By Eugene Crawley
Among the many things that Paul wrote to the saints at Rome is the statement: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (1:16). This is only one of the many passages written by this inspired man that testifies to the fact that he was unashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many are the times when he exhibited his stand for the truth against error, even in the face of opposition and persecution.
This great apostle should be an example to us, not only in this, but in a number of other things in his faithful, consecrated service in the Master’s kingdom. One should be “ashamed to be afraid” and “afraid to be ashamed” of the gospel of the Son of God; yet such seems to be the case with many in the world today, and not a few in the church of our Lord. The many schemes, campaigns and promotions to draw the crowd, instead of the simple and powerful message of Christ, the gospel, proves that some have lost respect for the gospel and its power. Paul’s love for the truth and the souls of men led him to not be ashamed or afraid of the “power of God to save.” And, so it should be with men today, and so it is with all who have the proper love and respect for both the truth and the souls of men and women. This love will prompt men to stand for the truth at every opportunity, and will cause them always to appeal to truth, not to human prejudice nor the devices of men. They will also welcome the opportunity to defend the truth which they proclaim.
Truth has nothing to fear, is aggressive and unrelenting, and those who hold to the truth for the love of the truth, have no fear of that which they have embraced. “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:21). Thus, where there is any difference, doubt, or question, truth will deal with it openly instead of trying to conceal it. The very fact that folk try to conceal (or keep a matter quiet) is evidence that they are in doubt about the matter for which they claim to stand, and are afraid it will not stand the test of the Scriptures.
When a man’s aim is to know and abide in truth, he is willing to hear any truth, and is also willing to have his teaching examined and discussed openly. This is so, for if he does not have all the truth, he wants to have and desires that everyone else have all the truth; for he knows that only the truth, yet all the truth, is the only thing that will make men free from sin. Our Lord said, “For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds be reproved” (John 3:20). This is the reason some fear investigation, and refuse to defend their cause, even claiming not to believe in debates. When one finds this to be true, he can know that such are afraid of their position, their teaching; they cannot afford to have the light of truth turned upon their teaching and practice. All should become suspicious of those who so act, and should investigate the word of God so as to know the truth that makes one free from sin.
It is truly worth repeating that truth has nothing to fear; those who refuse open study and discussion of any teaching, especially when they claim to preach the gospel, are by their actions saying they are either ashamed or afraid of the gospel. Are you ashamed of the gospel of Christ? Remember, it is the power of God to save and, thus, the only means by which one can be saved from sin. Then, are you willing to learn the truth? You can by studying, investigating, the word of God. In fact, you can have all the truth that anyone else can have on every religious subject. You have access to the same Bible in which it is to be found. Why not resolve then to study it, learn the truth, obey it, and stand for that which is the will of God? Be neither ashamed nor afraid of the gospel, God’s truth, for it will stand forever (1 Pet. 1:25).
Truth Magazine XXIV: 37, p. 593
September 18, 1980