Romans 1:16 says, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." This is a very popular verse among Christianity, especially among Bible believing New Testament churches. We love to quote this verse to show our dedication to Christ, and what He is calling us to do. But, do we really ever stop and think about what this verse is actually saying?
Yes, Paul is testifying of his own faith to the Roman church, as well as encouraging them to believe the same, but he's also reminding them how serious Christ takes our faith. What was the only thing the Bible records that Christ marveled at? The centurion's faith! Christ saw so many things in His earthly ministry that would cause even the veteran preachers and pastors among us to stand in awe, but there was only one thing that Christ stopped and in our vernacular said, "Wow!". That was faith! Hebrews defines faith as the substance of things hoped for...the substance! That means that everything we know to be true is based on faith. James reminds us that the just live by faith alone. The believer literally cannot survive without their faith! Yet, many believers do not have the faith necessary to proclaim the name of Christ without feeling embarrassed. Why is that? Personally, I believe it is because of three things.
First, I believe the devil attacks faith more than anything else! If he can derail your faith, he can attack any other area in your spiritual life. He is called a thief that has no other agenda than destruction. We are encouraged by Paul to put on the armor of God every morning, because the devil, while being an evil liar, is still very good at what he does...tearing down a believer's faith in God. If he can get the believer to lose faith, he can stop lost souls from coming to know Christ as their personal Saviour!
Second, I believe the average believer has not had a moment when they lived on just faith and not their own power. We all have been in situations where we feel like our back is against the wall, and we have nowhere else to turn. Many of us were raised to work hard, and not to be someone else's charity case. This is technically a good trait to have, but the downside to that trait is we almost never turn directly to God. When was the last time during a trial in your life that you told God, "whatever you decide to do I will trust you, but I am done trying to fix this myself."? It is probably one of the hardest things to do as a believer. As a human we naturally want to try to fix our own problem. What we must have to remember is to look to God first, and see what He is either trying to teach us or use us for.
Last, I believe that the average believer is allowing the world of unbelievers around them to dictate how they live their spiritual life. To be unashamed means unapologetic. It means I know where I stand, and as the psalmist said, "I shall not be moved." Now, any true Christian will be the first to tell you that boldness does not mean rudeness. I do not have to give up a kindhearted spirit in order to stand for what is right. Paul teaches us through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost to speak the truth in love. The problem is, in today's Christian society we are running our of leaders that will speak the truth at all! Churches have allowed the world outside into guilting them on how to live, operate, and teach. We try to cater to the world around us instead of cater to the One above us Who created that world. It is high time every believer decided the Bible means what it says, God desires everyone to be saved, and the believer needs to live a holy life to show their thankfulness for what God has done in them and is doing through them. We have to do better as believers to SHOW the change in our life, and not just sing and talk about it.
Are we truly unashamed? Are we truly living like it ALL depends on God? It does! What can we do better? I believe God is extremely pleased with any effort whatsoever, so imagine how pleased He will be if we gave 100%!