For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, ‘The one who is righteous will live by faith.’
Paul’s boldly proclaims that he is unashamed of the Gospel. “Gospel”, of course, means Good News. Why would anyone be ashamed of Good News? When we receive our own good news, don’t we long to tell others about it, so that they can share in our excitement?
However, Paul is eager to share this good news with the people in Rome. He wants them to be excited about a Jew, a common carpenter (as they might have seen Him), and one who suffered the indignity of crucifixion, the form of execution for the lowest and worst of criminals. What is more, Jesus was killed in Jerusalem, an insignificant capital of an insignificant and remote Roman colony. How could this possibly represent good news to the fine people of Rome?
In these two verses, Paul sets out a summary of all he is about to explain at length and in detail. The Gospel is the power of God to save all people who have faith – Jew, Gentile, citizen, slave, conquerors and vanquished alike. We are all within God’s reach through faith in Jesus.
Thanks be to You, O God. You have a plan to save us all through Your Son.
Deepen our faith in You that we might know Your power to save us.
Oh, and God – help us to get excited over the Good News about Jesus, so that we too are unashamed of the Gospel and eager to share it.
The Rev’d Steve Faber, Moderator, West Midlands Synod