Paul’s Letter to the Romans
During the summer of 2020, we will focus on readings from Paul’s letter to the Romans. Romans has been a source for reformation, renewal and refocus in the Church throughout the last two millennia. We Lutherans have a special place in our theological hearts for this letter because it was such an inspiration for Martin Luther. He struggled to experience God’s mercy and love even though all he knew was God’s judgment and wrath. He studied Romans and finally came to his great insight. He describes this in his commentary on Romans. It’s worth quoting at length:
“Then finally God had mercy on me, and I began to understand that the righteousness of God is a gift of God by which a righteous man lives, namely faith, and that sentence: The righteousness of God is revealed in the Gospel, is passive, indicating that the merciful God justifies us by faith, as it is written: ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’ Now I felt as though I had been reborn altogether and had entered Paradise. In the same moment the face of the whole of Scripture became apparent to me. My mind ran through the Scriptures, as far as I was able to recollect them, seeking analogies in other phrases, such as the work of God, by which He makes us strong, the wisdom of God, by which He makes us wise, the strength of God, the salvation of God, the glory of God. Just as intensely as I had now hated the expression ‘the righteousness of God,’ I now lovingly praised this most pleasant word. This passage from Paul became to me the very gate to Paradise.”
We will read Romans both on Sundays and on Wednesdays in June, July and August. In June we will read chapters 1 through 5, in July chapters 6 through 11, and in August chapters 12 through 16.
Take the time this summer to read Romans. Perhaps you’ll find yourself at the very gate of Paradise alongside Dr. Luther!
Download study sheets for Romans here: