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. — [romans 1:16]
why would we ever be ashamed of the gospel? the early church faced ridicule, social rejection, imprisonment, and even death for claiming the gospel.
for jewish believers, it meant defying their leadership, being shunned in jewish society, and claiming a messiah their leaders had disavowed.
for gentile (non-jewish) believers, it meant turning their backs on their culture, and embracing a jewish messiah that not even most jews accepted.
the way was indeed narrow.
the early church had no room for ‘casual christianity’ – either you were all-in or you were out. paul encourages his readers in rome that he stands unashamed, willing to lose everything for the gospel of Christ [philippians 3:8].
the power of God
do we hold the gospel this dearly, or do we just live the average american life with some Jesus added in? if the gospel really is the power of God, there is nothing that is more worthy of our time, attention, and loyalty than our relationship with Christ, and freely sharing that truth with others. we should live fully unashamed, no matter the cost, knowing that what we gain far outweighs all else.
to the jew first
It may be easy for us to forget that Jesus and his apostles were jewish: that Jesus lived as a jew, fulfilled jewish law, and that before Christ it was through the jewish prophets that the word of God was proclaimed. paul’s fervent prayer and desire was that his people might be saved [romans 10:1].
the beauty here is not that a jew can be saved, but that a gentile can be saved! there is no longer a difference between any people groups when we accept Christ as savior – we are made one through in and through Jesus.
this is the power of the gospel – that anyone from anywhere can bring any sin before the throne of God and become a forgiven child of God. this is the heart of the gospel, and this is what gives us power.
~ jaosn soroski