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The Fathers Love Letter To You
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Romans 16:24-27

THE VOCABULARY OF PRAISE

Intro: As Paul concludes his letter to Rome, he becomes so filled up with praise to the Lord for His blessings that he bursts forth in a "doxology." Now some churches sing what is known as "The Doxology." It goes like this:

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow;

Praise Him all creatures here below;

Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Churches will sing The Doxology and that is about all the praise they ever give to the Lord. They sing it as part of the ritual of their worship. Now, there is nothing wrong with singing that song. Sing it every Sunday if you want to! But, true praise comes from the heart. It wells up inside the worshiper and bursts forth to the glory of God.

The Bible is full of this kind of praise and worship. For example, each book of the Psalms ends with a doxology: Psa. 41:13; Psa. 72:18-19; Psa. 89:52; Psa. 106:48; Psa. 150:1-6. The New Testament also contains many such spontaneous anthems of praise: Luke 2:13-14; Luke 19:37-38; Matt. 6:13; Rom. 11:33-36; Eph. 3:20-21; Heb. 13:20-21; Rev. 5:8-11; Rev. 19:1-2. Do you get the point? Many times in the Word of God, the biblical authors were so overcome with love for their lord that they simply had to praise him. By the way, there is nothing wrong with that at all!

This seems to be what is happening here. According to verse 22, Romans was actually written by Paul dictating the content of the letter through a man named Tertius. Before he closes, Paul may have taken the pen in his own hand and written these last few verses of praise.

I would like for us to look at this doxology tonight. As we do, there are three words used by Paul that I want to point out this evening. These words form The Vocabulary Of Praise for Paul. These three words also give us ample reason to praise the Lord for ourselves. So, with Paul's help, let's learn The Vocabulary Of Praise tonight, and then let's determine to use it for His glory as we pass through this world.

I. V. 24 THERE IS THE WORD GRACE

(Ill. Paul uses the word "grace". There may be no sweeter word known to mankind. This word speaks, "of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues." That is the long version. The short is, "Grace is the unmerited love and favor of God for sinners." However, you define it, grace is what makes the difference in every life it touches. Notice what this one verse tells us about grace.)

A. It Is Sovereign Grace - Notice that Paul says that it is, "The grace of our Lord". Saving grace is something that begins and ends with God. Man does not seek God, God seeks men, Rom. 3:11. Man does not initiate salvation, God does! Man does not provide the means of salvation, God did, Romans 5:8. God saw the need of man and He took the initiative. He provided a Savior to cleanse us, a Spirit to draw us and plan to save us. Grace is totally sovereign. It is something that God does for man!

B. It Is Saving Grace - He also tells us that it is "The grace of our Lord Jesus." May we never forget that the sole reason Jesus came to this world was to be the Savior of man. He did not come to teach, though none taught better. He did not come to set an example, though none lived better. He did not come to do miracles, though none exceeding the manifestation of His power. The sole reason Jesus came into this world was to become the Savior of humanity, Luke 19:10; John 18:37. He came to this world to go to the cross and shed His blood to save fallen men, Phil. 2:5-8. He came to die so that we might live. The innocent came to die for the guilty so that the guilty might be made righteous! That is grace! And faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved, Acts 4:12; Acts 16:31. Salvation comes only through His grace and faith in Him, Eph. 2:8-9!

C. It Is Satisfying Grace - Paul concludes this verse by saying "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ." He calls Jesus "the Christ". This word means "Anointed One." It identifies Jesus as our Prophet, our Priest and our King. It labels Him as One Who is able to meet us at the point of every need of life. He is able to help us through this world and will when we call on Him and trust Him by faith. It is His grace that enables us to face life's trials, 2 Cor. 12:9. It is His grace that teaches us how to live life for Him, Titus 2:11-12. It is His grace that shapes us to the will of God, 1 Cor. 15:10. It is His grace, unlimited and infinite, that empowers us to successfully face whatever life throws at us, Heb. 4:16. Thank God for grace! No wonder Paul praised the name of the Lord!

II. V. 25 THERE IS THE WORD GOSPEL

(Ill. This verse introduces us to another great word that ought to cause us to praise the Lord. It is the word Gospel. This word means: "Good news; specifically, the glad tidings of salvation through Christ." The Gospel is clearly defined in 1 Cor. 15:3-4.)

A. The Message Of The Gospel - Paul says that the Gospel message is the "preaching of Jesus Christ." Regardless of what men may say, the Gospel message is a message about Jesus, Who He is, and what He did for sinners. The message of the Gospel is one of Christ's death on the cross for sinners and of His victorious resurrection from the dead. The Gospel is a message of God's love for all sinners. It is a message of hope, of peace and of power.

Jesus Christ was the theme of the early church, Acts 5:42; 8:12; 8:35; 11:20; 17:3, and it must be the theme of the modern church as well! Why is it so necessary to preach Jesus? Because His is the only name that can save the sin sick soul, Acts 4:12.

B. The Ministry Of The Gospel - Paul goes on to tell us that the Gospel performs the ministry of "stablishing" us. This word means, "to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix 2) to strengthen, make firm." When the Gospel is believed and the soul is saved, the believer is given stability and firm footing upon which to stand. No longer is he in danger of going to Hell. No longer is there a fear of falling. But, he is brought out of the place of uncertainty and made to stand upon a rock solid foundation. The Gospel gives us hope and security as we face life and eternity. This is what David discovered, Psa. 40:1-4. This is also what every redeemed sinner learns as well! No wonder Paul got excited!

C. The Mystery Of The Gospel - Paul brings to light the mysterious side of the Gospel. Ever since man sinned in the Garden of Eden, people had been fighting and losing the battle with sin. How it would ever be taken care of was a mystery hidden from the minds of men. However, all along, God gave man glimpses into what He was planning. The first such glimpse was in Gen. 3:15. The seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent. There was the picture of Abraham offering Isaac on Mount Moriah and God providing a substitute, Gen. 22. There was the children of Israel leaving Egypt because they had been spared by the blood of the lamb, Exodus 12. There was the ancient Jewish sacrificial system that required an innocent offering for the sin of the guilty. Finally, the mystery was revealed when the Lord Jesus went to the cross and tasted death for all men, Heb. 2:9. Now, the entire plan of God has been revealed. Now, whosoever shall call upon the name fo the Lord shall be saved, Rom. 10:13. Now, whosoever will may come and take freely of the water of life, Rev. 22:17.

Sadly, the Gospel is still a mystery to many people. Satan has blinded their minds to the truth, 2 Cor. 4:4. Men have been led to believe that the Gospel involves Jesus plus the church, plus good living, plus this or that. The Gospel is Jesus Christ, alone! To add anything to the Gospel message is to strip it of all saving power and it renders the Gospel message no better than any other false religious system. Of course, one of the modern mysteries of the Gospel is that men would take a message that is so simple and so powerful and that they would pervert it so that it can save no one!

(Note: Friend, what have you done with the Gospel? Have you received it? Have you believed it? Is Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior tonight?)

III. V. 26-27 THERE IS THE WORD GLORY

(Ill. The third word in Paul's vocabulary of praise is the word "glory". This is a word that means, "splendor, brightness 3a) of the moon, sun, stars 3b) magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace 3c) majesty 3c1) a thing belonging to God 3c1) the kingly majesty which belongs to Him as supreme ruler, majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity ." Paul reveals, in these closing verses, a couple of reasons why God is worthy of glory.)

A. The Glory Of God's Will - Verse 26 tells us that this Gospel that was hidden and mysterious since the foundation of the world is made known by the commandant or the will of God. This refers to the fact that God sent His Son into the world to die for sinners because of His great love for humanity, John 3:16. Since it isn't God's will that any should perish, 2 Pet. 3:9, He did all that was necessary to make the Gospel known and available to men!

We think we are really something when we are saved and headed to heaven. What we fail to remember is that we had nothing to do with it! God sought us, God bought us and He opened our eyes to our condition and the remedy for it. Salvation was all His doing and all according the "the good pleasure of His will.", Eph. 1:5. Just the thought of that truth ought to make the born again child of God rejoice! He refused to allow you and me to go to Hell, but His will intervened and saved us by grace. I say, "Hallelujah!"

B. The Glory Of God's Wisdom - Paul says that He is the "only wise God." This is a reference to the fact that only an infinitely wise mind like that of our Lord could have designed such a flawless plan of redemption. Had salvation been left up to man, we would have created a system that would have had us bogged down in a morass of rules and regulations for all of eternity. After all, look at what a mess man has made of things with his religions! God, on the other hand, devised a plan of salvation that is absolutely perfect! Only He would have sent His Son to die. Only He would have conceived of giving the innocent for the guilty. Only He would have designed a plan that would work for anyone, anywhere, who would simply call on Him by faith. Only God, in His perfect wisdom, could have dreamed up a plan as simple as this, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." For that, He is worthy of glory and praise!

C. The Glory Of God's Work - That last phrase "through Jesus Christ forever", places things in their proper perspective. We are reminded that all God has done for us, He did through the agency of His Son. Jesus is the only Avenue of salvation for all men, John 14:6. Jesus is the only Access the saints have to God, 1 Tim. 2:5. Jesus is our only Advocate before the throne of God, 1 John 2:1; Heb. 7:25.

We are simply reminded that for us to glorify God, we must do so through our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other Way to approach Him. There is no other Way to serve Him. There is no other Way to know Him. Jesus, alone, is the Way, the Truth and the Life. The very fact that God would provide all this for us through the Lord Jesus Christ proves beyond all doubt that He is worthy of all the praise and glory we can render to Him. If you are saved, you have ample reason to praise the Lord this evening!

Conc: As I close this message, a few questions come to my mind. First, are you really saved? Can you look back at a moment in time when you trusted Jesus and Him alone for your soul's salvation? Second, have you learned and placed into use the vocabulary of praise? Are you actively thanking God for His Grace, His Gospel and His Glory? Third, is there any area of your life that you know does not please God this evening?

If the Lord has dealt with your heart tonight in any area whatsoever, please allow Him to do His wonderful work in your life. Bow before Him and get what you need from Him!



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