Letter to Christians in Rome: Chapter 16 (pt 12 of 12)

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The second thing Paul said is that it was “made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God.” There is a reference to the New Testament as we have it today. The apostles and prophets wrote the gospel down for us so we could have a clear picture of who Jesus is, and what he can be in us. This is why we have to study both the New Testament and the Old Testament as well, that we might understand how to live on this basis. And so Paul closes with a great doxology,

“. . . to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen. (Romans 16:27)

What a plan! What a program! What a change that happens when people grab hold of this—and get this, begin to operate on it. For instance, when we celebrate the Lord’s Table, which is itself a dramatic retelling of the mystery of the gospel, and take the cup, we are being reminded that by the death of Jesus, Yehoveh cut off all the natural abilities and strengths that we have, and rendered them worthless. Scriptures teach that the flesh cannot please God. However, when we take the bread, we are being reminded that Jesus himself, the bread that came down from heaven, is available to us. His strength, his power, operating in our lives can accomplish what we could never do by ourselves. Our Father is at work within us; that is the mystery. When we come to the Lord’s Table we are reminding ourselves of this, and renewing our promise, our commitment to fulfill that mystery in every situation we face. Every moment of pressure and every demand on us are simply opportunities to respond by realizing again the validity of the mystery: Christ in us!

That’s why Paul could write:

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 which was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed and through the prophetic writings is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith — to the only wise God be glory evermore through Jesus Christ. (Romans 16:25-27)

So ends a brilliant explanation and defense of the Christian faith. Paul’s wisdom and insight into these great mysteries is astounding and provide a tremendous letter and we are so grateful to have in our possession. Amen!

If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome

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