on getting ready for Romans

It’s getting serious now. I am planning to begin my series on Romans on Sept 23. In the study the last two weeks I have been working my way through the salutation. The major themes of the epistle are given to us in crystalline form here. As I think through these topics, the overflowing richness and majesty of this, Paul’s premier epistle, is beginning to emerge.

I am only working on the first seven verses just now. I can see many messages here. I have ten Sundays until December, when I always break for my month of ‘preaching Christmas’. I am not sure if I will get past these seven verses by December…

Donald Grey Barnhouse preached seven messages on these verses. David Martyn Lloyd-Jones preached thirteen (his are printed on 180 pages of his Vol.1 of Romans). I am thinking that it is possible that I will hit the middle between these two. Ten messages until December, and Paul will just be saying ‘hello’ to us.

Of course, I could double up, do AM and PM on Romans, maybe that way we can get through the first 17 verses by Christmas… but once we get into the nitty gritty of the ‘all have sinned’ section, I don’t think we can handle doubling up. We’ll need to turn our mind elsewhere for the afternoon services then.

I am anticipating this series with great delight. After our marathon rush Thru the Bible the last two years (a blessed study!), I am ready to return to my favorite mode: glacial exposition.

Here is a little word from Lloyd-Jones, from the first page of his first message:

I should like this evening to welcome any friends who do not belong to this particular church who may be with us, and who propose to continue with us in these studies of the Epistle to the Romans. For their sake, very largely, perhaps I had better indicated how this service is normally conducted. First and foremost I would emphasize that it is a service. It is an occasion for worship. I am one of those who do not recognize any consideration of the Word of God which is not accompanied by worship. … The Apostle was concerned to help these Christians in Rome, to build them up and to establish them in their most holy faith, and, God willing, and as I am enabled to do so, I shall certainly be trying to do the same thing. It is an occasion, then, for worship, and not really just a lecture.

Lloyd-Jones preached his Romans on Friday evenings at Westminster Chapel in London, beginning on Oct 7, 1955, ending in 1968 in the midst of chapter 14, his last message as pastor of Westminster Chapel.

Our aim, with this series, is to build us up as worshippers of God.

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3