Unashamed of Our Identity
By Rev John McCoury
Roan Mountain, Tennessee
The key verse to understanding the entire epistle of Romans is found in Romans 1:16. Here, Paul declares that he is not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes. Today, the reason so many churches are blessing same-sex marriage, neglecting the call to evangelism, approving other “paths” to God, and preaching self-help instead of the doctrines of sin and salvation is that they have not taken this verse to heart. They are ashamed of the Gospel, so they change it and redefine it—blunting the two-edged sword of God’s Word and deactivating its power. And our society is reaping the consequences. We must become unashamed of our identity in Christ Jesus.
My friend, the call on your life and mine is to remain unashamed of the Gospel, to lovingly lift high the Truth of our Savior, and to trust Him with our lives. All of us will, at one time or another, be tempted to hide our light under a basket. As you seek to serve and witness for Christ more and more, this temptation may become even stronger. Satan will try to convince you that it’s not worth the effort. Beloved, stand firm in that evil day. Remember that it is the Gospel that breaks the iron yoke of sin, shatters the chains of addictions, and flings open the heavy gates of darkness.
May God grant us each the grace and understanding to remain unashamed. Have you had moments when you wanted to hide your light before others? Ask God for the courage to be a faithful witness. The call to live loud for Christ, unashamed of the Gospel, is clear in scripture.
But how do we live with such boldness? The answer is threefold, and it comes from a close look at Romans 1 and the life of the apostle Paul. The first reason Paul could live unashamed of the gospel was that he knew who he was and to whom he belonged. He knew that Jesus was Lord Christ and he knew that he had been set apart by Him to be His apostle (vv. I, 4). Paul knew that his identity was in Christ, and nothing could take that away from him.
In a day when so many people are mixed up about who they are, when it is fashionable to question your gender or define yourself by your political party, it is refreshing to see the apostle Paul hold so tightly to his blood-bought identity. He was not confused about what his purpose on earth was supposed to be. He knew his identity—he was a servant of Jesus Christ. My beloved friends, this is the healthiest self-perception you can have. Remember, “You also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ” (v. 6), Firmly root yourself in this glorious identity today, and you will be anchored regardless of what opposition comes your way. Don’t miss out on the peace that comes from knowing who and whose you are! How do you define yourself? Does this align with who the Lord Jesus Christ says you are?
John McCoury is pastor of Evergreen Freewill Baptist Church in Roan Mountain, Tennessee and the chaplain at Roan Highlands Nursing Center. You can read more from John McCoury HERE.