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Paul's "Magnum Opus"

Romans 5. 1 - 11

...but we* also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

According to Candida Moss in her book God's Ghostwriters: Enslaved Christians and the Making of the Bible, Paul arrived in Rome intimidated by the Romans and knowing that he needed to impress them in order to "do the work God had given him to do with gladness and singleness of heart!" And so he (and Tertius his enslaved scribe) set to work "marshalling every ounce of rhetorical skill to win <the Romans> over," as Moss says. Moss goes on to say ,"<Paul's epistolary magnum opus>... is widely regarded as the most theologically sophisticated and influential book in the New Testament." The verses above are a beautiful example of the magnificence of the Letter to the Romans.

As I read this appointed passage for today, I noticed (again for the first time) the powerful rhetoric of the statement...suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope and THEREFORE suffering produces hope! Regardless of who actually wrote this letter, there is great power in the words and as a result, great hope for the suffering...certainly worthy of being called Paul's magnum opus!

Jan Kuyken, print-maker, 1649-1712


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