No book has transformed more people than the Bible, and no single book in the Bible has been more catalytic than Romans, Paul’s letter to the church in Rome that he wrote to give them unified confidence in the gospel of Jesus. Over the last two millennia, Romans has proven to be instrumental in converting and transforming countless Christian leaders, the inspiration behind bold movements to reform and renew the church, and the most treasured resource for believers in their journey from shame to glory. What is it about Romans that has made it so impactful throughout history? What is the message of Romans to us today? Can its ancient message continue to transform lives and inspire confidence here in Charlotte?
The one thing that connects the original author of Romans, the readers of Romans throughout the centuries, and the people in this room is the gospel. The gospel, or good news, is the subject of Paul’s letter to the Romans, the source of his confidence to declare the whole truth, and the heartbeat of his life and mission. The gist of this message as Paul presents it in Romans is that in Christ, God provides a way for us and the whole world to made right, and all of this is available to us by faith. This is the message that inspired Irenaeus to stand up against those who wanted to make Jesus less than fully divine and fully human, moved Augustine to deny himself and devote his life to the church, captured Julian of Norwich whose heart longed for true revelation, emboldened Martin Luther to take a stand and dedicate himself to reformation, shook Karl Barth out of his religious slumbers and turned him into a powerful theologian, motivated Mother Teresa to devote her life to the poor, convinced Martin Luther King Jr. to embrace nonconformity and nonviolence, and gave Billy Graham courage to share the message with the whole world. In their different ways, all of these people were unashamed of the gospel as presented in Romans, and it changed them and the world.
What would happen if you were unashamed of this message? How might it transform your own life and inspire your confidence to make a difference in the world? By learning about what this looked like in the lives of eight normal yet remarkable people throughout history, you can deal with your own doubts and grow toward an unashamed embrace of God’s truth for your life.