ThePreachersWord is posted on a number of religious facebook pages, many with names connected to churches of Christ. Yet, I often see extremely pejorative comments regarding the truth, scripture and the beliefs of brethren in general. The church is often downgraded and dismissed as an unnecessary, outdated relic of the past.
Political partisanship, popular secular thinking, and subjective, feel-good opinions appear to be the rule of the day. Sadly, some who once seemed grounded in the faith, have moved away from the hope of the gospel, to “another gospel.” One that’s cool. Modern. Popular. And more fitting to our culture.
Reading this morning from Romans 1 reminds me that I should never be reluctant to stand for the Truth of God’s Word. The apostle Paul put it this way.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Rom 1:16).
I have been preaching the gospel of Christ for 50 years. There have been times when I’ve been ashamed of my attitude or actions. There have been situations where I’ve felt ashamed of the behavior of some brethren. But I’ve never been ashamed of the gospel.
(1) The Gospel is God’s Power to Save People From Sin.
The book of Romans affirms that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (3:23). Indeed “there is none righteous, no not one” (3:11). Sinful people need a Savior. And the gospel message is all about Jesus Christ, who came “to seek and save the lost” (Lk. 19:10).
People are not saved by human philosophy, ritualistic observances, or creedal doctrines. Salvation comes through hearing the Gospel. Believing it. And obeying it (Rom. 10:10-17).
Only Jesus is the way to the Father (Jn. 14:6). Only by preaching the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus can we point people to the means of redemption of sins and restoration with God (1 Cor. 15;1-4). His name, and His alone, is the only means of salvation (Ax 4:12).
I’m not ashamed of Jesus and His exclusive message and means of salvation.
(2) The Gospel Provides Direction for Daily Living.
The Gospel of Christ does not leave to wonder how to live our lives. In an age of changing morals, shifting values, and vanishing standards, the gospel offers a constant, unchanging pattern for living.
Paul affirmed that the God-breathed Word is all-sufficient. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
My mission in life, my morals, my ministry, my message and even my marriage are guided by the gospel. As Peter expressed we’ve been given “everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Pet. 1:3).
I am not ashamed of the Gospel’s unchanging standard of behavior.
(3) The Gospel Offers Hope.
The Bible teaches there is “one hope” (Eph 4:4). That hope is better than the things we often hope for in this world. Material success. Financial prosperity. National security. And physical wellness. The blessed hope centered in the gospel transcends this life. It is eternal (Titus 1:2).
Our hope serves as an “anchor of the soul” (Heb. 6:19) during the storms of political unrest, personal problems, and deceitfulness of religious ambiguity.
Don’t sell your religious birthright for the mess of this mixed up world. Don’t be embarrassed to be a Christian. To herald the gospel message. To stand for what is right.
As for me, I’ve come too far. And the Lord has been too good. There’s no turning back. I. Am. Not. Ashamed.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman