Summary: Paul breaks into a doxology of Praise after expounding on the justification of believing sinners in Christ alone, by faith alone.
“The Incomprehensible God”
If you would write a letter, you would start with a greeting, and then you would write the intent of your letter. Paul began Romans 1 with a treatise of praise to the Almighty God who justifies by faith alone, and then, after 11 chapters of carefully examining God’s justification and salvation by grace and faith to those who are utterly DEAD in sin and unable to save themselves, Paul breaks into a SONG of thanks, a DOXOLOGY, to this Sovereign, Faithful, Merciful and Saving God of History, which really encompasses the Supremacy of God in all things. Paul shows that good and sound theology and doctrine about God begin and end with DOXOLOGY TO God.
Romans 11:33: “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" 35 "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?" 36 For from HIM and through HIM and to HIM are all things. To HIM be the glory forever! Amen.”
Summertime means recreation time around bodies of water. If you are on the shoreline of almost any body of water, you are able to see down to the bottom and even a child can walk, and play (and even drink) in shallow and safe water with no fear. But as soon as the water becomes deeper, you are pretty much clueless as to what lies below the surface.
This is where Paul’s SONG and God’s Salvation in Christ takes us: to the realization that
God’s Great Depth is Unfathomable by man. Paul uses the word “depth” (in the Greek, “bathos”), but the word doesn’t refer to a bathtub; it refers to the very depths of the sea. That’s how it was used in the Greek. The “bathos” is the place far below into the depths of the sea; it is a place where “life as we know it”, cannot possibly exist; the depths of God are unreachable.
The only way you can even BEGIN to fathom the depths of God, are in Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus became God in the flesh and becomes a sort of deep-sea submersible. When we are IN CHRIST and Christ is in you by His Spirit and Word, you just begin to explore some of the astronomical depths of God’s love, and Jesus is the ONLY way that you can begin to see the exceeding greatness of depth of God’s Mercy and Love.
Normally, the deeper you go into water, the more dangerous it becomes, and we know that the pressure at a certain water depth will CRUSH and kill any human. That’s why, when we are “IN CHRIST”, God allows us to taste, see and experience in Christ ONLY what we are able to handle in our human-ness and what He wants us to know: In that sense, God limits our vision to shallow water. Even in eternity, we will never discover all of the Depths of God.
In Daniel 2:20-22, Daniel proclaims: "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; HE knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with HIM.”
Do you ever consider what belongs to God? What does God own? Deuteronomy 10:14 exclaims: “Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it.” If God owns the heavens, all of space, all of the earth, and all that is in it, what does ANY man actually OWN? It is merely an illusion of man to think that he owns anything at all. God never needed to borrow anything from anyone in order to create His riches. He creates what He needs out of nothing, and there is nothing that God desires that He does not innately possess.
God’s Riches are actually Unobtainable to man. Man cannot obtain the riches; whatever man gains is only on account of God’s gifts to men. Whatever a human being might THINK he possesses, is only on loan from God. The question is often asked: What did so-and so leave after he died? The answer: EVERYTHING! Billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are mere paupers compared to the God of the universe, and they are limited by God because nothing even exists outside of God, and they will leave EVERYTHING BEHIND when they die.
Paul speaks about the Riches of God in other places: “the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7), “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8), “the riches of his kindness” (Romans 2:4) and “the riches of his glory” (Romans 9:23). The REAL RICHES of God are the unseen riches. The riches that we possess in Christ can NEVER be taken from us. WE have these unseen riches for eternity. God gives Himself to us in Christ, FULL of grace and kindness, for our salvation and edification, but ALWAYS for HIS own worthy eternal glory.