Not Ashamed of the Gospel

Not Ashamed of the GospelWeek 21 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is nearly finished. This week’s reading was Acts 26-28, and Romans 1-2. Acts 26-28 speaks mainly of Paul defending himself before King Agrippa, him sailing for Rome and getting shipwrecked on the island of Malta, his arrival in Rome, and him speaking to the Jewish leaders there.
In Romans 1-2, we read the beginning of Paul’s epistle to the Roman church.

In Romans 1:16, Paul declares that he is not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for the saving of all who believe. How many of us can honestly say the same thing? How many of us are unashamed to proclaim the gospel boldly when the occasion calls for it? In society today, a willingness to share what Christ has done is becoming more and more rare, yet more and more needed. Someone simply must tell this generation the good news!

What is this good news? What is it that we are to proclaim? Romans 1:17 answers this question. It states that the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel – a righteousness that is by faith. This world needs to know that the way to gain acceptance before God is not through being a good person, or performing good deeds. It is through faith in Christ alone. We can’t be made right with God through our own efforts. We can only become right with Him by trusting in Jesus’ righteousness, set to our account. This is the good news we must share!

Know that you have been made right with God through faith in Christ, and share the good news with others, as God gives you the opportunity. Never be ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God for the saving of all who believe!

Paul’s Secret

Paul's SecretWeek 20 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is nearing its end. This week’s reading was Acts 21-25. These chapters speak mainly of Paul, of his arrest, him speaking to the crowds, a plot against him, and charges being brought against him.

In Acts 21:10-13, Paul was warned by a prophet that he would be arrested in Jerusalem. The people pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. Paul responded by stating that he was ready not only to be bound, but to die in Jerusalem for Jesus’ name.¬†What made Paul, a former persecutor of all who believed in Christ, now willing to risk his life to bring His name to others? What caused him to change direction so completely? What was his secret?

In Philippians 3:7-11, we find our answer. In these verses, Paul declares that he considers all things a loss compared to knowing Christ. He considers them garbage, that he may be found in Christ, having not a righteousness that came through the law, but a righteousness that is based on faith in Christ.

As these verses express, Paul understood that right standing before God isn’t based upon keeping His commandments. It’s based upon having faith in Christ, who kept them for us, and gave His life for our sins. Because our right standing before God is dependent not our imperfect selves, but on the One who truly is perfect, our righteousness is forever secure.

When we truly begin to understand this, something amazing happens. We go from religion to relationship. We go from head knowledge to heart knowledge. We go from an acknowledged belief in Christ to a living, vibrant, active faith in Him. This revelation of righteousness through faith in Christ made Paul willing to face imprisonment for the sake of His name. God desires for each of us to catch this revelation. I challenge you to ask God to reveal to you His grace, and the truths of the gospel, in a great way every single day.