“This Epistle is the chief work of the New Testament, the purest gospel. It deserves not only to be known word for word by every Christian, but to be the subject of his meditation day by day, the daily bread of his soul. The more time one spends upon it, the more precious it becomes and the better it appears.”
Several years ago while studying the book of Romans, I came across this quote by Martin Luther. The first time I read it, it struck me as both kind of awesome and kind of crazy. Learn the book of Romans word for word? Would that be amazing? Yes! But it would not be something that would be easy to achieve.
Since that time, I’ve come across the quote multiple times, and each time it elicited a reaction in me.
A stirring, if you will.
I imagined the benefits of committing this amazing book to memory. I know the Scriptures that promise an amazing harvest for the person who meditates on God’s Word constantly ( See Psalm 1 and Joshua 1:8) and what better way to fulfill this directive than with the book of Romans!
So this year, as I began to prepare to teach this profound book verse by verse, I decided to take Martin’s challenge. Hey, if I was going to have the audacity to attempt to teach this masterpiece of a book, then I better know the material really, really well.
As I began to research this, I found that Romans contains 433 verses. So to memorize the entire thing you would have to memorize just 1.19 verses per day.
I decided that was manageable, and even if it takes more than a year, no biggie. It’s the journey, not the destination that I was looking forward to. So, I started in January, and have memorized chapter 1 so far.
To say that it has had a profound effect on me does not do it justice. I am finding myself more deeply committed to, and more deeply in love with Jesus than ever before.
I am feeling spiritual growth – and a weeding out of things from my heart that are a hindrance to me and my Christian walk. This is affecting all aspects of my life. My marriage, fatherhood, friendships, and my work have all been impacted.
I cannot wait to see what memorizing the rest of this book will bring!
So I decided to pass it on and am throwing this out there just in case there is somebody who might be stirred to do the same thing.
If you are up to Martin’s challenge, here’s the first verse…. Enjoy!
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—”