For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. — Romans 3:23-24
All of life is a gift of grace… and the call of grace is to live a gracious life. ~ Max Lucado, from In the Grip of Grace
Have you ever thought about where a new believer should start reading the Bible? I vote for beginning with the letter to the Romans. When I meet a new Jesus believer, I point them to Romans. If I could take only one of the sixty-six books of the Bible on a desert island with me, it’d be Romans!
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. — Romans 1:16
So, guess what we’re studying next in our Online Bible Study community?!? It’s Romans! And, bonus: Our teacher is one of our favorite pastors, Max Lucado. If you’ve ever thought of inviting a friend to do a study with you, this is the one, people! Our OBS through Max’s six-week study Romans: In the Grip of Grace will take place June 21- August 1 and don’t worry if you miss a week for vacation… this is go-at-your-own pace and there’s always catch-up time at the end! We’re going to read through Romans, memorize passages, journal our responses, and pray through the subjects covered… registration is now open!
Do you know Max?
You may have heard this before, but the first time I met Max Lucado a friend introduced me in an unexpected way by telling him a little bit of my hard story. Max completely unhinged me by giving me a hug and with great kindness in his eyes, he said, “You’re going to get through this…”, and then shared what he felt impressed from the Lord to say. He was comforting in a fatherly way that touched me to my core. I carry that conversation to me to this day with such gratitude. Even though I’ve never sat through a service at Max’s church, Oak Hills in San Antonio, TX, he will always be one of my pastors.
Our God is abundant in love and steadfast in mercy. He saves us, not because we trust in a symbol, but because we trust in a Savior. – Max
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. — Romans 8:28
Life is hard. But, God’s grace truly is sufficient.
Several of the challenges for long-time believers and new believers who have hit a few potholes are remembering sound doctrine, staying pure and faithful to God, not getting weary or lax our faith, submitting to God’s will instead of our own, and staying in fellowship with other believers. Life knocks us around, right? Disappointment and hardship take a toll. We look left and right and see those we thought were rock-solid choosing to veer off into sin like it’s no big deal and it’s disheartening and may erode our resolve if we don’t keep our eyes on Jesus and remember His glorious grace.
God is working In. All. Things. for the good of those who love Him!
God’s desire in working things for good is to make us more like our Savior in whom we trust, Jesus. It’s His unending chain of grace.
His grace is the starting point and the ending point.
His grace is sufficient.
His grace is unending.
His grace is inscrutable; it’s above our pay-grade.
And, His grace will lead us all the way Home.
In the first eleven chapters of Romans, Paul of Tarsus spells out Christian orthodoxy (the chief doctrines of faith in Jesus of Nazareth) in simple, understandable ways. In part two of Romans, he tells us what we, as believers, then are to do (orthopraxy) given the framework of faith he’s already laid out.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing, and perfect will. — Romans 12:1-2
A living sacrifice… My family has been talking a lot about this lately. Sacrifices are usually dead offerings. I don’t know about you, but this living sacrifice, sometimes tends to crawl down off the altar and has to be reminded to climb back up there again! It’s by God’s grace that we can do this life sacrificially, friends… for Jesus. Unto Him! Under His amazing grace.
Ponder the achievement of God. God doesn’t condone our sin, nor does He compromise His standard. He doesn’t ignore our rebellion, nor does He relax His demands. Rather than dismiss our sin, He assumes our sin, and incredibly sentences Himself. God is still holy. Sin is still sin. And we are redeemed. – Max
Jesus-followers have to stay the course! Keep the faith! Live for Christ! Walk by His grace.
I want to stand before Abba someday and hear Him say, “Well done.” Don’t you? I want to have a crown on my head to lay before His throne (Revelation 4:10-11) and worship, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power.”
Romans is our family meeting where we hear from brother Paul reminding us the tenets of our faith and what we’ve got to do about them! And, it’s all under the banner of grace, grace, grace!
Are you ready? I am!
This study is for:
- New believers
- Long-time believers
- Those of us who are still battling sin and needing grace
- Anyone who wants a closer relationship with God
- Anyone who loves doing Bible studies with Max!
Are you in? To quote Max, “let’s walk the mountain of Paul’s letter to the Romans together!”
P.S. As always, there will be freebies! When you join you’ll get FREE access to all six video study sessions with Max, printables, the session one study guide, and the first few chapters of the book – everything you need to get started!