Romans

Romans

Romans

Romans

Excerpt

Twelve years after his baptism, the greatest thinker in an entire millennium of western Christianity told how his struggle to give himself to God was at last resolved:

I heard the voice of a hoy or a girl … chanting over and
over again, “Pick it up, read it; pick it up, read it”….
I quickly returned to the bench … for there I had put down
the apostle’s book. … I snatched it up, opened it, and in
silence read the paragraph on which my eyes first fell: “Not
in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wanton
ness, not in strife and envying, but put on the Lord Jesus
Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts
thereof.” I wanted to read no further, nor did I need to. For
instantly, as the sentence ended, there was infused in my heart
something like the light of full certainty and all the gloom of
doubt vanished away.

The man was Augustine, the “apostle’s book” Romans, and the paragraph Romans 13 (The Confessions, Book Eight, The Library of Christian Classics, trans. Albert C. Outler, Philadelphia: Westminster, 1955, pp. 175-176).

Shortly before his death, the greatest Reformer of them all described the decisive change that had occurred in him:

It is true; I had been seized by an uncommon desire to under
stand Paul in the Epistle to the Romans. And thus far it was
not cold blood around the heart that hindered me, but one
single word … “in it the righteousness of God is revealed.”

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