From my personal writer’s perspective, delving into the book of Romans is an exquisite treat. I enjoy the beauty of how each word is succinct and meaningful. Every sentence conveys the most important of messages in the simplest of terms. Paul, through extraordinary gifts, writes out the entire gospel message in as little as seven verses.
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of Holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
— Romans 1:1–7
A story that is thousands of pages long, involving thousands of characters, all moving towards a single plot to redeem mankind that took thousands of years to unfold, and Paul summarizes it in just a few sentences. (Paul could have had a lengthy career at Cliffs Notes.) And even with all the details cut out, we are left with beauty, a message of redemption, salvation and grace, the very makings of the Gospel.
The words above are even more remarkable when you take into account Paul’s personal story. A man whose life work was to seek out and destroy the spread of Christianity. A man who was sought out by Jesus Christ himself in the midst of all his sins, a man who was forgiven, called to follow, to spread the very message he first sought to destroy, a message of redemption. When you hear a story like that, how can you not start to see the reflection, the mirror image of the entirety of the Bible, the Gospel in one stroke? A broken man, endlessly sought after by Christ Jesus in order that he can be forgiven, redeemed and made whole again.
The Bible is a story of redemption, Paul’s story is a story of redemption, and — don’t ever forget this — you are a story of redemption.