Romans 1:16 – I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
“With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.” Have you ever heard that phrase before? It is a pretty good saying. The basic idea is easy to understand. If someone has been blessed with power and strength, they have a responsibility to act for the benefit of others. If you are still scratching your head about where you have heard that before, I will now tell you. It is a line from the very first Spider-Man comic. It has been used in many Spider-Man stories since 1962 and it was used in the 2002 live-action Spider-Man movie.
Even if you are not a fan of superhero stories, I think that quote is something we can use. Think about the verse from Romans chapter 1. As Christians, we have been given the power of the gospel. This is the most powerful message in all of human history. The powerful gospel tells us what God has done to save us from our sins. He sent Jesus to be our perfect substitute. For all the times that we fall into temptation, Jesus never fell into temptation. We have sinned numerous times. Jesus never sinned. We deserved to die for our sins. Jesus died on the cross for us. We deserve Hell for our sins. Jesus earned us a spot in heaven through his death and resurrection.
This message is a life-changing message. When we understand that our sin and guilt have been taken away, we have a wonderful freedom. We are not slaves to the law. We are not compelled to obey it because we are trying to earn forgiveness. Rather we live for God out of love and thankfulness for all that he has done for us. Forgiveness motivates us to do what is right because we want to show God that we appreciate Jesus’ sacrifice for us. We live for God and we share his message with others because that message can change their lives too. The powerful gospel can work faith in their hearts.
It is our joyful responsibility to share the message. We share this powerful gospel not because we have to in order to earn God’s favor. Rather we share this message because we want to share it. We want others to know the joy that we know. The first phrase of the verse says that the Apostle Paul is not ashamed of this message. That is noteworthy since that is the temptation we struggle with. We know the gospel but we sometimes act like we are ashamed of the message. Rather than sharing the truth, we remain silent. When someone could really use the comfort of Jesus, we decide that they could use a cliché or a greeting card type message.
Again, we marvel at God’s grace. He forgives us for the times that we have avoided sharing the gospel. He reminds us again that he has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west. That powerful forgiveness washes over our sinful hearts and we are renewed in God’s strength. We are thankful that Jesus has given to us the awesome responsibility of sharing this message. We are weak, sinful human beings. And yet, we have the most powerful, life-changing message. Continue to use that Gospel power so that many more may know Jesus.