23rd September 22
Read — Romans 1:16-17
Message Alan Burke
There are many things in our lives that we can be ashamed of, that past sin, things that we have done and said, what about the gospel itself? Today the prevailing portrayal of those who believe the gospel is that they are odd balls, ignorant people, fools, and the gospel itself is that it is backward, it has no place in 21st century Britain unless it affirms the sinful narrative of the age. We could list examples but the general view of the gospel today is not positive. In reality not much has changed since Paul’s day, for the gospel itself was foolishness to the culture around him, yet he was not ashamed, he saw it as the wisdom of God, he was not embarrassed by it, (1 Cor. 1:22–25, 30).
Paul wasn’t ashamed and the reason was because it was the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. It was this that Paul knew, he knew that the gospel, is the power of God for salvation. None of us contribute anything of our own to that salvation except for the sin that made that salvation necessary. Knowing this, led Paul to go out, preaching the gospel at every opportunity, he went to the synagogue, he went to the streets, he fervently desired no matter how he was viewed that people hear the good news of salvation.
I wonder are we ashamed of the gospel, embarrassed by it, because of its demands in our lives, its moral absolutes? Maybe we like the idea of Jesus who died for for our salvation, but when it speaks of how we should live, when it confronts us with sin, when it speaks against the way that those whom we love live, when it goes against the prevailing mind of the culture, are we ashamed or even embarrassed by it? Jesus warned us that if we are ashamed of Him before men, He will be ashamed of us before His Father (Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26).
The gospel will bring conflict, it will bring opposition, it will cause division, but it the only way onto salvation, it is the truth we must hear for it is the only way to salvation and people dismiss it, they view it as foolish and they hate it because it confronts their sin and need of a saviour. But it is the only way of salvation, and God has promised that His word will not return void, (Is 55:11), it is the foolishness of preaching that God has chosen to save the world, not the eloquence of the preacher, or the attractiveness of the message and Paul knew it. And we should never be tired of hearing the gospel for it is the power of God, if we have no appetite for food then we know that something is wrong, and when we have no appetite for spiritual food then something is wrong. For in this gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, that is the righteous live by faith.
Q56 How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?
The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, (Exod. 20:8,10, Exod. 16:25–28) even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; (Neh. 13:15–19) and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’ s worship, (Luke 4:16, Acts 20:7, Ps. 92, Isa. 66:23) except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy. (Matt. 12:1–31)