Not Ashamed of the Good News, Part 2
For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.
Yesterday I focused on Paul’s statement that he is “not ashamed of this Good News about Christ.” I considered reasons why Paul might have wrestled with shame over the Gospel, and why we might be ashamed in our own day. For many people in our world today, the Good News of Jesus as the Savior of the world seems narrow-minded and offensive. We might respond to this with shame over the core of Christian truth. So, what helped Paul to have confidence in the Good News of Christ? And what will help us to have similar assurance?
After saying “I am not ashamed of this Good News,” Paul continues, “It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.” In what way is the Gospel “the power of God”? First, the story of what God has done in Christ testifies to God’s power. Through the powerlessness of the cross, God has defeated the mightiest enemies of all: sin and death. The resurrection of Jesus demonstrates the victory of God over the powers of darkness. Second, the Gospel is the power of God in that through its message people’s lives are transformed. The ironic and culturally shameful story of the crucified Savior leads people into new life. It gives them hope for the future and the ability to live with vibrant energy in the present. As an evangelist, the Apostle Paul had seen how the Good News truly was the power of God in people’s lives.
What will help us to have confidence in the Good News, even when our culture urges us to feel ashamed? First, the more we focus on the truth of what God has actually done in Christ, the more we will be set free from worrying about what others think of us. We can freely acknowledge that the message of the Gospel is “foolish,” in the eyes of the world, yet do so without embarrassment. Second, as we remember what God has done through the ironic and scandalous Good News, we’ll have boldness to share it even in the face of scorn. For me personally, as I consider how God has transformed my life by his grace, and as I think of others who have had a similar experience, my potential to be ashamed of the Good News diminishes. I am emboldened to share the Gospel of Christ with others, to risk their rejection and even their mockery for the sake of God’s glory and their salvation.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How have you experienced the power of God through the Good News in your own life? How have you seen this Good News transform the lives of others?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, the more I think of it, the more I marvel over the power of the Good News. After all, it is a story of ultimate powerlessness, the crucifixion of an innocent victim. Yet in this apparent defeat you won the victory of sin and death.
As I remember how your Good News has touched my life, and how it has changed the lives of so many others, my confidence grows. I can see how the Gospel is truly your power at work.
May this power be at work in me as I live by faith in you each day. And may I be a confident, clear, humble witness to your Good News. Help me to live in such a way that people can see how you are changing me. And may I give you all the credit you deserve.
All praise be to you, Lord Jesus, the crucified and risen Savior of the World, my Savior and my Lord. In your name, Amen.