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July 30, 2017

"NOT ASHAMED"

TEXT: Romans 1-16 (Read vv. 13-17)
READING:  2 Timothy 1: 1-18

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SUBJ: Paul’s unashamed relationship to the Gospel wherein it is uniquely discovered to be the power of God unto salvation made effectual to believers of all nations.

AIM: That we should know and practice a similar boldness in the Gospel and the power of our Blessed Lord and so be unafraid and unashamed in the face of all enemies.

INTR: The Apostle had introduced the epistle in a most gracious manner and had declared a burden for those as Rome and would now transition to the core issue of his letter.
1. He declared his readiness to preach the Gospel to them as a debtor to them as to all in the matter of serving the will of God and their need.
2. In so doing it would be essential that proper weight be given to the issues at hand so that no mistake would be made as to the exclusive message he preached – the Gospel of Christ.
3. We are to be warned by the words of Paul here and elsewhere that there is not place of compromise in that he was sent with the message that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself and there can be no deviation from that course – false gospels were already about – see Galatians 1.

THESIS: The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation – the means whereby hopelessly lost folk are brought to life in Christ Jesus in repentance and faith. The Gospel is God’s truth about three historical facts – the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Christ. Anything else is unacceptable.

I. Not ashamed
1. There is no doubt that the Gospel of our Lord is opposed from every corner of the universe.
1) This opposition is found in powerful government entities
2) And from people in the lowest stations on earth
3) Peter is an example of cowing to both in his denial of our Lord.
2. It might be understood if there were reason to be unsure about the message or uncertain of the One who underwrites it.
3. We listen to much from those in the world who think themselves to be in power and we are reminded of the likes of Goliath or of Sennacherib in their boasts against the Living God and both died in shame!
4. There is no cause to back down from any and indeed the boldness of Paul was forthcoming in the presence of the Jews, the Roman officials and King Agrippa and ultimately in the courts of Rome.
5. It is certain that we are to act graciously toward others – It is not about us. It is just as certain that we are to boldly assert the Gospel and to confront those who would pervert it – many do so in ignorance having been taught in error.
6. Neither is there salvation in any other.

II. The power of God
1. Many meanings given to one English word.
1) One means the power to rule
2) Another means authority or permission – Christ claimed divine authority in And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Matthew 28:18.
3) Here the word means force, literally miraculous power, ability to work and so it is that whereby God works the miracle of salvation.
2. Haldane stated that it (the Gospel) was that great mystery hid in God from the beginning and further
1) That it is the efficacious means whereby God saves men and bestows on them eternal life
2) It is that Word of truth whereby we are begotten by the will of God
3) It is that sword which divides asunder soul and spirit and
4) It is not our power but that of God that raised up Christ to sit at His own right hand!
3. It is the good news in the hand of God that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners...”
1) That He died (dying he dealt with our sins) as the Lamb of God to take away the sins of His people in all the world
2) That He was buried even as we must be “taken from the place of judgment” and then
3) That He was raised again for our justification.

III. To every one that believes
1. How many things are taken by human versions of faith while the truth of the Gospel which is into eternal life is treated with contempt.
1) We cite for authority the unproven claims of other, the internet or whatever and often repeat is without verification.
2) But men will not receive the fact of their sinfulness, the judgment of God, that these are real and that Christ died to save sinners such as they are.
2. It is certain that apart from life the message falls on dead and deaf ears – nevertheless we bid them to believe the message that He is come that they life and that more abundantly.
3. The simple message is “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and those shalt be saved:
1) From the penalty of sin - past
2) From the power of sin -- present
3) From the presence of sin – future
4) All three historical facts must be believed and
5) All three tenses must be in force
4. This is saving faith found in all true believers – the Jew first and also the Greek!