Today, Lord willing, I will be teaching the AWANA 5th and 6th grade clubbers on one of their memory verses, Romans 1:16. Below are the slides and the speaking notes (above each slide), as well as a self examination survey (Are You Ashamed of the Gospel):
Can anyone quote this verse from memory?
Someone please read it. This is a rich verse! There’s so much in it. Just look at all these important words in this verse! We’re going to go through this phrase by phrase to make sure you understand it.
What does it mean to be ashamed? (wait for answers) Ashamed means that you’re embarrassed about something or someone and you don’t want to be associated with them.
Our verse tells us that Paul is not ashamed of “The Gospel” this word appears 91 times in the New Testament, so it’s a pretty important word. What does the word Gospel mean? (wait for answers)
The word Gospel literally means “Good News”. Let’s read this definition together: “the Gospel is the Good News that Jesus died and rose again and offers us forgiveness of sins and eternal life if we will repent and trust Him as Savior and Lord.” That is what Paul is not ashamed of.
The Gospel is only made possible because of what happened on Good Friday and Easter. It is only made possible by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ!
If there was only Christmas (Jesus coming into the world), there would be no Gospel – no good news. If He only came into the world, but didn’t die for our sins and rise again, we would not even know about Jesus today – and our salvation would be impossible!
This verse says the Gospel is “the power of God”. The word translated “power,” is the Greek word dunamis. That is the word from which we get “dynamite.”
What is the Gospel powerful for? The next phrase talks about “salvation”. For the salvation of everyone who believes.
Salvation, means to rescue, to deliver, to set free. Talk about picture of guy drowning…
Like the guy drowning in the water, we also need to be saved from something:
1.From the Penalty of Sin – Hell / the Wrath of God – Romans 5:9 says we are “saved from God’s wrath” through Jesus’ blood shed for us.
2.From the Power of Sin – We are no longer slaves to sin – Romans 6:14 says “for sin shall not be your master”
3.From the Presence of Sin (one day) – when we get to Heaven – Revelation 21:27 says “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful”
(may want to ask if they know what sin is – talk about sins of commission [doing or thinking wrong things] and sins of omission [not doing what you know you ought to do – James 4:17])
Then it says “first for the Jew, then for the Gentile”. Most of the first believers in Christ were Jews. But the Gospel was intended for everyone. Jesus said that He was sent to the Jews (Matthew 15:24). Paul initially tried to share the Gospel with the Jews, but they opposed him, so he went on to the Gentiles (Acts 18:6). You and I are (most likely) Gentiles.
Now that we’ve gone through the verse one phrase at a time, do you have any questions? (wait for questions)
Now, before we continue, I want to make sure you know that none of what we’re talking about here applies to you if you’re not saved. So, I have to stop here and ask you point blank – are you saved? Only you know the answer to that question. I would suspect that for many of you the answer is a definite yes. The Bible says “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
Now back to our verse Romans 1:16 – I’d like to focus in on the part of the verse where it says “I am not ashamed of the gospel”. This is very important for us as Christians. God specifically says in His word that He does not want us to be ashamed.
In fact Jesus specifically warned us not to be ashamed of Him and His words. In Luke 9:26, He says “If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. Matthew 10:32-33
The Apostle Paul also tells us in other places not to be ashamed, for example in 2 Timothy 1:8, Paul says “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God”
The Apostle Peter tells us, “if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name”
Then of course, there’s the AWANA verse: Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
So, the Bible is really clear – God does not want us to be ashamed of the Gospel – He wants us to be proud of it and to share it whenever the opportunity comes.
Now we’re going to take a little self-assessment survey. You don’t have to turn this in and I won’t ask you your answers. It’s to get you to think about whether you’re ashamed of the Gospel.
(here is the survey that I handed out to the clubbers to have them work on it – if they have enough time, in class)
Self-examination Test: Are You Ashamed of the Gospel?
Romans 1:16 – I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
|Do your friends and those at school know you’re a Christian?|
|Have you ever talked with someone about your faith?|
|Have you ever invited someone to church or AWANA?|
|In a group, if others were making fun of Christianity, would you speak up?|
|Are you worried about offending people?|
|Are you worried about pleasing people or pleasing God?|
|Do you care more about what people think of you than what God thinks of you?|
|Are you afraid that you won’t be able to answer people’s objections or questions about your faith?|
|Have you ever had to go against the crowd when they were all doing something wrong? If so, when they asked you why did you mention your faith?|
Finally, this is my last night of the AWANA year for teaching the 5th and 6th graders. It has been such a pleasure teaching all of you, that I want to give you some small gifts as a token of my appreciation.
(end of presentation)
I pray that this teaching would draw any non-Christians in the group to repent and place their faith in Christ, and that it would embolden any Christians in the group to not be ashamed and to share their faith with those in their circle of influence. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you“ and one of the things He has commanded us (that we have to teach to the disciples we’re making), is the command to go and make disciples. So, I’m trying to teach the believers to go and make more believers – it’s a self-replicating process – that’s how God designed it!