"I can't wait!"
For the last ten days or so some of our kids have been off galavanting around the northern states visiting with their grandparents, some aunts and uncles and even a few cousins. It's a wonderful experience for them, but for those of us left behind - especially Ruth and I - we can't wait to see them again. They're coming home tonight and we can't wait to pick them up.
“I am so eager to preach the gospel to you” (Romans 1:15). Those were Paul’s sentiments to the Romans whom he had never met, but whom he longed to visit so that he could encourage them and be encouraged by them.
But before he even visited them or met them face to face he launched into a letter to them. It is a beautiful, Gospel-rich, Christ-centered letter detailing the gospel about Jesus and showing the beauty of the gospel with all it's facets. He was so eager to preach he gospel to them that he wasn't going to wait until he was able to visit them to share it. He was going to send them a letter overflowing with gospel promises.
Indeed, this letter that Paul wrote the Romans is full of rich teaching and gospel hope for all people still today. Martin Luther wrote this about the book of Romans:
This Epistle is really the chief part of the New Testament and the very purest Gospel, and is worthy not only that every Christian should know it word for word, by heart, but occupy himself with it every day, as the daily bread of the soul. It can never be read or pondered too much, and the more it is dealt with the more precious it becomes, and the better it tastes.
That's the way I feel as I prepare to start a walk with you through the book of Romans. I can't wait to unpack and share this gospel with which Paul has filled this letter. I can't wait to hold up this gospel to you as a diamond. I can't wait to turn it around in front of your eyes so that you can see it's dazzling beauty from every angle.
And then, beyond just seeing it's beauty, I hope that you come to see in a greater way that this diamond, this treasure of the gospel, is yours. It isn't a treasure in my hand, that I'll bring out on Sunday and then put back in it's box until the next week. It's a treasure in your hand that, by faith, you get to take and put in your heart and carry with you throughout the week. This gospel changes everything! It is a #gamechanger.
This Sunday (6/18) we'll begin our joyful walk through the book of Romans.
I can't wait!