Paul closes his letter to the Romans with a call to praise. In these final words, Paul glorifies God for strengthening us through the Gospel. The word “strengthen” is typically translated to “establish.” So Paul wants us to think about being strengthened so that we can stand firm in Christ. In a broken and uncertain world, Paul reminds us of the power of the Gospel and how it can keep us stable through turmoil in life.
In these 3 verses, Paul will address the following questions in regards to stability:
- How do I get it?
- What is it?
- Why do I need it?
How do I get it? (Romans 16:25-26)
In a broader sense, stability comes from God. But more narrowly and specifically, it comes from the Gospel. These verses praise God for establishing us. Paul mentions the mystery of the Gospel, which refers to the incarnation, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is and has always been God’s plan to restore the universe and humanity. And it’s now made available to us by God’s grace. Stability comes through Jesus and the preaching of His good news. God loves us and provides us with everything we need in Christ – daily and eternally.
What is it? (Romans 16:26)
Paul defines stability as obedience to Jesus Christ as a result of faith. We see this idea of obedience in the Sermon on the Mount. Widely considered to be the greatest sermon ever preached, Jesus offers an elevated view of morality that seems impossible to accomplish by our own efforts. Only when God establishes us in Christ are we empowered by the Holy Spirit to obey what God requires of us. Jesus ended his Sermon on the Mount with a picture of stability, with an invitation to hear and obey his words. He promises there in Matthew 7 that when we do this, we will be founded upon a solid foundation; we will be stable.
Why do I need it? (Romans 16:25-27)
Our purpose in life can only be found in Christ. We were made to glorify God. The focus of Paul’s praise in this passage is the might and wisdom of God. God is not limited by our limitations. God alone can use our failures, weaknesses, and sins to do something glorious. God alone can provide the stability needed to remain secure in a broken and uncertain world. The result is the glory of God. And when we live for and experience God’s glory, our deepest need is met, our life purpose fulfilled.
There are many who establish themselves in this life but are unprepared for eternity. Paul isn’t concerned about just having a good life now. We were created for eternity with God. We’re also given a greater hope that prepares us for our present trials and future glory. When everything built in this life ultimately fades away, only the glory that is made available through the gospel will last.