Which Book of the Bible Would You Keep?

Jan 5, 2015 1717

by Desmond Ford

bible-booksSuppose, my friend, that you were told that you could keep only one of the sixty-six books of the Bible. Which would you keep?

Many would choose Luke’s Gospel – that beautiful book with such universal appeal that particularly emphasizes the value of outcasts in the sight of God in heaven . . . Other readers would want to keep John’s Gospel, that spiritual account by the disciple Jesus loved, with its record of nineteen personal interviews by Jesus . . . Others again, would want to choose Psalms, that harp of the human heart.

But not one of these books spell out in detail the most important matter of all to you and me: How God saves sinners, how we can get rid of guilt and death, and be ready for the great Judgment Day. They do teach concerning it, of course. That is through all the Scripture. But only one book takes up this most important topic of salvation in detail, and that is the epistle to the Romans.

There are lots of surprises in Scripture. You don’t find anywhere in the Bible a list of things to be believed. Another surprise is that Jesus wrote no book. He seemed to put his time into people. A third surprise is that Jesus is not the greatest theologian of the Bible. He came to make the atonement, not to explain it; that is, until the cross- resurrection event had taken place, its meaning could not fully be set forth. That’s why Jesus spoke wonderful truths in proverbial form; in short, terse, gnomic fashion, as seeds that were later to be germinated into flowers under the breathing of the Holy Spirit on the minds of the apostles.

Two-thirds of the epistles of the New Testament carry the name of one man, the most influential person in all history, next to Jesus – Paul.

F.F. Bruce, perhaps the greatest of modern evangelical scholars said, “One should be very, very careful in reading the book of Romans because he never knows what will happen. When Augustine read it, he was converted and changed the theological history of the world. When Luther read it, he spawned the Protestant Reformation. When Wesley read it, he saved England from a revolution like that of France. When Whitefield read it and, later, Jonathan Edwards, this country of America experienced tide after tide of gospel revival.”

J.R. Packer has pointed out, “Every great revival the world has ever known started with a re-study of the book of Romans. My friends, today we stand in need of the greatest revival of all … one that will lighten the whole earth with the glory of the gospel of Christ, and it has to begin with this
book.”

– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32 (“The Bible’s Most Important Book”)

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