The Power Of Salvation
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. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
When we read through the Acts of the Apostles, we encounter the character of Saul in Acts 7. It is just after the death of Stephen who was stoned. We are told that people were laying their garments at the feet of Saul (Acts 7:58) as they stoned Stephen. Saul approved of what they were doing (Acts 8:1). But then we are told of Saul’s personal encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9). When we encounter Christ, we are never the same again. Saul was never the same again. We’re told that Saul who also goes by Paul (Acts 13:9) is called by Christ to take the Gospel to the Gentiles. Paul who once referred to himself as the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15-16) is now called to suffer the sake of Christ (Acts 9:15-16).
As we read through Paul’s journey, we see that indeed he suffers for the sake of Christ including being stoned by his Jewish kindred (Acts 14:19-23), lashed (2 Corinthians 11:24), lowered down a basket (Acts 9:25), shipwrecked as he’s taken to Rome (Acts 27:27-28:5), a thorn in his flesh (2 Corinthians 12:6-7). What could help such a person endure such ordeals? I suspect that it was the fact that he brought the gospel wherever he went. As we see in Romans 1, he was convinced that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God to bring salvation to everyone who believes.
Paul was not at all ashamed of the Gospel. It would mean that he would become all things to all men in order that he might win some over to Christ (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). What is it that we are not ashamed of? May we be like Paul. May we not be ashamed for the gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ tells us that Christ will not be ashamed of us on that last day, let us not be ashamed of him today (Luke 9:26).