Romans Alive–The Pure Gospel, by Dale Ratzlaff is a verse by verse devotional study of the first eight chapters of Romans. 236 pages.
This study is intended to do three things: First, to pull out of the Bible text everything that is there without reading into it what is not there. Second, when appropriate, take the truths of each verse or section and augment these with other Bible teachings that would clarify the truth under consideration. Third, seek to find applications that would relate both to doctrinal understanding and to personal life experience. To these I have added a short prayer.
Paul is a brilliant, well organized writer who learned the gospel by a direct revelation from the Risen Christ. In the first eight chapters of Romans, we have the very essence of the Christian gospel. Nothing is out of order. Each section or topic builds on the last. Some sections will be more applicable than others. However, the truth of each section is important to the understanding of the whole.
This book is not designed to be read through in one sitting. Rather, I suggest that you take one study at a time. Read it. Think about it. Pray about the truths therein. See if you can find your own application: a tested theological brick you can add to your edifice of truth; a new personal application you can apply to your life, family, church, neighborhood, and work. Then form your own prayer to the Father. The Christian gospel is the centerpiece of spiritual life, assurance, peace, and joy. As the good news of what Christ did at the cross sinks deeply into your soul, you will discover a new assurance of salvation and greater trust in the word of God. Yes, Romans is alive with the pure gospel.
Over the years I have had the opportunity to study the first eight chapters of Romans with high school students, home Bible study groups, Sunday school classes, and most recently published in the weekly on-line version of Proclamation!. Every time the students, whether young or old, have testified that the gospel in Romans has given them a deeper understanding of God’s grace, a new assurance of salvation, and increased joy.
It is my prayer that you, the reader, will see a new beauty in the gospel as you view the various facets of this glorious truth. I believe you will experience true Christianity as never before.
What readers are saying
I have surely been blessed in reading your studies on the book of Romans. It has helped me move from fear and legalism to confidence and faith in the One who lived and died for me. I was despairing of salvation after a lifetime of the perfectionism of Ellen G.White and Adventism until I felt my case was hopeless and I accepted the futility of striving under the goad of fear.
But now! What a glorious revelation to realize that it is Jesus’ perfection that answers to God’s call for perfection, that I am regarded as perfect in Him through faith in His law-keeping and death on my behalf.
You asked for a response to your intention of putting together a study of Romans to add to the offerings on your website. My answer is an enthusiastic YES! If the book of Romans doesn`t deliver a reader from the bondage of legalism, I don`t know what will. I can never thank you and the Holy Spirit enough for leading me to finally see my salvation was God`s will before the earth was even created, that He planned it with little old ME having a place in it.
Yes, for His Glory.