Is Romans really that important?
The Apostle Paul wrote at least thirteen or fourteen letters* among the total of 21 that are included in the New Testament Cannon. Romans comes immediately after the Book of Acts as the first of all letters in the New Testament. Have you ever wondered why?
It was not because it was the first letter Paul had written. In fact, he had written at least five other letters prior to writing Romans – 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Galatians, and 1 and 2 Corinthians. Was it because it was the longest letter he had written? Probably not…
I believe the one and simple reason might be – its importance. Romans comes first in importance. Romans is a wonder book that is not only amazingly spiritual but also highly intellectual. It contains all fundamental truth that a Christian needs to know and believe for his/her salvation and spiritual welfare. I cannot imagine my Christian walk without Paul’s Letter to the Romans.
Indeed, Romans has a great impact on believers and churches throughout the Christian history. After hundreds of years, it continues to be a treasure for us today.
Perhaps the following quotes from renowned theologians and philosophers would help us understand the significance of Romans:
“This letter is the principal part of the New Testament and the purest [perfect] Gospel, which surely deserves the honor that a Christian man should not merely know it off by heart word for word, but that he should be occupied with it daily as the daily bread of the soul. For it can never be read too often and too well. And the more it is used the more delicious it becomes and the better it tastes.” – Martin Luther
“If Holy Scripture was a ring, and the Epistle to the Romans a precious stone, chapter 8 would be the sparkling point of the jewel.” – Philipp Jakob Spener
“At every significant juncture in the life of the Christian community this letter has stood, and for every giant of faith ever raised up to effect some change in that community, it has furnished the fire. And, for all the souls who have carried the embers which some great event or person has later fanned into flame, this last will and testament of Paul of Tarsus has spelled warmth and light.” – Roy A. Harrisville
“Certain it is that no book has had a greater influence on the theology of the Protestant Church, and no book contains more of the quintessence of the mind of Paul.” – William Barclay
“It is the cathedral of the Christian faith. Every great spiritual revival in the church will be connected as effect and cause with a deeper understanding of this book.” – Frederick Godet
“It is the most profound piece of writing in existence.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
“We can say quite truthfully that the Epistle to the Romans has, possibly, played a more important and a more crucial part in the history of the church than any other single book in the whole of the Bible. That is a matter of very great significance. We are to read and to study the whole Bible — yes! But if it is evident from the history of the church that one particular book seems thus to have been used in an exceptional manner, surely it behoves us to give it exceptional attention.” – Martin Lloyd-Jones
Ignorance to Romans may incur one of the greatest losses to our Christian life. Certainly, it is worthwhile to study and meditate Romans deeply, whether you are a new or longtime believer.
Dear friends, as we are going to introduce a new devotional series on Romans, I would like to invite you to join me in this wondrous pilgrimage. I am sure that we will encounter many life transforming treasures and tough challenges along the way until we finally reach the last chapter.
“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” (Psalms 119:18)
(*Some scholars may or may not attribute Hebrews to the Apostle Paul.)
By Christy Tran
Bible Portal Contributor
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