This week will be my 42nd and final sermon in the book of Romans. I have been committed to preaching through books of the Bible since I began my role as the church-planter and lead pastor of ReCAST Church over 10 years ago. Since the start, we have been through the books of Genesis, Joshua, 1 Samuel, Esther, some of the Psalms, Jonah, Malachi, half of Matthew, Acts, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 1 Peter, and Revelation. When I look at this list, I am actually surprised at how much of the Bible we have been able to cover in 10 years!
I am so grateful for the Bible that gives structure and shape to my ministry over the years. The rhythm of weekly Biblical study has forced me to dig into His Word and study in depth. I could preach about topics like parenting, politics, headlines, or other contemporary issues. But I think I would be weaker for it. I think ReCAST would be weaker for it.
The books of the Bible are written by authors with flow, plot, and intentionally ordered thoughts. They build themes and often make sense only in the larger units of paragraphs and chapters. In this sense, a book of Scripture is best understood in its own context. I am convinced that one of the best things I can do for my church, is bring the very Word of God to bear on their lives with attention to context and flow.
To be honest, the book of Romans almost kicked my tale. It is deep in theology. It is thick in logical argumentation. Not only that, but it is chocked full of nuance that requires a good grasp on the Old Testament. And there is no shortage of debates and various opinions to hash through. When I started the book in January of 2019 I wasn’t sure if we would maintain the pace. I did a lot of reading each week through commentaries (most commentaries on the book of Romans are the thickest of commentaries on any New Testament books). Sometimes the reading was nearing the most pages I’ve read in a week since Seminary.
But as I preach my last sermon on the book of Romans, I am completely rejoicing in this growth in our church. We have read the whole book together. We have STUDIED this whole book together. And God has grown us together in the knowledge of Himself and His great salvation!
ReCAST could’ve spent the last year growing in the knowledge of what I think about social issues. Or we could’ve spent a year growing in the knowledge of my opinions. But I am grateful for a church that will put up with me seeking to bring the Word of God forward as our source of hope and help. Thanks to ReCAST for a year of listening and learning together through the book of Romans! Your endurance is a great match for my passion to talk a lot about His Word!