14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith. Rom 1:14-17
When was the last time you were chatting to people, perhaps family members or workmates or strangers and from what they said, they presented you with the perfect opportunity to share the gospel with them? Perhaps someone said something to ridicule Jesus or someone asked a question related to faith in Him. If we read Paul’s passage above, we see that at moments like this we have two options.
The first option is one we take all to often – either being ashamed of the gospel or staying silent as though we were. There are a diversity of reasons to feel ashamed. Paul gives us a clue in 1 Cor 1:18 when he tells us that “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing…” When we are with other people, we don’t want to sound foolish and irrelevant. Whether actively or subconsciously we imagine how they will take it and how they will respond, and we choose to play it safe.
The second and better option is to consider the power of the gospel and then to see ourselves as indebted to all those around us. Indeed the gospel may be “…foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” This is the reason Paul is not ashamed of the gospel – because he understands its power and its potential to change the world that remains unrealised if we choose to be quiet.
Do you need to come before God and repent of denying the gospel’s power? As you pray and as you start your day, consider that the gospel is not of your making, so don’t approach it through your logical reason; consider that it is of God’s making and that he works by His Holy Spirit to bring revelation of its power. Consider this final verse from 1 Cor 2:14 – “14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgements about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgements…”
So pray, trust God, obey God and share the gospel – without reservation and without shame!