Saturday, September 17, 2011
“For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; that is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me” (Romans 1:11,12 KJV).
The best book to use to introduce anyone to the Bible is the book of Romans, not John’s Gospel. The Holy Spirit designed the Bible’s canon so that Romans is the first of Paul’s epistles in Scripture. Lost people seeking salvation should study Romans chapters 1 through 5. Saved people seeking spiritual understanding from the Bible also need to begin in Romans, the foundational (basic) book of the doctrine committed to the Apostle Paul’s trust.
According to today’s Scripture, Paul wanted to “establish” the Roman saints, to educate them so they would have the same understanding of God’s Word as he did. Notice how the book of Romans is laid out:
- Romans chapters 1-5: JUSTIFICATION — our salvation and position in Christ Jesus.
- Romans chapters 6-8: SANCTIFICATION — how our salvation and position in Christ affect our lifestyle.
- Romans chapters 9-11: DISPENSATION OF GRACE — where is the nation Israel today?
- Romans chapters 12-16: CHRISTIAN SERVICE — sound doctrine for daily Christian living.
Romans 16:25,26b explain how God will “stablish” (stabilize) your Christian life: “according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets,”
The foundation of your Christian life is “my gospel,” Paul’s Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Built on that is “the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery,” sound doctrine from Paul’s epistles. Finally, “the scriptures of the prophets” refers to all of Scripture in light of the doctrine in Paul’s epistles.
If you want your Christian life to be “established” (fixed) and “stablished” (stabilized, strengthened), you need to build up a structure of sound doctrine inside your inner man. Study and believe the book of Romans, and ye will be established saints!