My Confidence is Not Misplaced

confidence

Intro story-band I used to like

He had allowed himself to become ashamed of the Gospel of Christ

Romans 1:16-17

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel [a]of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

This is a powerful scripture

This verse shows pauls convictions and that they lay in the Gospel of Christ

He is someone who demonstratively lives his life for Christ and makes it known to all

This should be a baseline for all Christians today

At the minimum you should not be ashamed of the Gospel that has set you free from sin and death

The gospel that through Jesus Christ we will be resurrected with Him in the end to live out our days glorifying Him

We have no need to be ashamed of what Christ has done, paul surely wasn’t

This gospel is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes

When reading the word I try to put myself in the position to understand why the writers say things the way they do

Of course paul would say hes not ashamed, we all should

To really understand the depth of this scripture we should analyze some other things first, like who was paul before this

The reason why its important to understand who he was is because it puts a whole new meaning and importance on this verse

Paul was born around the same time as christ

His original name was saul of tarsus

He was born to a family of devout Jews

His lineage was from the tribe of Benjamin

His family lineage was very attached to pharisaic tradition

They followed jewish law very closely and strictly and saul even became a pharisee himself

saul was well known for his attack and persecution of the early church

He would hunt Christians down imprison them, flog, them and even execute them

We see this in scripture during the stoning of Stephen

Acts7:57-8:1

57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Saul Persecutes the Church

8 Now Saul was consenting to his death.

At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

saul was someone who would do whatever he thought he needed to do even kill Christians to uphold jewish law

saul denied that Jesus Christ was the messiah and it showed by the persecution he placed on the Church

Until one day on the road to Damascus

Jesus himself appeared to saul

It changed his life forever

His name changed to paul and he began to live for Christ preaching Him crucified everywhere he went

That is why this scripture is important paul went from killing Christians to preaching the same Gospel they did

You also have to keep in mind that people knew who paul was

They knew what he had done to Christians

Romans written about 30 years after the crucifixion so for most people who witnessed this happen was probably still somewhat fresh in their mind

I relate it to something like a tragic family death

Usually people can still remember every detail years later

Think of 9-11

It was tragic and horrible

Most people probably remember where they were and what they were doing that day

That was 20 years ago

In 10 more years it will still seem like the other day

There is no direct biblical scripture stating this but many scholars and historians think its plausible that paul might have even witnessed the crucifixion

They deduct this by what is told about paul being a devout jew and pharisee

Adhering to strict jewish law would have motivated him to be present in Jerusalem during Passover which would have at least put him in close proximity to Jesus

Witnessing this, and knowing Jesus was crucified, knowing the miracle of Jesus, persecuting Christians, and now your stance has been changed

He boastfully acknowledges Christ

He is not ashamed there is no need to be

Paul acknowledges that hes not ashamed because he knows that the cross is foolishness to those that don’t believe

1 Corinthians 1:18-19

18 For the [g]message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

Paul was set free, now the gospel all hinges on the fact the Jesus was the messiah, the king of the Jews

A man who walked the earth sinless, fully God, fully man

Who then died a gruesome death

Crucifixion was reserved for the worst people

He was stripped of His clothes, beaten, spit on, called names, wore a crown of thorns, put on the cross and mocked, even stabbed in the side.

Only to rise three days later and bring everyone who believes in Him to salvation

Of course paul states hes not ashamed even if it was the same Gospel he persecuted, Jesus changed his life and He was going to let nothing stop the Gospel from reaching the people of this world.

This why this scripture has so much more meaning then just words on a page

He wasn’t ashamed of the Gospel

The word ashamed translated means disgraced or personally humiliated

In this meaning it would as if someone was singled out for misplacing their confidence

They trusted something but it let them down

When paul is saying he is not ashamed he is proclaiming that his confidence has not been misplaced

There is no disgrace in declaring it

He gave the rest of his life spreading the gospel

Our confidence in the gospel is not misplaced either

There is no need to be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ

Ashamed means-feeling shame, guilt, or disgrace

reluctant or unwilling to do something because of shame or embarrassment

Story- Large conference

That’s how we should be with the gospel

To be unashamed of the gospel means that we need to proclaim the gospel

That’s one reason I don’t like the phrase preach the gospel use words if necessary

Its always necessary to spread the gospel and that means using words

The disciples, apostles and biblical martyrs did not follow this saying and neither should you

They didn’t become martyrs by not using their words to spread the gospel

They didn’t care and it ended up costing their lives

Im not saying you are ashamed of the gospel because you missed your opportunity to share it with someone occasionally

Or didn’t defend what you believe that one time

But if this is habitual in your life you may be ashamed

Don’t allow going against social grain and fear of harassment stop you from sharing the gospel

It set you free and took you from life to death

Like pastor jay said on Sunday there are some circumstances where you need to be a little more careful

Also you don’t always have to defend the gospel or argue with someone

If you are at a family gathering and a drunk relative is flying off the handle about the gospel, just let them

You wont get through to them arguing with a drunk is like talking to a wall

Not only does living unashamed mean we need to proclaim it, we also need to apply it to our lives and show we believe what we are saying

Paul did not preach one thing and live another

He lived out the message he preached

He allowed the gospel to change his life and actions

People saw it happen and he encouraged all believers to do the same

My Struggle

If you let sin run rampant in your life and constantly live in disobedience to the scriptures you are ashamed of the gospel

If you weren’t you would live what you preached

When we blantanly disobey the scriptural standards laid out in the bible you are lacking confidence in the message that you are proclaiming

That means you might not be able to go to all the places you did before Christ

Or spend time with people that might cause you to stumble

That’s why the phrase Jesus hung out with sinners annoys me

Yes Jesus did spend time with sinners, but the difference is He ministered to them

_____________

He wasn’t saying things like I just want them to know im no different then them, see im fun too

Yes he spent time with them but to minister either they followed him or they didn’t

Jesus main group were His disciples that’s who he mentored and discipled

He would preach, minister and meet the needs of people then be like come on crew to His boys and go to the next place

Jesus never engaged in sinful activities so he would just fit in

More often than not people use that saying if they don’t want accountability and still live with their sinful desires

Psalms 1:1

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the [
a]ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

If you want to live unashamed then you must allow the Gospel to change your life

Your walk should back up what your mouth is saying

And if you really believe it then that wont be a problem

Just like paul we should not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ

Because through it Gods righteousness is revealed

Romans 1:17

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

The word revealed in the Greek is apoklutpo

It means to bring light to something, or an unveiling

It is an unveiling of how sinful mans heart is

The gospel exposes the inmost darkness of mans heart

Jeremiah 17:9

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And [
a]desperately wicked;
Who can know it?

The gospel shows us the true righteousness of God and how pure He is

Our own righteousness is nothing without God

People try to do all kinds of good works to prove that they are a good person

It happens all the time

People will say so and so is a good person but without the gospel non of us are righteous

They have there own form of self righteousness

It can never compete with true righteousness

And that is what the gospel reveals

We are sinners that are in need of a righteous God that restores our heart condition through the gospel of Jesus Christ

Those who believe in Gods son Jesus, though unrighteous themselves then become righteous through Him

The scripture goes on to say

; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Some versions say the righteous shall live by faith

Paul is directly quoting from

Habakkuk 2:4

“Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith.

Paul also says this in

Galatians 3:11

But that no one is [a]justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”

And one more time in

Hebrews 10:38

Now the[a] just shall live by faith;
But if anyone draws back,
My soul has no pleasure in him.”

We need to live by faith

Faith in the Gospel that set us free from sin and death

We have been justified, not by our doing but what had been done on the cross

We cannot earn salvation by our own merit

Only by Believing in Jesus and Him crucified for the remission of our sins will lead us to be righteous

That is why we are justified, through His grace alone

The law showed us by our own doing that we could not obtain any righteousness

But Jesus laid Himself down for our sins that we be made new

That is the faith that we believers live by

Our faith that we fully accept what has been done

Not from a stance of it maybe possible this happened

That it actually happened and we will go to the grave proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Don’t be ashamed of the gospel that has set you free and revealed Gods righteousness to you

Be righteous and live by faith

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