Unlimited: Not Ashamed
Apr 11, 2022 1410
For I am not ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16a)
It is notable that Paul writes that he is not ashamed of the Gospel. There were many reasons to be ashamed of the Gospel back then, perhaps even more than today.
The emotion that the word “ashamed” refers to here is a very strong one in the context of Paul’s culture. To be ashamed in this sense is to be so disgusted or offended by something so that you refuse to mention it.
The Gospel centred on a crucified man. Crucifixion was considered so offensively shameful that it was a great unmentionable in the Roman world. How could anyone announce that someone who had been crucified was actually both God and the Saviour of the world? It was sickeningly laughable.
Paul is not ashamed of the gospel – it is his glory and his joy.
The Christian idea of the Cross included the resurrection: the announcement that the crucified Messiah had risen from the grave and defeated death. This again was a shameful notion in the Roman world. It went against all proper education and human experience. To the Roman mind, death mean defeat. Death was the end. The idea of a resurrected man was something that only the very young or the extremely ignorant could ever believe.
However, Paul is not ashamed of the Gospel. Not at all! Instead the Gospel is Paul’s glory and his joy.