Friday, July 25, 2014

July 25 – We are not ashamed

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”   (Romans 1:16,17  NET)

Most people stick to a rule of etiquette that says: Don’t talk about religion or politics with people you are unfamiliar with.  It can lead to uncomfortable exchanges, and to people getting offended when our views clash with theirs.  These are two areas of life where people can have very strong views — even if their view is that they don’t like to be reminded of God.

And yet, God commands us not to be ashamed of the gospel, because it is the most important issue in life.  Nothing else matters more than a person’s salvation, and so God never wants us to be ashamed of our faith.  We shouldn’t drive people crazy by constantly talking about God and faith, but on the other hand, neither should we pass up an opportunity to reach out to someone who’s suffering, even if they are a stranger.  When the subject comes up, we can’t be ashamed of making it clear that we go to church on Sunday mornings, that we read and believe in the Bible, that we fight demons and sin, and that we expect to go to heaven when we die.  The gospel means good news, and stands for the new way of understanding and approaching God that Jesus brought into the world — something that very few people understand in a proper way, and something we need to be prepared to explain in an easy to understand and practical way.  Now salvation and holiness do not depend on a list of dos and don’ts, but on our faith in what God’s Son did for us and our willingness to give up our way of living for His.

Though salvation was first offered to the Jews, it is now offered to ANYONE… regardless of nationality, race, or language, regardless, or what we have done, good or bad.  Now our ability to please God and to be saved is accomplished from start to finish by faith.  When we have faith in what the Lord Jesus did not the cross, God see Jesus’ righteousness and purity whenever He looks at us, and our lives start to be filled with life… real life.

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