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|Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc.||A Hebrew-Christian Bible Fellowship|
I AM NOT ASHAMED
by Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo
I AM NOT ASHAMED
I want to share with you some thoughts from The Brit Ha-Dashah (Hebrew for the New Testament). These thoughts come from the Book of Romans. The Book of Romans was written under the inspiration of the Ruach Ha-Kodesh (Hebrew for The Holy Spirit of God), to a man by the name of Saul (Paul): Being a Hebrew Christian, he was commissioned by the Lord God to be an Apostle to the Gentiles, and yet everywhere he went he first stopped and spoke to Jewish people about the Grace of God that is found in The Gospel; that is the death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus) according to the Scriptures. This portion of Scripture is found in Romans, chapter 1, verses 16 and 17.
"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one (that's you and I) that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (the Gentile, or non-Jewish individual).
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith".
It is interesting that as we read the above Scripture, one of the first things we are confronted with is the expression found in verse 16, "the Gospel of Christ". You may not be fully aware of what this word "Gospel" is all about. The word actually means "Good News".
It is a principle of Biblical study that one of the best interpreters of Scripture is Scripture itself. For us to fully understand this beautiful word "Gospel", (which has to do with The Good News of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour) we can go to I Corinthians, chapter 15 and read the exact Scriptural definition of this word so that we can better understand what it means when we read "The Gospel of Christ". In I Corinthians, 15 and verse 1 we read:
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you The Gospel, (The Good News, which Paul reminds us of) which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;"
Isn't that beautiful! The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ not only has been preached to us, but we have had the opportunity to receive The Gospel and it is The Gospel upon which we stand.
Now, what does this mean, The Gospel? verse 2 reminds us,
"By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain".
So, it is not a matter of being saved and then being lost, but it is a matter of keeping in memory, 'remembering', that you have been saved by the preciousness of The Gospel, unless you have believed in vain, and none of us is interested in believing in vain.
Now, verses 3 and 4 give us the actual Scriptural definition of The Gospel:
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ (The Messiah) died for our sins according to the Scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures":
Did you notice that twice in verses 3 and 4 of I Corinthians 15 this beautiful expression is found: "according to the Scriptures"?
Remember that when all of this took place the New Testament had not yet been fully written. So, when you read this expression, "according to the Scriptures", you must ask yourself, "according to what Scriptures"? The answer very clearly would be, the Scriptures of the Old Testament (in Hebrew, it is the TaNaCH).
It is the Tanach (The Old Testament) from Genesis through The Book of Malachi that, according to these Scriptures, The Gospel not only was presented to the world, but was performed by The Messiah Jesus.
Verse 3 reminds us that the Messiah (The Christ) died for our sins. Notice, it doesn't say for His sins (for He is sinless); but for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried and that He rose again, according to the Scriptures.
You see, up to the point of dying and being buried is a process that everyone has to go through. But this is what make The Gospel, The Good News, so different, so beautiful and so eternal, that The One Who Dies, called The Messiah (The Christ) according to the Scriptures, was also buried according to the Scriptures. Then we are told immediately that He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures.
This is what completes The Gospel of the Messiah Jesus. It is His Death according to the Scriptures, His Burial and His Resurrection, according to the Tanach.
For without the Resurrection, we are reminded in Scripture, that "... we of all men that believe (men, women, boys and girls, Jews and Gentiles), would be most miserable".
We thank The Lord God for The Gospel. What is The Gospel? It is the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, "according to the Scriptures".
Going back to Romans, Chapter 1, verses 16 and 17, we are again reminded:
"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 (the Gentile, or non-Jewish individual).
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith".
Here again we are confronted with that beautiful expression, "The Gospel of Christ", which was our introductory thought.
There are five things that I would like to mention in relationship to The Gospel of Christ. Let me give them to you first of all and then we will make a few comments on each one:
The Gospel of Christ has built within it:
THE PERSON of The Gospel of Christ.
THE POWER of The Gospel of Christ.
THE PRIORITY of The Gospel of Christ.
THE PROMISE of The Gospel of Christ.
THE POSITION of The Gospel of Christ.
I love the way Romans 1:16 says, "For I AM NOT ASHAMED". What a reminder for you and I, as children of GOD!
If you have committed your life and heart, spirit, soul and being, to the Lord GOD of Israel through The Messiah Jesus, then you and I need to be reminded not to be ashamed. The other day, I was in the City of St. Paul, and about to share The Gospel of Christ with a Jewish man, and a couple of blocks from his place of business I became ashamed. How do I know that I was ashamed? Because I was afraid.
All of the goodness that God had given to me, all of a sudden dissipated, and I said, "Lord, you just have to help me, that I will not be ashamed of The Gospel of Christ. Help me to be a good witness". And The Lord God, in His goodness, again helped me, and gave me that 'chutzpah' (Hebrew for intestinal fortitude) to give a piece of literature to an unsaved Jewish man. But, perhaps you don't even know what it means to be saved, so we need to go through this Scripture briefly.
The Gospel of Christ has within its context THE PERSON. You see, there have been many presentations of The Gospel, or "The Good News", even before the days of The Lord Jesus Christ.
There were those who were presenting the gospel of themselves. In the Book of Acts, we are reminded of two: One by the name of Theudas and another by the name of Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but another individual). These men had presented themselves as messiahs to The Nation of Israel. Even after the days of Yeshua, in 135 A.D., Bar Kochba was acclaimed by some to be The Messiah, therefore presenting "good news" to the people.
There have been literally hundreds of people, men and women, who have declared themselves to have the truth of "the gospel" within themselves. That is why we emphasize that The Gospel of Christ has within it one and only One Person. His name is The Christ, which means "The Anointed One". The very fact that The Messiah (The Christ) came to this earth 2,000 years ago was not because of some quirk of happenstance, it was the fulfillment of Scripture. Remember that The Gospel of Christ is according to the Scriptures.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, His lifetime, His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and seating at the right hand of God all declares the fulfillment of Scripture. All that The Prophets had spoken about, all that The Law had spoken about, all that The Writings (The Psalms, The Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Lamentations) had spoken about, was THE PERSON of Messiah. So you see, The Gospel of Christ has as its central figure THE PERSON of Christ, no one else. His name is Yeshua Ha-Mashiach Adonai, The Lord Jesus Christ.
Because of THE PERSON of The Gospel of Christ we come to our second point: THE POWER. We read in Romans 1:16 again:
"For I am not ashamed of The Gospel of Christ: for it is THE POWER of GOD".
This is not simply a form of power. It is the concentrated, focused power of God which produces the effect. What is the effect? That effect is simply stated in Romans 1:16, "For salvation", "To save": To bring a person from their sinful condition to a righteous relationship with God, through THE PERSON of The Gospel, that is, Christ. THE POWER of The Gospel of Christ is Salvation. This Salvation is to everyone that believeth! May I urge you to be reminded that, if you are a child of God, if you are a believer, The Gospel of Christ presented to you in THE PERSON of Christ and THE POWER of Christ is Salvation to everyone that believeth.
That is, everyone has this opportunity to be saved through the death, burial and resurrection of The Messiah.
And yet, may I urge you as a child of God and as a believer to not put a period, to not close this sentence, after the words: "everyone that believeth", because it doesn't end there. It did not end there in the days of Paul and it does not end there today, in your time and mine.
For you see, The Gospel of Christ not only has within it THE PERSON Who is Christ (The Messiah), and THE POWER of Salvation to everyone that believeth; but there is THE PRIORITY that we mentioned earlier. What is this priority?
You have it in the last clause of verse 16, "to the Jew first and also to the Gentile"; that is everyone! Unless you and I, as children of God, take this precious, eternal wonderful Gospel: the death, burial and resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ, "to the Jew FIRST", for all practical purposes you will not take The Gospel to the Jewish people at all!
I tell you this based on over twenty one years of experience in The Lord's service. Unless you take The Gospel of Christ "to the Jew FIRST", you will not take the Gospel to the Jewish people at all!
The above is very important. The Gospel of Christ within THE PERSON and its POWER to save has a PRIORITY. Now, I did not set forth this PRIORITY, as some men have even accused me of doing; it was in The Word of GOD long before I was born.
It has been in The Word of God for almost 2,000 years. And yet, some will say, "Well, that was alright, that was okay for the days of Paul long ago, but surely not today: God is no respecter of persons". And I agree with you, God is no respecter of persons, and because He is no respecter of persons The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is not only to the Gentiles (non-Jewish people). You would think it is, the way you hear it from some pulpits and from some Sunday School classes.
Take a moment and look at your missionary budget in your church and you will find out very quickly that The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is THE POWER of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; when it comes to the Jewish people there is the matter of being ASHAMED. Don't you know that Paul included that word "... for I AM NOT ASHAMED", not only in the area of witnessing, not only in the area of taking The Gospel of Jesus Christ to the four corners of the earth; but especially in regards to His own people, the House of Israel?
Oh, many Christians speak a good line, and even play a good game of religion in taking The Gospel to the four corners of the earth... and yet, these same Christians that have been given The Word of God, through The Prophets of Israel, through The Messiah of Israel, Who Himself chose to be a Jewish man on earth (and yet He is God), the Jewish people that God selected long ago to bring The Light of Himself "to the Gentiles", and in turn some of the Gentile believers continue to exclude the Jewish people by not presenting The Gospel to them FIRST. Remembering that if one does not present The Gospel "to the Jew FIRST", then probably it won't be presented at all to them. Therefore, they have not placed The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ "to the Jew FIRST". They have placed The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ not to the Jewish people at all!
GOD The Almighty knew this long ago, my dear friends. May The Spirit of God (in Hebrew - Ruach Ha-Kodesh) speak to you at this moment if you are a child of GOD, to remember that The Gospel of Christ has focused within it One PERSON: He is Christ Jesus our Lord. THE POWER that is found therein is for The Salvation of everyone that believeth. THE PRIORITY of The Gospel has always been, and always will be, according to The Scripture, "... to the Jew FIRST and ALSO to the Gentile".
Imagine that in a city of over 2 1/2 million people (the greater metropolitan Twin Cities area), 45,000 are Jewish.
We at SHALOM SCRIPTURE STUDIES, INC., are one of the very few organizations that take The Gospel, "... to the Jew FIRST". Does your church? Does your missionary fellowship? Do you?
Well, perhaps they have not, perhaps you have not, but now is the time for you to consider that The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, in THE PERSON of The Messiah, which is THE POWER of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; has within it THE PRIORITY to reach Jewish people as well as non-Jewish people. May the Lord speak to your heart in a convicting way about that.
In verse 17 we read that within the scope of The Gospel of Christ we find THE PROMISE. You remember that this was our fourth point. THE PROMISE that is given to us, through The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, is The Righteousness of God. Isn't that beautiful that in II Corinthians, chapter 5 and verse 21, we are confronted with a truth that is given to us again by The Apostle Paul in reference to The Righteousness of God, "... For He (that is, The Lord GOD) hath made Him to be sin for us". Let me give you the thoughts on the pronouns there:
For "He" (that is, GOD), made "Him" (that is, Jesus), to be sin for "us" (that's you and me), "Who" (that's Jesus), knew no sin, that "we" (you and I) might be made (here it is again) The Righteousness of GOD in Him (Jesus).
Can you understand that once The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ becomes effective in your life, once you have been "born again", once you have been regenerated by The Spirit of GOD, through The Word of GOD, that in the eyes of GOD, you have been given The Righteousness of GOD!! The Hebrew word is Tzedakim (for Righteousness).
GOD The Almighty no longer looks at you and I, as He did before, as sinners and as individuals who are not concerned with others. Because having The Righteousness of GOD brings us to our fifth and final point: . .. . this Righteousness of GOD is revealed from "faith to faith": ... "as it is written, the "just", that's exactly what GOD has given us as our POSITION. We have been justified in the sight of GOD.
All of this is a composite love letter that GOD has given to us through The Apostle Paul. May The Lord help us not to be ashamed of The Gospel of Christ.
Yes, may we not be ashamed even when it comes to being a witness to the sons and daughters of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that are all around us today. May The Lord speak to your heart tenderly, that you might know and understand that The Gospel of Christ has built within THE PERSON of The Gospel of Christ (that is, Jesus); THE POWER of The Gospel of Christ (which is Salvation to everyone that believeth); THE PRIORITY (to the Jew first and also to the Gentile); THE PROMISE (The Righteousness of GOD); and lastly, THE POSITION (we are justified in the sight of GOD).
So, may we share The Righteousness of GOD with Jewish people, according to THE PRIORITY in The Scriptures, and with Gentile people (non-Jewish people) that our lives will demonstrate and show forth the very reality that we have been justified in the sight of GOD. We conclude this brief study with the last few words of Romans 1:17, that "all of this is by FAITH". Let me give you my homemade definition of F-A-I-T-H:
That is what FAITH is all about: The Holy Bible reminds us in Hebrews 11:6, that without this commodity expressed in our life, "... it is impossible to please GOD".
May The Lord Yeshua help us in our FAITH life to please Him, in reaching Jewish people and Gentile people with The Gospel of Christ ... The Greatest News the world had need of hearing! Shalom.
Scripture quotations from The Holy Bible:
The King James Version
A note of thanksgiving to the following for their kind help:
Mrs. Ari D. Hidalgo
Rev. Jack A. Molloy
IS AN ENGLISH WORD THAT MEANS