Now to him - In the note at Romans 14:23; (note). I have shown that this and the following verses are by the most reputable MSS. and versions placed at the end of that chapter, which is supposed by most critics to be their proper place. Some of the arguments adduced in favor of this transposition may be found in the note above mentioned. I shall therefore refer to Griesbach, and proceed to make a few short remarks on the verses as they occur here.
Of power to stablish you - To that God, without whom nothing is wise, nothing strong; who is as willing to teach as he is wise; as ready to help as he is strong.
According to my Gospel - That Gospel which explains and publishes God's purpose of taking the Gentiles to be his people under the Messiah, without subjecting them to the law of Moses. This is what he here calls the preaching of Jesus Christ; for without this he did not think, as Mr. Locke observes, that Christ vas preached to the Gentiles as he ought to be; and therefore in several places of his epistle to the Galatians he calls it the truth, and the truth of the Gospel, and uses the like expressions to the Ephesians and Colossians. This is that mystery which he is so much concerned that the Ephesians should understand and adhere to firmly, and which was revealed to him according to that Gospel whereof he was made a minister. And it is probable that this grand mystery of bringing the Gentiles into the kingdom of God, without passing through the rites of the Mosaic law, was revealed more particularly to St. Paul than to any other of the apostles, and that he preached it more pointedly, and certainly with more success. See Taylor and Locke.
Which was kept secret - This purpose of calling the Gentiles, and giving them equal privileges to the Jews, without obliging them to submit to circumcision, etc.
Now to him - This and the two following verses are found in many manuscripts at the close of Romans 16:20.
Is of power - Greek, Is able; who has power; Ephesians 3:20; Jude 1:24, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling,” etc. God only can keep Christians in the path of salvation; and it was well to bring that truth prominently into view at the close of the Epistle.
To establish you - To strengthen and confirm you.
According to my gospel - According to the gospel which I preach; the doctrines which I have been defending in this Epistle. It is called “his” gospel, not because he was the author of it, or because others did not preach it also, but because he had been “particularly” defending it in this Epistle. The doctrines which he had advanced were just those which were suited to strengthen and confirm them, - the doctrine of justification, of election, of perseverance, and of the protection and favor of God to both Jews and Gentiles. These were the doctrines which he had defended; and it might easily be shown that “these” are the doctrines that give stability to the Christian faith, hope, and love.
And the preaching of Jesus Christ - Not his “personal” preaching; but according to that preaching of which Christ is the author and the subject; and particularly, as the following clause shows, to the doctrines by which the partition between the Jews and the Gentiles was broken down, and by which they were admitted to the same privileges and hopes.
According to the revelation - According to the communication of what has been so long concealed, but which is now made manifest. The word “revelation” refers to the “publication” of the plan by the gospel.
Of the mystery - The word “mystery” means properly what is “hidden” or “concealed,” and is thus applied to any doctrine which was not before known. It does not mean necessarily what is “unintelligible;” but what had not been before revealed; see the note at Matthew 13:11. The word here seems to refer to the principal doctrines of the gospel; its main truths, which had been concealed, especially from the entire Gentile world, but which were now made known.
Which was kept secret - Which were kept in “silence” (Greek, σεσιγημένου sesigēmenou), were not divulged or proclaimed. Since the world began - In all past times. This refers particularly to the Gentiles. The Jews had some obscure intimations of these truths, but they were now made known to all the world. The phrase “since the world began” is in Greek, “in eternal times;” that is, in all past times; or, as we should say, they have been “always” concealed.
Since the world began - In all past times. This refers particularly to the Gentiles. The Jews had some obscure intimations of these truths, but they were now made known to all the world. The phrase “since the world began” is in Greek, “in eternal times;” that is, in all past times; or, as we should say, they have been “always” concealed.
Paul's labors at Antioch, in association with Barnabas, strengthened him in his conviction that the Lord had called him to do a special work for the Gentile world. At the time of Paul's conversion, the Lord had declared that he was to be made a minister to the Gentiles, “to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me.” Acts 26:18. The angel that appeared to Ananias had said of Paul, “He is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” Acts 9:15. And Paul himself, later in his Christian experience, while praying in the temple at Jerusalem, had been visited by an angel from heaven, who bade him, “Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.” Acts 22:21. AA 159.1
Thus the Lord had given Paul his commission to enter the broad missionary field of the Gentile world. To prepare him for this extensive and difficult work, God had brought him into close connection with Himself and had opened before his enraptured vision views of the beauty and glory of heaven. To him had been given the ministry of making known “the mystery” which had been “kept secret since the world began” (Romans 16:25),—“the mystery of His will” (Ephesians 1:9), “which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel: whereof,” declares Paul, “I was made a minister.... Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Ephesians 3:5-11. AA 159.2
God had abundantly blessed the labors of Paul and Barnabas during the year they remained with the believers in Antioch. But neither of them had as yet been formally ordained to the gospel ministry. They had now reached a point in their Christian experience when God was about to entrust them with the carrying forward of a difficult missionary enterprise, in the prosecution of which they would need every advantage that could be obtained through the agency of the church. AA 160.1Read in context »
That which in the councils of heaven the Father and the Son deemed essential for the salvation of man, was defined from eternity by infinite truths which finite beings cannot fail to comprehend. Revelations have been made for their instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may glorify his own life and the lives of his fellow men, not only by the possession of truth, but by communicating it. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” FE 408.1
Jesus brought into His teaching none of the science of men. His teaching is full of grand, ennobling, saving truth, to which man's highest ambitions and proudest inventions can bear no comparison; and yet things of minor consequence engross the minds of men. The great plan of the redemption of a fallen race was wrought out in the life of Christ in human flesh. This scheme of restoring the moral image of God in debased humanity entered into every purpose of the life and character of Christ. His majesty could not mingle with human science, which will disconnect from the great source of all wisdom in a day. The topic of human science never escaped His hallowed lips. By believing in and doing the words of God, He was severing the human family from Satan's chariot-car. He was alive to the terrible ruin hanging over the human race, and He came to save souls by His own righteousness, bringing to the world definite assurance of hope and complete relief. The knowledge current in the world may be acquired; for all men are God's property, and are worked by God to fulfill His will in certain lines, even when they refuse the man Christ Jesus as their Saviour. The way in which God uses men is not always discerned, but He does use them. God intrusts men with talents and inventive genius, in order that His great work in our world may be accomplished. The inventions of human minds are supposed to spring from humanity, but God is behind all. He has caused that the means of rapid traveling shall have been invented, for the great day of His preparation. FE 408.2
The use which men have made of their capabilities, by misusing and abusing their God-given talents, has brought confusion into the world. They have left the guardianship of Christ for the guardianship of the great rebel, the prince of darkness. Man alone is accountable for the strange fire which has been mingled with the sacred. The accumulation of many things which minister to lust and ambition has brought upon the world the judgment of God. When in difficulty, philosophers and the great men of earth desire to satisfy their minds without appealing to God. They ventilate their philosophy in regard to the heavens and the earth, accounting for plagues, pestilences, epidemics, earthquakes, and famines, by their supposed science. Hundreds of questions relating to creation and providence, they will attempt to solve by saying. This is a law of nature. FE 409.1Read in context »
Foremost among those called to preach the gospel of Christ stands the apostle Paul, to every minister an example of loyalty, devotion, and untiring effort. His experiences and his instruction regarding the sacredness of the minister's work, are a source of help and inspiration to those engaged in the gospel ministry. GW 58.1
Before his conversion, Paul was a bitter persecutor of the followers of Christ. But at the gate of Damascus a voice spoke to him, light from heaven shone into his soul, and in the revelation that there came to him, of the Crucified One, he beheld that which changed the whole current of his life. Henceforth love for the Lord of glory, whom he had so relentlessly persecuted in the person of His saints, came before all else. To him had been given the ministry of making known “the mystery” which had been “kept secret since the world began.” [Romans 16:25.] “He is a chosen vessel unto Me,” declared the Angel who appeared to Ananias, “to bear My name before the Gentiles, and Kings, and the children of Israel.” [Acts 9:15.] GW 58.2Read in context »
God is love, God is life. It is the prerogative of God to redeem, reconstruct, and restore. Before the foundation of the world the Son of God was given to die, and redemption is the mystery that was “kept in silence through times eternal” (Romans 16:25, R.V.). Yet sin is unexplainable, and no reason can be found for its existence. No soul knows what God is until he sees himself a sinner in the light from the cross of Calvary; but when in his great need he cries out for a sin-pardoning Saviour, God is revealed to him as gracious and merciful, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. The work of Christ is to redeem, to restore, to seek and to save that which was lost. If we are connected with Christ, we also are partakers of the divine nature and are to be laborers together with God. We are to bind up the bruised and wounded soul; and if a brother or a sister has erred, we are not to join with the enemy in destroying and ruining, but to work with Christ to restore such a one in the spirit of meekness. HP 291.2Read in context »