I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Romans 1:14-16).
The Apostle Paul makes three statements here that sum up his attitude towards evangelism and spreading the Gospel:
1. I am obligated (I am debtor).
2. I am eager (I am ready).
3. I am not ashamed.
Sad to say, our attitude towards evangelism can often be summarized in opposite terms. When it comes to the difficult work of real evangelism, we seemingly have little sense of obligation, no enthusiasm, and considerable embarrassment. In fact, those of us in Western society may even feel like it is our obligation to keep quite unless we cross the lines of the politically correct.
If you no longer feel obligated, eager, and unashamed about sharing the Gospel, try to remember back to the time you were first saved. You know exactly where I am going with this. These three words describe the new convert perfectly. And they should always remain our attitude toward evangelism.
Why am I obligated? Allow me, in this short space, not to get too theologically deep. Let’s just answer this question using simple logic. We are obligated to share the Gospel because Jesus told us to. Every child of God is called to be a witness and is given power to fulfill this calling (Acts 1:8). We have a duty and an obligation to our Savior.
We are obligated to share the Gospel in every nation (Matthew 28:19). Everybody needs to hear this message at least once. If you believe the consequences of rejecting or accepting this Gospel, then your burning desire should be that all would hear the name Jesus and come to know Him.
Paul said “I am ready.” My guess is that this is were the breakdown comes for many Christians. We love the Gospel and we may even feel obligated to share the Gospel, we just don’t feel very eager. Instead of sharing, we allow fear, doubt, and worry to hinder us and we carry around the guilt of feeling obligated but not acting. We live in a fast-paced, busy world. If we are looking for excuses to not share the Gospel, we will find them in abundance. But if we ever cast off our complacency and see one soul led to Christ with our help, we will forever be eager to share and share again.
Paul was not speaking here of his confidence in his ability to communicate or convince. He was speaking of the Gospel’s ability to save. We certainly have nothing to be ashamed of. This Gospel works! It is the power of God unto salvation. It has never failed someone who has believed.