28 Sep Get to Know Paul and Romans’ Impact on Church History
“These men…have turned the world upside down…”
– A mob rioting against Paul (Acts 17:6)
For every effect, there is a cause. For a gigantic effect, there is a gigantic cause. One such example happened on July 9, 1958 at 10:15pm. A gigantic earthquake registering a magnitude 7.8 caused a rockslide of roughly 40 million cubic yards in the Gilbert Inlet of Alaska with a gigantic effect. The result was a megatsunami, and the biggest wave ever recorded, measuring an incredibly staggering 1,720 feet!19
In spiritual terms, the equivalent of this is Paul’s letter to the Romans. In its wake has come a massive wave of theological study and spiritual power rippling throughout church history to this very day.
The early church father and legendary preacher John Chrysostom had Romans read to him multiple times a week. In his sermons from Romans, Chrysostom says, “As I keep hearing the Epistles of the blessed Paul read, and that twice every week, and often three or four times, whenever we are celebrating the memorials of the holy martyrs, gladly do I enjoy the spiritual trumpet, and get roused and warmed with desire at recognizing the voice so dear to me, and seem to fancy him all but present to my sight, and behold him conversing with me. But I grieve and am pained, that all people do not know this man, as much as they ought to know him; but some are so far ignorant of him…”20
Summarizing its effect it is said, “No doubt Romans is one of the most important of all the books of the Bible….a famous English poet [Samuel Taylor Coleridge], said Romans was ‘the profoundest book in existence’; that Melancthon copied Romans twice by hand just to get more thoroughly acquainted with it. [W.H. Griffith] Thomas himself says that Romans is concerned with ‘the deepest problems of Christian thought,’ ‘great theological principles,’ and ‘the prime secrets of the spiritual life.’ He adds: ‘A Christian life nourished on the Epistle to the Romans will never lack the three great requisites of clear perception, strong conviction, and definite usefulness.’”21
Not only has Romans impacted the history of the church, it can also impact the history of your life. Warren Wiersbe says in the introduction to his commentary on Romans, “Imagine! You and I can read and study the same inspired letter that brought life and power to Luther and Wesley! And the same Holy Spirit who taught them can teach us! You and I can experience revival in our hearts, homes, and churches if the message of this letter grips us as it has gripped men of faith in centuries past.”22
To find the free Romans study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit realfaith.com or download the realfaith app.
- https://www.surfertoday.com/surfing/the-biggest-wave-ever- recorded-measured-1720-feet
20. John Chrysostom, “Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans,” in Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistle
to the Romans, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. J. B. Morris, W. H. Simcox,
and George B. Stevens, vol. 11, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1889), 335.
21. Robert E. Picirilli, The Book of Romans, Clear Study Series (Nashville, TN: Randall House Publications, 1975), 1–2.
22. Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 514.