Word of the Week by Justin Breeden – The Viability of the Gospel
The Word of the Week – The Viability of the Gospel
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16 NASB
The book of Romans is a letter that was written by the apostle Paul to the church of Rome in approximately 57 A.D (Romans 1:1-7). This letter stands as one of the most theologically rich portions of all of Scripture as it dives into the depths of the Bible’s central message – the gospel.
The letter begins with the apostle Paul making known his desire to travel to the city of Rome and preach the gospel there (vv.13-15). In verse 16 he states that he is, “…not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
Why does the apostle feel the need to assure his readers that he is “not ashamed of the gospel”? At this time Rome was the epicenter of the known world. Many may have viewed the gospel as being inferior to Roman thought and sophistication (1 Corinthians 1:23). With this understanding, it seems that Paul is seeking to assure his readers that the gospel does indeed hold the most viable position in the marketplace of ideas – even on a “world class scale”. Therefore the apostle would not be ashamed to proclaim the gospel in the face of the greatest intellects on earth.
Paul writes that the gospel is, “the power of God to salvation to every one who is believing…” (Young’s Literal Translation). Unlike various manmade ideologies the gospel message is the only means by which God works to save sinners (Acts 4:12). Why then should Paul be ashamed to proclaim the gospel message to the Roman world when it alone is the saving power of Almighty God?
In closing, I want to draw a couple of points of application for us today:
- The gospel message is in no way inferior to any other ideology. In fact, because the gospel is God’s message it is superior to all others (1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16). Let us therefore be just as willing to proclaim the gospel message in the public arena as Paul was.
- The gospel message is the only means that God uses to save sinners. How will men be saved if they do not hear the gospel? How will men hear the gospel if we are ashamed to make it known to them? See Romans 10:11-17.
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared… 1 Corinthians 15:1-5 NASB
Repent and believe the gospel!
I love to tell the story,
For some have never heard
The message of salvation
From God’s own holy Word.
I Love to Tell the Story
Katherine Hankey, 1834-1911
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