Introduction to the Epistle of Romans
Thoughts for Today:Many years ago when I first became a Christian, my pastor at the time Jeff Walling (the man who led me to Christ) instructed, "The Epistle of Romans is perhaps the greatest book of the Bible and most complete presentation of the Gospel message -- you would do well to memorize it." Martin Luther once wrote about Romans, "...the true masterpiece of the New Testament and the very purest Gospel, which is well worthy and deserving that a Christian man should not only learn it by heart, word for word, but also that he should daily deal with it as the daily bread of men's souls. It can never be too much or too well read or studied; and the more it is handled, the more precious it becomes, and the better it tastes." Seventy-five percent of Bible teachers said that if they could teach from just one book, it would be Romans.
John Chrysostom, Augustine, Martin Luther, John Wesley -- all led church revivals which changed history. What Book of the Bible influenced them most? That's right Romans! Chuck Smith was teaching through the Book of Romans in a Foursquare Church, when he realized he could throw off the yoke of religiosity. His life was changed and the "born again" revival of the 70's began. Calvary Chapel went from a little 25 person church in Costa Mesa to one of the fastest growing churches of all time, which now numbers in the tens of thousands. When Romans is read and studied, revivals follow. The law of religion demands: "Take responsibility, follow these rules." But a relationship with the Lord says: "Just respond, the work is done, the price has been paid." By responding to the Lord we'll always do more than we could ever do under the pressure of religion.
To say I am excited to begin our study would be an understatement! Thank you for joining me in the weeks and months ahead as we examine the teaching of Romans and look for ways to apply these principles to daily living.
Questions to Ponder:My pastor (Dr. Tyler Guy) and I challenged each other to memorize the 12th chapter of Romans in two weeks -- we both succeeded. I can't tell you what a blessing it is to know a complete chapter by heart. The instruction and application of Scripture is simply priceless. If you commit to memorizing scripture, Romans is a worthy place to start. Has your Christian life become a little dull lately? Perhaps it is time for revival.