Romansby David Cook
Paul now concludes this great letter with greetings from his close co-worker Timothy (v. 21). Tertius, who wrote down the letter at Paul’s dictation (v. 22), sends his own personal greeting, and Paul sends greetings from his host Gaius (v. 23). Once again, we have this glimpse of Paul: not the unapproachable, cold, stiffly orthodox apostle, but a man engaged in warm relationships with the churches. We can’t help but be impressed by the warmth of his widespread greetings.
He has offered blessings at 15:13, 15:33, and 16:20, but now he comes to his final benediction (vv. 25–27), which is the longest of all his letters. These are memorable last words: “Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with 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 the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith—to the only wise God be glory for ever through Jesus Christ!”
Paul ends as he had begun in Romans 1:1–5. There, the emphasis was on the gospel, promised through the prophets, to the effect that the Gentiles might be called to the obedience which comes from faith. Paul never moves far from the gospel. He never forgets his persecuting past, and God’s grace in allowing him to come to Christ.
He introduces the gospel, he defines the gospel, he expounds the gospel, and he describes how the gospel transforms. Finally, he commits those who have been powerfully saved by the gospel to the God “who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel” (v. 25)—that is, the apostolic gospel of God’s provision of righteousness in Christ, expounded in this letter.
In his final address to the elders at Ephesus (Acts 20:32), Paul showed similar confidence in God’s ability. He appointed elders in each church and “committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust” (Acts 14:23).
God holds, protects, and establishes us through the gospel—the gospel that declares all those who are in Christ to have an eternally unchanging, righteous status with God.
Write out a prayer to God in response to the truth of Romans.
What is “the obedience that comes from faith” (Romans 1:5)? What does such an expression teach us about faith?