Sunday, October 17, 2010

How to transform your life

Read Romans.

Now that was a brief and easy answer and cheaper than having to buy a shelf full of self-help books.

By now, as I have been banging on about it so much, I hope you have listened to Romans: An Introduction.

If not, do that before reading any further.

According to Simon (and I agree) there is no more effective way to transform your life in a way that will propel you into a greater love of God and others than to consume this great letter. Honestly, I know of no sermon that I have listened to in quite some time that has given me such a hunger to immerse myself afresh in a book of the Bible. Everyone who I have managed to convince to listen to this introduction has had the same reaction.

If this happens to you here are some tips on what to do next:

1. Get a notebook: Dedicating a moleskine to studying this letter and putting on paper your thoughts, prayers and observations would be helpful. Particularly if you plan to spend a year in it.

2. Get a way to listen to itFaith comes through hearing, so says Romans. I have discovered a function on the ESV+ Study App that allows me to listen to Romans being read. I have been enjoying waking early, driving, going to sleep and walking listening to Romans. If you are not a reader (as many are not) then you can travel through this book by hearing it. If you do this expect to encounter amazing things.

3. Get a Commentary: If you get inspired by 'SAS Mark' described in the introductory talk you might want to get hold of the Lloyd-jones sermons but most will probably do well with John Stott on Romans as a goto reference point.

4. Get a teacher: As St Aldates will preach this through all year you can do no worse than download the talk each week. There are lots of theological words in Romans- sin, justification, election, grace, faith, sanctification and others. I would commend J I Packer and The most important 18 words you will ever know as your teacher, translator and provider of definitions.

5. Get some friends: I know you have friends (I hope you do anyway) but what I mean is get some people to study this book with. There is great benefit on going through this book with a few others.

Bless you and if you take this on it really will transform you.

I will be praying for you.

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