Author: Charles Hegwood
Have you ever had this happen? You are talking to a friend and then an opportunity for the gospel pops into the conversation. Suddenly you are filled with a sense of dread and stress that you know you shouldn’t be feeling. You may later try to assess why you felt this way. Could it be shame? It could. Could it be fear about what to say? It could. Either way a good reminder for us today was captured by the apostle Paul almost 2,000 years ago. Paul reminds us why we should not be ashamed, but instead empowered by the gospel. That was his motivation and that should be our’s as well.
Romans 1:15-17 is a well-known passage of Scripture. And it is vital for us in our gospel endeavors. Paul reminds us that we should be eager to share the gospel and unashamed of it because the gospel is the power and righteousness of God to save those who believe.
Eagerness to Share the Gospel
In verse 14, Paul told the Romans that he was obligated to share the gospel with Gentiles. This obligation is not one of burden but of mission. Like Paul, we do not remain on this Earth to simply exist and enjoy life, instead we have a mission; a gospel mission. For Paul this mission gave him an eagerness to share the gospel with the Gentiles in Rome. He longed to strengthen their faith. We never move beyond the beauty and power of the gospel. More on that later. Back to Paul. Paul was eager to get to Rome and preach the gospel. A mark of a healthy disciple is one who is eager to share the gospel with those around them. Gospel sharing is our mission. If you were wondering what to do with your life, or what God called you to do, it is simple and clear: Share the gospel with as many people as you can. And be eager to do so.
Confident in the Gospel
Maybe today you would say you are eager, but like I mentioned above you sometimes become nervous and maybe a little ashamed when sharing the gospel. I get nervous sometimes when I have a chance to share the gospel too. Paul’s letter to the Romans in general and these few verses in particular encourage me and I hope they encourage you as well. Why? Paul said the gospel is the “power of God.” We should not fear sharing the gospel because the power of God is displayed in it. We see that through the gospel, God has the power over sin and death. There is nothing that can overwhelm or overtake God. After all, Paul said that the gospel is the power of God to save. The gospel’s power saves a lost and dying people from a lost and dying world.
Do not be ashamed and do not fear telling a lost and dying world there is hope in the gospel. The hope of the gospel does not balance on our ability or eloquence, though those are nice, but instead the power of the gospel rests on the shoulders of our mighty God. The gospel is His power to save. It is our mission to share it. So when you feel ashamed or when you feel fear when sharing the gospel, remind yourself of this great reality. Remind yourself of Romans 1:16. I am convinced that when we do remember that the gospel is the power of God to save, we will have confidence to share with our friends and family.
The Scope of the Gospel
We should be confident in sharing the gospel because it is God’s power to save. But save whom we may ask. “To save everyone who believes.” Paul talked about his obligation in verse 14, and we can call that mission. Paul talked about his eagerness in verse 15 and we can call that motivation. He talks about his confidence in the gospel as the power of God in verse 16, and we can call that encouragement. Then he expressed his hope and scope of the gospel. Paul’s motivation and confidence is that God has the power to save all that come to Him in faith. It is our mission, confidence and motivation to take that power and hope to all people. The scope of the gospel is global. It knows no cultural or geographical boundaries. “First to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” Here ‘gentile’ means the rest of the world. Paul here is not creating a new scope for a new message either. The Old Testament always showed God as having a global scope to His mercy and grace. The only thing that is new is the new covenant which is grounded in the blood of Jesus. It is with this gospel that we can go to all people with confidence!
Hope of the Gospel
“For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.” Our confidence to share the gospel is in our hope of the gospel. We see that the gospel is the revelation of God’s righteousness and goodness. We can be confident and unashamed because when we share the gospel we are doing more than just speaking mere words. We are revealing the righteousness, justice, and moral uprightness of God to a lost and broken world. That should inspire hope that in the sharing of the gospel the light of God shines on a dark world. Have hope as you tell people about the powerful gospel that we have an eagerness to share.
Go In Gospel Confidence
This is just skimming the surface of this great and deep passage of Scripture. Even in skimming we should be encouraged in our gospel ventures. Again, this is a great reminder that when we feel ashamed or fear concerning the proclamation of the gospel, we must remember what the gospel is. The gospel should drive our mission and eagerness to tell others about this great truth. It is the power and righteousness of God to save all that come to Him. We are to go to all people and introduce them to the power of God and the hope within. Let these thoughts drive you to go to friends and family and tell them of the God who has the power to save all that come to Him. Do not be ashamed of the gospel, be empowered and emboldened by it.