Summary: This is the final message in a series over Romans 6-11. The series examines how we now live under God's grace. This message examines Paul's doxology in Romans 11.
There are some things that words cannot describe. Many of these things we attempt to describe and our words fail to do it justice. God is one such thing. How can you accurately describe God? Apparently, Paul felt that the best way to describe God was by worship. In the closing verses of chapter 11, Paul pens the greatest doxology in the pages of Scripture. I think we should pause for a few moments to understand the word doxology as it has been thrown around the church for centuries. The word doxology comes from two Greek terms: doxa which is glory and logia which is saying. A doxology is a short hymn of praise to God in various Christian worship services, often added to the end of canticles, psalms, and hymns. The tradition has its roots in ancient Jewish synagogue worship where similar methods were used to bring to an end each section of the service. Here Paul closes this important section of Romans with powerful words of praise. These words help the reader gain three important insights about God. Our goal is to bring this series to close by learning some important lessons about God.
I. God’s mercy is indescribable.
A. God extends mercy when it is not deserved.
1. Verse 30 basically provides us with a summary all that Paul has covered in chapter 11.
2. The Gentiles did not know God nor were they obedient to Him. They were considered to be unclean and defiled.
3. There was nothing that the Gentiles did or could do to merit receiving God’s mercy.
4. Due to the fact that God’s chosen people made the choice to reject God’s mercy, God made the choice to extend it to the Gentiles.
5. There is no room for pride and arrogance, God freely extended His mercy to people that did not deserve it.
B. God’s mercy prevents Him from writing anyone off.
1. From Paul’s words in regard to his own people, we learn that God never writes anyone off.
2. The very fact that there have been Jews come to faith in Christ shows that God will provide opportunity after opportunity for people to accept His mercy and salvation.
3. Paul shows that Jews by their disobedience have put themselves into the same boat as the Gentiles being undeserving of God’s mercy.
4. God could have wrote the Jews off for rejecting His promises and will but His mercy caused Him to provide them with every opportunity to return to Him.
C. God’s mercy is offered to everyone.
1. Paul has showed us in the book so far that the Law only has the power to condemn us and to put us at odds with God.
2. The Law has literally caused us to be imprisoned by our disobedience facing an eternity separated from God.
3. The great question is, why would God choose to put something into effect that would condemn us?
4. The answer Paul gives is for both Jew and Gentile that in His love God would be able to extend His grace and mercy to all.
5. This does not imply universal salvation but it does state that God will give everyone the opportunity to accept His grace and mercy through Jesus Christ.
II. God’s mind is infinite.
A. God’s wisdom and knowledge is beyond measurement.
1. In verse 33, Paul literally bursts out in song with this powerful hymn praising God.
2. Man simply does not have the capability to fully understand God, God’s ways and thoughts are beyond our comprehension.
3. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9—NIV 2011)
4. We will never understand God’s wisdom and knowledge but on a regular basis He imparts some of it in our lives through the Holy Spirit and His Word.
5. The wisdom and knowledge that God allows us to gain impacts our lives on a daily basis.
B. Paul speaks of God’s mind by asking three questions that are not intended to be answered.
1. These three questions are actually based on Old Testament texts in Isaiah and Job.
2. The first question is: “For who has known the mind of the Lord?”
3. The problem is that it is impossible to know another’s mind but it is possible to know how a person thinks but no one has access to God’s thoughts although occasionally He reveals them.
4. The second question is: “Who became His counselor?”
5. No human being ever has or ever will be involved in giving God advice or making suggestions to Him.
6. The Greek implies that no one is able to do anything that would make God indebted to them.