For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. – Rom. 1:16
Romans 1:16. We quote it. Chant it at concerts. Make it out Facebook status. Tattoo it across our bodies. Put it on our cars. But have you asked yourself, ‘Am I really unashamed?’ It sounds good. It’s the ‘Christian thing’ to do with your friends and in CHH circles. But when is the last time you were seriously unashamed?
Being unashamed is more than a catch phrase, cool tattoo, or nice shirt. Being unashamed of the gospel means to be unashamed of the transformation of the gospel as well.
Look, I’m sure we all have done it. When we share our testimonies and stories, we leave some parts out. The shameful, tactless, and disgraceful parts are often hidden beneath vague ‘Christian-ese’ terms. Am I the only one that has said ‘sinking deep in sin’ or ‘so far from God’ when telling my testimony to avoid the hard truth?
Many believers are so comfortable with glossing over their pasts, that God isn’t really glorified at all.
Once you tell your testimony, instead of it looking like the gospel caused a shift, it looks like you read a few self-help books. None of us like to look bad, understandable. But if you aren’t ‘that bad’, why did Jesus have to die? Paul shares his testimony several times in the New Testament which can be a great model for how we should share our stories.
Paul mentioned several times in the New Testament epistles that he was ‘the least of the believers’ and the ‘chief of sinners‘. That wasn’t far fetched. Paul, who before Christ, was known as Saul, the Pharisee. Paul used to murder Christians. It pretty much didn’t get any worse than murdering people who believed in a resurrected Christ because they were breaking away from the tradition. Yep, that’s bad. With a past as a murderer and Pharisee, that didn’t stop Paul from telling that part of his story. He was truthful about who he used to be before the gospel changed his life.
Many of the New Testament books (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon) Paul wrote were written from a prison cell. Paul would include this detail in his letters to the churches. He boldly shared the gospel even though he was in a dirty, filthy jail for preaching the gospel. His surroundings did not stop him from boldly standing for Christ. Paul continued to be jailed time and time again for preaching the same gospel that changed his life. If telling your testimony got you thrown in jail, would you keep doing it? Paul’s boldness in the cross should inspire us to be bold and take a stand for Christ.
Your testimony would be nothing if it point to everything you did to fix yourself. The world needs your story to point to Christ. It shows how broken, messed up, fragile, and terrible you are; while showing how big, awesome, gracious, powerful God is. We can want to ‘save face’ and hold somethings back to make ourselves look better out of pride. Pride hides the power of the cross. You can’t unashamedly point to the cross and be prideful. Knowing and sharing how filthy you are shows how mighty and perfect Jesus is.
Step out of your comfort zone to tell the truth about the gospel in your life. Why would you hide that failure? It doesn’t define you or doesn’t tell your future. God loved you before you failed and messed up, and He still loves you. There is no need to hang your head and hide parts of your past when you know you have His unconditional love.
There’s is no shame in His grace.
Jesus took our sin and our shame by being on that cross. Jesus was shamed so that we wouldn’t have to be. You have nothing to hide and no one to hide from. Jesus already felt that guilt, shame, and disgrace so you wouldn’t have to. Be unashamed of the gospel and the changes it made in your life. Boldly tell everyone how amazing His grace really is!
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.
Are you really unashamed?