We’re starting a new book on the podcast today! It’s the book of Romans and it’s a powerful letter.
Before we talk about Romans specifically, let me say this. Every single book to the end of the New Testament – with the exception of Revelation – is a letter, either to a church or an individual. Some are what they call circular letters which was a letter intended to be passed around to several churches.
Up till now, our reading has been pretty much chronological. We walked thru the life of Jesus and then, directly after His resurrection, we continued through the birth of the Church and the spread of the Gospel. However, from now on, you’ll need to consider where along the timeline each letter should be inserted. We always want to be asking ourselves, “Who is he writing to?” “When?” “Why?” “How are those circumstances the same – or different – from today?” I believe it’s only then we can fully understand what God is trying to tell us today.
Paul wrote this letter to the church in Rome while he was in Corinth, toward the end of his third missionary trip. (I hope you kept that Biblical map handy.) It is thought that the Roman church was started by some of those who were converted in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.
Paul had always wanted to visit this church but had been prevented from doing so. However, by being prevented from actually visiting and engaging with the people directly, you and I are the recipients of his longest and most systematically reasoned letter. So put your thinking caps on! We need to go beyond all of our preconceived notions and will have to practice seeing through God’s eyes.
I am reminded of Hebrews 4:12. “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Oh yes, friend…Romans qualifies.