From The Pastor At St. Paul's UCC, Freeburg, IL

Romans All The Way Through

I’m going to do something from the pulpit I’ve never done in my 26 years of ministry – preach through the entire book of Romans. I won’t be preaching on every single verse (the series will be 46 weeks long as it is!) but every single verse will be read in worship over the next year – the way I’ve scheduled it, we should finish around July 1 2012.

Why, you may ask, are you going to spend such a long time in one single book? Several reasons:

  • I’ve never done it before and I like the challenge of that
  • Lectionary preaching, while it has many virtues, tends to hop around texts according to the season; it tends to select highlights from chapters and books. Staying with one book will give us a much better sense of its sustained argument, the “big picture” of the book. We’ll be eating the Romans elephant one bite at a time, rather than just getting a lick here and there (licking the elephant – that’s gotta be a book).
  • We focusing on the basics of the Christian faith this year at St. Paul’s, and what better book to study for the basics than Romans?

Martin Luther wrote in his Preface to Romans:

This letter is truly the most important piece in the New Testament. It is purest Gospel. It is well worth a Christian’s while not only to memorize it word for word but also to occupy himself with it daily, as though it were the daily bread of the soul. It is impossible to read or to meditate on this letter too much or too well. The more one deals with it, the more precious it becomes and the better it tastes.

I think after 40+ weeks of preaching, Romans will be tasting pretty good around St. Paul’s, don’t you?

PS – one idea to go along with the sermon series is to encourage folks to actually memorize passages from Romans this year. If you have suggestions on such verses, post ’em here!

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One response

  1. Here are some verses from the book of Romans I think I would like to memorize. I tried to be brief, but there is so much “meat” in this book!

    Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    Rom 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

    Rom 1:21 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

    Rom 3:23 … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

    Rom 5:8 … but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

    Rom 8:23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

    Rom 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

    Rom 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

    Rom 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord

    Rom 10:9 …because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    Rom 12:9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

    Rom 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:30 pm

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