Tuesday, February 3, 2015

CCF: I am Not Ashamed of the Gospel

by Pastor Richard Schlitt

As the apostle Paul wrote a comprehensive letter to a church he don't know personally, he first established his credentials as Servant of Christ, Apostle and someone Set apart for the Gospel.

He acknowledged the church in Rome as a church with reputation, the frontier of the Gospel and a church built by ordinary people, just like you and me. Paul primarily identified himself as the Servant of Jesus Christ through prayer.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times --Romans 1:8-10 
That even though he hasn't met them yet, they were already part of Paul's prayers. This is one of the amazing power of prayers, you can pray for people you don't know, but how much more praying for people you love and care - your family, friends, relatives, housemates or that colleague beside you. Paul understood the service of prayer wholeheartedly.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. --Colossians 3:23

Paul also wanted to visit the Roman church so he can serve then through the spiritual gifts God has given him - teaching, preaching and exhorting. Every one of us, as body of Christ have the obligation to use our spiritual gift mainly to serve and encourage one another.
 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. --Romans 1:11-12
Sometimes, your plans doesn't happen the way you plan it to be, just like the experience of Paul. But the Lord has His best plans for His kingdom and best interests for you, and the best thing you could to is to yield to God's purposes.
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) --Romans 1:13
Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. --Acts 16:6-7
As we are in a spiritual battle, there will be times that it is not God who will be hindering us from God's work but the Enemy. All we can do is wrestle in prayers and persevere for the battle is the Lord's.

More than serving God, it is critical to understand why we do what we do.
I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.  --Romans 1:14-15
Paul's understanding were definite. He is a servant of God. He is called to be an apostle. He is set apart for the Gospel and he is called to be God's child, just as we are. As a child of God we are also obligated to use our spiritual gifts in the advancement of His kingdom. Whether that is in music, teaching, serving, preaching and giving, you and I have something to contribute.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes --Romans 1:16
One reason why anyone would be ashamed of the Gospel, maybe because they don't realize what they've received from Jesus Christ and His promises.
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”  --Romans 1:17
Other people even try so hard to be good enough for God. Every religion tries to do things that will satisfy God, as they know him but none are ever certain. For man's part is to live by faith alone.

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