Summary: The manifestation of this revelation is according to a commandment of the everlasting God.
A MYSTERY UNFOLDED
The Apostle Paul was a master of the long sentence, and the doxology of his letter to the Romans is a classic example. In these three verses Paul echoes the introduction (Romans 1:1-5), and gathers up some of the themes that have occupied his attention through the last 16 chapters. Here we acknowledge the power of God, marvel at the gospel, wonder at the evangelisation of the nations, and praise God for His wisdom.
1. Acknowledge the power of God (Romans 16:25).
The person who reads Romans has already seen God’s power to save us (Romans 1:16), but here we see this same dynamic at work to “establish” us. The Apostle longed to bring some spiritual nourishment to the church at Rome (Romans 1:11) - as he had to the churches which he had founded (Acts 14:21-22; Acts 15:41; Acts 18:23). Here he acknowledges that it is the Lord who brought us to birth who nurtures us, and establishes us in the way.
2. Marvel at the gospel (Romans 16:25-26).
The means that God uses to establish us is the same means that He used for our salvation: the gospel. Earlier Paul had called it “the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1), but later “my gospel” (Romans 2:16). It is the same “gospel concerning Jesus” (Romans 1:1-3) which was revealed to Paul, which is here called “my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ” (Romans 16:25).
Paul presents the gospel as REVEALED TRUTH. It is the key to unlocking the Old Testament (Romans 1:1-2; Romans 3:21-22). It is the revelation of a hitherto hidden mystery which at last comes to light when we discover Jesus “in all the scriptures” (Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44-45).
3. Wonder at the spreading of the gospel to all nations (Romans 16:26).
The manifestation of this revelation is according to a commandment of the everlasting God. This seems to refer to the great commission (Matthew 28:19-20). It is part of the mystery that non-Jews should be included in the commonwealth of Israel (Romans 11:25-26). Paul himself worked to see all nations brought to “the obedience of faith” (Romans 1:5).
4. Praise God for His wisdom (Romans 16:27).
Of all the attributes of God for which we might give God praise, Paul here singles out His wisdom (cf. Colossians 2:1-3). The preaching of the crucified Christ - a stumbling block to some, and foolishness to others - is nevertheless the power and wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:22-24). Paul had already touched upon this wisdom in his earlier acclamation concerning the spread of the gospel (Romans 11:33).
It is apt, too, that we will one day join with the angels in praising God’s wisdom (Revelation 7:11-12).