Summary: The book of Romans ends with a beautiful doxology, praising God for what He has done through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is a grand finale befitting the Lord God, His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ & the Gospel by which we come to know them.
ROMANS 16: 25-27
THE GOD OF GLORY
The book of Romans ends with a beautiful doxology, praising God for what He has done through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is a grand finale befitting the Lord God, His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Gospel by which we come to know them. It brings the book of Romans to eloquent conclusion. It proclaims the majestic truth that God purposed from all eternity to save the nations in Jesus Christ (CIT).
Doxologies are found throughout Scripture in both Old Testament (Pss. 41:13; 72:18-19) and New (Rom. 11:30-33; Heb. 13:20-21; Jude 24-25). The name doxology comes from the Greek word "doxa". It originally meant, simply, "an opinion". Your opinion of someone was your doxology regarding that person. Over time, "doxa" came to refer to someone's reputation or power. Eventually, it came to mean honor or glory bestowed on someone. [Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Bromiley, Geoffrey: Ed. 1985 Eerdmans. p. 180]
In the Bible, of course, the One who is deserving of "doxa," or of all glory and all power and an honor, is none other than God. [In fact, the word "doxa" appears often in the New Testament as something related to or regarding Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:4; 1 Cor. 2:8; Jas. 2:1; 1 Tim. 3:16; Acts 7:55; Heb. 13:21; Titus 2:13).] It is the response of coming into contact with the Lord God.
As the apostle praises God he touches on themes prevalent in Romans. Let's use the following outline to aid us in understanding our passage: The Gospel that Establishes Men (v. 25a), The Gospel that Proclaims Jesus Christ (v. 25b), The Gospel that Reveals God's Mystery (vv. 25–26), and the Gospel that Displays God's Glory (v. 27).
I. THE GOSPEL THAT ESTABLISHES MEN, 25a.
II. THE GOSPEL THAT PROCLAIMS JESUS CHRIST, 25b.
III. THE GOSPEL THAT REVEALS GOD'S MYSTERY, 25–26
IV. THE GOSPEL THAT DISPLAYS GOD'S GLORY, 27.
At this point in the letter Paul does what he frequently did (2 Thessalonians 3:17). He grabbed the pen himself and "autographed" this letter with the final three verses. These verses make up the apostle closing doxology or benediction. Verse 25 begins by proclaiming what God is able to do by the power of His Gospel. "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,"
In a long and complicated sentence the apostle interweaves his doxology with a description and affirmation of the gospel. It begins in the Greek "to Him who is "dunameno" or dynamic. This word also yields our transliterated word "dynamite." It is encouraging to think of this, since it takes dynamite to break through mountains of disbelief and granite encased hearts.
Paul is praising Him who is powerfully, dynamically capable of not only breaking through our depraved and blinded hearts, but building and establishing our lives for His glory!" Romans 1:16 therefore proclaims, "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation for all those who believe, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile."
So after affirming God's dynamic power, Paul praises Him for the gospel that establishes men. God is able, that is, has sufficient power, to establish those who trust in Him according to the true gospel that Paul, and every true preacher and teacher proclaim.
The Greek word translated to establish (sterizo) means to make firm, stable or constant, to make fast. [It is used often by Paul. "Sterizo" is the same word that supplies our transliterated word steroids.] In this context to establish refers to being mentally settled, firmly rooted in the truth of the gospel. The unbeliever has no certainty about God or His Word or the way of salvation. The majority of mankind does not even have an interest in finding the true God. They are perfectly satisfied with the religion they have inherited or been exposed to, or else have no concern about religion at all. Even those who attempt to find God by their own searching and discernment are "always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim. 3:7).
But, through the gospel, God is able to establish the minds and hearts of believers in the truth, to settle us, ground us, and make us firm in Him. No one but a Christian can be certain about God, certain about His truth, certain about His standards of righteousness, certain about His love and care, or certain about being with Him throughout eternity. Only the genuinely converted can truthfully say with Paul, "I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day" (2 Tim. 1:12). The apostle assured the Corinthian Christians that "God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed" (2 Cor. 9:8). [MacArthur, John. NT Com. Romans 9-16.1994. Moody: Chicago. p. 383-384.]