I’m excited and challenged to preach and teach through the first 8 chapters of Romans. These chapters lay out the Gospel (good news) of the Lord Jesus Christ in its entirety. For almost 2,000 years this great Epistle of the Apostle Paul has come to be known as the “supreme book” of the New Testament. One expositor Coleridge says “it is the most profound piece of writing in existence”.
The centerpiece of the Book is found in verses 16-17 of the first chapter. In it Paul writes; “I’m not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes”. Why would Paul need to say he was not ashamed? The answer is simple, it’s because the world is opposed to the gospel and ridicules it. Paul writes Christ crucified is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles (1Co.1:23). This remains very true today. The Gospel and Christians are laughed at, jeered, mocked and labeled. Hippocrates, bigots, Nazis, and hate mongers are a few of the more recent labels Christians endure. These kind of attacks cause many believers to become fearful or even shamed to confess their faith. Paul even needed to encourage Timothy not to be ashamed of the Gospel, asking him to join in suffering for the cause (2Tim.1:8).
Today all over the world Christians are being challenged to confess their faith even at the risk of harm even death. The Gospel is under attack and we are being told from many fronts to back off even water down the Gospel. A watered down Gospel cannot save it loses its power like watered down gun powder does.