Romans 1:8-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
Desire to Visit Rome
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,
10 making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you.
11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established
12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.
14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.
15 So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.
The Just Live by Faith
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
Most of us know the hymn, "Jesus Loves Me," written by Anna Warner who taught a Bible Class, near West Point, NY, Military Academy, to bless the Cadets.
--They loved this song, as did Karl Barth, theologian from Switzerland, interviewed in America.
--A well-known author, Karl Barth was asked what he believed of his theology, and replied, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."
--Simply, he was not ashamed of Jesus, the Savior!
As millions of us, neither was the Apostle Paul.
--In Romans 1 we are called "to the gospel of God," to be "servants" ( v 1), "saints" (7), "saved" (16).
--Note verse 8, "I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you." Paul gives thanks to God, first.
--"I make mention of you always in my prayer" (9).
--He seeks "the will of God." Longs to visit Rome.
--To minister God's Word' impart spiritual gifts.
--Jesus had saved Paul, he wanted all to know Him.
Next Paul has three "I ams," reminds us of those of Jesus, "I am the Good Shepherd .. the Bread of life."
--Paul says, "I am debtor" (14), to tell of Jesus.
--Then, "I am ready" (15), "to preach the gospel.."
--To pay that debt, by telling all "Jesus saves."
--For "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes .." (16). "Power of God to .. save."
--Like Anna Warner, Karl Barth, Paul is not ashamed!
My two weeks in Bethlehem saw many homes, mostly of stone with a cross carved at the door - unashamed!
Unashamed of Jesus, and His gospel of salvation.
--The "gospel of God" (v 1), from Whom it came.
--The "gospel of His Son" (9), the One it is about.
--The "gospel of Christ" (16), of our Messiah come!
--"I am ready to preach the gospel" (15). Are we?
--The finest preaching we can do is godly living.
--With a loving witness in a winsome way to others.
--To be "not ashamed of the gospel of Christ ...."
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in each our lives.
Jesus is the "power of God," who forgives our sin.
--For "salvation for everyone who believes" (v 16)
--Everything is not for everyone - not wealth, education, health, or good looks - salvation is.
--Because everyone need Jesus, and His salvation.
--Without Jesus we have no gospel and no salvation.
--No wonder Paul says, "I am not ashamed" of Jesus.
The Bible teaches, all through, "we reap .. what we sow," and for many that has proven true (Galatians 6:7).
--Think of Jacob and his deceptions, and he got it back being deceived in marriage (Genesis 29)
--Pharoh took the lives of Jesish boys, lost his.
--Ahab falsely accused, and slew Naboth - to steal his vineyard; but lost his own life as God said.
--David's sin was forgiven, but he reaped ill effects of it throughout his life, in his children.>
--Paul, also, was wondrously saved and forgiven, but was ever grateful for the grace of God, and he was "not ashamed of Jesus." Let us never be, either!
In our tours to the Holy Lands we saw ruins of the largest, finest, pagan temples of old, still standing, that followers sacrificed for. Magnificent!
--Temples standing, their man-made gods all gone.
--What sacrifices do we make for our Living God?
It is time we really began to live for the Savior!
--He is divine. Real. Gave Himself for our sins.
--No other Savior, or religion, like our Messiah!
--The One who arose! Seen by multitudes, alive.
--God did all this yet some are trying to take God, Ten Commandments, and prayer away from America.
--America and our fine youth need all these!
--Indeed, we need more of Jesus, and godly living!
"I am debtor .. I am ready .. I am not ashamed."
--I join with the Apostle Paul. How about you?
--Let's make living for Jesus more attractive, and more popular, by taking a stand for the Lord.
The Bible tells of a number of things "not to be ashamed of," we do well to bear n mind. Note them.
--First, the Bible - "Be not ashamed of the testimony of the Lord" (II Timothy 1:8). The Word of God.
--To love it .. live it .. memorize it .. share it.
--Second, do not be ashamed to suffer, for Jesus.
--"If any suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God ..." (I Peter 4:16).
--Remember that Jesus endured untold suffering for us.
Then, we should never be ashamed of our salvation.
--Paul writes, "..I am not ashamed, for I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep (my soul) I have committed to Him .. until that day" (II Timothy 1:12). He had assurance.
--He had commitment .. followed it by godly living.
Four, we should not hesitate to believe in Jesus.
--For many reasons - one is this verse, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame" (Romans 1:16; 9:33, and 10:11). Three times we find it.
A fifth thing we should not be ashamed of is the Second Coming, the Return, of Jesus; it could be soon!
--Look at I John 2:28, ".. abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming." To be ready.
--To be living in the light of that, for our reward.
--Jesus came the first time as promised, He is again.
--We don't know when, but friend, it could be soon.
--Sixth, "In You, O Lord, I put my trust; let me never be ashamed" (Psalm 31:1) The list goes on.
So Paul says, "I am debtor .. I am ready .. I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes..."
Remember, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they were "ashamed," and hid from God - but God came seeking.
--Like God is seeking all sinners today, for Jesus.
--Think of the problems Jesus solves, power He gives, the pardon He offers, and all the people He helps!
--Why settle for any one, or any thing, but Jesus?
We all disobey God, and repenting brings forgiveness.
--But let no one disbelieve God - it's the worst sin.
"Jesus, and shall it ever be.,
A mortal man, ashamed of Thee?
Ashamed of Thee, Whom angels praise,
Where glories shine through endless days.
Ashamed of Jesus, that dear Friend?
On Whom my hoes of heaven depend?
No! When I blush, be this my shame,
That I no more revere His name." Anon.
So, without shame, let us revere the Person of Jesus.
--It is more popular to speak of God, no Jesus; but God could mean any and all kinds of gods.
--There is but One, True, Living God, a Trinity - of Father, Son, Spirit - and each is God.
--As we are one - body, mind, spirit - but all one.
--Jesus came in Person, in a body, to reveal God for the world to know God, and trust Him to be saved.
--I speak often of Jesus, as I wish to be specific.
--For people to know God I believe, and obey.
--Jesus is our kind of God - with skin on, we love.
--Who showed this love, dying for our sin on a cross.
--But as promised, Jesus arose! Lives! So may we!
Let's appreciate daily the Purpose of Jesus' coming.
--We live in a world of uncertainty, fear, ills, sin and hopelessness; but Jesus bestows hope and peace.
--No one is hopeless or helpless who has Hope in God.
--Jesus can be reached by prayer, to walk beside us.
--We are born with a purpose - to be "born again."
--To live pleasing for the Lord, as our purpose.
--In life's trials and turmoils, no one like Jesus.
Gratefully seek the divine Power of Jesus, to bless.
--The power Jesus gives by His Holy Spirit, in us.
--He gives us when we believe, to indwell and infill.
--We need that power to fulfill God's "plan for good, and not evil" God has for us all (Jeremiah 29-11).
"I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God ..." power to endure even when life or strength or faith are low. Faith can keep us!
--Paul writes, "in expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed..." (Phil. 1:20). Great!
--A great goal, that begins by receiving the Savior!
--Why not now?
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 503