C.A.L.L. (Christ Abiding Life Lesson)
Some Christians cringe at the thought of being mocked at or excluded and seek to hide, thereby comprising their faith. They are ashamed of the gospel. In this C.A.L.L we are going to see by reading some of Apostle Paul Epistles, why the gospel meant so much to him and why he was not ashamed of it.
In Romans 1:1-5 we the reader learns who Paul was in the very first statement of his epistle. He states, very confidently he was a servant. In this Paul confirms that the Lord Jesus paid the price to free us from slavery of Satan and Sin. We are therefore Jesus’ slaves. Slavery to Him, however, is really true freedom (John 8:32, 36). We are even free to refuse His right to claim us and to remain in bondage to Satan and Sin. Read closely, Paul did not desire to do this. When Christ met him on the road to Damascus, Paul became at that moment, His willing bond-slave. Key word: Willing.
Paul’s calling was to serve his Master as an apostle-one who was sent out to proclaim the Lord’s message, not his own. So determined was he to obey that calling that he separated himself for every other interest in life in order to preach the gospel. He walked in what the Lord required, that we are not to be conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12). There was nothing double-minded about Paul. Unlike some Sunday or Wednesday Christians (whose faith is mostly focus on locality of the church, then having faith to live as the church), he did not try to serve both Christ and the world or any form of religious error upheld by men.
Paul next defines what he meant by the gospel. It was the good news prophesied in the Old Testament which some so readily excludes, by disobeying what the Lord Jesus commanded, that we should preach of Him all that is written in the laws of Moses, psalms and the prophets. These writings testified about the coming of the Messiah and Savior who would be both the descendant of David and the Son of God and who would rise from the dead.
It was this One who had saved Paul and called him to be an apostle. Paul knew his message was not just for the Jews but for the Gentiles, the entirety of all nations.
In Romans 1:6-10 Paul wrote, he had not yet visited Rome. However, the gospel had somehow reach its borders, it was vibrant with faith. Paul thanked God for them and prayed for the free course to visit.
Romans 1:11-15, here we read Paul’s desire to give and receive a blessing. This is the ultimate true nature of Christian fellowship. Each believer has something to give for the benefit, edification, working, or encouragement of another. Yet, at the same time we are blessed and encouraged by others believers. Paul knew and understood that he need the encouragement of others believers as much as they needed his teaching. Not encouragement as in flattering, but encouragement of godly fruit being made manifested.
The book of Hebrews 10:25 also addresses the importance of Christian fellowship. We are encouraged to get together to strengthen each other. Inevitably, Christians today face many hardships. However, when believers join together in faith, they should help each other through those difficult times so they can continue to live out their faith in this world. If we sow to the spirit, we shall reap of the spirit.
Paul saw himself as a debtor. He owed it to all people, to share the knowledge of the gospel by which he had been so blessed. He knew salvation was to be offer to every nation and to all people, whether simple or educated. This was the heart of his calling, and should be ours. The Bibles states, that even in our very best state, we are all together vain.
Now lets look at Paul’s testimony in Romans 1:16-17. He was a highly educated and respected Pharisee, he had become an object of hatred and persecution by his own people. He had become a constant traveler, in danger of highway robbers, he had even suffered a shipwreck. In city after city he was dragged before the courts, falsely accused, and even beaten and jailed. Sometimes he went hungry (II Cor. 11:23-27).
None of these dangers, tempted Paul to soften his message or to hide it altogether. No matter how much he was humiliated, he was never ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He boldly proclaimed it! Some might ask Why? Paul knew the power of the gospel to change lives and to bring salvation to all people, Gentiles as well as Jews. He would make it known at any cost, obedience is better than sacrifice.
Paul quoted Habakkuk 2:4, saying that the Christian life is possible only by faith. It is faith in Jesus Christ that saves us and make us His children and it is by faith that we grow in our Christian lives. Our Christian faith is a lively, daily working function. It was by faith that Paul faced the perils of his calling, knowing that whatever happened to him would in some way glorify Jesus Christ and build up His church (the bride). Paul looked to the end of his faith, knowing that the sufferings of this life was for only a moment and was not worthy to be compared to the glory that is to come. He knew that suffering for Jesus was not just a mist, or some figurative notion, but literally, he had to present his body a living sacrifice. He knew this meant, his will, emotions, soul, heart, mind, strength, etc.. the entirety of who he was, had to die in order to live.
When we are tempted to hide our faith through fear of others, we should look to the example of Paul and other Biblical patriarchs that have went before us (Heb 11) who was not ashamed of the gospel or of Jesus Christ. Men and women of the Bible face constant humiliations. Nevertheless, we need not to forget that our Lord and Savior face the most terrible humiliations of all. He was publicly condemned, scorned, beating, and put to death criminally. This was the sacrifice of freeing us from Satan’s bondage and giving us eternal life.
Jesus declared, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven” (Matt 10:32). You may fear rejection and many other things that hurts. Think about this: He warns us that those things will happen. Also how much, then, must it hurt our Lord when those that confess that they have received of Him, fear to acknowledge Him before men? Will you follow the example of those, who only boasted with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him? Please don’t get denied before the Father, when that day come, because of the fears (all kinds) upon the earth!
Simple Questions of Reflection:
- What do you know about Paul’s life?
- Who does Romans 1:6-8 tell you about?
- What does ti mean to be ashamed of the gospel? Find three reason in verses 16-17 why Paul was not ashamed.
- Did Paul ever get to Rome? How? Where do you find the answer?
- What was Paul’s message in these passages?
Romans 1-17 (King James Version)
1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:
7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.
14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.