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.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
At first, it’s easy to say we aren’t ashamed of the Gospel. Paul wasn’t ashamed and neither are we. It’s good news! It’s the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes.
And then we keep reading down to the wrath of God part. You might think of bullhorn guy or the screaming preachers somewhere. Some people get really excited about the wrath of God and you don’t know that there is any good news involved.
There are plenty of times where we might start to become ashamed of the Gospel. We are embarrassed at this scandal in the church or what this Christian leader said on TV or whatever.
The thing to keep in mind is that none of these people or these events are the Gospel.
The Gospel is the truth that because Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, anyone that believes in Him can have the righteousness of God. Anyone that believes in His life and truth and message can be saved, even if they have done all sorts of awful things.
So as we are ashamed of things, let’s not be ashamed of the Gospel. Be ashamed of the things that people do. Be ashamed of the words people use when they shouldn’t have used that particular word. Be ashamed of the way we judge people without showing them mercy or giving them the benefit of the doubt, but don’t be ashamed of the Gospel – the good news – of salvation from Jesus Christ.
The salvation is as real and true as the wrath. Someday there is going to be a judgment day. By more complicated processes than we can understand, God is going to judge, save, or condemn everyone that ever lived. The truth and reality of the wrath is what makes us appreciate the Gospel so much. I deserve the full judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah to take place on my house every day of the week, but instead, because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, the righteousness of God happens.
So the next time you feel ashamed about the Church, take joy in the Gospel. Pray for the shame-bringers and experiencers, and rejoice in the wrath-rescue plan of God. It’s the Gospel of salvation for all who believe.