I have been enjoying our preaching series through the book of Romans on Sunday mornings. What a privilege to study this great book! Presbyterian Pastor James Montgomery Boice noted that “Romans has probably been the object of more intense study by more highly intelligent and motivated individuals than any document in human history.” Why? Boice adds, because it is “the most basic, comprehensive statement of true Christianity” (Romans, Volume I, p. 9).
While he was still an Augustinian monk, Martin Luther began a series of lectures on Romans at Wittenberg on November 3, 1515 that continued until September 7, 1516. By October 31, 1517 he was posting his 95 theses that launched the Protestant Reformation. It was his study of Romans that God used, in large part, to set this revival in motion.
Luther’s commentary on Romans, that came from those lectures, begins with these words:
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.
Indeed, there is much to ponder in this great epistle. The British pastor David Martyn Lloyd-Jones preached every Friday night verse by verse (and sometimes word by word) through Romans for thirteen years (from 1955 till 1968), and he only made it through Romans 14:17! These expositions are now published by Banner of Truth in 14 volumes!
Again, what a privilege for our congregation to study together this great book that has meant so much to so many.
In Christ, Pastor Jeff Riddle
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