Fishing in a Cesspool

“I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes ….” (Romans 1: 15, 16)

In our current culture as a Christian holding Bible base beliefs regarding morality, you are likely to be shamed, but don’t ever be ashamed of the gospel. For, “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” (I Peter 4: 16)

Abraham Lincoln is credited with having said. “Be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” In applying this principle to biblical boldness, it might be added “and don’t be ashamed of your stance.”

With boldness the Apostle Paul said he was willing to even go to Rome to share the gospel. Frame that boldness in light of these descriptions of the Rome he was willing to go to share the gospel. The philosopher Seneca called Rome “a cesspool of iniquity.” The Roman writer known as Juvenal called it a “filthy sewer into which the dregs of the empire flood.”

Isaiah expressed a similar conviction, “For the Lord God will help me;
Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set my face like a flint,
And I know that I will not be ashamed.” (Isaiah 50: 7)

The basis of our boldness, like that of Isaiah, is confidence the Lord will be our help. Hudson Taylor, founder of China Inland Mission, had a plaque with these two Hebrew Words on it: EBENEZER & JEHOVAH JIREH. The first word means “Hitherto has the Lord helped us” and the second, “The Lord will see to it or provide.” One looked back while the other confidently looked forward.

Such bold confidence does not mean we won’t be criticized, excoriated, belittled, and shamed. “Shame on you,” burns like an acid. However, the balm of Gilead heals. The Bible uses the term “balm of Gilead” metaphorically as an example of something with healing or soothing powers. That is Jesus.

There is a need for Christian values to be expressed in the marketplace of ideas, social gatherings, and the halls of government. It is expedient to be well informed as to why you believe what your profess. Grace, tact, and poise are essential solvents. Boldness has a soft side called grace when delivering Bible truths. It is not brashness or belligerence.

Pray, “In You, O Lord, I put my trust; let me never be ashamed; deliver me in Your righteousness.” (Psalm 31: 1)

“Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” (I Peter 4: 16)