Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Is God ashamed of me?

Meditation for the week of February 1, 2009

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  Romans 1:16

When Paul was suddenly converted to Christianity on the Damascus road, he began to embrace a Person and a doctrine that was very unpopular at the time.  Before he was saved, he was climbing the political ladder of leadership and he was a part of the “in” group that was leading the country.  After he was saved, he was associating himself with a man who had been considered a common criminal.  He began to witness to the fact that the Lord was alive and that He was coming again.  This was not popular with those that had crucified the Messiah.  Paul who was a Hebrew by birth and Hebrew by religious practice was all of a sudden an outcast where he had been a well accepted person in the political party called the Pharisees.   But instead of avoiding the reproach of Christ and the cross, he boldly preached that the One he had persecuted was in fact the Messiah.  He was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.

The Gospel is still a message that some find shameful.  The message starts with sin,  and who wants to hear that they are not acceptable as they are?  The message deals with the cross and a bloody sacrifice.  This seems cruel to many.  The message is humbling because it tells us that we can’t save ourselves by anything that we do, but that we must become like little children and trust in One that we have never seen to have our sins forgiven.  But the message is really wonderful.  It tells us that we are loved by the God who created us and that when sin came into the world, He was willing to sacrifice His Son so that He could righteously forgive those who had sinned against Him.  When we are willing to accept the truth that the Lord Jesus paid the penalty that we deserve because of our sin, we are saved, forgiven, justified, and set apart for God.  All things become new.  This is not something of which we need to be ashamed. 

But my question is, “Will God be ashamed of the way I have presented the Gospel when I meet Him?”  Do we present a balanced Gospel recognizing that we are all in the sin problem together, or do we tend to to make the Gospel an “us Saints against those sinners” kind of message?   Sometimes we preach the Gospel from the standpoint of one of two sins that others practice that we find repugnant and we forget that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” and that includes those of us who are doing the preaching.  Our sins may be different than the ones we find repugnant, but God finds them all to be offensive.  We need to remember that we are all in this sin problem together.  We need to preach from the standpoint of weakness and not self righteous pride.  We need to go to those who are hurting and those who have been robbed by sin, and we need to make them realize that the only real difference between them and us is that we have faced the sin problem and have trusted the Lord to forgive us.  Oh yes, that has no doubt given us a conscience about sin that we never had before, but in the final analysis, we are only sinners saved by grace.

We who are saved by grace have been given the opportunity to represent Christ to a world steeped in sin and rebellion.  We need to remember that the sins of pride and hypocrisy were the sins that seemed to be most repugnant to the Lord.  These were the sins of the religious people that thought they had it all together.  These could easily be our sins and they could the the sins that keep others from coming to the Saviour who loves them. 

Bruce Collins

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