Romans 1:16 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.
The apostle Paul was a servant of the living God. He was chosen directly by the Lord Jesus Christ to be the replacement for Judas Iscariot. Judas Iscariot was originally chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ and He stated to the twelve that one of them “is a devil”. Judas did not act in a violent manner. He was a devil because he rejected the truth. He was also a thief. God’s design was for twelve apostles. Paul (Saul) was chosen to replace Judas because the work of the apostles was not finished yet. As the twelve apostles died, they were not replaced. Jesus did not choose any others. That office is closed.
In our text, Paul laid the foundation for all that he was directed to write in the book of Romans, in the opening verses of chapter 1. Paul knew the consequences of preaching the Gospel faithfully. He knew that the Gospel was the power of God to provide salvation to every one that believeth. That truth superseded the persecution that Paul faced as an apostle.
As we preach the Gospel, we reveal the righteousness of God. That is true in every generation. Every person that gets saved is a testimony of the righteousness of God. As we read in verse 17, “the just shall live by faith”.
Martin Luther is claimed to have believed in that phrase. The fact is that he rejected that truth. He lived by faith, but not faith in God. He was the founder of the Lutheran religion. He was guilty of persecuting true Christians (people of faith) because they rejected infant baptism and insisted on immersion baptism after salvation. He disagreed with Catholics on some things, but he was no better than they were.
Paul was directed to quote that phrase from Habakkuk 2:4. God directed Habakkuk to write those words. Habakkuk actually believed what he wrote. He was not a hypocrite. Habakkuk trusted in God even though he did not understand all that God was doing at that time.
Following those two opening verses we have, God directed Paul to describe a situation that was happening in his day. It was a problem in Old Testament Israel. It is something that is glorified in Israel today and it is also something that is becoming more vocal and violent in the Gentile world today. That is the matter of sodomy. It is a shameful and wicked thing that Canada has dedicated the entire month of June as “pride month”. It is not pride month, but it is sodomy month and it is an abomination to the holy God.
There was a news item of a church in the east where the “pastor” who is a woman wrote a vague statement warning of the dangers of the sodomite agenda to children. One of the people they interviewed about her statement is a sodomite who believes that a local church should be a place that celebrates diversity. I am not sure where people get that idea from.
In the Old Testament God certainly did not teach diversity when Adam chose to sin against Him. He did not show diversity when Cain rejected the truth and tried to force his wicked ideas on God. He did not show diversity in Genesis 6-8 when He directed Noah to build an Ark and only eight people entered that Ark, besides the many animals. All those outside the Ark perished in the world-wide flood that God sent. God did not show diversity when Lot chose to live in Sodom and God sent His Angel to forcefully remove Lot and his wife and daughters from that wicked place before He destroyed them with fire and brimstone.
In the New Testament, Jesus did not show diversity toward the many false teachers who tried to trap Him and tempt Him. The God of the Bible is not a God of diversity. Jesus warned often of the danger of ending up in Hell.
As we noted already, God directed the apostle Paul to describe the reason why a person becomes a sodomite. No one is born a sodomite. All are born lost sinners. Boys are always born as boys and girls are always born as girls. There can be deformities but Genesis 1:27 is one of several verses that declare that there are two distinct genders.
When a person rejects the power of the true God and is not thankful toward God, that opens that person up to be reprobate. That reprobate person will worship the creature rather than the creator. He or she will do that which is not natural for mankind. Thus it does not matter what society or the media or even certain religions teach, God’s Word is our authority. Due to the corruption in our public education (indoctrination) system, young people are confused about who they are. The greater problem is that too many families live in a vacuum. They do not believe in the true God and have developed a god of their own making and these false gods cannot give their followers a firm foundation upon which to build.
It is important to hear the Gospel of Christ and believe that Gospel. It is important for those who are saved to be involved in a true local church where they will be challenged and instructed in the truth. We do not need to skirt around the issues because they may cause offence or they may be “too sensitive”. Christians need to know the truth and live by the truth. Lost people also need to know the truth. The truth will make them free.
It is true that our governments have developed a list of things they call “hate speech”. That list was developed by God haters. Christians do not live by that list. Christians should not be intimidated by that ever changing list either. Christians need to walk by faith as Paul declared in our opening verses. Christians need to trust God and seek to help lost people come to know the truth.
When a person is saved and set free from the bondage of sin, it is a great blessing. Jesus declared there is rejoicing in heaven over one sinner that repents. Sinners do not repent when they are not shown Who they need to turn to. God’s Word is powerful. God’s Word will convince the lost person of their sin. The lost person may not like what they hear. However, some of them will turn to God in repentance and be gloriously saved!
The apostle Paul was not ashamed to keep preaching the truth. He suffered for preaching the Gospel of Christ. He was stoned several times. He was beaten and imprisoned. He was left hungry at times. He was eventually killed for his faith in God. However, he was also blessed in being able to influence his generation with the truth. He was also blessed in being directed by God to write down what God told him so that every future generation could also know the same Gospel of Christ that He preached.
We need that Gospel today. We need to remind the lost that there is a God in heaven Who is all powerful and Who does hold every person accountable for their choices and their actions. It is a blessing to be a servant of the true God who can direct others to know the truth and be set free.