Current Sermon Series: The Book of Romans
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"Lord, make me pure—but not yet." Those were the words of a man flirting with Christianity, but also with a lot of other things. Born in Algeria as son of a pagan Roman official, Augustine's early years were engulfed in a lifestyle of wine and women. To his devout mother's chagrin, he studied in Carthage, a city he found to be "a cauldron of unholy loves." However, after taking a teaching position in Milan, he began a relationship with the Christian bishop Ambrose, whose intellectual prowess impressed Augustine.
In the late summer of 386 A.D. Augustine sat in a garden in Milan and heard a child’s sing-song voice: "Take it and read it; take it and read it." He picked up a nearby scroll of Paul’s Letter to the Romans and began reading, "Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:13–14).
The power of the Holy Spirit worked through those divinely inspired words, and on that day Augustine was converted. Ambrose baptized him on Easter eve in A.D. 387. Profoundly influenced by the writings of the Apostle Paul, Augustine has gone down in history as one of the greatest practical theologians the world has ever known.[i]
At Riverview Church, we also have taken Paul’s Letter to the Romans to read it, study it, know it, and ultimately live it out—both as individuals and as a local church. We hope you will join us in rediscovering its timeless message and the righteousness of God that is revealed in the Gospel.