Do you take on things that challenge your mind?1 Do you endeavor to learn new things to open neuropathways or increase the neuroplasticity of your brain?2 If you are thinking ‘what in the world is she talking about?’ hang on a minute. I have a challenge for you: develop a mindset of growth, determine to never stop learning—especially about the things of God.
Come with me on a journey, an expedition into the book of Romans, where the content is not always easy to grasp, either meaning or implication, but the exploration is well worth the mental gymnastics. I dare say, if you become a student of the book of Romans, your life will be radically changed by your effort. Money back guarantee.3
The year was about A.D. 57 when Paul wrote this letter from the town of Corinth - our Lord had ascended into Heaven less than 30 years earlier. Many believe it to be the most important human document ever written, because of the impact it made on the Christian church then, and down through the ages. It was this book that dramatically impacted Martin Luther, sparking the Protestant Reformation. Luther’s impassioned writing on Romans spurred Englishman John Wesley’s spiritual awakening, igniting an evangelical fire in London. With that in mind, I am quite thrilled to be embarking on this voyage into Romans. I believe that if you get Romans, you get Christianity.
Of Paul’s 13 letters, this is one of his longest introductions, and we find that the major themes of the book are included in it.
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,6including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
7To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 1.1-7, ESV
I love how Paul introduced himself—not ‘Paul, Roman citizen with his long list of credentials, which he certainly could have, but ‘Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ.’ He leaves no question of his allegiance or loyalty. Notice how Paul identified himself. Is there application for you and me here? I think so. Of course, you and I are in part the various roles we play—but our stated vocation should be the same as Paul’s, should it not? “Hi, I’m Megan, servant of Jesus Christ. Oh, and I also work for Home Smart EverGreen Realty in Orange County, California.” Would that not be an attention-getter at your next business-networking event? Hmmm.
And did you notice that Paul’s introduction was one long sentence? Makes this English teacher shudder. But how informative is that sentence! Paul is writing because he wanted to engage the Roman believers in the truth of Jesus Christ, Son of God, who had been prophesied of old, born into the line of King David, verified by God who raised him from the dead, to extend God’s grace and mercy to all who believe in him.4
‘My Roman friends, I can hardly wait to explain the vastness of God’s great love for you,’ Paul indicates. ‘The love of God changes everything—keep reading, I will explain, and one day I will be with you as I long to see you so very much!’ Paul was a man’s man who yet felt free to express his love – that is a remarkable thing to note more than 2000 years later as we consider it.
With all he has, Paul prays for the Roman believers -- that both the grace of God and the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ would be theirs. What better things could be ours, than these—the great grace of God in our lives and the supernatural peace of Jesus to reign in our hearts and minds. I submit to you, that’s it right there. That’s what-I’m-a-talkin-bout. Amen.
Live from the UK, By the Grace of God, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAzKrZEy_Rg
Look at the words, please.
by the great grace of God,
letter to the Romans, #3
3 – your prayerful and financial support is more than welcome!
4 – Ha, yes, that was one good run-on sentence