Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 15 No. 2 February 2013
Page 10


D. Gene West

D. Gene WestThe word “ashamed” must have great significance for it is found in our English Bibles one hundred and twenty-two times with some twenty-six occurrences in the New Testament. The word is used by Jesus and the apostle Paul more than any other speaker or writer in the New Testament. In this brief article only two of those instances will be noted in a superficial way.

In Romans 1:16 Paul, by the Spirit’s inspiration wrote: “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). Used here in the negative, the great and loving apostle declared that he was not ashamed of the glorious Gospel – God’s power to save mankind. The word “ashamed” comes from epaischunŏmai and means, as Strong pointed out, “a feeling of shame arising from something that was done.” It is a self-humiliation resulting from something done. For example, a Christian, meaning no harm, may repeat something he has heard about a brother or sister without investigating to see if the “gossip” is true. He may say, “Oh, I feel so ashamed for taking part in the spreading of such a rumor.” Paul emphasized that he preached with no sense of humiliation or embarrassment because what he preached was the Gospel of Christ. What he was repeating was not gossip; it was the soul-saving Gospel. It was not some tale that might hurt someone or their reputation. He stood by the message of Jesus and was no talebearer. Sometimes, however this kind of shame can be good in that it leads one to repentance and to resolve never to repeat such things again.

Paul’s second use of the word “ashamed” in the Book of Romans, and the word occurs there five times in our English Bibles, is found in Romans 5:5 in which he wrote: “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:5 KJV) The NKJV uses the word “disappoint” here, but ashamed seems to be a more accurate translation because the Greek word is kataischunō; we can see a relationship with the word above. This word means “to put to shame or to disgrace.” Paul is telling us that the hope we have in Christ will in no way disgrace or humiliate us, but will make us spiritually strong and prepare us for heaven, as the Holy Spirit through the apostles revealed. The hope we have in Christ Jesus is a result of the love of God; furthermore, that love is a demonstrated one according to Romans 5:8. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NKJV). The hope we have of being with Christ when life here is over will in no wise disgrace or humiliate us, for it is acquired through the love God has for us, which He demonstrated through the death of Christ on the cross. No greater love can be demonstrated. He laid down His life for us. How can that possibly disgrace us or put us to shame?

Good News for the New Year

Steve Vice

Steve Vice“…Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people” (Luke 2:10 NKJV). These were the words the angels used to announce the birth of Jesus to the shepherds in the field. The word “gospel” is from the Greek word “euagglion.” “Eu” means “good,” and “aggelos” means “to announce.” This was indeed good news to those who were watching for the coming of the Messiah.

The good news is seen in the fact that Jesus would save people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). It is called the Gospel of peace in Romans 10:15. In 2 Timothy 1:10 Paul spoke of God’s purpose, which was planned before time began, and “…has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” The good news for mankind is found in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). His sinless life, His sacrificial death and His return from the grave to live for eternity is the one and only hope that mankind has in this world. It is only through Him that we have the promise of God for eternal life. John said, “And this is the promise that He [God] has promised us—eternal life” (1 John 2:25). There is no partiality in this, but all of every nation who fear God and work righteousness are accepted by Him (Acts 10:34-35). The writer of Hebrews says that Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9). Now, that is the good news of which there is none greater, nor has it been equaled.

The good news of salvation is learned. However, it is much more than a set of facts to be believed; it is a relationship to be embraced. Jesus said, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matthew 22:32). This implies not only life after death, but it also implies that God is alive, attentive and a personal God. He is Abraham’s God, Isaac’s God and Jacob’s God. When a person is obedient in the faith, then God becomes a personal God, not just in the life to come, but now. That is why Jesus taught the disciples to pray “Our Father which art in haven. Hallowed by thy name” (Matthew 6:9 KJV emphasis added).

When Simon the Sorcerer was baptized by Phillip in Acts 8, he was a young Christian, inexperienced in living the Christian life. His old habits were still hanging on. So, when he saw the power of the Holy Spirit working in Peter and John, he offered them money to give this gift to him as well. When Peter told him that his heart was not right, and that he had no part in this work, Simon did not turn away from his new relationship with God. He recognized that the good news of the Gospel was far more valuable than the riches his former profession could ever have offered him. Yet, he needed to grow in his knowledge and in his personal relationship with his Heavenly Father. He requested Peter and John’s help in praying to God for forgiveness, and he continued to embrace his relationship with his Father.

Later on in Acts 8, there was a man from Ethiopia who heard the Gospel of peace, believed the good news and obeyed from his heart the facts Phillip had taught him about salvation through Jesus Christ. Following his baptism, Phillip was caught away, leaving the man from Ethiopia alone, or was he? This man went on his way rejoicing in the knowledge that he now had a relationship with One who would never leave him nor forsake him even in eternity.

Every faithful Christian who realizes (not only in an academic way, but in a personal, heartfelt way) the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ has reason to rejoice. The “good tidings of great joy” are found in Jesus Christ and are there for all who would embrace them. Let the good news of the gospel bring great joy to your heart in this new year, and, for all eternity.

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