Romans 1:16-32; 1 Samuel 9:1-10:16; Psalm 55
Shame is a forgotten emotion in society today, as is sin. We no longer discuss sin, lest we traumatize someone trapped in that sin; and the idea that anyone should feel shame for their lifestyle is in itself the only source of shame that some people recognize. Back in Paul’s day though, people felt shame when there were problems. The message of the cross caused a lot of problems wherever Paul went. In dealing with that, Paul made a pivotal statement of Christian faith. “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.” (Romans 1:16) In truth, wherever the gospel is preached, problems follow. The problems are not inherent in the gospel message; the problems are what the gospel message seeks to heal. So often though, when sin is confronted, those who embrace that sin fight back leading to major confrontations between those proclaiming the gospel and those comfortable in their sin. Paul was imprisoned, beaten, and left for dead because he preached the simple gospel message that Christ Jesus died on the cross to save sinners. He preached a message of salvation that brought the power of repentance. The verses that follow this focal verse in Romans speak of the sin that should have led to shame in Roman society. The problems and the gospel message are the same today. We live in a sin sick society that should be ashamed of their sin. Those who follow the gospel have a message that brings salvation to all and the power to repent from sin. I’m ashamed of my sin and the sins of my people, but I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of salvation to all who would believe.
Dear God, I come before You humbled and ashamed. I engage in sin and seek to justify it by noting that there are other, worse, sins when I should be repenting. I am grateful for the gospel message, the message of the cross that brings salvation and ask for the power to repent of my sin so that my relationship with You can be restored.