This letter gives us another secret to growth and change to those of us who are feeling a little bit complacent. Maybe we feel a little more bored than blessed when we connect with church … Perhaps we feel a lot more attached to this world than we’d like - (who doesn’t struggle with that?) and looking us straight in the eye Jesus says - “I want you to see your need as you never have before. Then I’d be able to meet your need as I never have before.”
John writes this way to the church in Laodicea - “To the angel of the church of Laodicea write, ‘These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds that you’re neither cold nor hot … I wish that you were one or the other … But you don’t realise you’re wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you get from me gold refined in the fire so you can become rich and white clothes to wear so you can cover your shameful nakedness salve to put on your eyes so you can see.” (Revelation 3:14 ff)
Not easy words from Jesus but they end with his remarkable promise - “Look! I am standing at the door and I’m constantly knocking. If anyone opens the door I will come in and I’ll fellowship with him; I’ll relate to him, I’ll dine with him and he’ll fellowship with me.” (Revelation 3:20 – Message)
What’s the most important letter (email, text) you’ve ever read; a proposal, a letter from the Tax Department, a job offer? Some people think of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome as being the greatest letter ever written.
Romans has certainly influenced millions of people and changed history. Martin Luther started the Reformation because of the book of Romans. John Wesley started the Wesleyan revivals (the Methodist church has its origins there).
As we explore any of the Bible’s books it’s helpful to ask – who wrote it; who was it written to; when and why was it written; and what’s the main message?
In Romans 1:16-17, Paul says - "I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, first for the Jew and then for the Gentile. For in the Gospel, the righteousness from God is revealed, the righteousness that is by faith from first to last just as it is written `The righteous will live by faith.'"