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The Closing Doxology (Romans Sermon 119 of 120)

The Closing Doxology (Romans Sermon 119 of 120)

November 12, 2006 | Andy Davis
Romans 16:25-27
Glory of God, Worship

Finishing Well

And so we come to the final verses in Romans. We do not come to the final sermon in Romans. Next week I'm going to preach one sermon on all 16 chapters. How in the world I'm going to do that, I don't have the first idea, but I have this week to figure that out. But these are the final verses that I'll be carefully expositing for you. I began this sermon series years ago, well over 100 and, maybe 110 sermons and now we come to this closing doxology. And I think it's important to finish well, don't you think?

I mean, so many people begin things and they don't finish them. I know that's a besetting sin of mine. I'm not going to stand up here and bear my soul to you, so I'll talk more in the abstract about things in general that have begun and not finished, not that I have that problem. I'm not talking about that, but I could. But the fact is we struggle finishing things. You begin a letter and you don't finish it, and you find it a few weeks later, and now it's in no condition to send, wrinkled up or something like that. Or a hobby, you buy a kit and it looks good to you on the outward package, but then you look at the 76-page manual of instruction and you think that "I'll never get this finished," or a dress that you're sewing or something like that and you get it halfway done and you can't finish it. Or then there's the workout regimen that you bought complete with the training video and all that, found that in the storage a little while ago, never got to that.

You know we begin things and we don't finish them, and that's a problem for us, but it is not a problem for Almighty God, amen? What God begins, He finishes, and not only does He finish it, He finishes it gloriously with a glorious flourish. We see that in the physical creation in Genesis chapter two, a summary statement after God had created heaven and earth. And six days, it says in Genesis 2, "Then thus the Heavens and the Earth were completed in all their vast array and by the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing. And so on the seventh day, He rested from all his work." He surveyed everything that He had made, and behold it was very good, finished it gloriously. But even better is the work of redemption in Christ. Think about what Jesus said the night before He died. In John 17:4, He said, "Father, I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do."

Oh wouldn't it be beautiful to say that for just one day, to say I did everything you wanted me to do today, Father? But Jesus said it for His whole lifetime. But of course there was something else yet to be done, and He did it the next day, and as He was finishing that, namely our blood atonement on the cross as his life blood was being poured out and all the scripture prophecies had been fulfilled, after He had tasted the wine vinegar, everything was completed. After He had tasted that, He said, "It is finished." It's perfect. And then He died. And so He finished his atoning work for us gloriously.

But that wasn't the end either because God raised him from the dead on the third day, and He did it with glory in a resurrection body, a glorious body, so it says in 1 Peter 1:21, "God raised Him from the dead and glorified Him." And so He's glorious now. And then how about the new heavens and the new earth? What God begins, He finishes and that with great glory. Revelation 21, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and there was no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband." Oh, how glorious will the church be then.

And what a glorious time that will be for us. Later in that same chapter, one of the seven angels who have the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." And he carried me away in the spirit to a mountain great and high and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, and it shone with the glory of God. And its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal. Oh, what God begins He finishes and that gloriously. And that's true of each one of us in our own personal journeys of salvation. What He begins in us, He will finish, and that gloriously.

Says in Hebrews 12:2, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." He isn't just the one who begins our faith, He perfects it. Or Philippians 1:6, "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." And in that day, you will be glorious. "Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of our Father." For it says in Romans 8:30, "Those whom He predestined, He also called, and those whom He called, He also justified, and those He justified, He also glorified." You see, what God begins in eternity past, He will finish and that gloriously. So we come to the final words of the book of Romans, the greatest letter ever written. And what God began through the apostle Paul, he now finishes gloriously with this incredible doxology.

I. God IS the Gospel, so to God Be the Glory

Now as I look at this and the Book of Romans and I have this week to kind of draw it together in one message, to try to understand what it's all about, I come to this, that it's about the gospel. And ultimately God is the gospel. The word gospel is good news and God is the gospel because God is so good and he's bringing us to himself. He is what we get after all of this. He's our very great reward, as He said to Abraham. And so what better way to finish the book of Romans than a total focus on God Himself? And so Paul writes, "Now to him who is able to establish you, to the only wise God, be glory forever." There's a focus in these verses on God Himself.

And so we focus completely on Him. Now it's a theologically thick, dense statement just as the whole book has been theologically thick and dense. And it's reasonable for us to close this way because Romans is the greatest statement of the gospel in the Bible. And ultimately, God is the Gospel. And notice how this exactly is how Paul began the letter. If you were to go back to the very beginning of Romans, this is how it starts. "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, and set apart for the gospel of God, the gospel of God, the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, it's a predicted gospel He promised ahead of time in the Holy Scriptures through the prophets, regarding His Son, Jesus Christ, who as to His human nature was the descendant of David, and who through the spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the son of God by His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord." That's how He begins and that's also how He finishes so beautifully.

God’s Ultimate Purpose: To the Praise of His Glory

Now God's ultimate purpose in this gospel is the praise of His glory. That's why He does all things. We should never tire the topic of God's glory or the praise, but we never will tire of it. It's an infinite topic and it will consume our full attention in heaven, forever and ever. God saved us in Christ for one ultimate reason, and that is the praise of His glory. He says that three times in the book of Ephesians to the praise of His glorious grace. He says it again and again, and that's why He saves us. And so He brings us at last to the real purpose of this gospel and that is the praise of God and of His glory. To the only wise God, be glory forever through Jesus Christ.

Now there are wonderful benedictions and doxologies throughout the scripture. And I think they're there to remind us that that's our point. That's why we were created. We were created to praise God, to speak words of praise to Him. That's what our mouths are for. They have other purposes too, but our mouths are ultimately to be filled with praise for God. And so there are these sweet doxologies throughout scripture. We sang one of them earlier, that beautiful one in Jude, very similar to the one we have here. "Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault, blameless and with great joy to the only God our Savior, be glory, majesty, power, and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord before all ages now and forever more, amen." Very similar. A focus on God who is able. In our doxology, God is able to establish us. In Jude, God is able to keep us from falling and to present us before His presence, blameless with great joy. He is able.

And so there's these benedictions, and they're throughout the Bible. If you were to go through the 150 Psalms, there are five books of Psalms, to organize, the Jews did into five books. And at the end of each one is a doxology, a glorious praise, and the whole thing ends with Psalm 150, six verses of praise to God. It reads like this, "Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary. Praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power. Praise him for a surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet. Praise him with harp and lyre. Praise him with the tambourine and dancing. Praise Him with the strings and flutes. Praise Him with the clash of cymbals. Praise Him with a resounding cymbals lest the cymbals be too quiet the first time. Praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord."

 Oh, how glorious is that? That's the way the Psalms ends. Glorious praise to God. And that's the way your life, if you're a Christian, will end as well in eternal praise for Almighty God. And boy, you're going to enjoy it. And so will I. Can't wait. And so Paul ends with this focus on God and on His glory. He focuses on God who is the gospel.

II. The Gospel that Establishes Believers

Now let's look at it a little more carefully. First, it's the gospel that establishes believers. Look at verse 25, "Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel." Unbelievers are essentially unstable in their lives. Because Satan, their king, is an unstable being as we saw last time, very unstable. He was cast down from heaven to earth and now he roams restlessly over the surface of the earth looking for something to do, and it's always bad. He's always reacting to God and trying to mess it up.

He's a reactor, not an actor. And so he's trying to just find whatever God's doing and forded, and frustrated. But he himself is a frustrated being. He's filled with rage because he knows his time is short. In effect he's somewhat like a homeless drifter just passing through. We are the permanent owners by the grace of God. The meek will inherit the earth. He's just passing through causing a lot of trouble, and how good it will be, as we talked last time, when he's finally on his way. But he's essentially unstable. He's not a permanently rooted fixture here. The world itself that he created is passing away. So also demons are passing away. They are restless creatures seeking someone to inhabit because they have no rest, and therefore non-Christians are essentially unstable. They have no roots. They're drifting in life. There's a great instability there.

Well, it says here, "Now to him who is able to establish you." And here is the focus on God. It is God who is able to do this. Do not look to yourself to establish yourself in Christianity. It can't be done. You can't do it. You don't have that power. If you're a Christian now, I mean, genuinely born again, you will be one in 20 years. And that's only by the power of God. God is at work in you and he's able to root you and to establish you in this gospel. "Now to him who is able to" do this, the focus is on the ability of God. We are constantly tempted to look to ourselves, aren't we? To look inward to see if we have the resources to meet the challenge. I tell you, you do not have the resources to meet this challenge. But God does. "Now to him who is able," it says,

And it talks about establishing. Now this Greek word "establish" means to set an unshakable foundation, to strengthen and reinforce. When I was a student in the Boston area, they were always building, and there was one, a building in particular, it was a skyscraper they were building in Cambridge, and every day, I'd walk across and I'd listened to the rhythmic beat of these tools that were driving the piles down and it was just giving me a headache and I'm wondering when are they going to be done? And I was told they've got to go as deep down into the earth as the skyscraper goes up, so it'd be rooted and established, especially there in the Back Bay, which is landfill of Boston. The Back Bay's very unstable there. And so every day as I'm walking across, my foot steps are, is driving the pilings down. God wants to do that with the gospel truth in Romans into your heart.

You're not done with Romans when I get done preaching here. I hope you know that. You'll never be done with Romans and neither will I, besides which, there's only one person in the sanctuary who is here for all of those sermons that I preach in Romans, it's me. I'm the only one. I think I was here for most of them anyway. I was. But at any rate, we need to be saturated in the book of Romans the rest of our lives. It's not just to bring you to initial faith in Christ. It's to develop your maturity. Develop your faith, to finish saving you. And so we'll be established by this gospel to the end. Keep reading it. We're never done with it. This is the very thing that Paul wanted to do in his visit to the Roman church back in chapter 1:11. He says, "I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to establish you." It's the same idea. He wanted to do it but he couldn't.

We talked about that in Romans 15 why he couldn't go there. But he sent on this letter. But it doesn't matter because it really isn't Paul who can establish us anyway. It is God who establishes us and He is able to do it and He does it by these words by Romans. Isn't it beautiful that God is able to put solid ground under our feet? It says in Psalm 40:1-3, "I waited patiently for the Lord. He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit." That's sin, friends. "He lifted me out of the slimy pit out of the mud and mire and he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. And he put it in the song in my mouth and a hymn of praise to our God." If you're a Christian, that's what God's done for you and He's not done doing it. He's going to put even more solid ground under your feet, eternal ground, the new heavens and the new earth. It'll never move. It's permanent. How sweet is that? God is able to meditate on that. Don't meditate on what you think you can do and what you plan to do. Meditate on what God by His infinite power is able to do in you. He is able to establish you.

God Establishes Believers Through the Gospel

Now it says he's able to establish you by "my gospel." Don't you love that? "My gospel," says the apostle Paul. Now we should not think that Paul's gospel was different than everybody else's gospel. Well there's my gospel and then there's that gospel that Peter is preaching and the one that John's got over there. No, it's all the same. Paul is not saying that his gospel is unique from the other apostles. He's not saying that, neither is he saying that he wrote it or invented it. "You know I'm the author of the gospel. It's my gospel, you know? But I'll let you have it, or borrow it anyway." He's not talking like that. Actually in Galatians 1:11-12, he talks exactly the opposite. He said, "I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preach to you is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it. Rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ." That's the gospel that Paul's talking about.

But yet he calls it "my gospel." Well I think he's identifying, "This is the gospel I preach. This is the gospel that I've been writing about here in these 16 chapters. This is my gospel." And I think more than that, there's a sense of passionate ownership here. "This is the gospel that saves my soul," says Paul. "This is the gospel that is my hope. This is the gospel that is my pearl of great price. I sold everything to get this. This is the treasure hidden in the field and I sold everything to get this treasure. It's my gospel. It's the salvation of my soul." Can you say that today?

You've come to church today, but have you come with a gospel that's yours? It's your gospel. You've signed your name to it. You've committed yourself to it. It has saved your soul. Have you seen Christ crucified as your savior? Is this your gospel? It's mine. Is it yours? I beg you, don't leave this place today without making it your gospel through simple faith. Look to Jesus. Look to the one who is the author and perfecter of faith to Jesus hanging on the cross that you might have eternal life. Make it your gospel. But Paul says, "It's my Gospel that establishes believers." And this gospel, which we're going to go over in one swoop next week is the gospel of message of Romans, a gospel that talks about universal sin. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There is no answer within us.

But God from the outside sends the answer. He sends his only begotten son. And Jesus, by his blood propitiation, he turns away the wrath of God and he brings God at peace with us and we are reconciled through simple faith. And having been reconciled, we're given the gift of the Holy Spirit. We are told to work out our salvation moment by moment by presenting our bodies as living sacrifices. That's sanctification. And then in the end, he is going to glorify us. He's going to finish the saving work in us. That's Paul's gospel. And by that he is able to establish you.

By ongoing exposure to the truth that Paul preached. It is also the gospel that proclaims Jesus Christ. He says, and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, all roads lead to Jesus Christ, Christ is the center of the Gospel, He's the center of the Bible and He is the center of all human history. And so therefore the proclamation of Christ has ongoing power to establish you. You need to hear Christ preached the rest of your lives, because it's able to put those pilings under your soul so that you're not easily moved.

III. The Gospel that Proclaims Jesus Christ

And it's by the proclamation of Jesus Christ. Why is it so? Well, because faith, the faith that justifies you, it comes by hearing. It came the first time that you heard the gospel. I mean really heard it. Not the first time you heard the words and didn't make much sense you but I mean the first time you heard it with your heart and faith sprang up inside you, because you heard the truth. Well, that faith that justifies you, it's a living thing, and it needs food. You need to feed it. You know what feeds it? The word of God. The hearing of the proclamation of Jesus Christ, that's what he's talking about.

So he says, the proclamation of Jesus Christ is able to establish you. Now, this was Paul's entire work. The word proclamation here is the work of a herald. Remember the guys back in the Colonial era, the town clerks standing with a bell?

Herald, that kind of thing. And then he came with a message from the King and you would listen. King couldn't get everywhere, didn't have the internet or text messaging or any of that stuff, so they would send out these heralds. They go by horse about whatever, and they'd go into your locality and they would proclaim the message from the King. Paul was that kind of a herald.

He says, "Of the gospel, I was appointed a herald and an Apostle and a teacher," he's there to ring the bell and say, "Listen to this, this is a message from the King and it's about Jesus Christ." This was Paul's supreme commitment to preach Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2, he says, "When I came to you brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and with much trembling."

That's not much to look at. The human messenger, it's not really spectacular. We preachers, we can't compete with all the multimedia images and all that. We're not trying to. According to the wisdom of God or what's called the foolishness of God in 1 Corinthians 1, it's just preaching that establishes your soul, the preaching of Jesus Christ, the proclamation of Christ. And this Gospel proclaims the glory of Christ from A to Z as we'll see next week.

IV. The Gospel that Reveals Mysteries

"Now to Him who is able to establish you," He says "by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ." This is also a Gospel that reveals mysteries. Look what it says in verses 25-26, "According to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God." Before the foundation of the world, before God said, "Let there be light," before there were any angels, certainly before there were any demons, before there were any people, before there was sun, moon or stars, before any of that, God had worked out the salvation plan. It was in the secret counsel of His own mind.

God had worked out the whole plan before the foundation of the world. It was hidden for long ages past. And as redemptive history unfolded, God paid it out a little at a time, gave out a little more insight, a little more wisdom, a little more of the gospel story acted out in types, a little more prophecy coming. Little by little, we see it, He's paying out this mystery. Deuteronomy 29 says, "The secret things belong to the Lord, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever." So how does He reveal them?

He reveals them through the prophets. He speaks these mysteries out. Now, when we talk about mysteries of the Bible, we're not talking about something like an Agatha Christie deal or Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles, what is that hound? The monarch hound? How did he try to work out that thing or the game Clue, Colonel Mustard with the lead pipe in the conservatory, it's nothing like that. The mystery of God is something that God has within Himself that you cannot know if He doesn't reveal it. And if we talk about redemptive mysteries, it has to do with God's redemptive plan that He's holding to Himself. And then He pays some of it out a little at a time.

: And so there are all kinds of mysteries in the Bible. There's the mystery of godliness, 1 Timothy 3:16. The mystery of lawlessness that's about the Antichrist, 2 Thessalonians 2. The mystery of the rapture: "Brothers, I tell you a mystery, we'll not all sleep, but we will all be changed." It's a mystery. There's the mystery of the Kingdom of God in Mark 4:11. There's the mystery of Christ's will in Ephesians 1:9. The mystery of Christ Himself in Colossians 2. The mystery of marriage, the relationship between a husband and wife, picturing in some way, the relationship between Christ and the church. Paul says it's a profound mystery, but he is talking about Christ and the church. Mystery of the Gospel, he says in Ephesians 6:19, the mystery of "Christ in you, the hope of glory," Colossians 1. The mystery of the faith, 1 Timothy 3:9.

And then Book of Revelation is filled with mysteries. There's all kinds of mysteries in Revelation. We're going through in our men's Bible study on Thursday. And so there's the mystery of Babylon the great and all kinds of other mysteries that are yet to come. When the New Testament uses the word mystery though, most frequently it talks about this one mystery, and that is how could Gentiles, like you and me, if you're a Gentile, how could we end up in some spiritual sense like Jews, children of Abraham, somewhat mysteriously grafted into an olive tree, that is of Jewish heritage and we are circumcised not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, by the word of God and by the Holy Spirit of God? That's a mystery. And that's what he's talking about here, the mysteries of the Bible.

Revealed by the Prophets in the Scriptures

And they've been revealed by the prophetic writings. If you ask me how I know that Christianity is true, it's these prophetic writings. The fact that we are time-bound preachers. I had some great witnessing opportunities on the plane. I always try for them. I don't always get them, but woe to the talkative person who sits next to me in the plane. If you're talkative, it's definitely going to happen. We're going to get a good gospel presentation. I don't know that they'll come to faith, that's something I cannot do. Only God can produce new life in a heart, but they're going to hear the gospel. And I kind of parse it... I get, alright, 80 minutes, we'll go 40 minutes them talking as much as they want about whatever they want, and I will be interested in that and listen for clues, and some things I could say. The second half is going to be gospel, though they know it not, when they're sitting next to me. That's what we're going to do.

But I was talking to one man, an engineer working in Norfolk, Virginia on flight simulators and I love that engineering stuff. There's still engineering inside me, it's still there, but I love the Word of God, too, but I love listening to servos and computer stuff and all that really geeky, and I was enjoying that. Alright, tempted just to talk about that the whole time. But I knew the Lord would call me to account on Judgment Day for that witnessing opportunity. This guy believes in reincarnation, believes in all kinds of things. He said, "How do you know what you're saying is true?" Because I said to him, reincarnation might be true and resurrection might be true, but they can't both be true, one or the other. We've got to figure it out.

Now, I have certain reasons why I believe it's resurrection and not reincarnation, but none of us has been in there except Jesus came back to tell us. So how do you know? So I used an illustration. I said, "We are now flying into Atlanta. Suppose there was someone on the plane who believed we're actually flying into Las Vegas, passionately believed it, would that change the destination of the plane?" He said, "No," I said, "What would you think of that person?" "They're nuts, or they got on the wrong plane, or greatly deluded." I wonder how you would do that. You got on the wrong plane. But their belief that they're going to end up in Vegas doesn't change the destination of the plane. I said, "What matters is where are we really heading not where do you think we're heading. What is the truth? He said, "Well how can you know the truth?

I said, The Bible. He said, "How do you know the Bible's true?" I said, "One of the ways is prophetic writings. We are locked into time, we don't know the future. We don't even know what the weather is going to be like tomorrow really, for sure. But God knew things a thousand years in advance of Christ, that Jesus would be crucified, His hands and His feet pierced, Psalm 22. That He would shed His blood for the sins of the people, Isaiah 53, that He would be raised and his body would not see corruption, it would not decay, Psalm 16. That He would be worshipped as deity, as God by people from all over the world, Daniel 7. These things were all predicted long before any of them came to pass. You can't orchestrate that. Only God can do that.

And so, by the prophetic writings we know that this is true. This is how God has revealed the mysteries through prophets. It is His glory to tell us ahead of time what's going to happen and then it happens. He's the only one who can do it because he's the only sovereign king. Everything else is subject to whether he says so or not. So we say "If the Lord wills," but if God says it, the Lord wills, because he's saying it. And so, the prophetic writings tell us. And these are revealed by the apostles, the apostles were stewards, 1 Corinthians 4, of the mysteries of God. They were held accountable to how they dealt with these mysteries and Paul wanted to be a faithful steward of the mysteries of God. And so, he was preaching them.

Now, as I look at the Bible, I think the whole thing is summarized in two phrases. A friend of mine, Mark Dever wrote two books, one, a whole book summarizing the Old Testament, another whole book summarizing the New Testament. Old Testament promises made. New Testament, promises kept. That is God. He is the promise maker and keeper. Old covenant promises made. He said to Abraham, "Through your offspring, all peoples on earth will be blessed." He's fulfilling it now in Christ. That's how we know that it's true.

V. The Gospel that Produces Obedience Among the Nations

Now, this Gospel also is a Gospel that produces obedience among the nations. Look what it says, "but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey Him." It's a gospel that produces obedience among Gentiles, among peoples. Now he mentions the command of the eternal God. God has commanded that these mysteries be revealed. He commanded Isaiah to write Isaiah 53. He commanded David to write Psalm 22. He commanded David to write Psalm 16. He commanded Jeremiah to write of the new covenant that was coming in David, the branch of David that was coming. He commanded these things. And he commanded the apostles to get up and preach it on Pentecost and thereafter. By the command of the eternal God, this word goes out.

But what is the word? The gospel itself is a command. The gospel is a command that must be obeyed. How did Jesus begin preaching? He said, "The time is at hand, the Kingdom of God is near, repent, and believe the good news," that's a command, friends. Repent, turn away from sin, believe the gospel. These are commands given by a king.

And so this is a Gospel that must be obeyed. Remember how the apostle Paul was standing in Athens, he is debating with those Areopagus philosophers just sat around talking about and listening to the latest ideas all the time. That's what they did. And so in comes Paul, and he is despised, they think nothing of him, he doesn't have that eloquence and all that sort of stuff, and his philosophy seems bizarre. A Jewish carpenter, some guy from Nazareth dies on a wooden cross, under the condemnation of the Romans and He's the Savior of the world. It seems like foolishness, but that's what he preached. But Paul was so bold, so bold. And he says very plainly, talking about their idolatry in Athens, he says, "I see that in all the city, it's filled with idols." In the past, God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. The Gospel is a universal command given by Almighty God, the eternal God, to the human race. Repent and believe the good news. That's what he's called it.

Now, what I get out of this is that you want to know how do I know I'm saved? How do I know I have saving faith? Well, is there a pattern of obedience in your life? There is an obedience that comes from faith. If there's no obedience, friends, there is no faith, it's that simple. God has saved us to bring us back under the yoke of Christ. Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you…" Take your neck and put it under my yoke submit to me, let me be your king. My commands are not burdensome. Bring your life under obedience, the obedience of the Gospel," this is an obedience that brings faith. And it's the obedience of the nations.

VI. The Gospel that is the Wisdom of God

Finally, it is the Gospel that is the wisdom of God. He says "To the only wise God." All the wisdom of God. We talk about the ancient world. And Alexander the Great was confronted when he invaded Asia Minor with a problem traditionally, this maybe a mythological story but I think it's true, with the Gordian knot. Now, it had been prophesied that this tangled up knot of rope could only be untied by the one who is the rightful ruler of Asia. Alexander was not much of a thinker, I don't think at this moment, at least. So he pulls out his sharp double edged sword and slices the thing, so much for that, right through, "Enough of the Gordian, I don't have time for that, I'm the rightful ruler," power of the sword. Power, you see, domination.

God had a Gordian knot to untie. He had to figure out how to take wretched sinful people like us and transform us, bring us back into His Kingdom, glad to obey Him, but giving Him all the glory and the credit. How did He do that? And He did it by taking our punishment on Himself in the form of His only begotten Son. The wisdom of God, the intricacy of God's fingers, is He untied the knot of how to save sinners in a way that humbles them, but makes them incredibly happy, at the same time, eternally joyful in our humility. And He did it in Christ. It's the wisdom of God in the gospel. It's a full display of the attributes of God, of His power, of His wrath, of His justice, of His mercy, of His compassion, of His patience. You see it all at the cross. It is the wisdom of God. And Christ is the wisdom of God.

Now, what does Christ give us? Well, He gives us salvation, the chief wisdom of God is to give us a wise savior like Jesus, who speaks wisdom with us saying things like "What would it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your soul?" He speaks words like that, like "Come to me, believe in me." That's the wisdom of God. What does He give us for that wisdom? He gives us eternal joy in heaven. He gives us salvation. What does He give to His Heavenly Father?

Well, it says it right here at the end, "To the only wise God, be glory through Jesus Christ, forever and ever, Amen." that's what Jesus gives to His Father, He gives Him glory. "That at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, the Father." Jesus sought His Father's glory and He has it. He has glorified His Father and He will for all eternity.

VII. Application

Now, we've come to the end of Romans. What application do we take just from this doxology? The first is simply, come to Christ. As I urged and begged you in the middle of it. Just coming to church is not the command. Come to church, that's not it. It's come to Christ, believe in Him, trust in Him for the salvation of your soul. But those of you that have come to Christ already, focus on the God who is able, just take that from it. "Now to Him who is able," just take that phrase. God is able. He is able to save me, He's able to answer my prayers, He's able to solve my problems, He's able to address my needs. He is able to save me to the uttermost. He is able to do that.

And keep saturating your mind in the Book of Romans. Read it through, you could read it through in probably an hour. It's not that long, 432 verses. Read it through, read it an hour, saturate your mind in it, and keep thinking, "I'm not done being saved yet. I've been justified, but I'm still being sanctified. I haven't yet been glorified, I need to keep growing." Saturate your mind in it, in the book of Romans.

And assess your obedience. It is faith that produces obedience. If there's no obedience, friends, there is no faith. Look at your obedience. Are you living an obedient lifestyle? Are you by the spirit putting to death the misdeeds of the body? Is there obedience in your life? And then finally, delight in the future glory of God in Christ. You're going to see it. If you're a Christian, you're going to see it, more than you can possibly imagine, delight in it. Close with me in prayer.

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