16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel … (Romans 1).
Like the word eager, which we saw yesterday, the word for ashamed here is made up of a root word (īs-khü'-nō) with a preposition (epi) before it. The root word means to disfigure and the preposition in this instance (I take) as meaning upon. Thus, as I try to understand this, to be ashamed literally means to bring disfigurement upon something — which I can only picture as one’s countenance or even posture — thus to cringe. So, to be ashamed of something is by no means a passive thing — it causes everything within us to cringe and turn away. The face disfigures itself and the body recoils.
So, to be ashamed of something means to be so embarrassed by it that you recoil at anything associated with it; to be ashamed of the gospel means to be embarrassed both to profess it, as well as to be associated with anyone else who does.
That Paul would even need to write these words is astounding. It would be like me writing or saying, “I am not ashamed of my family.” Why would I need to write such a thing? Why would Paul even need to write that he is not ashamed of the gospel? Because he was being honest. The truth is, when it comes to sharing the gospel, any time the least bit of fear of any kind enters our heart, we must admit that our fear is really just the cloak of shame.
Lord, I want to be bold in my evangelism This Day, and I pray our entire church family would be bold. May we never be ashamed of the gospel and cringe at either the thought of or the opportunity of sharing it. Amen.