I hate to say this, but one of the biggest obstacles Christians face in getting out the good news is being ashamed of it. I don’t think many of us would admit it, but if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s what silences us.
So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Rom 1:15-17)
Ready to Preach the Gospel
Paul was ready to preach the gospel where ever he was. He was ready to preach to Jews and Gentiles. He was ready to preach in Rome. His readiness was the result of not being ashamed of the gospel.
Paul ministered in two different worlds. When he shared the gospel with his fellow Jews, he was talking to a people encrusted in religious tradition. Their religious rituals and their time honored interpretations of the Law dominated their thinking about God. When Paul preached the gospel to the Gentiles of the Roman empire, he was talking to people enamoured with learning and intellect. Both groups were offended by the gospel. To the Jews, it was a violation of their religious traditions. To the Gentile, it seemed irrational.
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
Paul boldly proclaimed the gospel message of Christ crucified to Jews and Gentiles alike. He knew how their world views would influence their reaction to his message, but he didn’t change the message to please them and make himself look good. Religion and intellectualism don’t save lost souls. The gospel, and only the gospel, “is the power of God unto salvation” to everyone who believes.
Your desire to look spiritual, or to seem intellectual, will silence your voice. If people’s opinions of you matter more than God’s opinion, you won’t share the gospel.
Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Settle it in your heart that God’s measure of you matters more than all other opinions combined. This is a vital first step in becoming a bold witness.
What About You?
- Are you ashamed of the gospel? That is, do you hesitate to share the gospel with your friends, neighbors and coworkers because you’re afraid of what they will think of you?
- Will you decide, today, that their opinions will not silence you, that you will share the gospel?