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About-Him.Com Devotional 08-20-2011

I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel
Reading in the first chapter of Romans, the apostle Paul states his desire to make a sea voyage from Corinth to Rome for the express purpose of sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the saints at Rome. Their faith was well spoken of throughout the Christian world. Paul desired to be with them that he might strengthen and uplift them and to impart some spiritual gift unto them. The church at Rome was multi-cultural and Paul expressed his desire to preach to the Greek and gentiles, along with the wise and the unwise.  

Paul simply had a burden to preach, period. Jesus had knocked him to the ground on the road to Damascus, and had given him a commission to preach the gospel to the gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel (Ac. 9:14). Everywhere that he went, and to whomever he was speaking, Paul  only knew one thing and one thing only, the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Today we hear many  variations and perversions of the gospel,  such as the gospel of self and  the gospel of prosperity.  Paul only knew one thing to preach i.e. Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  

Text: Romans 1:16 ¶  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.
17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Paul’s version of the gospel came directly from the lips of Jesus in Luke 24:45-49. It’s just as valid today as it was way back then.  

Luke 24:45  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
46  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
47  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48  And ye are witnesses of these things.
49  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

The gospel has saving power and this power is activated when we believe the old story of how Jesus went to the cross to bear our sins. He was raised again by the power of God and ascended to heaven’s throne. He  promised to send His Holy Spirit to all who fulfill the requirement of belief, faith, repentance and remission of sins. It’s that simple, and we need to keep it simple. There is a heavy penalty to those who would preach any other gospel (Ga. 1:8-9).  

The gospel reveals the righteousness of God to us. Our faith is quickened when we read of the sinless life and absolute perfection of Jesus.  The Spirit which he freely gave us gives us the desire to put off the sins of our flesh and to be like the One who died for us. As the text says, we go from faith unto faith, a never ending progression of growing to be more and more like our Lord. Faith to faith and glory to glory (2Co. 3:18). There are no stopping places in the Lord. Paul had been caught up to heaven and had seen Jesus face to face. Yet his heart’s cry was that he might know Him and the power of His resurrection. He recognized that this could only be obtained by partaking in the fellowship of His suffering. Paul didn’t feel that he had arrived yet. His desire was to get a hold of the One who had gotten a hold of Him.  

Philippians  3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  

Philippians  3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Friend, there are many voices in the church world, but if they are preaching anything other than that which brought us down to an altar of repentance, flee, flee, flee.  

May we be consumed with the same passion that Jesus showed when He read the scripture that concerned Himself at the synagogue at Nazareth.  

Luke  4:18 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  

2Timothy  4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Somebody Has Said
Before He furnishes the abundant supply, we must first be made conscious of our emptiness. Before he gives strength, we must be made to feel our weakness. Slow, painfully slow, are we to learn this lesson; and slower still to own our nothingness and take the place of helplessness before the Mighty One. - A. W. Pink    

Keep Looking Up!

Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries

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