“For I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; for Jew first, and then Greek. For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The one who is righteous by faith will live.’” (Romans 1:16-17)
We are surrounded by a culture, engulfed in a society, that rebels against Christ. The world which encompasses us screams, “God is not real,’ or “you are judgmental, hypocritical, bigots, and self-righteous. You think you are better than everyone else.” The attitude of our country may push many Christians into hiding their thoughts and faith. They may be afraid to speak out about the call to holiness and repentance by Christ. They may withhold their conviction to tell others about the love and grace of Christ. They may refuse to share the truth of the horrific consequences of sin, which resulted in the death of Jesus brutally hanging on the cross, because they do not want to be persecuted or offend others. They exchange the truth of the Gospel for moral relativism.
Jesus was not ashamed of us, even though the Romans attempted to shame Him. They stripped Him naked, beat him in front of the crowd, and hung Him on the cross at Calvary. They placed Him on a tree atop a hill so that countless others could ridicule Him and make His death an entertainment event. He was not ashamed of you and your sin. He was not ashamed to hang on the cross, ripped, shredded by the scourging and publicly naked.Satan tells you that your sins are not a big deal. Jesus reminds you that every sin you commit was the reason He was killed. The devil tells you that you have a right to do what you want to do in your life. Jesus begs you to remember that each sin you commit brought the whips down upon His back and shredded Him like you would shred a roast. The Gospel for which we are to defend, live, and of which to never be ashamed is the Gospel that Jesus was not ashamed of us. We are to be proud of the Gospel and live in righteousness according to Sacred Scripture. We reject the Gospel with each sin we commit.
We are bought with a cruel, horrific, excruciating, and bloody price. Each sin we choose tells Christ, “Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll do what I want and then apologize later.” If you knew the sin you are about to commit would cause someone to be beaten with whips until you saw more blood than you did flesh, would you still commit that sin?
The agonizing and piercing price of sin is the bloody river from which the Gospel flows for our forgiveness. It is this very Gospel which we reject when we choose sin over righteousness. It is this very truth we choose to endorse when we choose to continue sinning rather than repentance. St. Paul sacrificed a lot, ultimately his life, for the sake of preaching repentance and the Gospel that leads to salvation. He was still never ashamed to urge others to repent, speak about the deadly results of sin, and repent himself when he was entangled in sin. He was never ashamed to live righteousness and repentance, despite what it costs or whom it offended. Are you ashamed of the Gospel? Do you prefer sin over the Savior?