Reuben Welch on Romans – 1981

ENC Chapel and Evening Services, March 1981

Presentation Length Romans Text
reuben 1981 03 17 chapel.mp3 31.59 1:1-7, 14-17
reuben 1981 03 17 evening.mp3 58:04 1:16-25, 2:1, 2:17-25, 3:19-26, 5:1-2
reuben 1981 03 18 chapel.mp3 30:27 5:1-11
reuben 1981 03 18 evening.mp3 53:17 6:1-11
reuben 1981 03 19 chapel.mp3 35:50 6:10-19
reuben 1981 03 19 evening.mp3 51:02 6:23-7:2, 7:4-6
reuben 1981 03 20 chapel.mp3 28:52 7:14-17, 7:21-25, 8:1-4
reuben 1981 03 20 evening.mp3 1:03:42 8:31-39

Reuben Welch

Rev. Welch, now retired, was for many years the Chaplain at Point Loma Nazarene College in San Diego. He was a well-loved revival and camp-meeting speaker, and made the circuit to other Nazarene colleges, such that students got to hear him at least once during their four years. This was probably the fourth time I had heard him in a series of meetings, all at ENC.

In addition to his great speaking style, humor and spiritual insight, of great importance was his message of God’s grace and keeping power — he was sort of a closet Calvinist in a sea of Arminianism that was (is?) the Church of the Nazarene! You know, where people lose their salvation every few days — that’s what I grew up with: “Oh, I’m not saved right now.” That kind of thing.

He has been very formative in some of the ways I think about my walk with God. I’ve listened to at least some of these messages quite often since they were presented in March of 1981. The scripture covered in the recordings is the book of Romans. Unfortunately my Sunday, March 22 tape was damaged — it covered chapter 12; what is linked above covers chapters 1-8. Romans isn’t easy to understand, but Reuben Welch makes a lot of it understandable to me.

He also has a decent singing voice, and clearly likes to harmonize — as you can tell during the altar calls! There were ENC Chapel services in the mornings, and then evening services.

Note, incidentally, in the March 17 chapel, he didn’t really pass out 3×5 cards….


It is at the point of our sin, at the point of our guilt, right there where we don’t deserve it: God, in infinite loving Grace meets us with full free forgiveness. Hallelujah!

Justification by faith is man saying: “I’m wrong”, and God saying: “You’re right”.

A right relationship with God then is based upon our acceptance unworthy, without merit of the full, free, undeserved, profound forgiveness of God.

Justification by faith is not our hopeless struggle to achieve the impossible task of pleasing God. It is accepting, just as we are, the offer of His love, in the confidence that instead of pouring out vials of outraged Holiness, God pours out healing waters of forgiving love, and treats the sinner as though he had never been away.

Jesus means freedom from sterile legalism and bondage to external conformity and self effort as a means of producing righteousness.

The Christian life is not the moral struggle to obey a set of externalized commands in rote fashion. There is a struggle in the Christian life, but it is the struggle to remain open to the creative leading of the Spirit of Christ.

To run and work the Law commands

But gives me neither feet nor hands.

But better news the Gospel brings,

It bids me fly and gives me wings.

Jesus frees us from legalism. He also frees us from the dynamic power and principal of sin.

Saint Augustine: “How oft have I lashed at my will and cried: ‘Leap now, leap now!’, and I crouched for the leap and all but leaped, but I did not leap. The life to which I was accustomed held me more than the life for which I really yearned.”

Jesus can do more with sin than forgive it. He can cleanse the conscience that has been defiled, and break the octopus grip that sin has on the soul…we are not locked in!

I can’t

He never said I could.

He can

And said He always would.

We are His children,

He is our Father.

We know who we are,

And that is God’s beautiful gift.

It is the gift of His Spirit

As we walk with Him

To grow in the assurance

Of our relationship with Him.

Though we share the creature’s bondage to corruption, the Spirit helps us in our weakness and interprets our praying. So praying is the Divine Spirit within us praying to the Divine Father above us, and our praying always brings us down to realities for which we have no glib expression.

The Spirit knows the inner yearnings of our heart, the inexpressible utterances of the heart, and He interprets our praying before the Father.

As I live life in the Spirit amid all the weakness and lack of knowledge and understanding, I don’t have to say it right when I pray. We can be free in our praying, knowing that the Holy Spirit interprets for us.

Though many things happen which are not in accordance with God’s will, nothing happens that is outside it that is, beyond the area where God is at work not only in judgment, but also in creative and healing power.

When the worst comes to worst

God is a long way from being done.

When nothing is happening

Something is happening.

It doesn’t pay to give up on anybody.

In all our human situation, God is for us and there is no separation from His love.

God, in infinite, caring love is with us where we are.

All the victory that is expressed in Romans 8 is victory that is experienced on the level of the common life.

There is another point of view: from trying to be what I ought to be, to opening up to who God is and what He’s done and what He’s doing in our lives.

“Underneath are the everlasting arms”: Faith is not the upward grasp to bring the power of God down. Faith is our releasing to the power and the love and the presence of God which are right there with us.

We cannot save ourselves.

Don’t beg God to come down: “We need to get God on the scene!”. Paul says, “Don’t say that.” He is here! Right where we are. God has descended all the way to where we are. The power of God has raised Him up!

Then what are we to say? Confess with our lips: “Jesus is Lord”.

Jesus is Lord, and that Lordship is expressed in the utter condescension that goes all the way down to the bottom and the power of God that raises Him all the way to the right hand of the Father: Jesus is Lord!

“Jesus, You are Lord, aren’t you.” (Instead of “please, please etc.”). “Jesus, You are sovereign. I surrender this, and I bow to Your authority. Jesus, what do you want me to do?”

What comes under the Lordship of Jesus is brought in touch with the power of the resurrection, and that is finally where our victory and hope lie.

Romans 12:1-2: “Give your ‘bod’ to God”: I am not a body, I have one. And yet I cannot be myself in this life without my body.

Our bodies are the swinging doors of our existence.

When the eternal God came to save us from our sins, He came down in a real live body.

To give our embodied selves to God is in fact our spiritual worship. Real worship is giving of ourselves to God.

The work of ministry is the work of common service.

Reuben Welch Interviews – Approx. 2015

Given below are two videos of interviews of Reuben at Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene. These videos were posted in 2015, but there’s no indication of exactly when the interviews took place.

An Evening with Reuben Welch, Part 1 of 2 (54:60)

An Evening with Reuben Welch, Part 2 of 2 (51:56)