The Personal Integrity of a Gospel Witness.

Christians long to have confidence in sharing the Gospel. Paul provides a model for an effective gospel witness. Paul could say that he was not ashamed of the Gospel because he lived out the Gospel. It was something that he not only professed with words, but possessed in his daily life.

An authentic, bold gospel confidence is preceded by personal spiritual integrity. Integrity is characterized by being undivided. Paul was wholeheartedly submitted to the Gospel and the Person at the heart of the Gospel, Jesus Christ.

Authentic gospel witnesses know their identity (Romans 1:1-7).

Paul's confidence sprang first from the fact that the Gospel had clarified and defined his identity. He was "a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God." His other letters begin with a similar understanding (see Galatians 1:1).

Authentic gospel witnesses see the big picture (Romans 1:8).

Faith is both welcoming and living the Word of God. We should desire to be known for our faith more than our works. God is interested in what is going on inside a person more than what we produce.

Authentic gospel witnesses seek God's will in prayer (Romans 1:9-10).

Spiritual independence does not lead to gospel confidence. Prayer is an expression of our dependence on God and essential to determine God's will. Our singular audience in prayer is the God of Heaven, who knows our hearts completely. Prayer compels an authentic life.

Authentic gospel witnesses desire stability and encouragement (Romans 1:11-12).

Paul desired mutual encouragement with the Roman believers. No matter what your maturity level, you can edify another believer by sharing words of faith, simple truths from the Scripture.

Authentic gospel witnesses plan for fruit (Romans 1:13).

Paul had a rehearsed plan for his ministry, though he was open to redirection from the Lord. He planned and pursued consistent spiritual fruit.

Authentic gospel witnesses understand their obligation (Romans 1:14-15).

We are commanded to make disciples without partiality to cultural or character boundaries.

Authentic gospel witnesses are confident in their message because they have a growing habit of living the Gospel (Romans 1:16-17).

Application Points

  • No matter what topic Paul is discussing in Romans, he always comes back to Jesus Christ. In the activity of life, we cannot think of Christ every minute. But when you have a moment to reflect, does Christ underlie every day of your life?
  • If these 6 things are not present in your life, don't be surprised that you don't have confidence in the Gospel. If you want boldness in your gospel witness, seek to grow in these things.
  • What are your obligations? How does the Gospel clarify whether your commitments are truly obligations or not?
  • If you are not already, begin praying for opportunities and boldness in sharing the Gospel. Rehearse the truths of the Gospel to yourself and in prayer.

Tools for Further Study

A Hymn to Encourage: "How Firm a Foundation"

How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!
What more can he say than to you he has said,
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

"Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed,
for I am your God, and will still give you aid;
I'll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

"When through the deep waters I call you to go,
the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow,
for I will be with you in trouble to bless,
and sanctify to you your deepest distress.

"When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie,
my grace all-sufficient shall be your supply;
the flame shall not hurt you; I only design
your dross to consume and your gold to refine.

"The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no, never, no never forsake!"