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Romans 16

May 17, 2022

Groundworks Ministries Daily Bible Challenge

“Now to Him who has power to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Messiah Jesus, according to the revelation of the mystery kept silent...”

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Romans 16

“Now to Him who has power to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Messiah Jesus, according to the revelation of the mystery kept silent for long ages, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic Scriptures, according to the command of the eternal God, to advance the obedience of faith among all nations – to the only wise God, through Messiah Jesus – to Him be the glory forever! Amen.” Romans 16:25-27

What is a “sacred secret”? It is a secret that belongs to the Lord, whose prerogative it is to withhold or dispense at His will.

The particular secret Paul is speaking of today is this: God saves all people of any nationality who by faith choose to follow Him by receiving the forgiveness offered them through believing in the atoning work of Jesus. The prophets often spoke of this “secret.” Still, its understanding was not received by most of the Jewish people until Jesus’ resurrection and the Holy Spirit’s filling of believers on the day of Shavuot (Pentecost). Here is an example from Isaiah:

“All nations will stream to Zion and many peoples will say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways that we may walk in His paths.” Isaiah 2:1

When I was in college, I was required to read the original ‘Wizard of Oz”. When the professor told us the story was actually a parable of American politics, all the images shifted. Until then, I believed it was a magical story of a girl and her dog. However, according to the professor’s lecture, the “Tin Man” represents the oppressed iron worker, and the Scarecrow is the desperate farmer. The Lion represents William Jennings Bryan (Bryan-lion) and Dorothy is a parody of “Theodore” (Roosevelt)…and so on. It changed my complete understanding of the story! I was a little upset that my previous understanding of the story had been revised, but was I justified in my feelings of resentment towards the professor for spoiling my preconceptions? In actuality, he did me a favor because he clarified the author’s intended message.

Consider how Israel viewed (and mostly continues to view) the images, predictions, and promises of the prophets. They saw them as pertaining exclusively to Israel and its restoration. The “mystery,” now revealed, is that the salvation exclusively provided through Messiah is available for people of all nations!

Notice Paul’s closing statements are absolutes. 1) God commands that the obedience of faith be advanced among all nations. 2) The God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob is the only wise God. 3) The “obedience of faith” comes through Jesus.

Apart from the absolutes of God in His Word, no true foundation for worship exists.

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