Wednesday, March 12, 2014

To God be Glory Forever, Amen! (Romans 16:25-27)

“Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:25–27, NASB95)

With these last few words Paul concludes his letter to the believers in Rome. What an incredible way to wrap up this thorough teaching for believers. Paul concludes with his eyes turned to our God who is the One who provided for our salvation, made us fully righteous with the righteousness of His Son, and grows us to full maturity in Jesus Christ.

These truths were made known to us by both from the prophets and through the numerous men who God moved by His Spirit to record His perfect Word.

“for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2 Peter 1:21, NASB95)

As Paul and others were given to the ministry of spreading the gospel news, that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead, Paul here was giving credit back to God for what God accomplished through the message that Paul was called to share. It was clearly not something He did for God, but what God did in and through Him as Jesus Christ was loudly, faithfully, and clearly proclaimed even in the face of imprisonment and the reality of death.

What God had promised two thousand years before to Abram (Abraham) and later spoke of through His prophets, God fully revealed in Christ. The Messiah had come. Salvation had come to all men—Jews and Gentiles, and now the good news was being spread throughout the world and many were responding in obedience to the truth and being saved.

Surely Paul also hurt in his heart seeing his own kinsmen (fellow Jews) reject both the Savior and the spreading of salvation to those who were not a part of the covenant. Paul had known their harsh treatment, and was to endure much more for the cause of the gospel of Christ. But Paul also knew the promises, and he wrote about their fulfillment even in this letter that one day the head of Satan would be crushed and all of Israel would be saved. Paul saw this as a soon coming reality and one in which to rejoice and have great hope.

Two thousand years later, we also continue to see this mass rejection not only by Jews but also by so much of the rest of mankind. But even in this, we see our God continuing to draw people to Himself through the message of the gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ.

With Paul we can look to our God and praise Him for the completeness of His plan and trust Him for its completion. As Paul said, He is the “only wise God!” And we have full access to Him through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ through whom we have been forgiven, adopted, and made fully acceptable. And in this we can lift our praise to Him and ascribe to Him all of the glory. One day we will meet Him face to face and join in eternal, full, and complete worship. One day also, even those who have rejected Him will bow before Him, but for them their end is eternal judgment and separation. I am so glad He knows exactly how to deal with all of this and I am so thankful that He has called me to be a part of His work. With that it is my prayer that I would gladly and boldly proclaim Him.

God, thank you for your Word and for our brother Paul who You turned from a hater of Christ to a powerful ambassador to proclaim, instruct, encourage, and even suffer that we might hear. May we be found as people who faithfully give ourselves back to you as living and holy sacrifices wholly acceptable to You.

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” (Romans 12:1, NASB95)

To You be glory forever. Amen.

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