[vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][td_block_homepage_full_1][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=””][vc_column width=”2/3″][td_block_19 limit=”6″ custom_title=”DON’T MISS” td_filter_default_txt=”All” ajax_pagination=”next_prev” offset=”[td_block_18 category_id=”” limit=”3″” ][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][td_block_social_counter custom_title=”STAY CONNECTED” facebook=”evangelisttheresajohnson” twitter=”evangelbisola” google+=”101187519394030691793″ youtube=”biss45001″][td_block_ad_box spot_id=”sidebar”][td_block_3 limit=”1″ custom_title=”POPULAR” td_filter_default_txt=”All” ajax_pagination=”next_prev” category_id=”” sort=”random_posts”][td_block_2 limit=”2″ custom_title=”REVIEWS” td_filter_default_txt=”All” category_id=”” ajax_pagination=”next_prev” sort=”random_posts”][/vc_column][/vc_row]
I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.
Preaching The Gospel
In Romans 1, Paul addresses the Gentile believers at Rome and begins by explaining his mission, which was to preach the Gospel to everyone. He concludes his explanation by saying, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the Power of God that brings Salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the Gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’” (Romans 1:16–17; cf. Habakkuk 2:4).
The word translated “ashamed” means “disgraced,” “intimidated” or “personally humiliated.” A person “ashamed” in this way is like someone singled out for misplacing his confidence—he trusted in something, and that something let him down shamefully. The word can refer to being dishonored because of forming the wrong alliances. So, when Paul says that he is not ashamed of the Gospel, he is saying his confidence in the Gospel is not misplaced. There is no disgrace in declaring it… Hallelujah!!! Paul had given his life to proclaiming the Truths that Jesus Himself had revealed to him (Acts 9:3–6; 2 Corinthians 12:2–4). He explained to the Romans why he did not believe that he had wrongly identified with Jesus and why proclaiming Jesus’ message was his life’s work.
The application can extend to us as well. Just as Paul placed his confidence in the Gospel of Christ, so can we. We can proclaim with boldness theTruths that God has revealed in His Word, with no fear that our confidence is misplaced. “Anyone who believes in Him will never be put to shame” (Romans 10:11; cf. Isaiah 28:16).
Looking back in time in my life when I drink iniquity as one drinks water in superfluity of filthiness and naughtiness of lifestyle, or in hopelessness and powerlessness when I would return to my sins and iniquity as dogs returns to their vomits; or in the time when my lack of faith and knowledge in the Truth of God’s Grace, Love, Mercy towards me, and in His Infallible Word, and every Tom and Dick violates me freely because I was naive, vulnerable and gullible. This also led me into the deep pits of bewitchments and bondage of Fatai Temitope Joshua alias T.B. Joshua in the Synagogue “church” of all nations, Ikotun-Egbe, Lagos, Nigeria. Yes, I was not born a saint and I lived my fair share in worldly quagmire of life. The psalmist says, “in sin my mother conceived me.” PS. 51. BUT I bless God that it is this Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ that sets me free and put me to the right course of His purpose for my life. Yes, I may not have a proud past, but He offered me a Glorious future, which I grabbed with every breathe in me. In my confusion of mind, He found me and give me Eternal life and peace of mind. So if satan reminds me of my past, I remind him of his future in hellfire. Human being can change but satan is doomed. This Gospel I am offering you today, please chose life not death. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is Power, Light, Authority and Lamp. The Psalmist testifies that “Your Word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” Psalms 119:105 NKJV
It is only in the Gospel we can find direction, fulfilment and purpose in life. Stop meaningless activities, stop visiting false prophets and spiritual arrangers. Receive the engraved Word of God, which is able to save your soul. King David blew my mind, he said, “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep Your precepts. I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word.” Psalms 119:97-101 NKJV
When we love His Word, we can rest in the knowledge that the Holy Spirit who inspired the writing of Scripture never changes (2 Peter 1:21; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). What was true thousands of years ago is still true today… Hallelujah!!! The offer of Salvation that was presented to people of the first century is still open to us (Acts 2:39; John 17:20). All you need to do is to accept Him and surrender to His Lordship and leading; and He is a wonderful director.
To live unashamed of the gospel means we proclaim it, but it also means we apply it to our lives and show we believe it. Paul’s life choices supported his message. He did not preach one thing and live another. We are “ashamed of the gospel” when we allow sin in our lives to go unchecked (Matthew 3:8). When we indulge in worldliness and carnal desires or blatantly disobey scriptural standards, we indicate that we lack confidence in our own message (1 Corinthians 3:3; 1 Peter 2:11). When we “walk in the counsel of the ungodly, stand in the path of sinners, and sit in the seat of scoffers” (Psalm 1:1), we are being ashamed of the gospel. We are not allowing its truth to penetrate our lives so that others see its changing power. To live unashamed of the gospel means that we, like Paul, allow it to marinates and dominates our lives to the extent that everyone within our sphere of influence can see that we have “been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). Starts living the life in the Master today, you will not regret it. Those who first heard Peter speak of Jesus Christ to them ask a profound question and Peter did not leave them confused. Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:37-39 NKJV
If your heart is cut by the Word, I say the same word of Peter to you, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
Colossians 4:5-6 NKJV
Most people that grow up in the natural disasters invested areas are taught the regiments of going through specific precautionary routines, in the event of an unforseen situations. Even little kids are allowed to get themselves familiar with why at which they need to stop, drop, and roll. They are trained in protocols in the event of a tornado, fire outbreaks etc. They would know how to exit their immediate buildings which they are in case of a fire outbreak in a single-file line to safe zones outside. All of these procedures were responses to various kinds of potential disasters they could encounter.
But how often would a tornado tear through their building? Though these incidents dont often occur, sometimes hardly ever, if at all in a lifetime. But they were still trained on how to respond in the very unlikely event that they might threatens their lives.
What if I told you that on a daily basis we as Christians are going to be faced with potential crises or disasters that required a quick response from us? What if it was not a distant potentiality but an eminent reality? How would you prepare yourself for such situations? Have you been trained to know how to respond?
Let me break this down and make the case why every follower of Jesus must have a gospel response plan (GRP).
These are just a few questions addressing realities you and I face on a daily basis, and with every question/situation, a response will manifest from your life. But what kind of response will it be? We have a choice to respond out of our sinful nature (Gen. 3) or out of our new identity in Christ. Will our response be driven by guilt and shame, hiding and pretending, blaming and fearing like Adam and Eve in Genesis 3? Or will our response arise from repentance and faith out of a heart resting in God’s acceptance of you in Christ?
You are a sinner living among sinners. You are a desperately needy person rubbing shoulders with desperately needy people. What weak, needy sinners need in every moment is to look to a strong, sufficient Savior. That’s what we do when we respond to the gospel–we turn from looking to ourselves (whether out of self-pity or self-righteousness) in repentance and we look to Christ in renewed faith and trust.
The problem we have today, I fear, is that most Christians do not have a developed gospel response plan and, therefore, there is no functional repentance and faith response when things happen (internally or externally) in their lives. The default, then, is to look somewhere other than Jesus in our response. And this, I find, is a massive discipleship breakdown for believers.
Someone is going to sin against you. Will you handle that situation with a response that honors the gospel? Will you pursue reconciliation through forgiveness and view that person through the lens of grace? Or will you come across self-righteous and force that person to make atonement for their sin by working their way back into a right relationship with you based on their efforts?
You are going to sin against someone else. Will you handle that situation with a response that honors the gospel? Will you make excuses for your sin? Rationalize it? Blame others for it? Or will you own it, humbly confessing it to God and those whom you sinned against, seeking forgiveness? Will you hide away playing the victim card in self-pity, sulking in your failure, or will you take your sin to the throne of grace to your merciful High Priest?
Paul said, “As you received Christ Jesus the Lord so walk in Him…” (Col. 2:6). You receive Jesus by repentance and faith, and you walk in that same repentance and faith. That is to say, this is how we “learn Christ” (Eph. 5:20) and “put on our new self” (i.e., our new identity in Christ). I think the most practically and helpful tool that Christians have today is to be trained to know how to respond to various situations they will encounter in a way that commends the gospel and flows out of a heart fully resting and secure in Jesus. We are not talking about potential dangers here. We’re talking about actual, real-life situations happening every day where Christians will either act out the old man of Genesis 3 or the new man being renewed by the Holy Spirit. The more reason you must “Study the Word to show yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.” 2Timothy 2:15-16
Think back in your life where sin has impacted your relationship with God and others. Are there people that are no longer in your life because of the functional absence of a gospel-driven response? Sadly, I can say that is true for me, and I suspect that if we are cognizant enough, nearly everyone would consent to that reality. But we don’t have to continue that way!
So what is your Gospel Response Plan?
You are sinner living in a fallen world. You are going to be hurt, betrayed, frustrated, prideful, annoyed, judgmental, pitiful, and so much more. It’s going to happen. But are you going to be trained as a follower of Jesus Christ to know, almost instinctively, how to respond with the gospel through premeditated prescriptions of specific ways to walk in repentance and faith?
Perhaps what we need to do each morning is prepare ourselves with some “gospel drills.” Think about one possible situation a gospel response will be required of you. For example, you are at a restaurant and your server is extremely slow and the food is cold. The server asks you if there is anything else you need, and you are tempted to treat her like her actions deserve. But instead, you respond by saying, “Thank you for serving me today, and by the way, as I pray over my food I would like to know if there is anything I can pray for you about?” Who knows? The server may already be feeling guilty and embarrassed by their service and surprised by your gracious response. They could be going through a terrible crisis in their lives, and they open up to you and provide an opportunity for you to minister to them (and perhaps introduce them to Jesus).
Why that gospel drill? Because you will get bad service and cold food. You will be tempted to act out of the old Adam and not out of the risen Christ. And this is one of countless other ways we need to “learn Christ” and “put on the new self” with a strategy to approach whatever comes our way to walk in repentance and faith and show the transforming power of Christ’s abundant grace actively working in our lives. As the scripture has rightly said, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Colossians 4:5-6 NKJV