Summary: I'm glad I don't have to choose, but if I were shipwrecked on an island and had to pick one book of the Bible, I believe I'd take Romans. Link inc. to formatted text audio/video, PowerPoint.
The Greatest Book in the Bible
It's all great...but if I had to choose the greatest, well...we'll get to that.
If in your life the bottom is falling out, you'd better examine the foundation. You need a foundation. We need a sure word, a solid word for unsure times. And today we're going to begin to talk about a foundational book that changed the world. I've got many books in my library, I love books. Books are important, and books have great influence.
Adolf Hitler, with his twisted and warped brain wrote a book, Mein Kampf, and in that book he espoused his Nazi philosophies. The results of the thoughts in that book was a horrendous world war, the gas ovens, the Holocaust, six million Jews exterminated. A book, Mein Kampf.
Hitler got his ideas from reading another book by Nietzsche, a perverted atheist--he hated God, he declared blatantly, God is dead! Hitler drank from that book, and his mind was warped. By the way, Nietzsche is dead, and God is alive!
Another man wrote a book, Karl Marx, and Karl Marx wrote a book on communism, dialectical materialism, Das Capitale. People read that book, the Russian Revolution was born, the Communist Revolution. Millions of people paid with their life's blood, others were enslaved, the world rocked and ruined by communism. A book, a powerful book.
Charles Darwin wrote a book, The Origin of the Species, and there he talked about blind evolutionary force and that man is not made, created in the image of God, but rather he is an accident of nature, he has descended from the apes. People read that book and made a monkey of themselves, believing that they are an orphan of the apes.
Books have power, but no book has the power that the book that you have open in your hand right now has, the power for good, for God, and power that has changed the world radically, dramatically, and eternally, and the book that will go on through the ages and it is the book of Romans. It has been called the constitution of Christianity.
Let me tell you the power of this book. There was a Roman Catholic monk, his name was Martin Luther. Martin Luther had tried to get right with God by ritual, by penance, by good deeds, by all of the accouterments of the church, but his heart was empty. He took a pilgrimage to Rome. In Rome there were some stairs, purported to have been the stairs that Jesus ascended in Pilate's judgment hall. They felt that the blood of Jesus had surely dropped on those stairs. Martin Luther went to Rome, got on his knees on the holy stairs, and on his knees he began to pray on every step, kissing each step as he went up, asking God to bless him, trying to get closer to God. But he himself said, I was no closer to God when I got to the top than I was at the bottom. His heart was hungry, but Martin Luther had been studying the book of Romans. And Romans 1:17 burst alive in his heart and his mind--"the just shall live by faith." And he saw justification by faith, which is the theme of the book of Romans, and he was saved, converted, born again. The Protestant Reformation began, there was a Great Awakening, it swept Europe, it swept the world.