I am not ashamed of the gospel ...

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. -Romans 1:16-19 NLT

These words remind me that the gospel is all about the One who said that He would be ashamed of anyone who is ashamed of Him. To be ashamed of the good news is to be ashamed of Jesus Christ. In contrast we who live by faith proclaim the good news in the very way that we live. We acknowledge his transforming power when we love unconditionally. We shout out his salvation when we forgive. His righteousness is revealed when we live by faith.

I think that the phrase "the wrath of God" is one of the most misunderstood ones in the bible. The Greek word for wrath here is the same as the one translated as anger in this verse from the third chapter of Mark.
After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
Theologian Albert Barnes says of this that "our Lord has taught us that anger is never lawful except when it is tempered with grief or compassion for those who have offended." And Paul tells us here that God has made the gospel plain to all men - there is no one truly ignorant. The issue is not knowledge but a hardness of heart that keeps one from faith.

Show us any hard places that have lodged in our hearts Lord. Cleanse us of things that are not of faith.

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