Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Romans 11:33-36 – Doxology

Paul, having explained the amazing intentions of God, bursts out in doxology and proclaims the greatness of the Lord. This doxology is the apostle’s conclusion to all that he has written so far in this great letter in which he explains the various elements of salvation provided for unworthy sinners, a salvation that has individual, national, global and cosmic deliverances.
Paul’s statement of praise has at least four features. First, there is God’s transcendence above all his creatures, in particular with regard to the riches of his wisdom, a reminder that he always knows what he is doing and that no creature can discover his plans unless he reveals them. Take a simple example. Who is God going to save next? We don’t know, no creature knows, but God has been at work in all kinds of ways to bring it about.
Second, there is God’s independence from all his creatures, stated in the Old Testament quotations mentioned in verses 34 and 35, a reminder that we cannot enhance God. God uses his creatures in the furtherance of his kingdom, but none of them are giving him a helping hand.
Third, there is God’s permanent sovereignty over everything – he creates everything, he enables everything, and he is the goal for everything. We live in ungodly times, yet we must remember that God is as sovereign today as he was when Christianity was strong. Given that his plan includes saving people we should remind ourselves that none of the opponents of God today are able to stop him showing mercy to the disobedient whenever he wishes to do so.

Fourth, there is Paul’s heartfelt desire, that God would be glorified throughout eternity, with this desire being the expression of astonishment, gladness and love, accompanied by the knowledge that his servant would participate in it in ways that he could not even imagine as he wrote his doxology.

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