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.
This is fascinating, and here’s why. I think I am tempted to read this verse as saying “Paul wasn’t ashamed of the gospel, and therefore we shouldn’t be ashamed of it either because it is really, really good.” The reason we shouldn’t be ashamed of the gospel is not that Paul wasn’t ashamed. We, like Paul, should not be ashamed of the gospel exactly because of how amazing it is. And that’s the real point of this verse.
The gospel is the power of God. The story of Jesus Christ—the story that winds itself all the way through the Bible—is the power of God. The power of God that created the world, that parted the sea, that raises the dead—this is the power that God exercises by means of the preaching and reading of the Word of God. And that power is directed at one purpose—the salvation of all who believe.
When you read or hear the word of God, it will tell you that you are a sinner, much worse than you can imagine, but because of Jesus, the cross, and the resurrection, you can be acquitted, forgiven, and judged righteous. And not only that, but God has a plan that will see the whole world saved and all wrongs vindicated. And the key to all of it is belief. Believe, body and soul, that it’s true, and you’re covered by it. And the really fascinating part about it is that it is the Holy Spirit working by means of the word of God that makes you able to believe it at all. So think about that when you hear the word of God this Sunday, or today if you go to a service, or if you read the Bible on your own. Hear the word of God and believe it because it’s true and powerful.