Not Ashamed of the Gospel
Romans 1:16-17 ESV
“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. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith’.”
The essence of the gospel is this: Jesus Christ died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And he shed his blood for us to buy us back for God so that we would now honor God with our bodies (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; 1 Co 6:19-20).
When Jesus Christ died on that cross, he who knew no sin became sin for us so that when he died our sins died with him, and when he was resurrected from the dead, he rose victorious over sin, Satan, and death on our behalf. Thus, by faith in him we are crucified with him in death to sin and we are resurrected with him to new lives in him to be lived for his glory.
Now, by God’s Spirit, we must no longer walk (in conduct) according to our sinful flesh, but we must walk according to God’s Spirit. Daily we must die with Christ to sin and walk in obedience to his commands. We must no longer live the way we did before we believed in Jesus, for he set us free from our slavery to sin, so we’d be slaves to God and to his righteousness.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:7; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10]
They Suppress the Truth
Romans 1:18-23 ESV
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”
There are many people in this world of ours. A small minority of them genuinely are believing in Jesus Christ as their Lord (owner-master) and Savior (from their slavery to sin). They are believing in the gospel as Jesus taught it, they have died with Christ to sin, and they are living to God and to his righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit.
The vast majority of people on this earth either make no claims to faith in Jesus Christ, or else they claim Jesus as their Savior and Christianity as their religion and heaven as their eternal home, but they are still living in sin, doing what their evil hearts desire. They have not died with Christ to sin, so they are also not living to God and to his righteousness.
But God has revealed himself to all people, whether to those who make no profession of faith in Jesus, or to those who give lip service only, or to those who are walking in obedience to his ways. For, he has made himself known to us through his created works, so we are without excuse if we do not honor him as God, but if we continue in our sinful ways.
And that is exactly where many are who are professing faith in Jesus Christ. They are lovers of intoxication (addiction) to sin, so they don’t want to forsake their sins. They want to hold on to their sins, and so they have adopted a replacement gospel for the true gospel, which accommodates them in their sin and does not call for death to sin or living to God.
Thus, they are suppressing the truth of the gospel by their unrighteous living because they have rejected the gospel which Jesus and his apostles taught in favor of a cheapened half-truth gospel which makes no requirements for repentance, obedience to Christ, or submission to Christ as Lord (owner-master) of their lives.
God Gave Them Up
“Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
Since they rejected the Lord and his gospel, and they refused to submit to him and to honor him as Lord, but their foolish hearts were darkened, and so, they chose the false gods of the flesh, instead, God gave them over to their sins to do what ought not to be done. And so, they engaged in all manner of evil and engrossed themselves in things that ought not to be.
And many of them have taken sin and their perversions to the extreme, and much of this is hidden (secretive) because they are wanting to maintain a Christian persona and they don’t want other Christians to know of their secretive sinful lifestyles. And so, they plot evil on their beds, and they conspire in how they can do what is wrong, but to not get caught.
They have no conscience about who they hurt in the process, either. For, their thinking is not clear, because they are not thinking with their brains but with other parts of their bodies. They are like those drunk on wine, only their intoxication is to another vice. So, they are irrational, and they just follow their animalistic instincts.
First they play with these sinful thoughts and ideas in their minds, but then they act them out either with just themselves or with real people. What they once just fantasized about is a reality in their lives for they are now living what they had been dreaming about.
But please know this: If we claim to believe in Jesus Christ, but we continue in habitual, deliberate, and premeditated sin, and we don’t obey our Lord, and we don’t live to him and walk according to the Spirit, we will not inherit eternal life with God, but we will lose our lives for eternity.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]