For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."
In C.S. Lewis’ The Problem of Pain, he states that “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” If pain is the means by which God rouses a deaf world, the gospel is the megaphone God uses to raise a dead one. It is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes in the finished work of Jesus. It is a divine and royal summons to repentance and faith in the One who set stars ablaze with the power of his word. In Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, we see the most precise and panoramic discourse in all of scripture regarding the gospel of God. To echo the words of Charles Spurgeon, when we set our heart’s gaze upon the crystal clear waters of God’s gospel, we behold both “shallows where a lamb may wade,” and the immeasurable “depths where leviathan may swim.”
Throughout Romans, Paul vividly explores the substance of these “shallows and depths.” We see the holy, righteous, just, and sovereign character of the Creator of the universe. We see God’s holy wrath upon sin and his relentless love for sinners singing in fire-forged harmony. We see the guiltless perfection of Jesus as an indictment upon the depths of the depravity of man. The truth of the gospel confronts the bustling epicenter of cosmic treason within our hearts, where we traded the truth of God for the lies of a thousand idols- every lust for which Jesus paid the ultimate price with his blood.
Yet still, amidst the pain and torture of Christ’s cross, we see the amazing grace of God brilliantly shining like a beacon in the night. We behold the power of the resurrection in Christ’s conquest over the grave. Such truths bid us to turn from sin and call upon the only name that has power to save. It is an invitation to the thirsty to come and drink from the divine waters of eternal glory- by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone.
In his preaching series through Paul’s letter to the Romans, Landon approaches both the “shallows and the depths” of God’s gospel with humble reverence, clarity, and contagious delight. His attention to exegetical precision never comes at the expense of conveying practical and life-changing applications. His passion for communicating the truths of God's word with heartfelt love for God’s people sets this study apart from many commentaries. The implications of this study will undoubtedly resonate beyond this moment.
The miraculous effect of God’s sovereign, holy, wise, and marvelous work of great love- laid out in the book of Romans and explained wonderfully throughout this study- is that He makes us new creations. We are no longer slaves to sin, but alive to righteousness! He calls us sons and daughters. He makes us ambassadors and citizens of His heavenly kingdom. He frees us from condemnation and promises us that all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. That good is to make us more like Christ. With the power of the Holy Spirit indwelling each believer, how can the power that raised Christ from the dead fail to achieve His aims?
My prayer for the reader and listener is that this study will deepen your walk with Christ (as it has mine and the body of believers I am blessed to call friends) that we may run the race marked out for each of us, resting on the indestructible and unfailing promises of a flawless God. I pray that, as believers, we will give ourselves- mind, heart, body, and soul- to knowing God by mining the dynamic truths of his word. I pray that worship will result in every facet of life- family, church, work, and recreation. I pray that we will be a people of great joy who show great grace because we've been shown great grace. I pray that God will cultivate within us an undying love for each other and for those in unbelief, because we’ve been loved indescribably. I pray that we persevere in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Christ, we have a savior who was willing to become sin that we might become the righteousness of God. In Christ, our savior entered the grave to destroy it. Our king laid down his life for us while we were enemies. Let us praise his holy name.
To the glory of the Just and the Justifier, that his name be worshiped by every tribe, tongue, and nation! Let us sing with Paul:
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and inscrutable His ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid?” For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.
Romans 11: 33-36