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Less is More - I Am Not Ashamed of The Gospel

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
June 7, 2024 6:00 am

Less is More - I Am Not Ashamed of The Gospel

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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June 7, 2024 6:00 am

Have you ever been around a Christ-follower who genuinely cares about lost people and thought, I wish I cared like that? In this program, Chip wraps up his series, Less is More: Decluttering Your Time with God. As he opens his Bible to Romans 1:16, Chip reveals what it means to be an unashamed witness for Jesus and explains how you can share the Gospel with your unbelieving friends and family.

Main Points

Romans 1:16 "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 to the Greek."

The power is in the Gospel message not the messenger.

Broadcast Resource Additional Resource Mentions About Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram’s passion is helping Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, and teacher for more than three decades, Chip has helped believers around the world move from spiritual spectators to healthy, authentic disciples of Jesus by living out God’s truth in their lives and relationships in transformational ways.

About Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge exists to help Christians live like Christians. Established in 1995 as the radio ministry of pastor and author Chip Ingram, God has since grown it into a global discipleship ministry. Living on the Edge provides Biblical teaching and discipleship resources that challenge and equip spiritually hungry Christians all over the world to become mature disciples of Jesus.

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Have you ever been talking with someone that deeply cares about lost people, is building relationships with them, and you walk away and say to yourself, I wish I cared like that?

Well, if so, stay with me. I think I've got something to share that's going to really help you. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. We are a discipleship-driven ministry on a mission to encourage Christians everywhere to live like Christians.

And in just a minute, we'll wrap up our newest series, Less is More. We hope these programs have motivated you to declutter your life and reminded you of just how life-changing God's Word is. Let me encourage you to go back and revisit this entire series through the Chip Ingram app. Also, be sure to get Chip's message notes. They're a great resource to help you study the verses Chip's highlighted for yourself.

Get them under the broadcasts tab at livingontheedge.org, app listeners tap fill in notes. Okay, Aaron, now as Chip with his talk, I am not ashamed of the gospel. Go in your Bible to the book of Romans chapter 1. It was just a few weeks ago, I was sitting in church, and our pastor Tim is teaching through the book of Acts and beginning to talk about this passion that the early church had to share the good news. And, you know, I've taught the book of Acts before, and Tim is a very, very good man, a good pastor, but I've always appreciated he's insightful.

He seems to see things that I never see, and then I look in the text and I say, wow, it's right there. And as Tim was walking through the book of Acts, over and over, this passion of caring about lost people, and he challenged us in a good way to really think about our neighbors and our friends and family members. And, I mean, I'm a pastor, and, you know, I had the privilege of meeting people on planes and doing some things around the world. But as I sat there, I really thought to myself, I've lost something, that fervor, that deep, deep concern.

I thought of some people in my life and in my network that I've started to build some relationships with, and it just came to me, do you really, really care, Chip? And one of the things that came to my mind was, you know, sometimes I just get distracted, and I need to read this, and I need to do that, or in my case, I need to speak somewhere. And I think it's easy to sort of, little by little by little, not only get distracted in our time with God, but forget that at the heart of meeting with God is to become like Him. And when we become like Him, the things that are on His heart become things that get more and more on our heart. And in my earlier years, and maybe some of you are listening going, oh, wow, I don't want to hear this again, I already feel guilty about, you know, not sharing Christ with some family members or sharing Christ at work or et cetera, et cetera. I'm not going to go there. What I want to say is, how do we allow God to work in us?

How do we declutter all this? Am I holy enough? Am I good enough? Am I good enough wife? Good enough husband? Good enough student?

Is my career going where it needs to be? I mean, I think we're bombarded, bombarded, bombarded by information and issues that pretty soon some of the most very important things, the critical things, part of our very purpose for being here, they just somehow get excluded. And so we're talking about less is more, and my less is more verse for our time together today is Romans 1.16. It's a verse I memorized many, many years ago. And what I want to do is walk through this one verse. You'll probably have it memorized by the time we end our time together. And I want you to think about this when you drive.

I really encourage you to jot it into your phone in the notes or even better, write it out by hand on a three by five card and put it somewhere you can see it and before you go to bed. But just this one verse, the Apostle Paul says, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For I am not ashamed of the gospel. And what I want to do is just meditate on this with you and just rather than the guilt and the ought and the shoulds, let's think about what these key words are. He says, I'm not ashamed.

I want you to think about the last time that you were ashamed of something or someone, maybe even of yourself. The picture that comes to my mind is, you know, we're a little bit more open about our emotions and things when we're young. And I remember somehow making the varsity team early in my high school career in basketball. And I was hanging out with the cool kids and they're all a couple years older than me. And then a couple of my really good friends, they live near me, they were faithful, they were really good buddies, but they were not cool.

And I remember one of them coming up to, Hey Chip, how you doing? Just like, you know, when we're hanging out near my house, but I'm with the cool kids. And I remember this shrinking back and almost acting like I didn't really know them and getting this look from their eyes to my eyes, like, what's with you? And what I realized was I so wanted to be cool. I so wanted to be accepted. I was ashamed of my uncool friends.

And, you know, this was long before I became a follower of Jesus, but I do believe the Lord works in our lives in many different ways. And there was a senior on the basketball team who was mostly a football player. He never got to play. And now I'm being moved up and getting some playing time. And I was very arrogant, very mouthy, and he decided to put me in my place. And I threw a bad pass and he gets it. And he's coming down like I'm getting back on defense. He's coming full speed and he gets to be about 10 feet. And I mean, he puts his head down and I, you know, I've learned I'm going to take a charge. So I stand there and he's about, I don't know, 220, 6'5", full speed. He throws the ball off to the side, lowers his head, and bam, hits me. I hit the ground, slide all the way underneath the basket, all the way into the wall. And I hear the coach yelling, Ingram, get up, get up. And I get up and one shoulder is at about a 45 degree angle. And, you know, my arm is just sort of hanging there.

I broke my collarbone. And I remember, you know, the first couple days a couple cheerleaders came over and one or two of the cool kids, maybe I'm exaggerating, maybe it was one day, and they all disappeared. And my two buddies that were my real friends, they came by about every day. I remember, I mean, I'm not that smart, but I really remember making a decision that, you know something, being in the cool group is really overrated. And I'm not going to be ashamed of my friends.

They're the ones who really care. And it's really kind of crazy for a kid as young as I was to just have this moment of awareness that it's really easy to so want the approval of people that you think matter, and really not honor the people that matter most. And the apostle Paul here is saying to all of us, I'm not ashamed of the gospel, not just of Christ, but the gospel, that's the next word. And the word gospel literally means good news. I think sometimes, and maybe this is me, that I think sometimes we've gotten the idea that the gospel is like this sales pitch we need to make. And we need to really confront people with this sales pitch and then we need to get it all right and then we need to have this moment where we say, you know, is there anything keeping you from receiving the gospel right now?

And we kind of get this built up. The fact of the matter, the word gospel wasn't just used of scripture, it was an announcement, an announcement often made by a king. Someone would blow a big trumpet and we have an announcement. And the word literally is good news. There's good news. There's something great that's happened. And so, you know, a king might make a big announcement.

Hey, I just want to let you all know, you know, like everybody here is going to get two extra bushels of wheat or I want you to know that the army came back and we have won this big victory and we're going to have a great big party tomorrow. And so the gospel really is not a sales pitch that we need to corner people in and get every aspect of what we're going to say and how we're going to say it. He says, I'm not ashamed of this good news. And then in verse 17, he tells us that the good news is this message that God the Son took on human flesh and lived a perfect life, died in our place for all people and rose from the dead. And in doing so, his death on the cross atoned for or covered or paid for the sins of all people of all time.

And then he makes some conditions for whoever believes. You don't have to receive this free gift. But in other words, this is an announcement. This is like, you know, hey, I got the cure for cancer.

Anybody got cancer is interested? Well, of course. And so I just want you to think about rather than the guilt trip, rather than the why am I so focused on myself, the ultra introspection, I want you to begin to think today just this one verse.

I'm not ashamed of the good news. And then he tells us why. For it is the power of God for salvation. That word power, it's dunamis, we get our word dynamite. In other words, this gospel, this message, this announcement, this truth, God has put the dynamite power that saves people. And the word salvation here has, it's the idea in the Old Testament, it was like being delivered, like out of a bad situation or out of a pit or away from your enemies. And in the New Testament, salvation really has the idea of we are delivered out of our sins. We're forgiven of our sins.

But the picture really has kind of like three tenses. In the past, it's all our past sins are forgiven. That's what the gospel does. Anything, think right now, you've ever done, you've ever thought, you're really ashamed of, it's under the blood of Christ.

You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. We'll get back to our series in just a minute. But quickly, I want to remind you that we are in the middle of our mid-year match. Thanks to a few close ministry friends, every gift we receive until July 9th will be matched dollar for dollar.

For more information about how to partner with us, go to livingontheedge.org or call 888-333-6003. And thanks for doing whatever God leads you to do. Well, let's rejoin Chip now for the remainder of his message. God in His great mercy, in His great love for you.

Anne, are you ready? In His great love for those people that irritate you. In His great, great love for some family members that don't know Jesus. In His great love for people that make fun of you because you do believe in Jesus. In His great love for people that hold a different political persuasion than you. In His great love for those people whose sexual identity is different than yours.

In His great love for people that are hostile and of other religions and in their beliefs actually kill people thinking that they're doing a good thing. The gospel is the power of God for salvation. And that salvation means all past sins are forgiven. It means in the present, the power of sin has been removed.

We can live this new life. And in the future, it means the presence of sin will be gone. And it's just, you know, as someone has said, it is such a great salvation. And the power is in the gospel. I think we get confused sometimes because we think the power is in the messenger instead of the message. And I remember hearing maybe some great evangelists and watching people be spellbound with, you know, a Billy Graham or a Luis Palau or whoever you know and wow, they have this special gift and it seems like when they speak and they talk, I mean people lean in and God really works and you can kind of get the idea that it's them. And this text says, no, that's not it. The power is in the gospel. It's in the message, not the messenger.

I'll never forget a time in my life that God decided to show this to me. If a lot of these basketball stories bring you fellow hoopers back into what we're really talking about here, great. And if it's like, man, Chip, is all you have is basketball stories? Well, I played full court with young guys until I was about 60. I am a basketball addict. And so in my early days after college, I played on an international team. I played all the Olympic and selection teams of every country in South America, save Uruguay. And we had a really good team. We had a seven-footer, two 6'11 guys, all major college guys, saved me and a couple guys. And I'm not sure how I got on the team, but I'm glad I did. And so, I mean, we had these red, white, and blue uniforms. And we had played, I mean, we played two or three games a day.

The big games, Olympic teams, were at night. And I had memorized my testimony in Spanish and had a couple years in high school and a year in college. So I wasn't fluent.

But I could share my testimony and share the gospel clearly. And we were now in Chile going to all these cities. And we made it finally to the southernmost city in the world, Punta Reines.

Our summer is their winter. It was cold. I was exhausted.

We played some really, really hard games. And so we're in this town, and television crews are there, and I'm watching them interview people. And I just find a corner, and I just sit down, and I just told the Lord, you know, I'm done. Man, I'm emotionally, I'm physically, I'm fried. And so I sit over in the corner, and this little boy, maybe he's ten years old, comes and, you know, hey, Señor, you know, starts asking me questions. And I'm just thinking, I mean, in my heart of hearts, kid, just get out of here. I mean, please, just get out of here.

I really don't want to talk to you. And he just, Señor, why are you here? And what is this about?

And we're a Christian team. Well, tell me about Jesus. And literally, in my mind, I'm thinking, I mean, it wasn't quite this bad, but you just need to hear, it went something like this.

Look, kid, I don't want to talk to you right now, but here's the story. God loves you very, very much. And Jesus, fully God and fully man, came, lived this perfect life. He died in your place to forgive your sin.

He rose from the dead. I shared the gospel as half-hearted as you can share the gospel super clearly, however, and did it in Spanish and, you know, like, and then, okay, you know, good shoe, kid. And so later, we were playing a game, and I did not have one of my better games for obvious reasons. My attitude wasn't good. And usually, right after the game, then we would have people come down, and we would talk for sometimes an hour.

People would come out of the stands. And in this particular day, it was like, I'm done. And so I said, God, if you want someone to talk to me, you bring them to me. I mean, I don't suggest this is how you should live your life.

But this is a moment of weakness, and there's a major point to it. So I went over and just sat down on the bench, and all the other players are out there, and hundreds of people have come down, and there's interaction everywhere. And I look up, and I've got a group of about 20 people, and I'm sitting there all around me.

And I mean, that's where God pricked my heart and said, Chip, would you get off yourself? I brought you here. I love these people.

Share with them clearly and powerfully how they can have a relationship with me. I died for them. And I got Holy Spirit spanking real quickly, and it was, okay, Lord. And I mean, I clearly, passionately engaged with them, shared the gospel. I said, has anyone ever placed your faith in Christ as I've talked about this here today? And I hear this voice in the back, Si, señor, si, señor, si, señor.

And this little 10-year-old that was at the airport comes to the front and begins to explain how, yes, I did, after I talked with you. And my point is this. You know, the power's in the message. Paul says, I'm not ashamed of this great, amazing news that Christ has died in our place, and He loves us, and He'll forgive anyone and everyone who does what, who believes. But the gospel is the power of salvation, and it's to everyone, and it's for everyone.

And so I just want to encourage you today. I don't know how you feel about your frequency of sharing the gospel. I know for a season I found myself sharing my testimony or giving, you know, a little nugget of this here or there. And in more recent months, especially as I've seen what's happening in the world, I realized the power's in the gospel. And two or three times recently, and this is sort of like, you know, sharing a bit of a confession, but also a next step of obedience. There's a lot of ways to share the gospel, right?

The bridge illustration, the Romans road, various ways, lots of easy, clear ways. Once you've built some relationship. And just recently, I have, rather than just sharing a portion of my testimony, I had my knee replaced, and my physical therapist was there. We became friends, and we had sort of a common experience in the Philippines. And I just so liked him, and I was praying, God, give me an opportunity. And one day he asked me a question that led to, you know, a testimony a little bit about basketball and Christ in the Philippines. And we were getting to my very last day, and I thought, God, you love this man, and you want to see him with you. And it's not like all the world's pressures on me, but I feel compelled. Would you give me the boldness to share with him?

And I think the enemy blinds us to thinking people aren't really open. When Jesus said that the fields are white for harvest, and we were getting near the end of my physical therapy, and I said, hey, I know we have just a few minutes left, and you need to go see another client, but do you have like three, five minutes max? Can I share a picture with you? And he looked at me like, of course. And I had, hoping this would become a reality, I had drawn on an eight and a half by eleven sheet of paper like a cliff, two sides, and I walked through the bridge illustration where, you know, man's on one side, God's on the other, and I put a picture of the cross that bridges it and explain, you know, all of sin and fall short of the glory of God and that the wages of sin is death or separation from God forever, and that's bad news, and it's true of all of us. And then on the other side, I said over here, but here's the good news, is that why we were yet sinners, why we were God's enemies, Christ died in our place, and whoever would believe in him, whoever would receive Jesus, turn from their sin in the empty hands of faith and receive Christ, that God says to those who believe, I will give you eternal life, it's a gift.

To everyone who receives Christ, to them he gives the right or the authority or the power to become a child of God. And I had a little pen, I draw the picture, and I said, where are you? And he put a little spot, you know, over on the left side, and I said, would you like to be on the right side? He goes, I sure would. And I said, are you ready to do that today? And I knew he really got it.

He said, you know, I'm not quite ready because this is a big decision. I'm real familiar with God, but I've never understood this. I like to pray and think about this.

I said, well, would you know what to do when you are ready to receive this free gift with all the implications? And he said, absolutely. And so I just want to tell you, let's today focus on one verse. I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Why? For it is the power of God. For what? Salvation. To who? To everyone who believes.

To the Jew first and also the Greek. May God give you the boldness that you desire to love the people that God loves so much and I know that you care about. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram.

I'm Dave Drewy. And the message you just heard, I am not ashamed of the gospel, is from our newest series, Less is More, Decluttering Your Time with God. And we pray you've learned a lot from these five verses Chip's focused on. Let me encourage you to go back and get the message notes for each of these programs to help you memorize the verses and do your own deeper study. Get Chip's message notes under the Broadcasts tab at livingontheedge.org.

App listeners, tap Fill in Notes. Well, before we go, Chip's still here in studio with me to share something really important with all of you. Thanks so much, Dave. Wherever you go these days, it seems like you're either hearing bad news or conversations about bad news. The volume of information coming at us today is incredible. And unfortunately, a lot of that information is incorrect or it's drawing us away from the truth. As Christians, we know we have a cause. We have a hope in Christ that we know that our lives are meant to reflect Jesus in our world each and every day. Yet even as Christians, we're not immune to the impact of the discouraging messaging and anger and negativity that's coming at us day in and day out. And here's the deal. If you are not fueling your heart and your mind with good things, if you're not studying biblical truth, if you're not connecting in community with other believers, if you're not learning what the Bible says about how to live as a Christian, in every circumstance, the hopelessness of this world is going to seep into your soul.

It'll steal your joy, your peace, and your witness. So what should we do? Can I give you a couple suggestions? Number one, consume good, true biblical content daily.

Get up. Meet with the Lord. Renew your mind with His Word. Second, Living on the Edge is committed to teaching and discipleship. You'll find teaching on the radio, podcast app, daily Bible studies, small group resources, tools about family, identity, spiritual warfare, the character of God. We are absolutely committed to helping Christians live like Christians, and a big part of that is helping you renew your mind. So let me ask you, if the Ministry of Living on the Edge has guided you, helped you, deepened your walk with God, would you consider prayerfully partnering with us? God is doing a great work in the midst of really challenging days, but we need your help.

Thanks for praying about it and then doing whatever God shows you. Well, if you believe God is calling you to join us in helping Christians live like Christians, now's a great time to become a financial partner, because during our mid-year match, every dollar we receive will be doubled for greater impact, until midnight July 9th. To send a gift, call us at 888-333-6003 or go to livingontheedge.org. That's 888-333-6003, or visit livingontheedge.org. App listeners, tap donate. As we close, our mission at Living on the Edge is to help Christians live like Christians, and one of the best ways we can continue to do that is through programs like this. So when you hear a message that helps you, pass it on. You can easily do that through the Chip Ingram app or by forwarding them the free MP3s that you'll find at livingonttheedge.org. And don't forget to include a note about how it made a difference in your life. For Chip and the entire team here, this is Dave Druey, thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge and I hope you'll join us next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-07 05:19:06 / 2024-06-07 05:29:57 / 11

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