On Sunday January 10 we resumed our study of the Book of Romans. We took a brief detour this past week, on Sanctity of Life Sunday. But coming this Sunday, January 24, we will plunge into this marvelous Epistle of the Apostle Paul for the better part of the Winter and Spring; only exceptions being the first Sunday of each month, when we have a Table-centered service and participate in communion, and a few other Sundays, such as Palm Sunday, Easter, etc.
While we are resuming our study of Romans, in a sense we are also beginning a new series. We have now come to the final portion of this magisterial letter, chapters 12-16. Beginning in Romans 12 there is a shift from a primarily theological focus to a more practical application emphasis, rooted in the theological foundation of the earlier chapters. As a recap and preview, a short outline of Romans looks like this:
- Romans 1-8 is the best theological explanation of Salvation ever written.
- Romans 9-11 explains why we can trust God to keep his promises, while answering questions that arise about God’s relationship with Israel, God’s Covenant People.
- Romans 12-16 instructs us how we ought to live in light of God’s grace.
Because we have come to this new section of Romans, we have shifted from our previous series titled Adventures in Romans: Making Sense of What Matters Most to our current series titled When In Rome: Living Out What We Really Believe. While our goal has been to help bring understanding of the faith, our aim now is to encourage one another to live our lives together in light of the faith.
As before, to help you to engage with this series, we want to provide some resources we hope will prove beneficial.
1) First is an excellent video from the Bible Project, that introduces the Letter to the Romans. This is the second of two videos, covering Romans 5 through Romans 16, and offers an overview of these final chapters of this book that we will explore this Winter & Spring. (For those who want to review the first video, click: Romans 1-4 Introduction.)
2) Second, for those who have interest,, here is a link to a .pdf of Martin Luther’s Preface to Romans, which is itself a tremendous devotional and theological resource that God has used in the lives of many. (This would be an excellent resource for small group discussions.)
3) Third, we still have several of the Romans ESV Scripture Journal available for those who want to take notes during the messages, or in your study, etc. We ask for a voluntary $2 contribution to defray costs. (But this is voluntary. We don’t want anyone who would benefit from the journal to not have one because of the requested contribution.)
Finally, when we began our study of Romans we issued a challenge that we believe will be beneficial for anyone willing to take it up. We want to renew this challenge as we resume our study. We encourage everyone to read through the Book of Romans once-per-month during the months we are studying this book. That would be just four chapters per week. John Wycliffe said of the Book of Romans: “the more it is chewed the pleasanter it is.” We believe anyone who takes up this challenge will find that Wycliffe was right – and be the better for having “chewed” on it.