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Romans, Ferguson Style

Monday, August 18, 2008

For those who are interested in the Gospel of Romans, not only can you purchase the Lloyd-Jones sermons but Dr. Ferguson (now of First Presbyterian Church of Columbia, SC), a disciple of the Doctor, will be preaching through the entire book of Romans. This began this past Lord’s Day (August 17th) and can be accessed each Lord’s Day via their “Live” stream, seen in person at their Marion Street location (for those who are local) or can be stream/downloaded each week at their Sermon Podcasting URL.

In First Things (FPC’s weekly newsletter), Dr. Ferguson had this to write:

There has been a series of enigmatic notices in First Things over the past few
weeks–in which Romans have–or is it has?–featured. Perhaps you have
wondered what is happening? Let me explain the background to this “advertising
campaign.”
I was eighteen, sitting one day in my room at University, when a thought crossed
my mind that has been foundational to the rest of my life. I realized two things
simultaneously. One was that while all Scripture is “Godbreathed”; some books
are keys which unlock its whole message. The other was that Romans was a key.
And so I gave myself to study, understand, and apply Romans.
I soon found myself in a “Romans Revival”–part of a group of Christian students
committed to studying Paul’s letter. Romans was studied in all kinds of
situations! It was almost a mark of spiritual growth that the edges of Romans in
one’s Bible were the most thumbed!
I soon discovered that there was an entire tradition of such revivals of Romans
study in the history of the church!
I look back on those days with a certain degree of nostalgia–of course, we were
young, enthusiastic, sometimes a little naïve.
But, at the same time, if you were to ask me more than forty years later, to list
the things that have most influenced my Christian life and ministry, I would
include “studying Romans when I was eighteen.”
Now for what may be a surprising confession in the light of this. I have never
expounded Romans to any congregation I have served. I have always left it “for
later” and never preached through it.
Now it is “later”–at least for me. And so I plan to begin preaching through
Romans from this Sunday evening, 17 August. We will take it in sections, with
occasional breaks. But, God willing, we will begin with Romans 1:1 and end in
Romans 16:27. We will not take years to complete the book, but perhaps the
series will last into 2009.
I mention all this simply to say that few things will do you more good than having
Romans expounded to you–no matter by whom–and to encourage you to
come on these Sunday evenings.
Martin Luther once wrote that Romans is “the clearest gospel of all.”
Has Romans impacted you like that already? Then you will look forward to letting
it do that again. If not, please do all in your power to share in this series of
studies and in the evening worship that will surround them.
I cannot promise you the best sermons you will ever hear. Romans is not a book
of gimmicks. But for clarity about the gospel, and for life transformation, there is
probably nothing quite like it. So do join us, and do all you can to encourage
others to join us too. And please pray for the Lord’s blessing on the preaching of
this glorious book. May the “Romans revival” tradition continue!
–Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson

One Comment leave one →
  1. Monday, August 18, 2008 3:29 pm

    We went to FPC last night, and I think all of Christ Church was there. Was anyone at the Vesper service?

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