For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)
I remember in high school being ashamed a lot of times for my Christian faith. I was fortunate to attend a private school where we had a Christian group that met weekly during one of our free periods. During those meetings I was able to be with other Christians and it was a safe place, with no judgment from non-believers. But what I remember about my high school days were two classmates who lived out their Christian faith in spite of the judgment and teasing from other students and even teachers. As I look back on the days of my youth, I realized my two friends really understood and lived out what Paul was saying in Romans 1:16.
In today’s reading, Paul shares how Jesus transformed his life, and how this transformation made him better. Remember that Paul was writing this in Rome, a sophisticated and cultured place. There were probably people during that day who were embarrassed to be known for believing in a gospel that was centered on a crucified Jewish Savior and embraced mostly by the lowest classes of people. Paul wasn’t ashamed of this, and neither should we. Paul realized that he was free to live for Christ because he knew where the true power of the gospel came from. Paul knew that the Gospel has inherent power. The Gospel doesn’t bring power, but rather the Gospel IS power, and it’s God’s power.
When we remember this truth of the power that is the Gospel, it will free us to live for Christ. This salvation is available to everyone who believes. There is no discrimination between Jew and Greek, but the key is that everyone who receives salvation must believe in Jesus Christ. Let’s ask God today to reveal people that we know who haven’t received Jesus Christ into their hearts. Let us plead and beg God to bring these people to Himself, through Jesus. There are more people that God wants to know this freedom to live for Christ. Don’t be ashamed of the gospel. Rather, be thankful to Christ for dying for us, to give us new life.