Not Ashamed

I am currently listening to one of John Piper’s sermons.  This one is regarding Romans 1:16-17.  John Piper spent eight straight years preaching on the book of Romans, breaking it down, sometimes spending weeks on one verse alone.  This particular sermon talks about how we should not be ashamed of the Gospel.  The following post contains some snippets of his sermon.

Verse 16 begins with the word “For,” which refers to the previous verse which says, “So I am eager to preach the good news to you  also who are in Rome.”  Verse 16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew and also to the Greek.”

Piper says that before the Gospel delivers Paul from shame, it first drags him through it.  You can avoid the shame if you please other people, however you will be a slave to this world and far from God.  The Gospel and the spreading of it brings persecution upon you yet delivers you from shame.

The Gospel creates shaming behavior in those who don’t like it.  Those who do not like the Gospel will put to shame anyone who advocates or spreads it.  Jesus endured the cross by despising the shame that was being put upon Him.  He gave shame no place over His life.  Nothing deterred Jesus as He was walking to His cross, not spit, not nakedness, not insults, nothing.  How ashamed do we feel walking down are streets?  When we are not being led to our execution, when we are not being spit upon?  The joy in front of Him kept Jesus from allowing shame to penetrate His heart.

The Gospel is the power of God to bring people to salvation.  That fact is what should keep you from feeling ashamed.  Piper finishes by saying, “You will be shamed for the Gospel, but you should not be ASHAMED of the Gospel.”

My little bit:

Jesus, while speaking to His disciples, says in Matthew 24:9, ““Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name.”  Here’s the deal:  You will be persecuted for your love and worship of our Lord Jesus Christ.  You have two choices to make.  You can either:  tackle the shame that others pour upon you with the Word of God and grow closer through the persecution, or you can be ashamed and feel sorry for yourself for loving a God that your persecutors insult and claim to be fake.  The choice is ultimately yours.  But if you were to choose the latter, one may question if you truly DO love the Lord your God.  Love Christ, love others.  Worship God and further His name, even in your persecution.