Paul says in Romans 1:16-17, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” These words have been powerfully on my mind and heart over the last few weeks. What does it mean to live and behave in our culture around us in a way that is “unashamed of the gospel?”
For starters I know that it means I must have a confidence in my Christian faith and all that is taught in the pages of scripture. Before I can outwardly be “unashamed” of the contents of the gospel, I must first inwardly trust the contents of the gospel. I must have a confidence in the worldview and interpretation of reality that is revealed by God through the pages of scripture. Unfortunately it is precisely here that so many Christians find their trust lacking. The Bible is far more than a set of values that we must believe, it is a factual historical narrative of how the world has been shaped through history. Noah and the flood that covered the Earth during his time is not a metaphor or intended to be read allegorically, it is an accurate account of the history of humanity and the tragic consequences of sin. King David is more than a Biblical character who was created by authors to inspire and teach lessons to children. King David was a historical King, who interacted with other historical kings, and who ultimately paved the way both through his writings and his lineage for the messiah. We must unwaveringly hold to a steadfast belief in the historical reality of scripture.
Once we root ourselves in Biblical confidence the entire Christian worldview begins to come into focus. It is then that we can begin to engage with the claims of culture around us. The Bible begins to serve as a fixed immovable interpretative tool for engaging our lives and the issues of our day. The Christian literally thinks differently, not just because we have a different perspective or a different set of values, but because God has revealed reality to us, and we are not like others who do not have God’s revelation trying to piece together a response and explanation for why things are the way they are. Rather we are confident. We are confident of our past (the story of history that God has written from creation until now), our present (what God is doing today winning a people for His own possession from every people group on the planet), and our future (the return of Christ and the installation of the new heavens and the new Earth).
My heart is burdened to see an unashamed confidence in us a people. My heart is burdened to see each and every one of us dig deep roots into the pages of scripture latching onto the very words, soaking up courage and confidence from God Himself. Then, as the second half of Romans 1:16 reveals, an outward power to salvation will flow through each of our lives. The courageous & compassionate declaration of the gospel might be ever on our lips.