Paul declares, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel…” Why do you think Paul declares this so boldly? I believe he was in some ways “prideful” or “boastful” of the Gospel. Not because of anything HE had accomplished in his life, but because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. The cross of Christ and the Gospel was considered by many outsiders (and even today) to be foolishness. It was considered a crutch, superstition, or a fairy tale. People who followed the way of the cross were thus considered fools (read I Corinthians 1:18, 21 & 4:10). Paul however did not care. He was not going to shy away from proclaiming this Gospel nor was he going to hide it or try to act like it didn’t impact his life.
How many of us shy away from boldness in the Gospel? I know I am guilty. I use excuses like I don’t want to come across as a pushy Christian or I don’t want to be made fun of for my faith or I think that for some ridiculous idea I may come across as “overly righteous”. Paul assures I have nothing of which to be ashamed.
The word Gospel is derived from the Greek word Euaggeleion (Yoo-ang-ghel-ee-on) which means good tidings or good news. It is the glad tidings of the kingdom of God that is still to come and also the good news of Jesus the Messiah. The central theme of the Gospel is salvation through faith in the work of Jesus Christ. It is preaching the death of Jesus Christ for our justification to those who believe. It is preaching the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus Christ. It is declaring the return of Jesus Christ in majesty and His coming Kingdom.
Paul is bold (not ashamed) in the Gospel. So how can we take on this same attitude? We must understand that it is the power of salvation. The Gospel message is a declaration that mighty work of God has delivered, preserved and kept safe those who believe in Jesus in faith. It is our future salvation. The redemption we will all receive when we pass from this life to eternity. A.W. Pink states, “We are saved from the penalty of sin, saved from the power (influence) of sin, and the pleasure of sin” (no true believer can find pleasure in sinful acts without guilt to follow).
Unfortunately many Christians a wrong view of salvation. They think that the Gospel is a “get out of hell free” card or it is a “fire protection” policy. Salvation is more than being saved from eternal death. It is the guarantee of a fruitful and abundant life on earth and the inheritance of future glory (eternal life). Salvation is for everyone who believes. It is the saving faith or putting complete trust in God who justifies sinners through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, his resurrection and ascension. This, my friends, is nothing to be ashamed of.