16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
There are many ways we can be ashamed of the gospel. I recently came across these ten ways we show ourselves to be ashamed of the gospel from Jacob Abshire.
Here are ten signs you are on the path of being ashamed of the gospel.
- Forgetting God’s Word
Paul reminds Timothy that being ashamed of the gospel is forgetting the evidence of the Lord—the Scriptures. He says “do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord” (2 Tim. 1:8). The word testimony suggests that Scripture is God’s legal proof of the gospel. Without it, we have nothing on which we can fix our thoughts. Do not forget God’s Word.
- Forgetting God’s People
Additionally, Paul adds not to be ashamed “of me his prisoner” (2 Tim. 1:8). Imprisoned in Rome, Paul was declared a criminal and deserted by fellow believers (2 Tim. 4:16). We draw strength from one another, and withdrawing makes you weak in the face of opposition. Do not forget God’s people.
- Forgetting God’s Power
Paul urges that we “share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God” (2 Tim. 1:8). We often lean on our own power to resist temptation and fight the good fight, but our salvation began with God and will also continue with God (Gal. 3:3). Do not forget God’s power.
- Forgetting God’s Salvation
In the same way, remembering God’s salvation emboldens us for ministry. He is God, “who saved us,” not the god who helped us save ourselves (2 Tim. 1:9). Considering our eternal promise of life (2 Tim. 1:1) should make us courageous in this temporal one. Do not forget God’s salvation.
- Forgetting God’s Sanctification
Carrying the same point further, remembering God’s sanctification strengthens us all the more. He is God, who saved us and “called us to a holy calling” (2 Tim. 1:9). He is powerful enough to save us and powerful enough to make us holy. Fear has no room when our security is so guaranteed. Do not forget God’s sanctification.
- Forgetting God’s Purpose
Logically then, the work of salvation and sanctification is entirely by God. It is “not because of our works but because of his own purpose” (2 Tim. 1:9). It was His will and decision to save and sanctify us. This should reassure us of our safe-keeping amidst dangerous times. If we face danger, it is because He has purposed it for our good (Rom. 8:28). Do not forget God’s purpose.
- Forgetting God’s Grace
Salvation and sanctification were not only by God’s design, but also by God’s “grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Tim. 1:9). Since God is outside of time, His purpose and work is accomplished before time. He gave what was required for our assurance of life. Do not forget God’s grace.
- Forgetting God’s Son
All of God’s grace is given through His Son, who “has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:10). Jesus really lived, really died for our sin, and was really raised to life. So “remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead,” he says (2 Tim. 2:8). All of our faith lies in the person of Jesus. Do not forget God’s Son.
- Forgetting God’s Work
The obvious reality is that God is “the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). Our salvation and sanctification are a work of God in us. For Christ “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10). Do not forget God’s work.
- Forgetting God’s Call
Finally, to circle back to our ministry of suffering shame while being unashamed, Paul describes himself as being appointed to the gospel as “a preacher and apostle and teacher” (2 Tim. 1:11). This was his call in life. It was his ministry. Forgetting what you were put on this earth to do for God is robbing yourself of needed strength to be unashamed. Do not forget God’s call.
HT: Jacob Abshire