“16 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. 17 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.”
The apostle Paul made a clear and tangible statement here – I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ! This type of boldness can only come from one who has experienced God!
Paul longed to preach the gospel in Rome, but to most, this would have been considered “biting off more than you can chew!” From the standpoint of human capabilities, this task, indeed, would be considered doomed before it even started. You see, Rome exemplified pride at its best. One would not consider the Roman Empire to be humble, mild, and meek. The Romans considered themselves “too good” to listen, let alone believe, in the stories of a Jew (Christ) who died and rose to life again. The spirit of pride, power, and control can quickly blind you as well from seeing the truth.
Paul’s strength came from the Lord: He had faith of a mustard seed, and he knew he could do all things through Christ who gave him strength. He had no reason to fear because He was on assignment by the Most High.
As a college student, I had the wonderful experience of being a graduate assistant to one of my mentors. This job responsibility included teaching an undergraduate class for an entire semester under the direction of this professor. I remember walking just a little bit taller with a smile to match on the days I taught that class. Why? I was more than a graduate student for that hour. I was “the teacher!” Granted, all my prior knowledge and lesson plans were assigned by the professor. I was simply the messenger; however, I knew the information that I spoke was true, clear, and important because it came from my mentor in whom I trusted – why be afraid? I was unafraid and unashamed! I can only imagine how Paul felt knowing He had experienced the hand of God firsthand! His mentor was Jesus Himself! My professional mentor was an earthly figure; this would never compare to God alone, but we can at least see the parallel in the origin of confidence.
Paul’s confidence came straight from the power of God that brings salvation. Yes and Amen! Again, Paul didn’t sense any fear in approaching Rome because the power he was bringing through the gospel of Jesus Christ was more powerful than any Roman Empire.
The power of the gospel of Jesus Christ is strong enough to save your soul!
We can stand here today in full confidence that the gospel of Jesus Christ is for all who hear and believe. My prayer is that this message will continue to permeate throughout the entire world to fulfill God’s Great Commission:
Matthew 28:19-20, “19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Question: Where does your strength come from?