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Now unto Him Who is Able...be Glory
By Dr. Mary Craig
Tonight we will contemplate three verses of scripture. All are doxologies, a breaking into a study of the glory of God. It comes when you just cannot contain within your heart all that He is revealing about Himself. This, we will see, happened to Paul, and to Jude.
Our first text comes from Romans 16.25. Paul is finishing his letter "to all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints." (1.7) In that letter, you may recall, Paul spoke of the Gentilesí need of righteousness, that sin must be punished because of the standard of Godís law. None have obeyed Godís law. All have fallen short of the glory of God and thus cannot be justified by the keeping of the Law. But there is a way of salvation and justification, or right standing before God. It comes by way of faith, by way of the promise of the covenant of grace, by way of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul contrasts Christ and Adam. He presents the doctrine of grace, that it is all of God, all of grace, all to the glory of God. Released from the Law, we are to consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to righteousness because there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.
Righteousness comes by faith. God isnít finished with Israel. "All Israel shall be saved." (11.26) Paul gives exhortations to present our bodies a living sacrifice, which is our spiritual worship, and tells us to be subject to authorities, which all derive their power from God. He speaks of the Christianís liberty, which is not to be used for personal gain, but for love to others. We all need mercy and grace. We are to edify one another and abound in hope, preaching the gospel of grace.
Paul says, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Now unto Him that is able to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen."
Thatís a mouthful, typical of Paul. God is able to establish you in this gospel Paul sets forth, the gospel of grace. He will establish you according to the gospel. God will establish you according to the revelation of the mystery which was previously hidden but was not being made manifest. That mystery is not a whodunit type thing. It is a truth that was hidden by God in times past and is now revealed to those who are in His family. It was always there in the Word of God, but hidden, and now God is bringing it out into the light for His people to see, to understand and apprehend.
The mystery was that peace with God through Jesus Christ extended also to the Gentiles, who are grafted into the vine of Godís chosen people.
God is able to establish you according to the commandment. He is the everlasting God and has made His commandment known to all nations for the obedience of faith. The grace of the gospel is given that we might obey through faith working by love. God gave external Law as a standard. As we look at it, we see that we fall short, that we need some way back to the glory that was ours before the Fall of Adam in the Garden. The Law is not bad. The Father gave the commandment out of love so that in keeping it we might live. But no one keeps it. No one really wants to.
The heart must change. God in His grace regenerates the heart, which then desires Him and desires to obey His Word. God wants the obedience of faith. You obey what you believe. You believe what you obey. If you truly believe in Jesus and believe Jesus, you will do what He says. You will desire Him, desire to please Him, desire to glorify Him, desire to honor Him as your Creator and Redeemer.
And so to the one who establishes you according to the gospel of grace, according to the revelation of the mystery, according to the commandment made known for the obedience of faith, to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
Our next text is from Ephesians 3.20, 21. Paul sees in the cross a manifestation of the wisdom of God and Godís awesome power to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable. He sees Godís plan from all eternity. He sees Godís love in Christ displayed in the formation of the Church, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, the Building or temple of Christ. He prays that we might comprehend and apprehend the love that God has for us in Christ that we might be satisfied with all that God is to us in Christ. He cannot contain himself and breaks out into a study of the glory. He says,
"Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to the power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."
God can grant far more than we ask in prayer. God is able to do all we ask Him to do. God is able to do all that we dare not ask but merely imagine. God can do more than this. God can do far more than this. God can do very far more than this. God can do all, above all, abundantly above all, exceeding abundantly above all.
There is a vastness about Godís power as found in Jesus Christ. The power is so great that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended far above all. Godís power is so great that in the cross God reconciled Jews and Gentiles to each other and to God and God is building a temple to His eternal glory.
This power, the power of the Holy Spirit, this power and love beyond human comprehension, is right there, in us. The Holy Spirit has dunamis power, a mighty power. He has energy. The Holy Spirit releases the resurrection power of Jesus Christ into our lives. The Holy Spirit releases this power to glorify Christ throughout all ages, all the generations, forever.
We are to honor God because of the splendor of His power, wisdom, mercy, love, grace. The all of God will expel the all of sin. We are to cooperate with the program. We are to yield to the power of the Holy Spirit and His desire and aim to glorify Christ, to conform us to the image of Christ. The Holy Spirit unveils Jesus. Jesus unveils the Father. The glory is the manifest presence that unveils who God is. The glory comes as you yield and give place to Him.
Ours is an exchanged life. God fills us to the degree we give up ourselvesóour will, our way, our wants, our walk, and our worship. The Holy Spirit must be all in you. He must have all, for He is God. Christ has come to restore the all of God, and it is the Holy Spirit that is given to reveal the all of Christ within you. The Father wants His rightful place. Jesus knows that He is Lord. The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
We are implored. Let the love of God conquer you. Let the love of Christ constrain you. Let the love of the Holy Spirit encourage you. Let your life be all to the glory of God. You glorify God by enjoying Him forever, by being satisfied with all that God has for you in Jesus.
And so we come to Jude. Jude writes of false teachers and apostates, serious apostasy. Jude urges believers to earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. He exhorts believers to keep themselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Do not separate yourself to the idols you have set up in your heart (Ezekiel 14), but separate yourself to God. While youíre out doing the work of evangelism and being ambassadors for Christ, keep a watch on your own life, that you do not be led astray into idolatry.
But now Jude breaks into a study of the glory of God, for God is able to preserve you and enable you to persevere. Listen.
"Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."
God is able to keep you from falling. He preserves you in His grace. He will present you faultless before His glory. It is His joy to do so. And for His wisdom, for this salvation, He deserves the glory and majesty, dominion and power. He has the glory. He has the majesty. He has the dominion. He has the power. And He deserves to have it.
God is able, to establish you in the gospel of grace, to do all the plan of salvation in you, to keep you and preserve you, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. God justifies you. He sanctifies you, and He glorifies you, that you might break into the study of the glory of God yourself.
And so now, letís now just talk about it. Letís do it.
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