Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Year in Romans

This year, I will be teaching 5th and 6th graders from the book of Romans in my Bible Study Fellowship class. Last month I was inspired by the beauty of Philippians topic in the Carnival of Beauty, and ended up devoting a full week to posting on Philippians.

I thought that I would do the same as I am studying and preparing to teach Romans each week. I will probably share weekly, but not on any specified day. I think it's and especially appropriate topic for the Christian blogging community, because as I studied it the last time (seven years ago) in BSF, which is an interdenominational Bible study, I remember thinking that the Christian community is really about being the body of Christ, not petty denominational differences, not church hierarchy, but being one body of believers with a common love of Christ.

I think that among those who study their Bibles, most are firmly in two camps--love Romans, or don't love it. I have always loved it. In fact, when I taught Bible at a Christian school, and we didn't have a curriculum, I chose to teach Romans to my junior high girls' class. I wondered what I had been thinking when we got to the circumcision passages. . . . But the more I have studied it, the more I have loved it.

The key verse of the book, Romans 1:16-17, sums up the themes beautifully.
I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith, from first to last, just as it is written, the righteous will live by faith.
I used to not understand the proclamation of not being ashamed, but even today, people are critical of Paul, with all of the dwelling of sin in the opening chapters of this letter written to the Roman church. But our sin is a key point in understanding our need for God's righteousness.

Even Peter wrote about Paul's interesting style, in 2 Peter 3:15-16.
Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
Just because it's hard, doesn't mean that it's not going to be good. I hope that you will follow along with me over the next 32 weeks, and remember most of all that God gave this wisdom to Paul. Some of it is hard to hear, but if we take it as face value, it will hopefully result in our edification, not destruction.

The next post in the series is here, Romans: the Call.

Index of Romans posts


Maggie said...

My favorite book for doctrine.

As long as I don't have to be stuck reading it in NIV. I have a hard time with Romans for some reason in NIV.

Great that you are taking it on!

Jane said...

Romans is a great book - I especially love Romans 1.16 - it is the verse we have on our prayer card.

Dianne said...

This looks like it will be a great series. I memorized ch. 12 as a 6th grader and still remember much of it. I do love this book as well. It is so rich and powerful.

Katrina said...

I'm looking forward to your posts about Romans! Chad and I both like that book; it contains so much meat to dig into and so much insight into God's love for us and plan for salvation.

Katherine@Raising Five said...

We are teaching our kids the Roman Road to salvation this month! Cute to watch the two year old hold her arms out and say dramatically, "ALL have sinned!"

This sounds great. I love Romans because it is so straightforward - no beating around the bush about God's awesome plan. Looking forward to your notes!

Kelly said...

I came accross your blog today and love it.

I just attended my first BSF class ever last night. I'm so looking forward to studying Romans, as well as the fellowship.

Jennifer said...

I'm glad that you are all looking forward to my thoughts and teachings on Romans.

Kelly--I'm glad you stopped by and let me know you were here!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm so excited to see this! This will be my 2nd year of BSF, and I'm very excited to study Romans in-depth. I'll be looking forward to your posts.

Melissa in NC

Alicia Berwick said...

Hey Jennifer,
Romans humbles me. Why me Lord? why would you call me to salvation and then You give me everything I need, including my desire to study Your word? The more I read Romans the more I grasp how tiny I am and how Awesome my Father is in heaven!I just finished watching the movie "Luther" I would highly recomend it, I can identify with Luther and it made me want to study more about the great reformers of our faith. Some of them were even burned at the stake for us to be able to have a copy of the word in our language (Tyndale), I know I for one take that for granted. Anyway-I love your site and pray it will bring many to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Alicia