Right now, as you read this, is there anything in your life that you are ashamed of? I am not talking about sins that you may have committed before you became a Christian; those sins were “washed away” when you were baptized into Christ (Acts 22:16; Gal. 3:27). Nor am I talking about sins you may have committed after becoming a Christian of which you have repented and confessed and asked the Father to forgive. When forgiven of our sins—no matter how bleak and no matter how ashamed we should have been when we were guilty—God says, “their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” (Heb. 10:17). After meeting God’s terms of pardon, we should be like Paul, “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14).
According to the Scriptures there are some things that we should be ashamed of if we are guilty. In II Thessalonians 3:14, Paul writes of some who needed to be disciplined: “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.” And in Titus 2:8 Paul is writing of things the young men are to be taught; and he states, “that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”
There are a number of other Scriptures that express the idea that the child of God does not need to bow his head in shame. “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Rom. 5:5). “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Rom. 10:11). “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15).
So, from these Scriptures it is apparent that when we sin and refuse to live right, then we should be ashamed of our conduct; but when we are walking in the light (I John 1:7), running the race with patience (Heb. 12:1-2), being stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (I Cor. 15:58), and being a good and faithful servant (Matt. 25:21), we should be like Paul. He stated, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” (Phil. 1:20). There is absolutely nothing pertaining to Christianity that should make us ashamed!
We must not be ashamed of the gospel (Rom 1:16). It is the word of the Lord (I Pet. 1:22-25; I Thess. 2:13). It is God’s power to save (Rom. 1:16; I Cor. 15:1-2; Rom. 6:17-18; I Cor. 1:21). Others were not ashamed of it. Peter and John were bold to proclaim it (Acts 4:19-20; 5:41). Stephen was not ashamed to preach it plainly (Acts 7:51-53). We, today, should follow their examples and boldly proclaim the gospel message never being ashamed to declare all the counsel of God (Acts 20:27). We must believe it (Mark 16:15-16), teach it (Acts 8:4), and defend it (Jude 3).
We must never be ashamed of the church of Christ. We should never be ashamed of its builder for Christ is its builder (Matt. 16:18; Psalm 127:1). We should never be ashamed of its head for He is its head. (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18). We should never be ashamed of its worship when we worship according to His divine directions (John 4:24; Acts 2:42; Col. 3:17). We should never be ashamed of its doctrine. John warns us, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (II John 9). You and I should never hesitate to say, I am a member of the church of Christ, the church built by Christ, the church which is His body, the church that all the saved are added to and the church of which He is the Saviour (Acts 2:47; Eph. 5:23).
We should never be ashamed of the name we wear. We should never hesitate to say, “I am a Christian, only a Christian, nothing more and nothing less.” This name was given by God. (Isa. 62:1-2; Acts 11:16). There is salvation in “none other name” (Acts 4:12). We should persuade others to wear it (Acts 26:28-29). Human names are not accepted and will cause us to lose our souls (I Cor. 1:10-11).
We should not be ashamed of suffering for Christ (II Tim. 3:12; 1:3, 12; I Pet. 4:16). Even though some speak evil of you, you should never be ashamed of your suffering as a Christian.
We should never be ashamed of our attitude toward worldliness. We cannot love the world and God at the same time (I John 2:15-17; James 4:4; Rom. 12:9). The Bible never changes and it tells us that we are not to be conformed to this world (Rom. 12:1-2).
Let all of us repent of anything in our lives that is not in harmony with God’s word—those things that should cause us to be ashamed. And then let us, with renewed hope, like Paul declare, “In nothing shall I be ashamed.”
—Paul M. Wilmoth (January 18, 1944 – April 5, 2021)