FOR I AM ASHAMED
FOR I AM ASHAMED
Romans 1:16-17 – 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. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
As I began reading Romans chapter 7 this morning, it was again one of those beautiful days when prayers were answered for clarity and understand, and conviction came. Yet, in my introspective examination of what I was reading, it was not until conviction came that I felt ashamed. I was not ashamed in a condemning way per se, but ashamed of how I treated marriage all these years of my life, but moreso how I treated the marriage that should have matter the most, and that marriage is to Jesus Christ first.
To me it is crazy how the Bible is put together at times. At times it is like waiting for a good part of a mystery to be revealed. If we were to stop and calmly think about how you and I treat Christ, the Bridegroom of all creation, if we truly understood marriage, and if we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us these things, I too believe that conviction will fall heavily on those who truly belong to Christ. Why can I assume such things? Well, for one you are a sinful creature just like me, but some right now will deny that accusation and start out with something like “Well I…” and right there is proof number one where their lives are focused on, self! By our sinful natures and without daily, sometimes even moment by moment self-examining, we do not crucify our flesh, we love to rob glory that belongs to God.
Going beyond that even deeper, ask yourself this question. How well do you know the doctrine of Marriage? How well do you know the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
See, many of today’s Western culture churches do not only not speak in this type of language, but they do not also teach and preach in this type of language. In its most basic sense of the word, one definition of the word doctrine is “a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a Church, political party, or other group.” (Merriam-Webster) A big fancy word to basically say to teach or instruct. After all, that is what we do go to church for right? And that is my point that many Western culture churches today to not teach the doctrine of the Bible. They teach feel good self-help sinful messages that take out the teachings of the Bible and teach you have the ability to do xyz. Well, let me get us back on track.
The reason I personally titled this post “I am Ashamed” is because I was reading and thinking about my marriage to Christ, and how awful I treat the Bridegroom. You know the part where we as his disciples are supposed to go into all the world, let me refresh our memories, Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Are you doing that? Are you going into the workplace, your community, your schools or colleges? Look at the world, look at this nation, look at our educational systems, look at our medical systems, etc. I would say that we as disciples, believers, followers of Christ have every right to be and feel ashamed. I have not even gotten to the marriage part yet because I want you the reader to see and feel these things for yourself! And please don’t go running to the cross just yet, but do as we are commanded to do as Paul commanded the church at Corinth to do in 2 Corinthians 13:5-6 – “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 6 I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.”
How long, how hard, how deep do you examine your life in the light, the depth, the grace and mercy, in love, in sacrifice, in the; death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ do you examine yourself? Do you examine yourself at all? Do you with purpose seek to find out the horrific sins in your life that you willfully do, and repent of them, seek the true forgiveness of them, and ask Christ for the power to crucify them once and for all? Now I do not know who is reading this, who is saved, etc. so I need to treat this as I do not know your heart, if you are saved, if you have an active flourishing relationship with God where you daily spend time with him in an intimate manner. After all, believers and disciples of Christ are His bride, and should have that kind of love and relationship with Him. Sadly, many do not! Many do not open the Word daily, not even monthly or at all. Many do not go to a church that teaches the depth and the breadth of the Word of God.
So when we put all of this together; how can one properly come up with they are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, they understand the martial union not to only Christ, but to the church as a whole and other believers and followers of Christ. It is ONE body, ONE union, ONE Bridegroom and ONE bride! But how can you or I dare say that we are followers and believers in Christ if we not only do not read the Word daily and spend time in prayer with God, do not go to church at least once a week, do not share the Gospel faithfully with the dying sinners like us around us daily, and let us not forget ALL that sinning we do like it is no big deal. How, how can we dare say we belong to the Bridegroom? Yeah, but I…. Here we go with the I’s again. I said a bunch of prayers, I walked the isle of a church numerous times, I am a member of 15 churches over the course of my life because I could not find one that did not preach the Bible and sin, I I I I ! Again, if you and I would read our Bibles and understand what we are reading, if we were submitted to other mature believer in discipleship, it would not be long before we saw the truth of our sins!
Ephesians 2:1-10 – “ And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Do you see the word I in there anywhere? Would you like to transcribe that you in the sentences above into I? That’s exactly what God did!
And you (state YOUR name) were DEAD! Right there it is game over, you and I could do NOTHING because we are DEAD before getting saved, becoming a part of the bride of Christ. We (pre-salvation) were at enmity with God, followed the world, did as we please, believed as we wanted, and again in the above scriptures we by nature CHILDREN OF WRATH!
Are you ashamed of the Gospel yet? Dear reader, if you are, that is okay, because sometimes we need a good toe stepping slap in the face to remind us how much we are yet still living in this sin fallen (hopefully sometime very soon ending) world. It shows us where we have fallen way short of His mark, how much we daily break the two greatest commandments – Matthew 37-40 – “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (cited from Deuteronomy 27).
Let me close one of my long ramblings with this. Although in the Old Testament God used the prophets to speak to Israel, these can also be applied to us today because we have the last Prophet, Priest, and King, perfected in all eternity, Jesus Christ. I love the heading in the ESV version of the Bible in Joel 2:12 and the scriptures 12:14
Return to the Lord
“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.
That is what Christ said all the while before going to the cross and that is what He is saying after He resurrected from the dead unto eternal life. Return to me with ALL your heart; fasting, weeping, and mourning. Rend your hearts (REPENT!) return to the cross of Calvary, for I died for your sins so that the wrath of my Father was put upon me (Christ) so that you would not. For those under my blood are no longer at enmity with my Father, for He is gracious and merciful, abounding in steadfast love and relents over disaster.
Now when we repent, when we lean on the Faith that Christ has done for us on the cross, that by His wounds we are healed. There is no wrath, there is no anger, and we are married to Christ and Him alone. We should be going into all the world telling them of the greatest marriage, the most first and foremost marriage, and that is Jesus Christ and the Gospel that saves sinners like you and I to the uttermost!
Thank you for reading! Gospel Blessings