This Fall, the Soul Sisters have been studying Paul’s letter to the Romans. I have been privileged to walk with them through this time and each week I have tried to expand on the lesson in the companion devotional by adding some “color” commentary. This is the third or fourth year that I have been honored to meet and teach them each week.
One of the fascinating things about Paul’s letters is that there are many times when Paul breaks into worship and praise of Jesus Christ and His Father. In books like Ephesians, also written by Paul, the praise and worship, also called a doxology, comes in the middle of the book.
The original Greek word “doxa” (in the English alphabet) means glory or honor. Of course, a doxology is the praise, honor and/or glory. I was taught that the word “glory” means “the best part revealed.” When we honor someone with an award, we are glorifying them, revealing the best part of them…. Of course, when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we are indwelled with the Holy Spirit and God’s glory surrounds us. We are better for having accepted the gift of eternal life.
When we praise God and honor Him, we glorify Him. This praise can be referred to as a “doxology.” Another word sometimes confused with a doxology is a benediction, but they aren’t always the same. A benediction is like a bookend at a worship service. The service opens in a prayer and concludes with a blessing. Not every benediction is a doxology, but it is usually used as a blessing over the people of the congregation or at the end of a book.
When Paul breaks into praise and worship, one can’t help but be moved by his exuberance and passion for Christ. Paul is noted for breaking into praise throughout his epistles (letters) to the churches.
The Old Testament is also filled with doxologies. For example, each of the five books of the Psalms ends with a verse of praise and honor for God. Clearly absent from these Old Testament verses are the mention of Jesus whose time had not yet come…
The main doxology we studied today is the one that occurs at the end of the book of Romans. Paul, having completed his doctrinal teaching in the first eight chapters; and followed that with three chapters on the Jewish people, completes Romans with practical ways for us to live the Christian life.
Our verse for tonight highlights his doxology in Romans. In Romans 16:25-27, Paul tells the people of Rome, and us, “Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him— to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
Paul recognizes that the Good News of Jesus had not been revealed in the Old Testament but was now available by the grace of God. His prayer includes the hope that all nations would put their faith and hope in Christ. My encouragement this evening is that it was Paul’s strongest wish and hope that the Good News of Jesus would touch the hearts and souls of all people throughout the world. My prayer is that we will all be so overcome with the love of Christ that we will also break into words of praise, honor and glory for God! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…