Unashamed of the Gospel

In Blogs, Devotional by Jennifer Miles3 Comments


“What does ‘11Six’ mean?” coworkers would often ask me, pointing to the sticker on the order book in my apron. At the time, I was working as a server at an Applebee’s restaurant in South Jersey.

“It’s the logo for a group of my favorite music artists,” I would reply. “It stands for Romans 1:16: ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.’”

Romans 1:16 is my favorite verse for two reasons: (1) It reminds and urges me to be unashamed of the gospel, and (2) it emphasizes God’s blueprint for sharing it.

Paul understood Jesus was the promised Jewish Messiah foretold in the Jewish Scriptures, and he understood Jesus’ heart to save His Chosen People.
The apostle Paul, the Jewish author of Romans, was not embarrassed to be a follower of Messiah Jesus. Though many people, especially in the sophisticated society of Rome, considered it foolish to believe in a crucified Savior, Paul knew that faith in Him was the “power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (v. 16; cf. 1 Cor. 1:18).

Paul—once a blasphemer of Jesus and persecutor of Jewish Christians—became radically saved and changed when He saw the risen Messiah (Acts 9:1–31; cf. 1 Tim. 1:13). Though he, too, had viewed the idea of a crucified Messiah as foolish and heretical, God opened Paul’s eyes to the truth, and he became one of the greatest evangelists of all time.

We should strive to be bold like Paul, who—even in the midst of persecution, threats, and scorn—continued to proclaim the gospel. Too often we lack boldness because we fear people. But Proverbs 29:25 reminds us, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.”

Paul strove to please God rather than man, and we should do the same. In his letter to the Galatians, he wrote, “Do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10).

So what did Paul mean when he said the gospel is God’s saving power “for the Jew first”? Paul emphasized God’s desired blueprint for sharing the gospel—to go to Jewish people first, then to Gentiles. He used the Greek present tense verb estin (English, “is”) to denote continuous action; so even today, the gospel is God’s saving power “for the Jew first.”

That’s why—even though God called Paul to minister to the Gentiles—Paul obeyed God’s order in evangelism by first sharing the Good News of God’s love with the Jewish people of every city he visited (cf. Acts 13:4–5, 14, 46; 14:1; 16:1–13; 17:1–2).

Paul understood Jesus was the promised Jewish Messiah foretold in the Jewish Scriptures, and he understood Jesus’ heart to save His Chosen People. Jesus said He came first for “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mt. 15:24). Later, in Paul’s letter to the Romans, he described his own heart to see his people trust in their Messiah:

For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises (Rom. 9:3–4).

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Whether we are Jewish or Gentile followers of Jesus, we all need Paul’s heart to see our Jewish and Gentile friends come to faith. We can obey the Lord’s commission “for the Jew first” by praying for our Jewish friends, family, and coworkers; loving them through acts of service; and sharing the gospel of God’s love.

About the Author

Jennifer Miles

Comments 3

  1. I first knew that I was surely saved when one night at 11 pm while just settling in bed for the night, the following verse flooded my soul and tears flooded m eyes..Romans 8:38,39.

    I am grateful for the Apostle Paul..After I’ve seen Jesus and my mom..I want to see him!

  2. Here I am 1 year and 5 days later…still in love with JESUS FIRST then the Apostle Paul who was used by the Lord to pen these amazing words that consummated my salvation…Wanting to see them “face to face”to say thank you…soon; but not yet..LOL

  3. Is it a amazing word the apóstol Pablo wrote! That is forever thanks Jesus my mind can’t imagine that day where I will see you face to face! Am in love with you! Sara Cruz-Miami

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