The Man Behind the Christian Magna Carta, Part I

4 02 2013

romansThe Magna Carta was also known as The Great Charter of Liberties and was introduced in England in 1215 to secure certain liberties of the people of England. It was the first document that had ever been thrust upon a King of England that said that his will was not arbitrary. From then on the people would be assured certain and specific liberties under the law of England that the King could not take away from them.

The book of Romans has been called The Christian Magna Carta. In other words, the Great Charter of the Christian faith. Over some 2,000 years God has chosen to use this epistle in some very amazing and transformative ways. The Holy Spirit has used Romans to spark new spiritual life in the lives of individuals and He has used it to spark revivals that have swept across communities and cultures. It is hands down the Apostle Paul’s most essential work. It is the creed of the Christian faith. It expounds the sinfulness of mankind. It remedies that sin with the righteousness of Christ. It instructs us on how we’re not right with God, how we are to get right with God, and how we are to remain right in God.

The credibility of any work hinges upon the credibility of its author. If I wrote a book on singing, art, or on methods of training monkeys would anyone read with any level of confidence that I knew what I was talking about? I have no credibility on any of those subjects. But if I wrote a book on loading a moving truck, baseball, or some areas of theology or spiritual life or the gospel I certainly hope that I would write with some credibility on those areas.

YOUR CREDIBILITY WILL ONLY BE AS STRONG AS THE OBSESSION OF YOUR HEART.
WHAT YOU LIVE FOR IS WHAT YOU’LL BE REMEMBERED FOR.

Paul had burning in his heart: a magnificent obsession. Of all of the ways in which he could have introduced himself to the Roman believers he chose to make his identity in Jesus Christ the central theme. Why? Jesus was at the center of Paul’s obsession. In the first 7 verses of Romans Paul uses the name, pronoun, or title of Jesus 8 times. However, Paul’s credibility to write the book of Romans is not about how many times he invokes the name of Jesus or how much he even knows about Jesus. Paul’s credibility is in Jesus Himself…in the fact that he loves Jesus…Jesus is the obsession of Paul’s heart and life. We may be able to quote Scripture, quote the words of Jesus, sing songs about Jesus, and even articulate doctrines about Jesus…BUT do we love Him with a genuine love? Is my heart consumed with Him? Is He my magnificent obsession? Is He at the forefront of our thoughts and our heart’s desires? Does He saturate our thoughts? If someone asks you: Who are you? Do your thoughts immediately begin to go to the person of Jesus Christ? Is your identity tied up in Him? What our lives are obsessed with is what we’ll be remembered for! So of all of the ways Paul could have introduced himself to these Roman Christians look at verse one:

“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.”

Think about what is at the heart of Paul’s introduction of himself to the Roman Christians. Better yet, consider WHO is at the heart of Paul’s introduction of himself. Now consider who or what your identity is bound up in.


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