The apostle Paul made one of the greatest distinctions between the saved and the lost when he wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (1:16). Paul wanted all ages to know that he was not ashamed of the gospel which was first preached first at Pentecost (Acts 2) and subsequently unto all the world (Col 1:23). Many are the times when he exhibited his stand for the truth against error, even in the face of opposition and persecution.
The beloved apostle Paul should be an example for all of us to follow, not only in this but in a number of other things in his faithful service to the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 4:16 cf; 11:1). One should be ashamed to be ashamed of the gospel of Christ, yet such seems to be the case with many in the world today, and even in the churches of Christ. The various ways the church attracts a crowd, instead of the simple and powerful gospel of our salvation, proves that some have lost respect for the gospel and its power.
Paul’s love for the truth and the souls of men led him to not be ashamed of the “power of God to save.” This is the way it should be with men of every generation. This is the way it is with those who have the proper love and respect for both the truth and the souls of mankind. This love will prompt men to stand for the truth at every opportunity and will cause them always to appeal to truth, not to human prejudice nor the devices of men. They will also welcome the opportunity to defend the truth which they proclaim.
Truth has nothing to fear when it is investigated. As a matter of fact, truth welcomes scrutiny. “But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (Jn 3:21). Thus, where there is any difference, doubt, or question, truth will deal with it openly instead of trying to conceal it. In contrast, lies and deceit will attempt to hide from the eyes of scrutiny in fear that their evil deeds will come to light and be punished. “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (Jn 3:20). The very fact that people try to conceal the truth is evidence that they are in doubt about the matter for which they claim to stand, and are afraid it will not stand the test of the Scriptures.
When a man’s aim is to know and abide in the truth, he is willing to hear any truth and is also willing to have his teaching examined and discussed openly. His desire is for everyone to have all the truth, for he knows that only the truth will make men free from sin (Jn 8:32).
Whenever anyone refuses an honest study or open debate of biblical teaching, especially of the gospel, they are by their actions saying they are ashamed or afraid of the truth.
Are you ashamed of the gospel of Christ? Remember, it is the power of God to save and, thus, the only means by which one can be saved from sin. Are you willing to learn the truth? You can by studying and investigating the word of God.
There is literally no excuse for any person to not obtain the truth of God in this generation. You can find it in your printed Bible, in Bible software, online Bible websites, on CDs, DVDs, and various electronic devices. Fact is, you don’t have to trust your soul to the rhetoric of highly paid, highly educated, and highly deceitful preachers and teachers (Rom 16:17,18). Just like the Bereans, you can prove what you are being taught is either factual or false by searching the scriptures daily (Acts 17:11).
Why not resolve yourself to study it, learn it, obey it, and stand for that which is the will of God (2 Tim 2:15 ff; Matt 11:29; Jn 14:15; Rom 12:2)? Remember, Christ will be ashamed of anyone who is ashamed of Him. “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My Words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels” (Lk 9:26). This is the same Word which shall judge all men come the day of judgment (Jn 12:48 f; Rom 2:16). Let us never be ashamed of the gospel, God’s truth, for it will stand forever (1 Pet. 1:25).