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