Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Romans:The Profoundest Book in Existence
It is overwhelmingly accepted that the Apostle Paul wrote the letter to the Roman believers that bears his name. Very few have honestly attempted to dispute the authorship of Paul. What is more important is that their arguments have proven to be spurious and without any valid grounds.
It seems that Paul did not write specifically to the church at Rome, but more than likely Paul wrote to the collection of Christian churches scattered through the city of Rome. Paul’s greeting toward the recipients of his letter is very general – “Paul…to all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints…” (Romans 1:7, ESV)
From what we can gather and garner, Paul wrote this letter while on his third (3) missionary journey. According to a promise he made to the Corinthian Church Paul has spent some three (3) months on a visit to both the city and Church of Corinth. He is waiting to travel to Jerusalem to deliver the offering that the churches of Macedonia and Achaia had collected for the saints of the Jerusalem Church. This is around the spring of AD 55-57.
Paul seems to have completed this agenda for the eastern portion of the Roman Empire and wants to travel to Spain, “I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while.” (Romans 15:24, ESV)
This letter of course is Paul’s Magnus opus. This is his greatest piece of writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God. The theme of this letter is almost overwhelming. Listen to what some have said about this epistle of Paul to the Roman believers:
Coleridge - “…the profoundest book in existence.”
Frank Godet - “…the Cathedral of the Christian faith.”
Chrysostom – had this letter read to him twice a week
Luther – “…this Epistle is really the chief part of the New Testament and the very purest Gospel, and is worthy not only that every Christian should know it word for word, by heart, but occupy himself with it every day, as the daily bread of the soul. It can never be read or pondered too much, and the more it is dealt with the more precious it becomes, and the better it tastes.”
Melanchthon – copied this letter twice by hand in order to know every word of this letter.
Unknown – “No one can accurately know Romans and be involved in cultic religion.”
Unknown – “…if the doctrines of the Bible find their root in Genesis, so they flower in Romans.”
What is the theme of this great letter? The theme is the revelation of God's condemning judgment of the human race as found in the Jews and the Gentiles and God’s saving righteousness in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in the cross of Jesus Christ that God judges sin in both the Jews and the Gentiles and manifests his saving mercy.
Take a breath, a deep breath and take it in through your nostrils. Do you smell it? Do you smell that sweet, sweet flavor of this magnificent letter from Paul? Savor it! Breathe deeply, breath often taking in the sweetness of the mercy and grace of God who delights in revealing both Himself and His glorious plan of redemption for those whom He claims for His own.
Posted by Gregg Metcalf at 3:00 AM