Anybody who knows me knows that I’m a huge Buffalo Bills fan. While we may live in Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, I’m a proud Bills fan.
The more important question is this: am I prouder of Jesus?
When it comes to faith, society works hard to keep people silent. We’re told that talking about religion in public is frowned upon, or that religion should be confined to the church building.
In other words: we’re shamed regarding our faith.
Many (I would argue most) Christians often shy away from sharing their faith or talking about their beliefs. For whatever reason – not wanting to offend others, personal embarrassment, decorum – many remain relatively silent about Christianity.
As I was reading the passage below out of 2 Timothy, God reminded me that we are not called to live in shame, but to be proud of our beliefs and to boldly talk about Jesus. Here’s the passage:
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
– 2 Timothy 1:8-14 (ESV)
In this passage we see that Paul wasn’t ashamed and that we shouldn’t be ashamed, either.
Paul was not Ashamed of the Gospel
Although he didn’t outright say, “I am not ashamed of the gospel” like he did in Romans 1:16, it is evident that Paul was vocal and even boastful about the good news. He proudly preached Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection wherever he went.
If you look at the passage, Paul offers some reasons (and gospel truths) why he wasn’t ashamed.
It’s all about Jesus
Paul’s faith was built on the foundation that is Jesus himself. It wasn’t built on his own logic or his own powers. Paul trusted in Christ as the basis for all he believed and said.
Jesus is the eternal savior
Jesus’ death paid for sin, satisfying God’s wrath (1 John 2:2). Thus, all who put their faith in Jesus alone are saved (John 3:16; Rom 10:13). Furthermore, Jesus is eternal, having no beginning or end. Rather, he is the beginning and the end (Rev 22:13).
Jesus called Paul to serve him
Paul’s mission isn’t something he decided to do out of his own volition. Rather, it was a divine calling, a holy endeavor. Although we may not be called to travel the world as an evangelist, every Christian is called for a divine purpose in God’s kingdom (Eph 2:10).
These are just some of the reasons Paul didn’t live in shame, but held his head high, boldly proclaiming what he believed. Furthermore, Paul told Timothy – and us – to do the same.
We should not be Ashamed of the Gospel
Read again what Paul wrote to Timothy: “do not be ashamed.”
We are told in no uncertain terms not to be ashamed of the gospel, of Paul, of those who serve God’s kingdom purposes. Rather, we are to be proud and share the truth.
Why should we be proud even when the world tries to shame or silence us? The same reasons Paul was proud: it’s about Jesus, the eternal savior who calls us to serve him.
Bringing It Home
No matter what others tell us, we should never hide, cower, or hang our heads low when we talk about our faith. Nevermind that it’s not illegal in America to talk about our faith, it’s a biblical mandate to tell others the good news. Furthermore, we’re to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to share the truth.
The world wants to keep God behind a wall, closed up, and silenced. The world doesn’t want Christians energetically, proudly, and intentionally sharing their faith.
We’re told that it’s impolite, politically incorrect, or a private issue only. Nevertheless, just as Paul told us, we should never, ever be ashamed of Jesus. He is God. He is savior. He is King of kings and Lord of lords who is coming back to judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 1 Tim 6:15).
- 3 Characteristics of Christian Life and Church Ministry11 February 2019/