Prayer: Lord, how we are grateful to You for Your mercy and grace! Lord, we do worship You. By Your mercy and grace You have shown us Your heart’s desire. Lord, thank You for the enlightening. Lord, tonight we look unto You. Lord, do come again to visit us and to bless us. Lord, we believe that You are with us. You are really one with us. Lord, we are here waiting on You. We do not like to do anything apart from You. Lord, do touch every heart. Oh, do sober every mind and do open up every spirit. Lord, we believe that we are one in You. We are one in You in one goal with one direction. Lord, here You do have the best oracle on this earth. Thank You, Lord, You have so many saints as an oracle for You to speak. Oh, Lord, speak to us Your heart, and bring us all into Your heart. Lord, we need such a heavenly vision. Lord, we do not like to stay here on this earth; we like to be with You in the heavenlies. Oh, bring us all into the heavenlies, into Your heart, even, Lord, into Your desire. Oh, show us the way and grace us. How much we need Your grace! Lord, we pray again that You would cover us with Your prevailing blood against any attacks of the enemy. And hide us in You, Lord. Lord, You know this is a battle. We trust in You, we look unto You, and we believe that You are coming down to visit everyone. Lord, thank You. No meeting is in vain, and no word spoken is in vain. Do strengthen us. Strengthen our fellowship; strengthen our conversation; strengthen our understanding. In Your precious name, Amen.
The Bible is too all-inclusive, too deep, and too profound. Romans is the first book among all the Epistles. We know that there are only five books out of twenty-seven in the New Testament that are not Epistles. All the twenty-two books from Romans through Revelation are Epistles. Even Revelation is an Epistle. Romans is the first of all these Epistles. Once again I would like to give you a little sketch of the New Testament. Of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, five are at the beginning. Actually, these five are just a kind of biography of one person. Even the book of Acts is a part of this biography. Matthew is a part, Mark is a part, and both Luke and John are parts of the biography of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. And Acts is a continuation of this biography. This biography is not finished at the end of the Gospel of John, because that section of the four Gospels only gives us the first section of this universal man’s biography—the section on this earth. But this man now is not on this earth; He is in the heavens. Yet this heavenly man is still continuing to work on this earth through a channel. Later, we will see what this channel is. For now, you need to pick up the word channel.
This heavenly man was walking, living, and working on the earth for thirty-three and a half years as a little man, a Nazarene. Then He ascended to the heavens. Then from the heavens He began to move on this earth continually in a channel. What is the channel on the earth? The first five books are a complete biography of the all-inclusive man, Jesus Christ. The channel, which is His Body, through which He continues His ministry from the heavens on the earth, needs twenty-two books to define it. All the twenty-two Epistles are definitions of this channel.
Most Christian teachers teach that the book of Romans is a sketch of the Christian life. Yes, it is. But I am sorry to say, perhaps not one of so many teachers has ever said what the ultimate focus of the book of Romans is. Most of the Bible students and teachers would consider that the main subject of the book of Romans is justification by faith. Martin Luther stressed this book to the uttermost. Martin Luther was very strong on justification by faith. But at least there is one book with one verse which says that justification is not only by faith but also by works (James 2:24). This offended Martin Luther because he was so strong for justification by faith. So he said that the book of James should be burned. I do not blame him, because he was so burdened at that time. He concentrated his entire being on this one thing—justification by faith, not by works.
While he was quite strong concerning justification by faith, I would say that he did not stress much concerning the Body. The Body is more clearly revealed in the book of Romans than in many other books. Whether Martin Luther saw the Body in Romans or not I do not know, but I do know that he did not stress it. All the Christians know that Martin Luther was a strong teacher and minister of justification by faith. He may have seen something concerning the Body, but that was not his stress. Now, however, we all have to see that justification by faith is just the first station of this book of Romans.
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