Exploring the Riches of Romans
Romans may be the most important letter you will ever read. It is Paul’s masterpiece, the clearest and fullest explanation of the gospel in the Bible. John Calvin said that “if a man understands it, he has a sure road opened for him to the understanding of the whole Scripture.” But watch out! Those who study Romans are rarely the same afterward. For example, in the summer of A.D. 386 Augustine sat weeping in the garden of his friend Alypius. He wanted to begin a new life but lacked the strength to break with the old. Taking up a scroll of Romans, he read the words “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” “No further would I read,” he tells us, “nor had I any need; instantly at the end of this sentence, a clear light flooded my heart and all the darkness of doubt vanished away.”
In 1515 Martin Luther began to teach the book of Romans to his students. He wrote, “Night and day I pondered until . . . I grasped the truth that the righteousness of God is that righteousness whereby, through grace and sheer mercy, he justifies us by faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole scripture took on new meaning, and whereas before the `righteousness of God’ had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressibly sweet in greater love. This passage in Paul became to me a gateway to heaven.” Two years later he nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, and the Protestant Reformation began!
We need to grasp the message of Romans in our day as well. Many are preaching a gospel that lacks clarity and substance. People are told to “invite Jesus into their heart” or simply to “follow Christ” without understanding the meaning of his death and resurrection.
You are invited to an in-depth Bible Study of the powerful Book of Romans. Pastor Daniel will lead this great study beginning Monday, September 18 at 7 p.m. in the Lounge and Wednesday, September 20 at 7 p.m. in the lounge. See you there!