January 10, 2018

Topic Day|Salvation

Unashamed Till I Flatline

Romans 1:16–17

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The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,1 as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”2


[1] 1:17 Or beginning and ending in faith
[2] 1:17 Or The one who by faith is righteous shall live

In Context:

11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,

Unashamed Till I Flatline

Bio | Cooper Wagner

I love my family, people in general, laughter, sports, and the outdoors. I could make this list much longer, but those are pretty much all-encompassing. Somehow, I am currently enrolled at Dallas Baptist University—Go, Patriots! I have faked being a DJ for three fraternity events, and I got second place in intramural basketball last year. I guess you can say I made it.

Central Truth

We have to live unashamed lives. 

Devotional | Salvation

Romans 1:16-17 falls in the midst of the longest and most theologically profound letter Paul ever wrote. Romans is an argument for the gospel, a mission and message Paul had given his life to. In this passage,...

Romans 1:16-17 falls in the midst of the longest and most theologically profound letter Paul ever wrote. Romans is an argument for the gospel, a mission and message Paul had given his life to. In this passage, Paul is declaring that he is unashamed of the gospel. In fact, he knows it to be the power of God for the salvation of all men (Romans 1:16).

What Paul writes here in Romans, he exemplifies throughout his life on earth and recounts in other Scriptures. (See Acts 20:27; Philippians 3:8-10; 2 Corinthians 12:10.)

We should live unashamed, for the gospel is the love of God for the salvation of all men. In the gospel, we are confronted with God's holiness and our unholiness, His righteousness and our unrighteousness. In it, we are saved by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God Himself. By our faith, we are made righteous in Christ and reconciled to God. It is the best news any man can hear, and it's the best news any man can share.

One of my favorite things in the world is music. I like everything from Shane & Shane (shout out) to rap. One of my favorite groups is the 116 Clique, a perfect mix of "the Shanes" and rap, if there could be such a thing. The members call their group the 116 Clique because of Romans 1:16, and the group's goal is to make music for God and about God in an industry that is anything but welcoming.

We can learn from the 116 Clique and Paul. With news as good as the reconciliation of men to God, we should strive in everything to give the glory to God and share the message with others, regardless of the culture. There has never been a time when our faith has been more maligned, and my guess is it will only get worse.

Follow the example of Paul, the 116 Clique, and Christ: live unashamed for what is good and true. You hold the message of life-changing truth in your hands. Share it till you flatline.

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Discussion Questions

1. When was the last time you shared the gospel?

2. Are there any areas of your life in which you think you could live more unashamed?

3. Do you have an inclination to share the gospel more with a certain type of person?

4. If you answered yes to question 3, where in today's passage can you see a flaw in this inclination?

29 Comments available

Michael Scaman 11 months ago

James Montgomery Boice says Romans 1:17 is the key verse of Romans and in his opinion the most important verse in literature.

William Breazeale 11 months ago

Share it til you flatline…I like that! I am so self-focused…I must turn my eyes and cares towards others. Eternity is at stake!

cory williams 11 months ago

There is no negotiating my soul for anything here on earth. I truly believe God has inspired the bible and it has a great effect in my life every single day. There is nothing anyone can say to deter me from the love and salvation of Jesus Christ.

Georgia Littlejohn 11 months ago

I’m still working on #1. I pray that will happen sooner than later. Sharing the a Gospel in my mind is for anyone in need or willing and wanting to hear the word. I’m thankful for being in His word today. I have never heard of Shane & Shane so thank you mentioning them. I’m listening now.

Michael Macomber 11 months ago

Fear of rejection is been probably the biggest thing in my life. I put on a totally different mask and never really have been vulnerable or open to anyone, not even to my wife of 12 years. When I heard about Watermark and begin to listen to podcasts, this is where I knew I had to be. Had a conversation with my brother last night about religion and Christianity, and it came out of no where. Posted on previous days that sharing and praying were going to be my top priorities. God is holding me accountable. Lol

Patrick Gibbons 11 months ago

Thanks Cooper. After a gut reaction to #2 of “no, not really”, your questions 3 and 4 made me dwell on the scripture afresh, and realize there’s often places/times I may unwittingly restrain or just not think about sharing the truth of Christ - having become dull. The world and fear can easily cause us to dial back our boldness with certain people or in certain environments. Work is a place wisdom dictates particular thoughtfulness and caution. While we must certainly be wise and not foolish in it, the challenge is to always keep top of mind looking for where God is working around you to join Him and for opportunities to be an example to be seen of living by faith. Being willing and asking in prayer for opportunities, God will give you opportunities to share his love and truth. We just have to do it.

Shannon Laurence 11 months ago

Sharing the gospel is something I’d really like, and need, to grow in. The times I do are few and far between. I was thankful to have the opportunity back in November with someone who drove me to pick up a rental car! I pray God would make me bold and discerning to see and take more opportunities to share his glorious truth.

Shannon Laurence 11 months ago

I just learned about the 116 Click yesterday listening to a podcast interview with Sho, one of the rappers in the group. So cool! If anyone else is interested, check it out! https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cultivated-a-podcast-about-faith-and-work/id1165528200?mt=2&i=1000393283946

Tonni Shook 11 months ago

Great name! Cooper is my family name, so I am quite fond of it. I do try to share the Gospel in some way every day. It’s not always a long testimony or some great miracle, but I do try to speak of Jesus every where I go. I’m currently praying about sharing my faith with a Muslim co-worker. I’m not ashamed to talk to him, but I am cautious since he works directly for me and it’s at work. Please pray that the door is opened for me to share the love of God with this person.

James Rener 11 months ago

(2) I would say, that I am ashamed of the Friends I used to associate with. As I sought to strengthen my Faith in Christ, I realized the people I was hanging out with wouldn’t be motivating to my journey with Christ. At first I thought it would be tough to eliminate those sort of influences, though it wasn’t, it was easy. Going through Re:generation has made it possible to have strength through Him, for Him. So I would say I would like to become more unashamed of the losses that were cut as a necessity to grow in Faith. Thank you Cooper & JTJ

Ronnie Oldfield 11 months ago

Thanks for the early morning challenge young man. Part of the love I have for watermark is the number of young adults who are seeking the 116 clique. Verse 17 is the clue to “How can I live unashamed”. When I am being most faithful, my lips are more likely to transition a random conversation to a spiritual discussion. Being unashamed to share how my desperate pursuit of Jesus helps me in my struggles then finding out if the person I am encountering wants to dig into life with me. You may be second in IM basketball, but ur #1 in my book. Go get em coop.

Sue Bohlin 11 months ago

Love love love your title, Cooper! And way to go, choosing the first topical devo of 2018. (Took me a while to figure out why the same verses appeared two days in a row!) I so appreciate what you wrote: “the gospel is the love of God for the salvation of all men.” When it comes to God, love = salvation, and salvation = love. But in our feelings-oriented, feelings-saturated culture, love = warm fuzziness, so it’s easy to not recognize what strong and true divine love looks like. There might not even be feelings attached for a while, until we move into the place of gratitude and humility when we realize we’ve been given something waaaay beyond what we deserve.

Ted Mattos 11 months ago

Good morning all. Thanks for the devotional, Cooper!

Todd Wagner 11 months ago

Love ya Coop and the way you are part of the “116 Clique” whereever you are. Be in mission today…it will encourage people to see that the Lord can use even Uncle Rico’s doppelgänger to advance the name of our King.

Hope Harris 11 months ago

@HughStephenson “My job is simply to proclaim.” Amen

Hope Harris 11 months ago

I absolutely love the song I’ll tell the world by Lecrae…My face look the same, my frame ain’t rearranged But I’m changed, I promise I ain’t the same Your love’s so deep, you suffered and took pain You died on the cross to give me a new name. That’s why I am Unashamed Jesus radically changed my life and want others to know Him

Gillian Papanek 11 months ago

I am proud to be unashamed. Thanks for challenging us to live out our faith!

Pam Pelley 11 months ago

Cooper, love your discussion questions! I see what you did there with #3 & 4… clever. For me it’s easier to share with people who are just like me. And yet the gospel is for all people. Working on that! Also, loved your bio! You made me laugh!!

Alma Barber 11 months ago

According to Galatians 2:20, Our lives have been crucified and are no longer ours. As Christians, we can so easily get off track in our walk with the Lord, when we make living about us, instead of Him. When we discover who we truly are in Christ, we will no longer live for the approval of others. And shame will no longer lord it over us. When the idol of approval has been crucified with Christ, and crushed under the power of the gospel, we will freely and unapologetically share the good news that because of Jesus, all who are lost can be found! and all who are blind can see! Firm believer of “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!”

Linda Aland 11 months ago

“Love all. Serve all.” The gospel is God’s free gift and our message to everyone.

Linda Aland 11 months ago

Awesome devotional, Cooper. Thanks for a clear view of your take on the passage. Before ministering to others whom I know have no idea of Jesus, I often think of what used to be on the wall at Hard Rock Cafe here in Dallas: “Love all. Serve all

Michael Scaman 11 months ago

Paul says here that the gospel reveals ‘the righteousness of God’ and he brings it up allot in Romans, even saying later some people use the law wrong because they don’t know the ‘righteousness of God’ He uses that phrase allot in Romans and I wonder how that comes across to people while sharing the gospel to them. God’s righteousness, their need. They glorify a righteous God by leaning on the righteous work Jesus on the cross believing for eternal life, and not in themselves.

Michael Scaman 11 months ago

I probably throttle what I say depending on how regular and freely I can speak with them. It depends I try to openly and freely answer their unexpected direct questions and sometime initiate. Since I’m talking to someone the last few weeks who is dying in hospice that adds urgency.

Lisa Olsen 11 months ago

Thank you, Cooper! I pray to live out the rest of my days unashamed and boldly sharing the gospel with others…as well as myself. It’s so easy to forget the good news in the midst of the demands of this life, pulls of the culture, and certainly when we fall and fail. Thank you for the reminder to live unashamed of the greatest news our souls could ever receive.

Colleen Park 11 months ago

What a way to wake up this morning!! You nailed it Cooper! I share the Gospel as often as I can. Just yesterday at work. Which lead to a regen convo. Just think, if every single one of us here on the JTJ shared the GREAT NEWS with just 1 person today, God would be sooooo GLORIFIED! #amen

Scott Michael 11 months ago

Coop, humbled by the truth of Romans 1:16-17 while spending most of my life “ashamed” to use the name Jesus. By God’s I now know him personally and can’t to tell others of the hope that only exists in Him. Living out Galatians 2:20 with you!!

Lindsey Driscoll 11 months ago

I too am a fan of the 116 clique, rapper Trip Lee challenges us with lyrics that remind us daily to share. “Uh, all I need is one sixteen To brag on my King Romans 1:16 We brag about him daily ‘cause he run this thing.” Like verse 1:17 says God reveals righteousness to us by faith. He does that daily and we get to see the power of God at work. Like Paul this is the most important task we have daily, it is our purpose.

Lindsey Driscoll 11 months ago

Great devo Cooper, reminding us to use every opportunity to share.

Hugh Stephenson 11 months ago

Thanks for your devo Cooper. Great questions. Picking one of them, I’ll answer by saying there are two types of people with whom it is easy to share. The first is those I deem “safe”. The second is those I don’t know - like Uber drivers. The hard ones are those that I know but fear rejection or hostility. With God’s help I am learning how to see points where I can turn the conversation to one of salvation. Paul is my example as I can share my own story and be bold in my weakness. It helps me to remember that my call is not to save them. That job is taken. My job is simply to proclaim.

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