16 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. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17).
The Apostle Paul stated that he was not ashamed of the gospel. To be ashamed (ἐπαισχύνομαι; epaischynomai) means to personally and presently feel embarrassment or disgrace because of something. It may also mean awkwardness, humiliation and discomfort. Paul said he was not ashamed of the gospel (εὐαγγέλιον; euangelion) or the good news of salvation through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Why was this the case?
Paul understood that the gospel, and the gospel alone, was the power of God for salvation. The word power (δύναμις; duynamis), from which we derive our English word dynamite, means supernatural ability. This ability contained in the gospel belongs to and originates from God alone. It is not a manmade power or strength.
This power from God alone contained in the gospel results in salvation. The gospel is the good news that (1) God exists; (2) sin exists; (3) One Savior exists: Jesus Christ; and (4) salvation or deliverance exists from sin’s penalty, power and eventual presence.
This good news is for everyone who believes, or comes to God by faith. Believing (πιστεύω; pisteuo) is the God-given ability to trust in, commit to, depend upon and worship Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. This salvation is available for both the Jew and the Gentile. But this salvation is only available by grace alone, through faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.
Many attempt, as I and Martin Luther did, to come to God through our own self-righteous efforts. However, the Prophet Isaiah said our righteousness is as a filthy rag before the holy God of heaven and earth (Isaiah 64:6). God also says that we are by nature objects of His wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3).
We must believe in the person of the gospel, Jesus Christ, who embodies the message and content of the gospel. God brought me to this understanding. He also brought Martin. What about you?
Have you trusted in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord? If not, I encourage you to turn from your sin and believe in Jesus Christ. Your life, much like my own and Martin’s, will never be the same. It will become a life dedicated to glorify God.
Soli deo Gloria!