This coming up Sunday we begin a brand new sermon series studying the book of Romans together. Oh man, am I excited for this journey we are embarking on as a Church. Romans holds a very unique space in the canon of Scripture. As the Apostle Paul’s longest epistle, Romans engages with many themes and ideas. We are going to wrestle with the importance of thinking rightly and accurately about God and His Word. We’ll study the nature of Christ, the nature of sin and the mark of depravity upon humanity. We’ll study the historical plan of God as it pertains to the Jewish people and the privilege of what it means to be a Gentile grafted into the family of God. We’ll study God’s sovereignty and how sovereignty can reign supreme in a world with free will. We will look at the nature of atonement and justification, how a person is made right with God, and what we can say to those from other religions. We’ll talk much about the “obedience of faith,” and how Christians are called live into their faith through changed lives. We will talk about sexuality and God’s design and purpose in sex. We are going to dig into the nature and purpose of government. But most importantly we are going to dive to the very depths of our understanding of the riches of the gospel.
Romans will challenge us. By nature of the themes presented by the Apostle Paul we are going to be confronted on every side by the reality that God’s Word stands fixed and permanent, unmoving and unwavering, against the ever changing tides of our culture’s views. As followers of Christ we will be challenged to ask ourselves every week, “Is my worldview being primarily shaped by God’s Word as revealed to us in the Bible, or is my worldview being primarily shaped by the forces of culture around me.” One of those will lead us to life everlasting. The other will lead us to death. One of those will lead to an accurate view of who God is and what our purpose is, and the other will lead to confusion and moral relativism. One of those will lead to an increasing joy in the pursuit of Christ (that for which we were made), the other will lead to an increasing sense of meaninglessness unhinged from any real sense of true north.
I invite you as you prepare for this sermon series to ask God to truly speak to you. May the fruit of the gospel increase many times over in the life of our Church as we search the scriptures in order to know and love Jesus and His gospel. My prayer for us as we begin comes from Paul’s final words in the book of Romans.
“Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.”Romans 16:25-27