for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to salvation Romans 1:16 AKJV
Not ashamed – The Greek words are ouk and epaischunomai. Paul uses the word ouk for “not.” This word is very strong. It means “absolutely not” or “under no circumstances.” The other word is the combination of epi (upon) and aischuno (to shame or be put to shame). The important aspect of this verb in Romans 1:16 is that it is in either the middle voice – the Greek voice that emphasizes something of significance to the subject, or it is passive – that means the action is done to the subject. The sense is “putting myself to shame.” Paul is telling us that there are never any conditions where he would cause himself to be ashamed because of the gospel. We remember that shame is not the inner self-condemnation popular in our Greek view of psychic balance. Shame in the Hebrew context is public. It is lost reputation, disgrace and humiliation.
With the Hebrew context in mind, Paul’s statement is simply amazing. Paul’s life took him before government counsels, dictators, kings, jailers, angry mobs and religious fanatics. He was a man with a past. Yet he says that he was never once ashamed of the good news of the anointed One. He was ready and willing to tell anyone and everyone his story, even if it included dark hours. Announcing God’s victory in Yeshua was the reason for his life.
Today we live in a culture of pluralism and accommodation. In case you haven’t noticed, standing up for the gospel is not part of the modern agenda. In fact, our culture wants Christians to feel ashamed of their beliefs. On every side, we are told that believing God’s word means we are bigots, fanatics or intolerant “do-gooders.” We are told that “faith” should be a private affair. Don’t share those moral claims, they might offend someone! (Do you realize that this is merely an extension of Greek psychology?) Christians are the new race targeted for discrimination. If you stand up for the power of the good news in Yeshua, you are more than likely to be ostracized or criticized. And if you mention that Yeshua was Jewish and Torah observant, you are likely to meet the same antagonism from those in the Church.
Paul says, “It doesn’t matter. The good news is God’s power. It is the only truth for a broken and corrupt world. Let God’s word spill from your lips and you will never be ashamed.”
Shame has only one goal – to attack your personal standing in the community. Shame wants you to shut up! But Yeshua says, “You are more valuable than my life. You are so precious that the Father and I gave up everything to rescue you.” Look who’s talking! Are we going to believe the agenda of the public accusers, or are we going to believe the God who died to save us?
I am not ashamed to say that Yeshua changed my life. He is my Lord. I serve Him gladly, no matter what the circumstances. Ouk epaischunomai is my testimony too. Is it yours?
Topical Index: shame, aischuno, Romans 1:16