Unashamed - Romans 1:8 - 17
then after the message will be may be seated.
Oh, good morning church. I cannot tell you how good it is to be back here with you. I thank you so much for all the prayers and the calls and the text in the food. That was brought while we were sick. That was a big ordeal for my family a lot more than I would have chosen for myself, but I know that the guy was still working and I can sense that. He still working even when I was not able to in. So I'm so thankful for my church family for the love that you all show so if you have your Bibles turn with me to the Book of Romans chapter 1 Romans chapter 1 is where we're going to be today. And if you don't have a Bible I encourage you to turn with me to page 767 in your pube Bible that we have in front of you there and you will will find Romans chapter one. That's where we are going to be. so What are you passionate about? What are you passionate about? What do you really care about in life? You know one way that you can tell what you're passionate about. You look at the things that you love to talk about. Everyone is passionate about something now, some of you are just naturally born talk or you could talk about anything under the sun. I'm personally not that way. I'm more of an introvert but you could show me the most introverted person in the entire world. I'm talking about somebody who doesn't say two words in normal conversation. And if I spent long enough with that person I bet we can land on the subject but that person is passionate about and they would begin to talk about it for talked my ear off just begin to light up in the beginning to talk about it. We talk about the things that we care about Jesus even told us this in Matthew chapter 15 verse 18 and he says but the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart and so what things do you light up when you talk about what do you care about? What are you passionate about maybe for you? It's family. Kids, I've personally told lots of stories about my kids and lit up as I did it and I'm sure that you probably have to if you have children, maybe it's a relationship. Maybe it's a marriage or relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Maybe it's an experience that you had maybe it's a show or something that you watch on Netflix how you talk about it with the people the next day at work. Hey, did you catch that episode of whatever last night? Maybe it's a book or a movie. Maybe it's politics or Sports and those things are kind of intertwine these days, aren't they? Maybe it's any number of those things that you love to talk about. But here's the point that I'm trying to get at. It's okay to be passionate about all those things but Of all the things that you love to talk about.
Of all the things that you love to share with other people. Does Jesus Christ make that list?
Do you love to talk to other people? about Jesus
now if we went around this room and you are Christian, of course, you would say that Jesus. Is it something that you're passionate about Jesus's is someone that you care about he saved you he did so much for you and yet for some reason when it comes to talking to other people about Jesus, even though we may be passionate about him and passionate about what he's done. typically It's hard for us to share about him because the idea of sharing our faith with somebody always brings up something else instead and that is fear.
And so instead of talking about Jesus we talk ourselves out of talking to people about Jesus. Oh, well, you know, they're just going to think I'm weird. Anyway, oh, well, who am I to tell somebody else how they need to live their life. What if I say something wrong? What if I get the Bible verse wrong that I memorized what if I don't know enough where they ask me a question, and I don't have an answer for it.
and because of that fear we allow ourselves to stay silent about the most important thing that has ever happened in the history of the world. the most important thing that has ever happened to you and to me
and the most important thing that we could tell anyone. about
but did you know?
Even if you feel fear and sharing the gospel, and if you do you're not alone. There's not something wrong with you. I think it's pretty natural. We'll talk about some reasons for this later. I still feel fear. Whenever I'm encouraged to share the gospel, it's so much easier to talk about the weather. It's so much easier to talk about the show that was on TV last night. It's so much easier to talk about all these other things.
But you don't have to be afraid. Did you know that you don't have to let the fear win? I want to introduce you to someone this morning. Who understood what it was like to feel fear? And sharing the gospel.
But this person did not let the fear win and instead continue to share Jesus boldly. And because he did this.
He quite literally changed the world forever.
I believe that the same God who inspired the Apostle Paul. the share Jesus with the world
can Inspire us to overcome our fear as well?
The Apostle Paul was a missionary.
He walked into cities. Roman cities where there were no Christians at all. Can you imagine this? Walking into a city where there were no Christians and spending time there talking to people about Jesus. And when he left the cities many times there were hundreds if not thousands of Christians. because of the ministry of the Apostle Paul
From time to time Paul would write letters to many of the churches that he'd established and even some that he hadn't. And many of these letters we still have they make up the majority of our new testament the majority of the books of the New Testament. This is the Paul who wrote a lot of huge chunk of our Bibles. When we think of him, we might think of him as the spiritual giant that God use to completely change the world and he may seem like that to us.
But in Paul's Ministry, there were many cities many places that he hadn't yet visited. One of those places that he really wanted to go with the city of Rome. I mean you think about it of all the places in the Roman world where you could make a difference. Rome would be the place. It was the capital. It was the basically the heart of the Empire and how often wanted to go to Rome in order to preach the gospel there. Imagine what a Ministry like Paul's could have done in Rome. And so near the end of Paul's third missionary journey. He writes a letter to Rome. And he tells them that I have to go back to Jerusalem first to deliver a gift to deliver and offering that the churches have made to the Christians in Jerusalem to help them in their poverty in their troubles. But after I do this I am coming to you. And as he opens this letter, I want to read just a small portion of it in chapter 1 verses 8 through 17. I want you to see if you can't tell what makes Paul light up what he loves to talk about. If you can't tell what the Apostle Paul is Passion about here's what he says starting in verse say to chapter 1 The Book of Romans. He says first I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you because your faith is being reported all over the world. Who am I serve in my spirits and preaching the gospel of his son is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times and I pray that now At Last by God's will the way may be open for me to come to you I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong that is that you and I may be mutually and Courage by each others face. I do not want you to be unaware brothers and That I plan many times to come to you but have been prevented from doing so until now in order that I might have a harvest among you just as I have had among the other Gentiles. I am obligated both to Greeks and non-greeks both to the wise and the foolish that is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome 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 our righteousness. That is by faith From First to Last just as it is written the righteous will live by faith. So if you know nothing about Paul other than what we have just read. What is Paul passionate about. He's passionate about the gospel. He's passionate about the message of Jesus Christ. Paul loves to talk about Jesus.
The Runaway, I know what some of you were thinking well, duh It's Paul. He wrote the Bible for crying out loud. It's a spiritual giant the missionary the guy who did all the obviously that's not me. I could never be that bold. I can never say I am unashamed of the Gospel.
But I want to show you today that Paul is a lot more like you and me then we might first think.
And actually he does understand what it is to be afraid of sharing the gospel. In fact if he hadn't known what it is to feel ashamed. He would not have had to say I am not ashamed of the Gospel. You see Paul did know what it was like to feel fear. When he preached.
In another letter that Paul wrote to the church in the city of Corinth. Paul talks about these words when he says these words when I first came to you and I first preached to you. This is what it was. He says in 1st Corinthians chapter 2 verse 3 you put that up on the screen dressing. He says I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. Later, he says my message we're not with it was not with wise and persuasive words that you believe me.
But he said I gave you the message of Jesus Christ to demonstrate that it's God's power. That is where the power lies.
How does someone? Go from weakness and great fear and trembling and preaching the gospel. The later in Romans writing I am not ashamed I'm so eager to come there. I'm so eager to share Jesus with you. How does someone go from afraid?
The Fearless, how does someone go from ashamed? Donna Shane
I believe Paul gives us a pretty good hint. in Romans chapter 1 As to why he's able to say. I am not ashamed and so what I want to do. With the time that I have left is I want to give you three truths. 3 beer shattering truths but the Apostle Paul came to believe about the gospel. And if we will believe these truths as well if we will take them to heart. Then we can say just like Paul. I am not ashamed. I'm not afraid. To talk about Jesus.
the first truth The Paul gives us is this. That the gospel is good news. The gospel is good news. Have you ever wonder why the Bible uses that term gospel? Have you ever wondered what it means kind of strange word isn't it's not not one that you know, right now we've basically associated with gospel churches and gospel music and all this kind of thing. What what is the gospel? What does it mean? It's a word in the Greek that basically means good message or good news and impulse day. It was specifically used. in the announcement of victory in war
now many of you that I'll look around today. We're not alive during any of the last great Wars at the century, but some of you probably remember might remember What it was like when the Allies won World War II? When the gospel of the victory in World War II was announced was anybody ashamed of that message maybe if you were German maybe if you were Japanese. But if your side won if there was a victory being Proclaim and you want that's not just good news. That's like the best news. I mean people took to the streets there were parades. Everyone was holding up newspapers and signs and sayings peace. This is wonderful. This is the best news that we could have ever asked for.
And when Paul uses the term gospel. Similarly, he is talking about a victory. You see there was a battle. That was fun. And Jesus Christ in that battle won a victory over sin. and death And there are no greater enemies listen to me. There are no greater enemies in life than those. You tell me whatever problem it is that you are facing in your life. And every single one of those can be traced back either to send. Or death every single one. And we believe and Paul believe that God had won a victory over sin and death in Jesus Christ. And that's true the gospel. He was making peace with the world. Peace with Sinners peace with those who were in Rebellion against him offering us a chance to lay down our arms and to come and be called his children. This is good news. It is the best news.
Then why do we not think of it as good news? There are many reasons for this, but I just wanted to give you briefly just to
1 the gospel is not always received like good news when we tell it to somebody. He won the lottery, you know, I'd be eager to tell you that and you'd be happy about it, but not everyone received the news of the Gospel in that way. But secondly, there's an aspect of spiritual warfare that's going on. I think it's the reason why we feel afraid. Because the enemy the devil he wants nothing he wants nothing less. And for you to talk about Jesus with anyone else. It's a what he does. Is he begins to attack you with beer he begins to attack you with Daddy begins to say, you know, what you can't do this, you know what you are able to do this, but he also begins to teach lies and spread lies about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And here's one that I hear all the time especially from young people. So if you're young, I want you to hear me on this, but it it's applicable to everyone. Here's what I will hear some people say well, Jesus Christ may be true for you. That's great. You have your Jesus and you just go and you keep your Jesus and as long as he makes you happy, that's fine. But that's not for me. That's not what I believe.
Now listen to me. There are a couple of ways to think of faith in Jesus and only give you two illustrations. The first is we can think of faith in Jesus like Tinkerbell in Peter Pan. How many of you have ever seen a Play version of of Tinkerbell Peter Pan, I know we've seen the Disney version and everything else. But in in the original Play version Tinkerbell was just This Little Light. It was very rudimentary way back then special effects and there's a part in the play where Tinkerbell begins to her light begins to fade. As she begins to to die. Because people don't believe in her.
It's so all the kids in the audience are encouraged by someone on the stage. We got to save Tinkerbell's life. You got to say I believe in fairies. It so as the crowd begins to yell. I believe in fairies. I believe in fairies. I believe in fairies the light begins to grow brighter and brighter and brighter and Tinkerbell survive and it is wonderful. What is that teaches about faith?
It teaches us that.
Something exists only because we believe in it.
That was Jesus like that does Jesus exist only because we believe in it or does Jesus exist whether we believe in him or not. Now I hesitate to use this example because he's such a polarizing figure and so I want to make the statement here. I'm not making a political statement one way or the other. But you remember when Donald Trump was elected president. and many people were not happy about this many people were many people weren't
and there were some people who just were just so unbelievably upset
But they begin to carry around signs in protest that said he's not my president.
Well, I can say that all they want to.
But if there an American isn't he still there president whether they like it or not?
Is it their belief that makes it true or is it true outside of their belief? Now here's why this is important and here's what it all has to do with Jesus. We can say oh, well, Jesus is just a story and it's it's a belief that I have that makes me feel good that makes me helps me to understand the world, but you know, it may not be true free.
Or we can say that Jesus really is the Son of God whether we believe it or not. And if that's true outside of our belief and if he came and died for our sins, and if he rose again from on the third day, and if he came back to this earth if he's coming back to this earth.
Then everybody is accountable to him because he is the creator of everyone. Now this truth. is important and that's how I think we need to see the gospel because here's the deal if the gospel is not true for everyone. It's not true for anyone. If Jesus didn't really come as a man and do these things if Jesus isn't really who he claimed to be whether we agree with it or whether we like it or whether we don't.
The office were doing here is a waste of time.
in the Bible it selfies and says that if Jesus didn't rise from the dead Paul says in 1st Corinthians 15, he says we are above all people most to be pitied. We are still dead in our sins. Our faith is useless.
But if the gospel is true for anyone. We believe it is and it's true for everyone. Let me think about this. It's good news and good news is meant to be shared. We look around at our friends and our neighbors and we see them struggling. We see them hurting. We see them not having any peace or hope or any answers and we have something we have something that we need. How can we just sit on our hand? How can we keep our mouth shut when they need to hear what we know what we believe and what we have. If you're familiar with history, you probably know the name Harriet Tubman Tubman was a slave in the state of Maryland, which was obviously a slave state. But after time she got tired of being a slave and so she escaped the Pennsylvania on the Underground Railroad.
In The Story Goes that as she was crossing the border and Ashley became free. She was elated. She was excited. She was so happy because basically she didn't have to go back and serve anyone anymore.
But her excitement in her Elation only lasted for a short time, you know, why?
Because when she got across the border. Her mind went back to all of her friends and all of her family who were still enslaved in, Maryland. He famously said these words he said. I was free. And they should be free. It wasn't right for her to enjoy her Freedom while everyone around her everyone that she knew everyone that she cared about was suffering. And we experience something very similar when we look around at our friends and neighbors who don't know Christ. You know what the Bible says about people who are sinners. Which we all know what it says of people who don't know Christ Jesus. Is this worth of John chapter 8 verse 34. He says very truly I tell you everyone who sins is a slave to sin. And we see people around us all the time struggling in slavery to send.
their desires Their addictions the things that they want out of life. Those are the things that called the shots for them. Those are the things that tell them what to do. Those are the voices that they listen to and it ruins their life. It destroys their relationship and we see it time and time again and we have the antidote we have the solution. How can we not share this good news with but that's what we said. You know, what sharing it. That's the hardest part, isn't it? Cheering is the hardest where I can't I can't share the gospel. I don't know enough. I I don't want them to think that I'm weird. I don't want all of these things to happen. That's what gives its anxiety because we think that we're just going to mess it up. That's why the second truth is so powerful. The reason why Paul could share the good news. So confidently is because he believed this point to God's Power Saves, not ours God's Power Saves, not ours How do you picture the Apostle Paul? You picture and like most televangelist today with a charismatic look in a winning smile the right words at the right time able to speak eloquently and come up with these amazing sermons that just inspire you and just make you want to go out and serve Jesus and do all of these things.
We think that we have to have the right look in the right words. We think that we have to be perfect like that if somebody's going to believe us if someone's going to accept our testimony about Jesus.
And because we don't feel good enough because we don't feel adequate enough. We tell ourselves now that's got to be somebody else's job. Obviously God didn't send me to do this.
I love what one preacher says about Paul because Paul may not. Be who you think that's how you picture? Look at what it says. He says that my new Paul had just as many reasons to feel reluctant or embarrassed as we do who was this fellow Paul who wanted to visit the capitol city not as a tourist, but as an evangelist and who believed he had something to say which Rome needed to listen to what Folly and presumption was this and we don't use those words. He's basically what he saying who was Paul to think that he had anything to offer to share. He says it's according to tradition. Paul was an ugly little guy with Beetle browse bandy-legs a bald fade a hook nose bat eyesight and no great rhetorical gifts. In other words. He wasn't a great speaker. So what could he hope to accomplish against the proud Mike of Imperial Rome? He continues would he not be wiser to stay away or if he must visit wrong what did not be prudent for him to keep his big mouth shut let C be laughed out of court and hustled out of town. That was always a Temptation whenever Paul when it to replace he was competing against good speakers with good looks and all of these Ideas and yet, how was he able to transform? Like, how was he able to convince people?
Because he didn't put his faith in himself.
He put his faith in God. Look at what it says in Romans chapter 1 verse 16. He says I'm not ashamed of the Gospel why because it is the power of God not the power of Paul not the eloquence of Paul not the looks of Paul not the presentation of Paul. None of these things up. All he says it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes you know, what happens when Paul puts his trust in God and continues to speak about Jesus, even though he's weak and fearful and trembling he begins to see that God is working super naturally to the words that he saying He could probably go back to all of his sermon I could go back to all of my service as a man. I wish I had said that differently are done that differently. I wish I had presented that a little bit clearer. But despite all of his handicaps despite all of his his Hang-Ups.
Paul knew that God was working and the more that he talked the more that God work and the more that he saw God change life through him and that gave him the confidence to speak more and more and more you see when you see God work. Have you ever had an experience where you see God come through answer prayer encourage you in your faith doesn't give you bonus to say. Wow. Look at what God did Paul was doing that on a daily basis looking what God did look at how we save that person. Look at how he convinced this person. Look at how he taught them and open their eyes to see the truth of the Gospel.
I believe that the same God who work through Paul wants to work through us as well. Invite us to be a part of this work that if we would just speak and not worry about ourselves so much. But put our trust in The God Who is prompting us to share him? I will see him work as well and will grow and boldness and sharing our faith the third point and I'm done.
Paul believed He was able to share his faith because Paul believe that God is unbelievably good. There are so many ideas about who God is in our culture. so many ideas it got someone that we can rely on is he someone who is even there sometimes when our circumstances are not to her liking we can look at the heaven and wonder that as well as God really good. The gospel teaches us that he really really is. Romans chapter 1 verse 17 Paul says this for in the gospel. The righteousness of God is revealed. We don't use that term righteousness very much. Unless you're like a surfer dude. Hey man, totally righteous, right? We could use it in that term. That's it. That's totally righteous, dude. All right. righteous the goodness of God is revealed.
You see this is the god. Who loved us so much. But he sacrificed his one and only son on a cross so that we could have life that we would never have been able to achieve on our own. This is the god who is given all that he has this is the god who loves sinners. And what does this have to do with sharing the gospel with others? If God prompts you to share the gospel with someone. I can promise you that he's more invested in that person's life than you ever will be. I can promise you that he cares about that person and wants them to be safe even more than you do. Because God demonstrates his own love for us in this while we were still sinners Christ died for us when we get the gospel. We don't have to wonder if God cares we don't have to wonder if God is involved. We don't have to wonder if God is there because he is and we don't deserve it. And we wonder. Why are you even this interested in someone like me and yes he is and he never leaves us and he never forsakes him and he does the same thing to everyone and we can trust that is God going to show up if I open my mouth and I start talking about him with someone else. Yes. Jesus said I will never leave you and I will never forsake you he said go and make disciples baptizing them in the name of the father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything. I have commanded you and he says truly Surely I Am With You Always even to the very end of the age if you believe that God is good. If you believe that it's God's power that stays and it's not yours. If you believe that the gospel is truly good news for everyone. And you to like Paul can say I am on ashamed of this gospel? because I believe
see I got to transform my life through it.
And I want to see others. People that I care about people that I love be transformed as well. You see Church the same God who save people through Paul still saves people. Imperfect people like you and me.
He doesn't have to he wants to invite us into his work. He's always work this way. And when we put our trust in him, we will see him work.
the only thing that can stand in the way. I've Got The Power moving and working through you.
but here's my hope for this series.
Next few weeks. We're going to go through this letter of Romans and we are going to see the beauty of the Gospel.
And it's my hope that maybe for the first time. Or maybe for the 30th time.
That you would fall in love with this gospel all over again that this faith that this belief that this truth would capture your heart. That it would become your passion and like Paul and like so many others.
You would love. And be eager.
To talk about Jesus. About what he's done for you. And about what he can do. for everyone
good to be back with you charge. Would you stand with me?
We're going to sing one more song and then we're going to be dismissed. If you here today, and you need prayer for anything I encourage you to come forward. If you hear and you don't know Jesus, if you don't know the hope that has been held out in the gospel. I encourage you to come forward as well. May the Lord bless and keep you.