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Romans

The Gospel and God’s Righteousness

I’m not sure where this story originated, but it is extremely powerful in its message. It’s a story of an African man who lived maybe a century ago. He was coerced either by his tribe or some outside group to renounce his faith in Jesus Christ. Rather than denying his faith in Jesus, he wrote what is now called the creed of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.

This is a kind of creed for those of us who have found our spiritual feet and have chosen to walk in the Spirit. It inspires a kind of boldness that seems to be lacking in our churches in America today, but is desperately needed.

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power.

The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I’m finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, applause, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer and labor by power.

My pace is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven. My road is narrow. My way rough. My companions few.  My guide is reliable, and my mission is clear.

I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I’ve stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ.

Possibly, the creed was inspired by Romans 1:16–17 (ESV) 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.”

I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give ’til I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He’ll have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear.

As the Apostle Paul begins his letter to the church in Rome, he wants them to understand that there is power in the message of the Cross and that there is no need for us to be ashamed or shrink back from the message it conveys. The gospel changes lives and for the better. We are clothed in a righteousness that we could never wear on our own. For it is only revealed in the life of Jesus Christ, who shares that righteousness with us through faith.

This Sunday we’re going to be looking at Romans 1:16-17 as we discover how the righteousness of God enables us to live by faith.

John

The Men's Saturday morning Bible study is canceled for this Saturday, May 14, 2022.
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