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 the Greek. – Romans 1:16
Scripture reading: Romans 1:16-17
When Paul was in Athens, he presented the Gospel of the crucified and risen Lord to everyone he encountered. Some, who were followers of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers, looked down on him, claiming he was uttering nonsense!
As he began expounding the Gospel to the Church in Rome, he was fully aware of the negative attitude of many Jewish and Gentile people in the city. So he set forth, in the clearest manner, his absolute confidence in the message entrusted to him by God.
Unlike the vain speculations of Athens’s philosophers, Paul pointed to the fact that the Gospel he proclaimed served as a means for the salvation of everyone who believed, both Jews and Greeks. This was manifested in a changed life that centered on the love of God and of fellow human beings. Even though the Jews had received the Promise of the coming Messiah and could read about it in their Scriptures, yet, they were disappointed in Him because He didn’t liberate them from Rome. As to the Gentiles, often called Greeks, since the educated ones knew Greek as well as Latin, they considered the Gospel message as “foolishness,” as it contradicted their views of man’s basic needs.
The Gospel provides the diagnosis and the cure for mankind’s sinfulness. It explains how to obtain a right relationship with God. As Paul put it, “For in it [the Gospel] a righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’”
Suggestions for prayer
Ask the Lord to equip His ministers and missionaries with boldness and clarity to proclaim the saving message of the Gospel.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Bassam Michael Madany has served as a missionary in Syria, and in 1958 he began a 36-year radio and literature ministry to the Arab world. After retirement Bassam & his wife Shirley began an Internet ministry, Middle East Resources, to provide a “Christian Response to the Global Challenge of Islam.”