By Lee Shelnutt
When we share the gospel, we herald Jesus! We are royal heralds of the King of Kings! What is there to fear if he is our King? The Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, heralded a subversive message: 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. (Romans 1:16)
When are we tempted to be ashamed of the gospel? Isn’t it when we think we might face opposition, ridicule, or even persecution?
On his desired trip to Spain, Paul wanted to stop at Rome to minister in the church to which he wrote. Where? Rome, the very seat of the most powerful ruler in the world of that day, the Roman Caesar - Nero!
The official titles of the Caesars included, “Son of God.” The birthdays of Caesars were heralded as “Good News.” The Caesars demanded loyalty and would even demand to be worshiped.
Into that context, Paul is unashamed of the gospel - Jesus is the true Caesar. It is Jesus who is the true Son of God and it is Jesus who has true power - the power over sin and death, for Jesus is the resurrected One who has ascended to the highest throne. One day every knee shall bow and tongue confess that he is Lord!
Do you see how much of a challenge the gospel was to the earthly powers of that day? Do you see how gloriously subversive it was? You know what? It still is! May the true Lord give us grace never to forget this--- and faith not to fear, for we know our King is truly King of Kings and Lord of Lords!