World English Bible translation
14:24Now 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 in silence through eternal times, 14:25 but now is revealed, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, is made known to all the nations to obedience of faith; 14:26 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.
Today's Scripture contains a benediction. Paul normally ends his epistles with a benediction in which he seeks to impart some final thought to his readers. Many translations place these verses at the end of chapter 16. The World English Bible translation, which we are using for these lessons, places these scriptures at the end of chapter 14. There is manuscript support for both positions, though the majority of translations would place them at the end of chapter 16. The format of these lessons will not allow us to go into a textual discussion here, but if anyone would like a further discussion of the textual issues involved, they can email me for a more in-depth discussion.
Paul pronounces a blessing on his readers in this section. His intention is to remind his readers that in his writing the purpose is to bring glory and honor to God through Jesus Christ. Paul's ultimate purpose is not to establish himself as an apostle in the eyes of the Romans. Nor is it to prepare them for a visit that he had planned for the future. His primary purpose, to which these other reasons were secondary, was to bring honor to God through Jesus Christ.
Honor is brought to God because God can establish his people through the gospel that the apostles delivered and through the preaching of Jesus Christ. God revealed Himself to us through prophets and apostles. Ultimately, His greatest and best revelation came when He sent His own Son to tell us what God was like as a Father to us all. Jesus Christ was filled with the presence of God. People that saw Him were able to see what the Father was like because Christ was the fullness of God made flesh.
God had revealed Himself before Jesus Christ. But, Paul reminds us that that revelation had been imperfect up until the incarnation of Jesus Christ. God was revealing, through Jesus, "a mystery." When Paul uses this word, he does not have in mind a detective story. What Paul refers to is that something had always been true and was kept hidden so that it could be revealed at a particular time for a particular purpose. In this case, God had kept hidden the full revelation of His mercy and grace until the Son of God was ready to be revealed.
God's mercy and grace are evident in His dealings with men from the foundation of the world. Paul has used the examples of Moses, Abraham and Adam in this book as historical figures that help to explain the mercy and grace of God. These mysteries have always been true about God, but their full revelation has only now been completely revealed.
God is revealing Himself to us now through His Son. He is calling all people and all nations into the obedience of faith. Those who respond to the revelation of God will be redeemed and established by God. There is no better revelation that God will give to His creation. He has already revealed Himself completely through His Son.
Have you responded to the preaching of Jesus Christ? Has the Son of God brought the words of the Father to your heart?
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