Friday, December 6, 2013

Romans: Introduction

Over the summer, I sent my sponsored daughter Lavin some old Bible study pages I wrote a while back.  A few days ago, I received a sweet letter from her thanking me for them and explaining that she has been studying them every single day since she received them.  Obviously, Lavin has little access to many of the resources that I had when I was a sixteen-year-old girl.  While she learns about God in church and in school, she cannot go to Lifeway Christian Bookstore to grab a curriculum so that she and her friends can have a Bible study.

So we will be going through the book of Romans together over the next several months.  After spending time with Lavin this summer, I was able to see how intelligent and articulate she has become.  She is capable of walking through a book of the Bible like this with a little assistance. 

I will be sharing the short Bible studies I write each week (and I will send four weeks at a time with my monthly letters), and I am sharing them here as well.  You are welcome to print them and send them to your sponsored child if they are older, learning English, and you think they are at a place where they could be encouraged by a Bible study.  (One more note is that I know Lavin has a Bible because I gave her one this summer, so if you are unsure about whether or not your child has a personal Bible, you may want to contact your sponsorship organization and arrange for one to be bought for your child.)

For week one, I gave an introduction to the book of Romans.

Week 1: Introduction

My sweet daughter, I am so happy to read through Romans with you.  Even though I will split up each part of the study into weeks, please take your time and move as slowly as you need.  It might take you more than one week to do each part.  I am so proud of the strong woman of faith you have become.  You are also welcome to study this with your friends.  If you have trouble understanding anything, please ask your teacher.

Before we begin chapter one, let's learn about the book of Romans.  The apostle Paul was the writer of this book of the Bible.  It was first a letter to the Christian churches in Rome in the year A.D. 57, a very long time ago.  In the last chapter, Paul commends a woman named Phoebe to them, and she was probably the one who gave the churches this letter.

My study Bible says: "the theme of Romans is the revelation of God's judging and saving righteousness in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  In the cross of Christ, God judges sin and yet at the same time manifests his saving mercy."  This is a lot of big and long words, but it means that this book is about how God has made us righteous through the gospel of Jesus.  God is a judge of sin, but he saves us through his mercy.

This week as we get ready to begin our study of Romans, I ask that you pray that God will prepare your heart for this Bible study.  I am also praying that he will prepare my heart and show me what he wants me to learn.

Every week, we can also learn a verse together.  You do not have to memorize every verse, but I encourage you to continue to memorize Scripture often!  I was so proud of the way you could recite so many verses to me this summer.

This week:
1.) Re-write the theme of Romans into your own words.

Words to learn:
1.) Commend: to talk about as worthy of confidence
2.) Revelation: God showing us about himself and his will
3.) Manifest: to make clear

Three years ago: Jack is Smiling
Four years ago: The Lion

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