Tuesday, April 30

Romans Verse by Verse

For today's post I'd like to share a book recommendation with you. As I prepared for my next round in Romans, I wanted to add some additional resources into the mix. Since there are so many options out there, I decided to go with one of Dr. McGee's recs - Romans Verse by Verse by William R. Newell. When it arrived in the mail, I began to wonder what I was getting myself into. Yes, it's quite long, and yes, it's amazing. To quote from the blurb on the back cover:

"This book is a real gem, the footnotes alone are worth their weight in gold." -James Alexander Stewart, The Treasure House of Good Books

Worth their weight in gold? I admit I was skeptical, but so far, the footnotes alone have been blowing me away! I've been covering just a few pages a day, so it's going to take me some time to finish this round, but I believe it will be well worth the effort. Yet as thoroughly comprehensive as this work is, it's still quite readable. To close I leave you with an excellent excerpt on Romans 1:16 from Chapter One:

Verse 16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel—First then, we have Paul’s willingness, all unashamed, to go to Rome, mistress of the world, with this astonishing message of a crucified Nazarene, despised by Jews, and put to death by Romans. “The inherent glory of the message of the gospel, as God’s life-giving message to a dying world, so filled Paul’s soul, that, like his blessed Master, he ‘despised the shame.’” So, praise God, may all of us!

For it is the power of God unto salvation—The second “For” gives the reason for Paul’s boldness: this good news concerning Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and appearing, “is the power of God unto salvation unto every one that believeth.” There is no fact for a preacher or teacher to hold more constantly in his mind than this. It is not the “excellency of speech or wisdom,” or the “personal magnetism,” or “earnestness,” of the preacher; any more than it is the deep repentance or earnest prayers of the hearer, that avails. But it is the message of Christ crucified, dead, buried, and risen, which, being believed, is “the power of God”! “The word* of the cross is to them that are perishing, foolishness; but unto us who are being saved it (the word of the cross) IS the power of God” (I Cor. 1:18).

>Again we repeat that it is of the very first and final importance that the preacher or teacher of the gospel believe in the bottom of his soul that the simple story, Christ died for our sins, was buried, hath been raised from the dead the third day, and was seen, IS THE POWER OF GOD to salvation to every one who rests in it,—who believes

*Footnote - “Notice, it is not the cross. Romanists put the cross on the top of the cathedral; millions wear a figure of the cross around their necks; but they may never have heard “the word of the cross.” As Paul says further in I Cor. 1:23, “We preach Christ crucified, [not the cross, merely] unto Jews a stumbling block, and unto gentiles foolishness; but unto them that are saved, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

As one has said, “Not to Thy cross, but to Thyself, My living Savior, would I cling! ‘Twas Thou, and not Thy cross, that bore My soul’s dark guilt, sin’s deadly sting. “A Christless cross no refuge were for me; A crossless Christ my Savior could not be: But, O CHRIST CRUCIFIED, I rest in Thee!”

Taken from Romans Verse by Verse © Copyright 1945 by William R. Newell. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 2

In Order To Bring Praise To God

This week I'll be finishing up my study of Romans...or will I? As it turns out I enjoyed my journey through this book so much that I couldn't bear the thought of it ending just yet. I actually teared up in chapter 15 at the thought of this adventure reaching it's conclusion. And then a very happy thought popped into my mind - why not start over? Indeed, why not? So I'll be beginning again in chapter one next week, hooray! 

For this round I plan to look at some additional commentaries. I'll continue posting some of my favorite verses here as well as links to engaging articles and book recommendations. Today I wanted to share an exhortation from none other than chapter 15. I love the encouragement to accept our fellow believers "in order to bring praise to God." Enjoy dear ones!

Romans 15:4-7 (NIV) 
4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.