In most professions, there are classics—timeless writings, images, or contributions that carry immeasurable significance, that are equal parts ground-breaking, thought-provoking, and inspiring, that capture the right tension between profoundly-simple and yet deeply-complex. By definition these classics stand alone, separate from everything else, forming the gold-standard of that profession’s ethos. The Mona Lisa. David. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Mere Christianity. A Mighty Fortress. Overture to Candide.
Paul’s letter to the Romans fits into this camp. A classic. A groundbreaking, trail-blazing, not-for-the-faint-of-heart letter, and yet a wonderfully-simple exposition of the Gospel, filled with meaty bookends: theological foundations and practical applications. But it is also a letter concerned with articulating faith essentials—with communicating the basic tenants of the Christian faith to those who live in and are surrounded by a non-Christian culture.
This sermon series will accomplish the following objectives:
1. Highlight the major theological and practical themes of the letter
2. Place these themes within their historical context
3. Emphasize the aspects of our Lutheran identity and heritage that are directly tied to Paul’s letter
4. Make specific applications to our culture today
Important resources are Luther’s Commentary on Romans and “Reading Romans with Luther” by RJ Grunewald. Particularly because this year is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, this will be a timely study for RLC to walk through as we digest and celebrate the fullness of our identity as Lutheran Christians.