"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew then for the Gentile."

I am spending a bit of time in Romans and I want to encourage you, if you have not read it, to take a crack. Some hard stuff there and some good stuff. It is not light reading and at the same time it contains simple truths. Like the verse above 1:16

Paul is just opening his letter to the Romans, and in so many words he says, "Look, for Christ's sake, I got grace and a calling, here it is plain and simple:to call others to the obedience that comes from faith"

He goes on in chapter one to describe the horrid condition of unregenerate man, but before he does he inserts 1:16. As I reflected on it this morning I thought, "He did not care about what men thought" he was bold to call them to obedience. Scary in this day and time to call someone to obedience.

Paul knew the power of the gospel and he lived in light of it. Full stop.

He knew that it was only in the gospel that a righteousness could be revealed, a righteousness by faith. He lived by faith!

That may come as a "no brainer" to you. Of course we are called to live by faith! Really? In reality? Now the truth begins to seep in. We often do not live by faith. In effect, even though we might not say we are ashamed of the gospel, we are not boasting in it. It is not our covering, our all in all, our hope.

It leads to a lack of obedience which leads to a lack of true joy. Although I remember, as always, our hope is Christ, today, I am reminded that we are called to examine whether or not we are functionally living obediently. If not, repentance should be near as it is a road to faith. We need God to do a work, but, we too need to strive a bit and be willing to stand for the praise of God, while not fearing the praise of men.