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Romans 1:16-17


Intro: These two short verses present one of the greatest summaries of the Gospel ever written by man. In these verses Paul gives a clear declaration of God's power and purpose in the Gospel message.

Paul's statements about the Gospel begin in a strange fashion. First, he tells his readers that he is “ready to preach the Gospel to you that are at Rome,” v. 15. Then, out of the blue he tells them that he is not “ashamed of the Gospel,” he is ready to preach. Why would anyone be ashamed a message as powerful, as profound, and needed as the Gospel? 

A little understanding of the culture in which Paul ministered will help us to understand why some were ashamed the preach the Gospel. Let me give you four reasons why some were ashamed of the Gospel.

1.  The moral conditions of that day. Nero was the Emperor of Rome. He was a wicked, degenerate man. The city of Rome was a cesspool of sin and wicked living. The Gospel Paul preached, with its demands for repentance, holiness and godly living, was diametrically opposed to everything Rome stood for and represented.

2.  The fact that Paul was a Jew. Jews were considered by many to be a sub-human race. They were to be despised, mistreated, and enslaved. The Gospel was a message that originated in, and rose out of, a Jewish background. Some Jews would have been hesitant to share such a message with non-Jews. Many non-Jews would not have listened to a Jewish preacher preach about a Jewish Savior.

3.  The message Paul preached was incredible and nearly beyond belief. Think of it, the Savior Paul preached was a male member of the despised Jewish race, He was said to be the Savior of man; He claimed to be the Son of God. He even claimed to be God and man at the same time. His death was surrounded in shame because He died on a Roman cross, the very symbol of shame. Yet, in dying that shameful death, Jesus claimed to have died for lost sinners. If that wasn't enough, Paul preached that this same crucified Jesus arose from the dead the third day after His died. 

To many people, the claims of the Gospel were just too bizarre to believe. The Gospel is a difficult message for a lost, prideful world to accept, 1 Cor. 1:18; 22-25 Ill. Things haven't changed much.

4.  Everywhere Paul went preaching the cross; he was ridiculed, cast out, imprisoned, or treated cruelly. 

  • He had been imprisoned in Philippi (Acts 16:23, 24)
  • Chased out of Thessalonica (Acts 17:10)
  • Smuggled out of Berea (Acts 17:14)
  • Mocked in Athens (Acts 17:32)
  • Called a fool in Corinth (1 Cor. 1:18, 23)
  • Stoned in Galatia (Acts 14:19)
  • Yet, Paul remained eager to preach the gospel in Rome—the seat of contemporary political power and pagan religion. Many would not have been able to endure that kind of shame.

With all these things in mind, it is easy to see why Paul would want to be clear about his commitment to the Gospel message. He would want these people to know that they were hearing from a man who believed his message and was willing to pay the price to share it.

Now that we know why some would have been ashamed, why wasn't Paul? After all, many in our day are ashamed of the Gospel message! What did he know that made him keep on preaching the hated Gospel for the glory of God? What was it about the Gospel that invigorated the Apostle and kept driving him around the world preaching the same hated message? The answer to those questions is found in the truths Paul reveals about the Gospel. 

In these verses, Paul reminds us that we have a Gospel to be proud of. I want to preach on the thought Not Ashamed Of The Gospel. I want you to see that the message of Jesus Christ and His salvation is a message we should share with everyone, everywhere, without shame or fear. Let me share with you the marks of the Gospel that make it a message  of which we need not be ashamed.


Paul tells us that the Gospel is the “power of God”. The word “power” comes from a word that refers to the “might, energy, force and strength that dwell within God.”

God could have revealed His power against sin in any way that He chose. He could have wiped men from the face of the earth. He could have done anything that He wanted, because He is the all-powerful God. He can do anything! It is a blessing to notice that when the Lord moved to do something about sin, He exercised His power in sending men the Gospel of grace.

Nowhere is the power of God as visible as it is in the Gospel of Christ! Think about it! When God takes a lost sinner and saves him by His grace and makes him a new creature that is a powerful thing. God could have sent us all to Hell, but He instead chose to send us His love wrapped up in His Son, the Lord Jesus. I thank the Lord that He loved us first - 1 John 4:19.

Notice that Paul's message is the “gospel of Christ.” Make no mistake about it, there are many different gospels being preached in our day. 

  • There is the Gospel of religion that says, “Turn over a new leaf.” 
  • There is the Gospel of materialism that says, “Your worth is determined by what you have. Gain is the goal of life.” 
  • There is the Gospel of liberalism that says “I'm OK and you're OK. God accepts us like we are and will take us to Heaven if Heaven really exists.” 
  • There is the Gospel of society that says, “Do as you please for life is short.” 
  • Paul's message, on the other hand, says, “You are a sinner, and if you die in your sins, you will go the Hell. However, God loves you and sent His Son, the Lord Jesus into the world. Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead. If you will place your faith in Him, then you can and will be eternally saved.”

The Gospel of Christ is a simple message. It is clearly stated in 1 Cor. 15:3-4. “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” Romans 4:25 states it in even fewer words, “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”

Paul knew first hand about the power of this Gospel, 1 Tim. 1:12-15. His was a life that was changed by that Gospel of Christ. Every life that is redeemed by the Gospel of grace is a life that is forever changed, 2 Cor. 5:17. It is a life that becomes a thing of praise and glory to Almighty God, Eph. 2:10. It is a life that has a new description and a new destiny, John 10:10.

Some of us know about this power too!

 I. The Gospel Is Marked By Sovereign Power


Why did God go to such lengths for fallen sinners? Why did He give up His Son to die on the cross for the sins of His people? The primary answer is simply that He loves us. However there is more to it than that. God's plan and God's purpose in giving the Gospel message is “salvation.”

The word “salvation” is a very important word. It means, “safety, preservation, deliverance.” It carries the idea of “being rescued from all harm and danger.” God's desire in saving sinners is to forever deliver them from spiritual death, spiritual defilement, spiritual deception and spiritual destruction. Lest we forget, the end of all sinners, outside the Lord Jesus, is the fires of Hell. God purpose in giving the Gospel is to change man's destination in eternity and his life here on earth as well.

The primary purpose of the Gospel message is the salvation of the lost. I don't know about you all, but I truly enjoy being saved! I am grateful to the Lord that He gave us a salvation that we do not have to worry about. If you are in Jesus, you are secure in Jesus for as long as He lives, John 10:28!

  I. The Gospel Is Marked By Sovereign Power

 II. The Gospel Is Marked By A Singular Purpose


Verse 16 tells us in no uncertain terms exactly how this Gospel message of salvation is activated. Notice that it is “to every one that believeth.”

This makes it perfectly clear that biblical salvation does not involve complicated religious rituals or ornate and elaborate religious exercises. Salvation is the product of faith and faith alone! (Ill. Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 2:5).

This is the point where many people stumble. People like to do things for themselves. They like to feel that they have a part of everything in their lives. However, in the matter of salvation, the sinner can have no part. It is all God, all the way. Salvation comes to the person who is willing to simply receive the message of Christ be faith, John 6:47; John 3:16; John 5:24; Acts. 16:31.

I am thankful that the Lord kept His Gospel inexpensive and easy to understand! Have you believed the Gospel?

  I. The Gospel Is Marked By Sovereign Power

 II. The Gospel Is Marked By A Singular Purpose

III. The Gospel Is Marked By A Simple Plan


This great, saving Gospel message is for every person in the world! No one is beyond the reach of the Gospel of grace. Notice these words from our Savior: Rev. 22:17; John 6:37. The pledge of the Gospel is that any one who hears the message and sees their need of salvation and comes to Jesus by faith will be saved by God's precious grace!

Many have labored over the term “to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” This shouldn't bother us! God didn't give the Gospel to the Jew first in reference to priority. He gave the Gospel to the Jew first in reference to time. 

He had been dealing with the Jewish people for thousands of years, and when He sent His Son into the world to be the Messiah of the Jewish people, they rejected Him, John 1:11. Now, the Lord has turned to the Gentile peoples of the world to offer them salvation as well, John 1:12. Now, salvation is available to “whosoever will”.

These verses make it clear that salvation is for anyone regardless of their race, their social standing, their education, their ability, their wickedness, etc. There is nothing which can prevent anyone who wants to be saved from being saved.  Nothing, that is, except for the sin of unbelief, John 8:24. The pledge of the Gospel is for every man, everywhere! Thank God that it is so!

Ill. If there had been restrictions on salvation, then I surely would have been left out! I am glad that it is free, by faith and absolutely foolproof!

  I. The Gospel Is Marked By Sovereign Power

 II. The Gospel Is Marked By A Singular Purpose

III. The Gospel Is Marked By A Simple Plan

IV. The Gospel Is Marked By A Solemn Pledge


The product of the Gospel in the life of the believer is “righteousness.” 

Man has two great problems. 

  • He thinks he is righteous and is therefore acceptable to the Lord. 
  • He is absolutely wrong about number one! Man is not righteous, and cannot produce righteousness by self-will, or his own works.

When faith is placed in the Gospel message, and Jesus is believed on in the heart, God takes the sinner and declares him to be righteous. What man cannot do by effort, God does by His power, 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Rom. 8:33.

Simply stated, everything man looks for in religion: peace with God, acceptance by God, a right relationship with God, etc, are all given to the believer when he receives the Gospel message. That is a message worth sharing!

What does the phrase “from faith to faith” mean? It simply refers to the fact that the believer's life is to be one of faith in God. As the believer’s life is lived in faith day by day, the righteousness of God is revealed in the believer's life from “beginning faith” to “ending faith.” As this verse concludes, faith is to be the way of life for the child of God.

Conc: We have been given a Gospel worth believing and one that is worth sharing. The questions as we bring these thoughts together are these: 

  • Are you trusting the Gospel of Christ for your salvation? 
  • Are you sharing the Gospel like Paul did? 
  • Are you ashamed of the Gospel of Christ? 

The same message that was able to save then can save now. The same power that worked in Paul's day is working in our day. All we need to do to see the Gospel work in power is to believe it and to share it. The Gospel of Jesus Christ does not need modification. It does not need alteration. All it needs is for those who know it and believe it to share it with those who do not know it. When we do, the Holy Spirit will take that Gospel and He will draw sinners to faith in Jesus Christ.

Isn’t it amazing that God would take the most important message the world has ever heard and place it is the hands of redeemed sinners? Isn’t it amazing that He would give us His Gospel and then command us to take it to the world, knowing that no one is ever saved apart from the preaching of that Gospel?

  • “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe,” 1 Cor. 1:21.
  • “13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” Rom. 10:13-17.

  • How are you doing when it comes to sharing that message?
  • Who do you know in your life who needs to hear the Gospel?
  • Why not come to this alter and pray for those people, and ask God to give you the opportunity to tell them about Jesus? 
  • If you are saved, you are not ashamed of the Gospel! You know its power, and there is a desire within you to share it with those who do not know its power. There is no better time to get busy telling others than today.

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