Paul's Epistle to the Romans

 (61) The Benediction

Romans 16:27


Scripture

27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

 

Commentary


27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

It is almost universally believed that this epistle was written from Corinth. We have seen in the first verse of this chapter that Phoebe, who was a deaconess in the Church at Cenchrea, might have been the one that carried the epistle to Rome. Tertius was the writer (Paul’s secretary) according to Romans 16:22[1]; he wrote it all down from what the apostle Paul said; and the third person in the room was the Holy Spirit, who supplied Paul with the words and thoughts that he dictated to his secretary.

To God only wise,
God alone is the source and demonstration of pure wisdom, and to Him alone belongs glory forever, through Jesus Christ, our Mediator.

Here the apostle resumes the doxology which had been interrupted by the previous verse; here the attribute of wisdom is brought into view, because it had been particularly displayed in this plan which was now revealed. It revealed, in an eminent degree, the wisdom of God. That wisdom was on display in devising the plan; in adapting it to the renewing of the heart; the justification of the sinner; his preservation, guidance, and sanctification; and in the manner in which the Divine attributes had all appeared to harmonize. The apostle had illustrated all this in the previous parts of the epistle; and now, full of the convictions of this wisdom, he desires that all the praise and honour should go to God. The tendency of the plan is to promote

His glory. The obligation on all who are benefited by it is to give Him praise.

Power to effect without wisdom to contrive, and wisdom to contrive without power to effect, are similar—vain and fruitless; but both together, and both infinite, make a perfect being. Only He is wise; not the Father, exclusive of the Son, but Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three persons and one God, only wise, compared with the creatures. Man; the wisest of all the creatures on earth, is born totally ignorant, like a wild pig; even the angels themselves are unintelligent, in comparison with God. He only is perfectly and infallibly wise; He only is originally wise, in and of himself; for He is the spring and fountain of all the wisdom of the creatures He created, the Father of all the lights of wisdom that any creature can pretend to have—“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17): with Him alone are strength and wisdom. Here James describes God as the Father of lights. In the Bible the word Father sometimes has the meaning of Creator or Source (see Job 38:28[2]). Therefore God is the Creator or Source of lights. But what is meant by lights? Certainly it includes the heavenly bodies—the sun, moon, and stars (Gen. 1:14–18[3]; Ps. 136:7[4]). But God is also the Source of all spiritual light as well. So we should think of Him as the Source of every form of light in the universe.
Wise. Forming the best plans and using the best means for their execution; intelligent, having understanding, learned:
• (1 Timothy 1:17) “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
• (Jude 1:25) “To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

be glory through Jesus Christ for ever.
This great hymn of praise ends with the glory for man’s salvation being directed toward God, exactly where it belongs. But inherent to Paul’s theme throughout the epistle is that it is through Jesus Christ that praise and glory are channeled toward God. Thus, To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

There is vagueness in the original which is not retained in our version. ‘To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever.’ The interpretation adopted by our translators is perhaps the one most generally accepted. ‘To him that is able to establish you, to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be glory.’ Others explain the passage like so, ‘to the only wise God, made known through Jesus Christ, to whom (i.e., Christ) be glory for ever.’ The simplest construction is, ‘To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to him, I say, be glory for ever.’ ‘As Paul often calls the gospel the “wisdom of God,” in contrast with the wisdom of men, he here, when speaking of the plan of redemption as the product of the divine mind, and intended for all nations, addresses his praises to its author as the Only Wise God, as that Being whose wisdom is so wonderfully displayed in the gospel and in all his other works, that he alone can be considered truly wise.

Be glory. Praise; honour.

Through Jesus Christ. By means of the work which Jesus Christ has performed; through him now as Mediator and Intercessor in the heavens.

Amen.
AMEN,
literally “true”; “that which is true,” “truth,” Isaiah 65:16[5]; a word used in strong assertions, fixing the stamp of truth upon the assertion which it accompanied, and making it binding as an oath. In the synagogues and private houses it was customary for the people or members of the family who were present to say “amen” to the prayers which were offered. Matthew 6:13[6]; 1 Corinthians 14:16[7]. And not only public prayers, but those offered in private, and doxologies, were appropriately concluded with “amen.” Romans 9:5[8]; 11:36[9]; 15:33[10]; 2 Corinthians 13:14[11], etc.
And so ends Paul’s magnificent Epistle. How indebted we are to the Lord for it! And how poor we would be without it! Amen.

_____________________verse 27 notes_________________________

[1](Romans 16:22) “I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.”
[2](Job 38:28)
“Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?”
[3](Genesis 1:14-18)
“14And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.”
[4](Psalm 136:7)
“To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:”
[5](Isaiah 65:16) “That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.” In that day, when the wrongs of earth are righted, people will use the name “the God of truth” when they bless themselves or when they take an oath. In other words, God will be acknowledged as the One who brings His plans to pass, who does as He says He will do.
[6](Matthew 6:13)
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
[7](1 Corinthians 14:16) “Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?” If Paul gave thanks with his own spirit, but not in such a way as to be understood by others, how could one who did not understand the language he was using say “Amen” at the close?
[8](Romans 9:5)
“Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. 
[9](Romans 11:36)
“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”
[10](Romans 15:33)
“Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.”
[11](2 Corinthians 13:14)
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” 
 

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