Have you been kicked out of a city for what you believe? Beaten or stoned to the brink of death for what you teach? Or shamed and shunned for speaking the Truth in the midst of rampant hedonism such as was the case in ancient Rome? The Apostle Paul experienced all the above, and in the midst of it all, he wrote “I’m not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ…” (Rom. 1:16). Think about it. If anyone had a reason to be ashamed, perhaps it would have been Paul—seemingly rejected on every hand, yet not ashamed.
In his comments on the passage [Rom. 1:16], brother David Lipscomb wrote: “Since it had opened to him the highest honors and richer Spiritual and eternal treasures at the right hand of God” (Commen-tary on Romans) the Apostle Paul could not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. Are you ashamed?
Are you ashamed of God’s power to save? If you reject His word you are (II Tim. 1:8). Some were in Paul’s time and some are today. It seems inconceivable to reject the Word of the Creator, the one true, almighty God, but many do reject it. When one does not know His Word the Bible and makes little effort to know it, isn’t that a form of rejection? (II Tim. 2:15). The Lord dealt with this and said if one is ashamed of Him, then He will be ashamed and reject such a one on His day of return (Mark 8:38). How can one reject God knowing His power to create (Gen. 1), His power to sustain (Heb. 1:3), His power to save (Rom. 1:16), and His power to destroy that which He has created (Matt. 10:28; II Pet.3:10)? It is a serious consideration!
Is it a shameful thing to suffer as a Christian? The Apostle Paul suffered greatly as a follower of Christ (II Cor. 11). Paul advised young Timothy and all who would live godly inChrist that they would in fact suffer (II Tim. 3:12). So, everyone confessing Christ must understand that suffering to some measure is part of the plan. He admonished Timothy that suffering was part of the life and work he had chosen, but true faith,—knowing thatGod through Christ Jesus would sustain him—would keep him (II Tim. 1:12). One truly committed to Christ will not be ashamed of Him.
Perhaps it is the plan that causes some shame? Are you ashamed of the Gospel of Christ? It was God’s plan from the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). It is the plan that came right on time as scheduled (Gal. 4:4-5). It is a plan that does not discriminate in any way (Mark 16:15), but addresses that which is common to man (Rom. 3:23). The planis a common salvation for all (Jude 3), and used as part of the plan a common element to all, water (John 3:5). Water is necessary for all human life. Obedience is required by all(Heb. 5:8-9; II These. 1:7-8). So, no matter how hard some try to deny it, water baptism isreasonable, accessible, and right to put one into Christ (Gal. 3:27). When considering shame and the plan, consider this. Jesus did despise the shame of the cross (Heb. 12:2), but endured it for the joy of bringing salvation to the world.
What should you be ashamed of? The gospel of Christ or your sin? Be ashamed of your sin, love and obey the Redeemer, and rejoice in God’s power of salvation.
-David Hill, President of Tennessee Bible College