What is it about the gospel that tempts people to feel ashamed? Even the Apostle Paul indicated that some people are going to feel this way (Romans 1:16). Tim Keller says in his book "Romans 1–7 for You" that there are four reasons modern Christians feel ashamed of the gospel:
What is saving faith, and how do you know if you have it? Paul answers that question by looking at the life of one of the most important figures in the Bible: Abraham. Abraham is the most important father of the faith in the world: Christians, Jews, and Muslims all point back to Abraham as an essential religious figure.
I’ve gotten this question countless times throughout my years of ministry. Usually, it’s not just a theological question. It’s personal. I cannot take away the sting of loss that these experiences bring. But I can offer a ray of hope from Romans 5:13.
Rejoicing comes from reminding yourself of something that you know. It’s amazing how many times in Scripture we are commanded to worship—and not just if we feel like it. Throughout the Psalms, the people of God are told to raise their hands in worship, to sing aloud, to shout, to clap—even to dance.
When we have truly been saved, good works will always follow. When Jesus takes up residence in our lives, it should make a difference. Paul teaches that we are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone. Faith is always accompanied by good works.
That’s a picture of the human race: We feel exposed, unacceptable, and ashamed. Our whole lives are spent as a quest to re-clothe ourselves. We’re always looking for what sets us apart and makes us “right.” We’re always looking for something to validate us, something to prove that we’ve earned our place in this world.