Our Conviction in our LWCC Evangelism Ministry by Elmer Cruz

We will not be ashamed to proclaim the true Gospel!
Text: Romans 1:16
By Elmer Cruz
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16
 
“The power to proclaim the greatest news in heaven or on earth was not given to the angels. It was given to redeemed men . . . Every Christian is to be a witness; every follower of Christ is to preach the Gospel.” ― Billy Graham
Let’s begin by answering this question:
 
1. What is the Gospel?
In Romans 1:1, Paul used the phrase “the gospel of God” (also in Mark 1:14) which means it originated from God. The word “Gospel” is used 60 times in this Romans epistle. The Greek word for the Gospel means “good news” as in Mark 1:1 which says – “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God”. A. The gospel is the good news about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:1- 4
“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” Jesus is the only way whereby men can be saved.
The true gospel is salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9) for the glory of God alone. It is not by works so that no one may boast. This is the essence of the gospel – it’s all about Christ.
B. The gospel is a call to salvation and holiness. It is a call to discipleship.
Romans 1:17 – “For in it (gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “ BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”
The gospel does not end in the new birth but it continues on to our sanctification and glorification which is our entire Christian life of righteousness (Romans 1:17).
The gospel is a call to discipleship – a call to follow Jesus Christ. It applies to all Christian life.
Matthew 16:24 – Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”
The true message of the gospel is that God is a holy, man is guilty because of sin but God will forgive the sins of those who repent and He will deliver us from sin’s power and give us the hope of eternal life in Christ. It’s about the message of God’s justice and love. Any gospel message less than this is shallow and incomplete gospel. The gospel is not about prosperity, happiness and things that satisfy the flesh. Paul was consumed with this message (1 Cor. 9:23).
1 Corinthians 9:23 –Paul said “I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it”. The passion of the Apostle Paul is to preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What about us, are we passionate to preach and share the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ?
 

2. Why we should not be ashamed of the Gospel? (Romans 1:16a) We need to check our attitude towards the gospel. Are we ashamed or are eager to proclaim the gospel?
When we are ashamed of something, we try as much as we can so that others will not know about it. On the contrary, when we are not ashamed of something, we are eager to speak about it boldly. Isn’t it?
The word translated “ashamed” means “disgraced” or “personally humiliated.” A person “ashamed” in this way is like someone singled out for misplacing his confidence—he trusted in something, and that something let him down. The word can refer to being dishonored because of forming the wrong alliances. So, when Paul says that he is not ashamed of the gospel, he is saying his confidence in the gospel is not misplaced. There is no disgrace in declaring it. Paul had given his life to proclaiming the truths that Jesus Himself had revealed to him (Acts 9:3–6; 2 Corinthians 12:2–4). He explained to the Romans why he did not believe that he had wrongly identified with Jesus and why proclaiming Jesus’ message was his life’s work.
To live unashamed of the gospel means we proclaim it, but it also means we apply it to our lives and show we believe it.
The main reason why we should not be ashamed of the gospel is – because it is the power of God for the salvation of all people. The English word “dynamite” comes from this Greek word “power”. According to JFM, “Although the message may sound foolish to some (1 Cor. 1:8), the gospel is effective because it carries with it the omnipotence of God.” Man’s sin is so deep that it takes the power of God through the gospel to deliver us from that sin. If we really believe that God’s power is at work whenever we proclaim and preach the gospel, so why are we ashamed to proclaim the gospel?

3. We proclaim the gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8)
Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Jesus said that we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on us and we will be His witnesses about Him to others. Witness here means herald or proclaimer of the gospel.
Salvation of men is an act of God through the work of the Holy Spirit alone. The Father draws the person to Christ and the Holy Spirit is the One convicting the person of his sin and converting him to Christ. New birth and regeneration is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit.
JFM put it this way – New birth is an act of God (through the Holy Spirit) whereby eternal life is imparted to the believer.
John 16:8 – “And He (Holy Spirit), when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” When we share the gospel, the power of the Holy Spirit is at work and He will be the One who will convict the person of his sin. The Holy Spirit regenerates the heart. Our responsibility is to proclaim the gospel and it’s the Holy Spirit responsibility to convert the person to Christ. We proclaim the gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit who will give us the boldness to do so.

4. Consequence of being ashamed of the gospel?
In Matthew 10:33, Jesus said, “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven”. This is a serious statement of our Lord Jesus Christ and a warning to those who are ashamed to proclaim the gospel and deny Jesus Christ before men. If we deny Christ before men, He will also deny us before His Father in heaven and that is a serious consequence. Just think about it.
5. CONCLUSION:
Salvation of men is at the center of God’s heart and the Gospel is the power of God to save mankind through Jesus Christ.
That’s why Jesus and the Apostle Paul are so consumed to preach and proclaim the gospel. The Apostle Paul is not ashamed of the gospel. God is still in the business of saving people today, our responsibility is to proclaim the gospel and live it out – with no shame but with boldness like the Apostle Paul.
I pray that all of us starting today, will be committed and passionate in sharing the gospel to as many people as we can for the glory of God because Jesus is coming again soon!
This year, at LWCC, we will be intentional in reaching out to our community and equipping our people so that we can effectively share the gospel. We will continue to share the gospel to our family, relatives, friends, co-workers, classmates and neighbors, and to all our sphere of influence. Amen?
May the Lord bless our hearts as we obey his command to proclaim the gospel and make disciples of Jesus Christ because the harvest is ripe.