Devotional – Romans 16

25 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, 26 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— 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

If we had to sum up the whole book of Romans it would not be a reach to say that it could be summed up in one word – gospel. There are many proofs we could show to support that claim, but let me just give you one – Paul opens up the book in the beginning verses about the gospel and then he closes the book with the same theme, the gospel, so that the book of Romans is sandwiched with the gospel. But, as we have learned reading through these past 16 chapters is that the gospel is not just the bread, it is the meat, the cheese and all the condiments between the bread – the gospel is the whole sandwich if you would, and the whole of the book of Romans is really about the gospel – what it is, how it works in our lives and the effects it has upon our relationship with God and others. Paul ends Romans in the same manner as he begins because what he wants us to be confident about, what he wants us to be keep in focus, what he wants us to never forget is the gospel. Many think that the gospel is something given to unbelievers so they can get saved, but in reality the gospel is something that even Christians need to hear daily because it reminds us that we have been saved (our justification), giving us assurance in this life. We need to hear it daily because it reminds us that we are being saved (our sanctification), that when we stumble and fall (and we do) that the grace of God picks us up, cleans us up, and gives us strength and hope to carry on. The gospel message also keeps you and me from falling into the traps of license and legalism. Finally, the gospel gives us hope that we will one day be saved (our glorification), that Christ, because of the promises of the prophetic writings, will return again and we will be one with him forever. To that end I echo Paul’s final words to us from Romans – “to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.”

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