13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 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. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Paul’s posture and belief when it comes to preaching the gospel were that he was under obligation. He cannot help but do it. The first chapter of Romans has been a turning point for many Christians and the forefathers of our faith. Martin Luther when he reached chapter 1 verse 17, “that the righteous shall live by faith,” wrestled with the text but ultimately was comforted by the thought of living by faith and not by works. Martin Luther wrote,
“I labored diligently and anxiously as to how to understand Paul’s word … the expression ‘the righteousness of God’ blocked the way, because I took it to mean that righteousness whereby God is righteous and deals righteously in punishing the unrighteous. Although an impeccable monk, I stood before God as a sinner…therefore I did not love a righteous and angry God, but rather hated and murmured against him …Then I grasped that the righteousness of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us by faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise … I broke through. And as I had formerly hated the expression ‘the righteousness of God,’ I now began to regard it as my dearest and most comforting word.”
The book of Romans was one of the reasons Luther hammered the 95 theses on the doors of the church. It was a turning point for the church as the reformation movement was ignited by the book of Romans.
We live by faith.
We are not chosen because of our obedience to the law but because of our belief that only by God’s grace can we be saved.
I am excited to dwell in the book of Romans this month and next month. I know the way the book of Romans have ignited people like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Saint Augustine would have its effect on me. I’ll try my best to journal my thoughts on this website, and hopefully, you can come along and journey with me thru the book of Romans.