Tuesday, July 26, 2016

P1 Why God is worthy of p.r.a.i.s.e

Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!

The Apostle Paul closes out his supreme exposition of the Gospel in Romans with the explosion of praise we find in Romans 11:33-36. As one studies over this explosion of praise that is called a "doxology", the clear message is this: God is worthy of praise. This stretch of verses represents one of the most amazing statements about God found anywhere in the Bible. The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 notes the following about God with respect to worship: "To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience."

Today we want to begin considering why God is worthy of praise by taking that word p.r.a.i.s.e and spelling out six reasons why God is worthy of our praise. We will draw mainly from Romans 1-11, since the doxology occurs following Paul's masterful exposition and prior to his practical section of Romans 12-16. 

So why is God worthy of p.r.a.i.s.e? Let's consider firstly the...

Power of God. 
God's power is the first reason we can give as to why God is worthy of our praise. Romans 1:20 describes how God's power is known to all people: "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen,being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." God's power is the source behind the Gospel (Romans 1:16). The power of God is described in scripture is displayed in the heavens (Psalm 19:1-6) and is responsible for the beginning of the universe (Psalm 33:6). God's power amazes the angelic hosts, prompting them to exclaim how God is worthy of all praise in Revelation 4-5. 

God's power is displayed in creation and in the many miracles recorded throughout the scripture. God's deliverance of the Israelites across the Red Sea is testified throughout the Old Testament as God's supreme Old Testament display of redemptive power in the Old Testament. 

In the New Testament we find God's power being most supremely displayed through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (Acts 1:1-2; Romans 1:1-3). Is it no wonder that Paul writes what he does in Romans 11:33? God's power is the first reason for explaining why God is worthy of praise. 

Now lets consider one more reason before concluding our post today.........

Revelation of God in Jesus Christ
Again we refocus our attention on Paul's words in Romans 11:33 "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!" Think about what Paul has been writing about: God's revelation of salvation in Jesus Christ. We find the praise-worthiness of God explained most fully in what some have termed the "four-number-ones" of the New Testament: John 1:1-18; Colossians 1:13-16; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1. In these "four-number-ones" we discover masterful expositions about the Lord Jesus Christ. 

We could add Romans 1:1-7 as that "fifth-number-one", since the Person and work of Christ is shown to be the center-piece of the Gospel. As Paul carries on through Romans 1-11, we find the Lord Jesus Christ as the cause for praise. The desperation of all human beings separated from God in old Adam is contrasted with the hope believers find in Jesus - the New Adam (see Romans 5). 

In Romans 9:4-5, we discover: "who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen." 

Jesus' unparalleled life, substitutionary death and glorious resurrection are great cause of praise to God. Jesus Christ is God-incarnate. To praise Jesus is to praise God. God's power and revelation in Jesus Christ are two reasons for saying that God is worthy of p.r.a.i.s.e. 

More next time.......

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