Do you have a favourite book of the Bible? When I ask this question I am quite surprised to hear the answer … many acknowledge that Paul’s letter to the Romans is their favourite! Romans is quite a complex and sometimes troubling letter. It has much to say about sin. It is not an easy read. It has some strong teaching. It doesn’t mess around with some of the great truths of Scripture! And yet, if I have a favourite book of the Bible, then I would say it is most likely Romans! Why? Because it really impacted my understanding of who God is, and in doing so, opened my mind to some of His greatest attributes!
It is widely known that Romans was instrumental in the conversion of the great early theologian Augustine. Romans was also crucial in Martin Luther’s insights that led to the Reformation five hundred years ago this year! Perhaps this is one reason why we should study such a powerful book of the Bible! But there is another reason too … I greatly desire to see our church family having very solid foundations when it comes to the gospel and their faith in Jesus. Romans provides this in powerful ways. The letter is not for the faint hearted, nor is it for just the ‘casual’ student of the Bible. If you are serious about wanting to grow in your understanding of just who God is, His ways and His heart, then Romans will be a great blessing to you! It will provide solid foundations that will support you for the rest of your days on this earth as a Christian! This is my prayer for you!
Paul seeks to really impart on his readers a clear understanding of the gospel and its power. The church in Rome was an interesting one. It was predominantly made up of Gentiles with some Jews. There was misunderstanding amongst them and Paul seeks to address some of these differences and issues. There is some wonderful teaching about the Jews and their place in God’s kingdom. Yes, this is a special book of the Bible that follows on well from our journey through Lamentations over the past month or so. Can I encourage you once again to join a Grace Group so that you can further your study of Romans with other likeminded people as you go a little more deeply into some of the issues that we do not have the time to address each week in the sermons? Pastor Ernest has the responsibility of introducing us to this precious letter this morning.