Be Not Ashamed

“For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” – Luke 9:26

Introduction

Could there be a more heart-wrenching, hopeless scenario than to find that our Lord is ashamed of us? While we begin with an eye-opening admonishment, we don’t want to focus on fear of loss but love for our Lord. If we only pay lip service to the Lord and His words due to self-centered worry, what have we gained (Matt 15:8; Mar 7:6)? Our message, therefore, speaks to the necessity of loving our Lord enough to face a lost and dying world as saints who are unashamed of Christ.

Main points of consideration:

  1. The wretchedness of those who are ashamed of the Lord and His Gospel
  2. Examination of the Apostle Paul’s example
  3. The need for fearless, unashamed Evangelists

What does it mean to be ashamed of the Gospel?

We see the Greek word “epaischýnomai”(transliteration) used in verses which speak of being ‘ashamed’ of the Lord and His Gospel. There is no mistaking its meaning. Simply put, it means to feel shame for something (see: Strong’s G1870). So, the transgression occurs when we are unwilling to share the Gospel message due to an aversion to societal shame, ridicule, or disapproval.

It is a wretched heart indeed that chooses the approval of reprobate men over that of Almighty God. Can there be any greater indicator of lukewarm Christianity than when one is actually ashamed of Christ and His words? Can there be any greater spiritual imperative than to consider the surety of one’s own salvation? Being ashamed of Christ and His words is definitely not evidence of new life in Christ.

The Apostle Paul was unashamed

In Romans 1:16 we read, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (cf. Psa 119:46; Mark 8:38; Luk 9:26; 1 Cor 2:2; 2 Tim 1:8,12,16; 1 Pet 4:16).”

Up to this point in Romans 1, Paul’s rhetoric was passionately focused on his ministry of preaching the Gospel to the Romans. Now, we see a shift toward speaking more directly to the value and power of the Gospel itself. Paul was not unashamed of the Gospel as a fool is unashamed of their own incessant public blather. Paul’s confidence in his ministerial assignment was fueled by his confidence in the Gospel message.

Paul, speaking of his service in verse 9, refers to a voluntary effort. He was compelled by his love for God to serve outwardly and in the spirit. It was his heart’s desire to “serve” by proclaiming the Gospel. Those who truly love God are unashamed of their love for Him. Those who love God (the greatest commandment), are unflinchingly pleased to speak His name and repeat his words at all times.

While it’s true that his love of God was perhaps Paul’s greatest motivation, he also had a deep understanding of the utility of the Gospel message. He understood that “it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (v. 16). The Gospel message of Christ and Him crucified is good news; it is indeed the best news a lost and dying world could ever hope to receive.

The need for fearless, unashamed Evangelists

In 1 Corinthians 1:23-24 we read, “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”

Speaking to God’s expectations, one commentator writes, “Call on men, both Jews and Gentiles, to believe in Christ, as having purchased their salvation by shedding his blood for them.” – Adam Clark [1]

While Jews and Gentiles may perhaps have different reactions to the Gospel, their need is identical. Every citizen of the earth must be reconciled unto God. We are in a perilous circumstance for as long as we remain unregenerate (unsaved). Ephesians 2:1 says, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;”

The law of God is brought to bear against those who have not yet submitted to the Holy Spirit and trusted Christ for their salvation. Sinners, for as long as they remain sinners, are in a dead state spiritually. Yet the new birth brings us a new life. If we truly believe this, how can we keep God’s truths to ourselves? How can we allow ourselves to be intimidated or mocked into silence?

There is revelation in the message

In Romans 1:17 we read, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

Clark writes: “Shown to be by faith, and not by the works of any law; for Abraham, the father and founder of the Jewish people, was justified by faith, before even the law was given; and by believing, in reference to the spiritual object held forth in the various ordinances of the law, and now revealed under the Gospel, he and all his believing descendants have been justified.” [2]

To state this another way, just as Abraham was counted as righteous by his faith (Gen 15:6; Rom 4:3: Gal 3:6-8), we are likewise justified by true belief in the Gospel.

The Gospel message reveals the necessity and the power of faith. The faith of the old covenant led to the faith of the new covenant and, therefore, reveals God’s righteousness. That is, His requirement of faith is righteous and consistent. There is no new requirement in the new covenant. There is only a new faith in the Christ’s redeeming act. The power of this revelation is yet another reason we ought to be unashamed of Christ and His words to us.

Summary:

Father God loved us enough to sacrifice His only begotten Son that we may be reconciled unto Him. The greatest story ever told regards this act of divine love and a true Christian is happy to tell it. The Gospel message also contains all the doctrinal teaching one needs to believe, belong, and become. Christ suffered great shame for our sakes upon the Cross of Calvary and we, therefore, should be willing to face the disdain of those to count the Gospel as foolishness.

We are called to be saints, called to preach the Gospel, and called to . . . be not ashamed.

References

  1. Clarke, Adam. “Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:23”. “The Adam Clarke Commentary”. //www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-corinthians-1.html. 1832.

  2. Clarke, Adam. “Commentary on Romans 1:17”. “The Adam Clarke Commentary”. //www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/romans-1.html. 1832.

Comments are closed