Read Romans 1:16-17
When you read a book, a blog, article, or any type of media at some point you will get to a sentence or a paragraph which contains the main point or theme of the media. For instance in a tweet the main point is easy to find for it is usually one sentence long. In the book of Romans the main point/theme is found in 1:16-17. These two verses will get referred to a lot in our study of Romans, for in these two verses we find a short summary of the entire book.
In verse 16 we see that Paul states “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel”. What does it mean to be ashamed? How does one act when they are ashamed? What about when a person is unashamed? How is that different?
When Paul says that He is not ashamed of the Gospel, He is saying something very bold. He is stating everything that is in scripture, meaning the Old Testament at this point, He not only believes but also says is true. It is as if he is using the caps lock, the bold, and Italics to say, “THE WORD OF GOD IS TRUE!” shouting it from the rooftop. He does this bold act in writing. So that everyone can see it and verify what He says.
What have you done that is bold? Have you ever been ashamed of the Gospel, by this I mean being ashamed of the Bible or having the name Christian? Why? Have you overcome this shame? Why or why not? How are you seeking to overcome this?
We do not ever need to be ashamed of the Gospel because of what it says in the rest of verse 16 1”for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes.” If you are ashamed of Gospel then you are ashamed of God and all that He has done for you. And He has done so much for you. He has created you, He provides for your needs, he loves you even when you break His laws and reject Him. He even sent His son, even though you rejected Him, to live a perfect life, die a perfect death, and rose to life, all to have your sins forgiven.
How can we be ashamed of this? God gives salvation to all who will believe in Him, to all who will call on his name. Paul continues this idea of everyone who believes into the final part of verse 16 “first to the Jew and then to the Greek.”
What Paul is saying is that God sent Jesus to everyone, not just those who knew Jesus was coming but to everyone. Not matter what they look like, not matter what they sound like, no matter what they have done in the past, Jesus’ death will forgive their sin, if they repent and believe.
Do you ever claim to be a Christian yet feel like you sin is still too great? If you do, you don’t need to worry. If you have repented and believe all of you sins will be forgiven. If you do not know Jesus but feel your sin is too great to be forgiven you too need to know that Jesus’ death paid for you sin, all of it, if you repent and believe in His name. Jesus sacrifice is sufficient for your sin. Yet even though Paul places all of this into this verse He does not end there.
In verse 17 Paul says that gets to the core of Christianity “the righteous will live by faith.” By this Paul means that when you become a Christian you are declared, ‘right’ in God’s eyes. Prior to that you were at war with God but after being forgiven you have been given peace with God and are declared as ‘right’, meaning that you are righteous.
Now this righteousness, we can’t earn it on our own, which Paul will declare latter saying we are declared “righteous by faith alone”. We must remember that anything that we have including our own salvation, which makes us righteous in His eyes, even this is given to us by God.
How have you thank God for giving you salvation? How have you thanked Him for making Jesus’ sacrifice sufficient for you? Can you demonstrate your thankfulness to God by sharing it with others? How?