Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Vision (6/16/11): Return to Romans

Image:  An ancient Roman road

This Sunday morning at CRBC we will be returning to an exposition of the book of Romans, looking at chapters 9-11. We have noted that this great “Constitution” book of the Christian faith might be divided into three basic units, each with its own central focus:

Romans 1-8: The doctrine of salvation;

Romans 9-11: The doctrine of election;

Romans 12-16: The doctrine of living the Christian life.

As we go through these great chapters together we need to strap on our thinking caps and buckle our seat belts. As James M. Boice wrote, in these chapters “Paul introduces some of the most profound and mind-stretching material to be found anywhere in the Bible” (Romans, Vol. III, p. 1011). In these chapters, Boice says, “we are dealing with a Christian philosophy of history” which asks and answers, “What in the world is God doing?” (p. 1009).

In his classic commentary, John Murray wrote that “these chapters delineate for us the worldwide design of God in reference to Jew and Gentile. They disclose to us in a manner that is without parallel in the New Testament revelation the ways in which God’s diverse providences to Jew and Gentile react with one another of the promotion of his saving designs” (Romans, Vol II, p. xiii).

No doubt our encounter with this choice portion of God’s word will lead us to the same conclusion that Paul reached in the doxology that concludes this section of Romans: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Romans 11:33).

Grace and truth, Pastor Jeff

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