A Gospel we can Trust

February 26, 2024 | Written by Titus Jr Laxa

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.

Romans 1:16 

In doing community work, some believe the gospel should not be mentioned upfront. They fear that those being ministered to will get the impression that we are there mainly not to help but to proselyte, that is to convert them to our church or denomination. The critics insist, that helping them should be the main thing, and that Gospel proclamation is a bonus. After all, didn't Francis Xavier appear to say that we are the preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words? Some individuals are also concerned that telling the poor (victims of systemic oppression and poverty) that they are great sinners and will suffer in hell is offensive and uncaring of their plight. They often advocate that their physical well-being must be ministered first before the spiritual will make sense. Finally, some have assert that sharing the Gospel is antithetical to the universal brotherhood of man: it will only cause unnecessary division in a world that is starving for unity with love as its underlying foundation for such a unity.

However, our passage this morning begs to differ. Paul tells us that the Gospel is crucial and essential for what we hope to see happen in the lives in our community work. He does this by highlighting 3 important tasks that the Gospel actually accomplishes. First, the Gospel has a life-changing effect. When he says "I am not ashamed of the Gospel," we have to remember that was not always the case. There was a time in his life, as a faithful Pharisee and Jew, he saw the gospel message at best a misunderstanding and at worse a harm and danger to all who heard it. Yet, now he sees it as paramount in all he does and what he communicates. Why the change? He personally experienced, heard, and was transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Second, the Gospel has a life-saving effect. He says that the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. Saved from what? Elsewhere Scripture says the Gospel is God's means to bring those in the darkness into light, those condemned to death to life, and those set for destruction to restoration. One experiences such a saving when they believe. Yet how can they believe he later writes, if they will not hear the Gospel. Finally, the Gospel has a life-flourishing effect. One of the hindrances to flourishing is disunity and conflict. The Gospel is meant to be given to the Jew and to the Greek, a categorical division that paints one group as blessed and another as cursed, a group as superior and another inferior. Yet here, God is pointing out through Paul - this grace-filled provision for salvation is offered to both categories, thus removing any inherent superior/inferior basis for thinking that is God's motive for saving us.

Far often many of us feel the Gospel is just another inspirational message or quote, and we feel that it has no value when being told to someone who is sick or hungry, unless they are fed and healed first. Yet praise God because the Gospel's power is not dependent on how we feel about the message. It is not tethered to how high or low we think the value of the Gospel message is. Praise God that the Gospel is tethered to the promise of God that it will bring significant blessing to the hearer - whether it be a child, father, mother, or grandparent. We thank God because the Gospel is God's power, not our power, to bring about life-change, life-save, and life-flourishing to the little child eating a sumptuous champorado, the sponsored child visited by church mates, and the senior citizen lying on the bed being prayed for by the visiting pastor.

So, let us examine how we have been ashamed of the Gospel, repent, and proclaim it boldly. Why? This is because we can trust God for His power through the Gospel.


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