Understanding the mystery of Christ revealed first to Paul will open your eyes to understand the Bible and God’s will for today.
Nevertheless, some feel ashamed of preaching the dispensation of grace as clearly as Paul, and remain secret grace believers.
Instead of boldly declaring the mystery of the gospel they remain silent about it, hide it in their churches, and avoid being associated with it.
Paul faced the same shameful problems. Here are some reasons why people are ashamed of grace.
It Is Small
When it is first learned that Paul is our pattern, we look around to find who else is teaching Paul as the pattern. The answer can be disappointing.
At the end of his ministry Paul testified that “all they which are in Asia be turned away from me” (2 Tim 1:15).
When the Lord told Paul he was a chosen vessel to preach the mystery of the gospel of Christ, he was the only one on the planet who knew the message. Now, that is a minority!
There is no reason to be ashamed if you are in the minority if you are obeying the Lord’s instructions (Rom 3:4).
It Is Not Attractive
“Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” – 1 Tim 4:13
Sound doctrine, reading, and study are important to Paul (Titus 1:9, 2:1). There is a reason there are always more people shopping than in the library.
Study is what people avoided in high school, why would they voluntarily come to a church that makes it the priority.
There is a reason public schools are mandatory, and that college campuses advertise extra curricular activities. Certain things attract (college football), and other things (Bible study) do not.
It Is Too Accommodating
“As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.” – Gal 6:12
Paul could have easily been more popular among the religious people of his day if he would’ve stopped emphasizing God’s grace to all through faith.
The religious Jews were offended that salvation suddenly became so easy without works, and that their religious traditions were no longer useful at determining who could be counted “righteous” and who was not.
Many churches today fear that preaching a pure gospel of grace will not create commitment to giving, church attendance, and good behavior. They would rather bind men under the law than deal with folks like the Corinthians.
Paul was not ashamed of God’s grace nor who believed it. He stood fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free (Gal 5:1).
“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.” – Rom 1:16
It Is Not Esteemed In Higher Education
“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:” – 1 Cor 1:26
If there is one thing that produces more shame than any other it is getting no respect by the esteemed of society. Getting a bad reputation within academia is the constant fear of the evangelical mind.
Paul was scorned by the scribes. Many today say he was influenced by Gnosticism. The Bible is oft maligned by textual critics as having mistakes. There are not many preachers of grace that carry an alphabet behind their name.
Where are the credentials? Paul counted his as cow manure(Phil 3:8).
Does this mean our doctrine is wrong? No. Does this mean people feel ashamed for associating with the ignoble, uncredentialed, and disrespected? Yes.
The Galatians were ashamed by the simplicity of the cross, and Paul called them fools for compromising grace doctrine simply to be esteemed by the religiously respected (Gal 3:1).
Learning how to rightly divide your Bible will make you a workman approved unto God, but not necessarily approved by men.
It is a good thing that the wisdom of this world is neither our standard of judgment, nor our method (1 Cor 3:19).
Paul assures us that we need not be ashamed if we study to show ourselves approved unto God by rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15).
The dispensation of the grace of God is not something Paul invented. The mystery of Christ is not a fad doctrine created by a small group of Christians.
It is the testimony of scripture. It is the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ who saved us by his grace (2 Tim 1:8-13).
“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner:…” – 2 Tim 1:8