“Wrestling With Romans”
Glory be to God – (Chapter 16 Verses 17-27)
The wisdom we need (v19), will lead us into further dependence upon the God of peace, whose plan is eventual, and total deliverance for his people from all evil (v20). Does the name Satan flash across the apostolic mind? Because behind all this division, these obstacles in front of the gospel, and contrary teaching, is from the enemy, the devil, even Satan. This deliverance was promised of God long ago, at the same time as he first promised the gospel of his Son (Genesis 3.15). The way to deal with a deadly snake is to bring your foot down hard on it’s head. But you and I don’t have the power to do that with Satan, but the Son of God does, and he will do so. And soon. But the true nature of false teaching is highlighted here, it is Satanic. Therefore, this must be highlighted in the Church’s teaching, Christians need to be made more aware of it than they are, even if the minister runs the risk of being branded as being controversial, so be it. It’s not just avoiding the fraternising with contrary teachers, but bringing the foot of the Lord Jesus Christ’s clear Bible teaching down hard on the head of any doctrine that even scents of the Satanic. Such as the plain denial of the deity of Christ, deviations from his work of atonement, warped views of his incarnation, point blank disbelief in his resurrection, all must needs be stamped upon, and hard.
The greetings of other Christians who at this juncture accompany Paul, are given (vv21-24). Then Paul finishes his letter with a doxology (vv25-27), and after such teaching, well, it is very fitting, is it not? And what a doxology? We can only skim through it. The ability of God’s grace to keep us (v25). The gospel which once was hidden in the Old Testament shrouded in types and shadows, and kept to one nation has been and is being unveiled in the worldwide proclamation of Jesus Christ the Son of God (v26). And furthermore it is now going out to all the nations, all that was before prophesied is being brought to pass (v26). And it is the only and all-wise God who gets all the glory, because it is all his doing, from eternity to eternity (v27). Such is the perfection of God’s plan, and so successfully executed, that for any person to fault it, demonstrates their own foolishness (1Corinthians 1.18-26). And it is all accomplished through, guess who? Yes, our Lord Jesus Christ! Well does Paul say he wants to know him and his power (Philippians 3.10), O to be plunged deeper into him, strengthened in a greater spiritual knowledge of him, and to fathom something of the depths of his great love for us, his who are his by creation, by calling and by redemption (Revelation 4.11). Glory, indeed be to his name, now, and forever more, world without end!
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)