairn is 17 miles east of Inverness - on the Moray Firth Coast - not far from the Loch Ness Monster!
Gifted as a Biblical teacher, Sandy is firmly committed to making sure that his teachings are firmly grounded in the Word.
Sandy has a weekly radio talk which can be heard via the Internet on Saturday at 11:40am, New Orleans time, at wsho.com.
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