Reading Romans 1:1-7 together last Sunday kicked us off in this great book with some really big ideas to ponder. We’ll be unpacking these over the months ahead, taking our time so we can take it all in, expecting God to change us as he takes us deeper into the gospel and its implications for us. And as we do, two things that can be a great help to us are the music we listen to and the books we read.
You might have noticed we’ve been singing a few new songs at church. On Good Friday we introduced Behold Him, last Sunday we learnt King of Kings, and this Sunday we’ll sing There Is One Gospel. They’re all great songs that lift our hearts in response to the wonderful news of the gospel. They’re worth having on repeat wherever you listen to music as we grow in confidence to sing them with gusto:
King of Kings
There Is One Gospel
And there’s an endless list of great books I could recommend on Romans. But a great one to let you know about is “Romans 1-7 For You” by Timothy Keller (published by The Good Book Company along with its creatively titled companion volume “Romans 8-16 For You”). Keller has a great way of summing up complex ideas in simple ways, bringing them down to the day to day realities of life. On Paul’s surprising summary of the gospel in Romans 1:3-4 Keller says:
“[The gospel] is about a person, not a concept; it is about him, not us. We never grasp the gospel until we understand that it is not fundamentally a message about our lives, dreams or hopes. The gospel speaks about, and transforms, all of those things, but only because it isn’t about us. It is a declaration about God’s Son, the man Jesus Christ.”
And reflecting on Romans 1:16, which we will read together this Sunday, Keller writes:
“In the gospel, words and power come together… [Paul] doesn’t say it brings power or has power, but that it actually is power. The gospel message is actually the power of God in verbal cognitive form. It lifts people up; it transforms and changes things. When it is outlined and explained, or reflected upon, it’s power is released.”
They’re big statements helping us understand a big gospel! So let’s gather expectantly this Sunday (and every Sunday), expecting God to be powerfully at work amongst us as the word of Christ dwells in us – for his great glory and our great joy.
See you then,