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‭‭Romans‬ ‭10‬:‭11‬ ‭NET

For the scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

‬‬ What does shame mean here given that elsewhere in the book of Romans Paul mentions being persecuted?

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭35‬-‭36‬ ‭NET‬‬

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

Given that Paul grew up in a shame and honor society. Wouldn’t being persecuted and killed be equated with being shamed?

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    No - they are always kept separate. Being found to lie, cheat, or appearing stupid is a source of shame, but net being persecuted. Persecution was sometimes worn as a badge of honor.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jan 31 at 9:15

3 Answers 3

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The KJV phrases it a bit differently:

Romans 10:11 KJV

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

"put to shame" compared to "ashamed" is the difference. "Ashamed" from Greek word καταισχύνω (Strong's G2617), is to be "disgraced, confounded, put to blush". I take this to mean that believers will not be 'embarrassed' by Him (nothing really to do with persecution...imo).

Romans 9:33 sheds a bit more light on it:

As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Those who stumble on Christ the Messiah being the 'rock of offence' would be 'put to blush' at their stumble, whereas believers would not have stumbled and would therefore not be subjected to any 'shame'.

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The answer to the question is stated by Paul a few verses previously. The key to understanding this requires grasping what Paul meant in the previous chapter about how God calls those who were not his people, his people, and the not beloved, beloved. He quotes extensively from the prophet Isaiah, and that is just what he does in the verse in question (Isaiah 28:16). But we need to go back to this verse to get another quote from Isaiah. First, he makes the point that the nation of Israel failed to attain to God's righteousness because they sought works of law, instead of seeking God's righteousness via faith:

"Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; as it is written, 'Behold I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and a rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall mot be ashamed'." Romans 9:32-33 A.V. (quoting Isaiah 8:14-5)

Peter applies that Isaiah quote to Christ crucified being that stumblingstone to Israel. (1 Peter 2:6-8) Paul agrees, as can be seen from the two chapters about this matter of taking offence. Also, Isaiah 28:16 is part of this quote, and this theology about the cross causing offence, and causing people to stumble.

Paul, and everybody living in the Roman empire at that time, knew that to be crucified was the greatest humiliation and shame anybody could suffer. If you had a relative or friend who had been crucified, you would never boast about that. You would be smeared with the same shame of that crucified one. So, for the Christians to boast in the cross of Christ, would strike the world as madness and cause them to ridicule believers. Read that section in 1 Peter 2:4-10 and all the pieces should then fall into place.

Jesus told his followers to pick up their cross daily if they would be his followers. Talk about publicly identifying oneself with the shame of the cross that Christ hung on! Yet for Christ, it was not a shame, but a glory! Paul said, "We preach Christ crucified" (1 Cor. 1:23 & 2:2).

"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Galatians 6:14 A.V.

Contrast what the world views as shameful with what Paul calls shameful. Contrast what the world glories in, and what Paul glories in. The shame of the cross is turned on its head and becomes the identifying mark of those who have been called by God "my people", and who are now his "beloved". Those who own Christ will not be put to shame (as the world considers shame), but they will be glorified by the very cross that is the symbol that so often brings persecution from those who despise the cross of Christ.

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It is a quote from Psalm 25:3: "Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause". Also it resonates with the Psalm 17:14-15 (16:14-15 in Septuagint), in which David separates himself from those who are satisfied with ungodly things, whereas, in contrast he himself will be satisfied when the glory of God appears, with an implication that those who were satisfied with ungodly things will be put to shame when the Glory of God appears.

The Lord also says Himself that if anybody will be ashamed of His commandments, He will put to shame such ones in front of His angels (Mark 8:38).

Thus, it does not look like that shame is connected with persecutions, unless only obliquely, as one of the many possibilities of implication, with a logic that, "Lo, we Christians are persecuted and thus considered shameful by those earthly people and persecutors, however real shame will befall them, when Lord comes and we shall be satiated by His glory, whereas our persecutors will be ashamed."

But to put aside persecutions, which are not at all necessary in this context, one can say that all humans will be put to shame unless they cultivate Christ's commandments, for who does not gather with Christ, he scatters (Matthew 12:30).

Imagine, in the Democratic Republic of Guanto-Munchacho a famous economist issues a prophetic warning that the local currency Muncha (100 Munchas=1 US dollar) will be devaluated and it is prudent to exchange it to US Dollars. Now, most of the Guanto-Munchachoans do not believe this economist and laugh at those who exchange Munchas for the US dollars. However, when the inflation will come like a tsunami, then those who laughed at the US dollar-gatherers will weep, while the US dollar-gatherers who were derided before, now will find their pecuniary safety, respect and riches. The same in Christianity: those who are afflicted here while gathering with Christ will be glorified with Him in eternity, while those who get rich here without Christ and deride the faithful Christians laughing at them with words: "if you are smart, why are you poor?", such ones will be ashamed at the advent of Christ.

p.s. The Democratic Republic of Guanto-Munchacho does not exist, I invented it for the sake of an analogy.

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