CPC is commencing a study in the book of Romans. Romans has played a pivotal role in the life of the church through the centuries. It also comprehensively declares the Gospel and thereby informs our study of the rest of scripture.
The pivotal moment of Augustine's conversion was caused by reading Romans 15:13. It was Martin Luther’s comprehension of Romans 1:17 that sparked the Protestant Reformation. Luther wrote:
I had greatly longed to understand Paul’s letter to the Romans and nothing stood in the way but that one expression ‘the righteousness of God’, because I took it to mean that righteousness whereby God is righteous and acts righteously in punishing the unrighteous . . . Night and day I pondered until . . . I grasped the truth that the righteousness of God is that righteousness whereby, through grace and sheer mercy, he justifies us by faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning, and whereas before ‘the righteousness of God’ had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressibly sweet in greater love. This passage of Paul became to me a gateway into heaven. (Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, vol. 34 (Muhlenberg Press, 1960), pp. 336f.)
Both John Calvin and William Tyndale stated that Romans elucidated the other books of the Bible. Calvin wrote:
If we gained a true understanding of this Epistle, we have an open door to all the most profound treasures of Scripture.
William Tyndale stated:
[Romans is] the principal and most excellent part of the New Testament, the most pure Euangelion, that is to say, glad tidings. . . . . and also a light and a pure way in unto the whole Scripture.
As a church we spent a year in Ephesians which has only 6 chapters. Romans has 16 chapters and is quite dense. I suspect we'll be in our study of Romans for at least two years.