Closing Doxology:To Him Who Is Able to Strengthen Us Romans II Series  Romans 16:25-27
Romans 16:25-27 25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.
OUR NEED FOR DOXOLOGY IN EVERYDAY LIFE • Doxology shifts our attention from us and TO GOD. • The word, “doxology” is derived from two Greek words: doxa [glory] + logos [word] = words that ascribe glory to God [a brief hymn of praise to God]. Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Psalm 115:1
OUR NEED FOR DOXOLOGY IN EVERYDAY LIFE • Doxology shifts our attention from us and TO GOD. • The word, “doxology” is derived from two Greek words: doxa [glory] + logos [word] = words that ascribe glory to God [a brief hymn of praise to God]. • Hence, it is fitting to have this most elaborate doxology to his most elaborate letter concerning the gospel—God’s Good News for the world.
OUR NEED FOR DOXOLOGY IN EVERYDAY LIFE • Doxology prompts our focus on God’s HOLY ATTRIBUTES. • God is HOLY—God is not like us; this transcendent “otherness” displays the radiant glory of God. • Doxology focuses on who God is and what God does—here in Romans, it is God “who is able to strengthen us.” Now to him who is able to strengthen you… (v.25a) For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (11:36)
18 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.19Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen! Psalm 72:18-19 24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25
OUR NEED FOR DOXOLOGY IN EVERYDAY LIFE • Doxology directs our will to PRAISE GOD for HIS glory. • In ascribing glory to God, doxologies lead us to God-centered worship. • We don’t merely think about worship or praise in a doxology, we praise God and bring glory to God! 25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you . . . 27 be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.
FOUR COMPONENTS OF PAUL’S DOXOLOGY 1) GOD’S POWER: the SOURCE our strengthening. 25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you . . . • God is able (=powerful) to strengthen us—God’s limitless power strengthens us. • To strengthen/establish [“sterizo”] means to make it stand firm and stable—here, it refers to strengthening our soul and stability of mental outlook because of firm faith. • Paul chose this attribute of God [i.e., the strengthening God] to close his letter. Why? Gospel gives us God’s power and strength to us! • God’s strength and power are available NOW to everyone who is in Christ!
FOUR COMPONENTS OF PAUL’S DOXOLOGY 2) THE GOSPEL: the MEANS of our strengthening. 25 . . . according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed . . . (vs.25b, 26a) • The threefold way is  the gospel,  preaching of Jesus Christ, and  the revelation of the mystery. • All three point to JESUS CHRIST who died, rose, and exalted as the One who made a direct access to God’s grace, mercy, and power. • In this sense, the gospel with preaching about Jesus is not a true gospel. • The mystery [revealed secret] is God’s wisdom of sovereign plan of salvation through Jesus; furthermore, through Jesus God brings all nations into ONE in Christ.
24Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory Colossians 1:24-27
FOUR COMPONENTS OF PAUL’S DOXOLOGY 3) THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH IN ALL NATIONS: the FRUIT of our strengthening. . . . through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith (v.26) • The mystery was known to all nations through a process. • The fourfold process is:  through prophetic writings (OT witness about Christ),  by the command of God which means God’s commission to preach the gospel,  the obedience of faith which is the proper response to Christ, and  make known of the mystery in all nations. • Therefore, the fruit of our strengthening by the gospel/mystery is to bring the obedience of faith not just in us but also in all nations.
FOUR COMPONENTS OF PAUL’S DOXOLOGY 4) GLORY TO THE ONLY WISE GOD: the ultimate PURPOSE of our strengthening. —to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. (v.27) • God is only wise enough to plan our salvation and strengthening through the gospel and in Christ. • God’s wisdom is to use what is foolishness to the world for powerful salvation of the world. • God not only brings in the Gentiles into salvation through Jesus Christ but also plans “all Jews to be saved” (11:25), fulfilling his promise of blessing in Abrahamic covenant. • To this one and only wise God, Paul brings glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.
33Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!34"For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?“ Romans 11:33-34
Major Themes of Romans in the Doxology It is fair then to say that the major themes of Paul’s letter are encapsulated in the doxology: the power of God to save and to establish; the gospel and the mystery, once hidden and now revealed, which are Christ crucified and risen; the Christ-centered witness of Old Testament Scripture; the commission of God to make the good news universally known; the summons to all the nations to respond with the obedience of faith and the saving wisdom of God, to whom all glory is due for ever. - John R. W. Stott
PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR EVERYDAY LIFE • Be STRENGTHENED BY THE GOSPELin your inner being. • Preach to yourself the gospel of “Christ in you” daily. • Live a Gospel-centered life relying on God’s grace in Jesus. 2. Bring glory to God by MAKING CHRIST KNOWN globally and locally. • Do not be ashamed of the gospel—spread the gospel. • Join in the struggle for the gospel together in hardship as well as in joy. 3. Live a life of DOXOLOGY! • Take time to shift your attention from yourself to GOD each day; on some days, several times a day. • Write/pray/sing your own doxologies to God.
Doxology by Thom as Ken (1674) Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.