You can’t start the book of Romans without looking first at the importance of the book of Romans. (Or at least that is my opinion.) So before we dive in, I will tell you some things I have read in preview.
I am taking this from a commentary that I read through the “Blue Letter Bible” app. I found it to be so interesting. Again, the words I am about to type are not my words.
The importance and impact of Paul’s Letter to the Romans.
- In the summer of 386, a young man wept in the backyard of a friend. He knew his life of sin and rebellion against God left him empty and feeling dead; but he just couldn’t find the strength to make a final, real decision for Jesus Christ. As he sat, he heard children playing a game and they called out to each other these words: “Take up and read! Take up and read!” Thinking God had a message to him in the words of the children, he picked up a scroll laying nearby and began to read: ‘not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires’ (Romans 13:13b-14). He didn’t read any further, he didn’t have to. Through the power of God’s Word, Augustine gained faith to give his whole life to Jesus Christ at that moment.
- In August of 1513, a monk lectured on the Book of Psalms to seminary students, but his inner life was nothing but turmoil. In his studies, he came across Psalm 31:1 “In thy righteousness deliver me.” The passage confused Luther; how could God’s righteousness do anything but condemn him to hell as a righteous punishment for his sins? Luther kept thinking about Romans 1:17, which says, “the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, He who through faith is righteous shall live.” The monk went on to say: ‘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. Therefore I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise… This passage of Paul became to me a gateway into heaven” Martin Luther was born again, and Reformation began in his heart.
- In May of 1738, a failed minister and missionary reluctantly went to a small Bible Study where someone read aloud from Martin Luther’s Commentary on Romans. As the failed missionary said later: “While he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for my salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken my sins away, even mine” John Wesley was saved that night in London.
Taken from David Guzik, Bible Commentary, Blue Letter Bible App.
When I read these 3 testimonies on Romans, my first inclination was to run far away from thinking I could write anything that would come close to those men’s testimonies. But then I just decided I wanted to share those with you before we begin unpacking this book. I am wondering and excited to see what God will teach us in Romans. I am also overwhelmed at the thought of it. Please pray with me that God will teach us. He has been faithful thus far, I can’t help but believe and have faith He’s got something to say to us through this letter from Paul to the Romans.