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Now to Him Who is Able

A doxology is an expression of praise to God.  The word doxology comes from the Greek word doxologiā, which means "praise” or literally "glory words.”  We often think of a doxology as a short hymn of praise, such as Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.  However, doxologies are not limited to hymns, for there are many statements of Scripture that can be classified as doxologies.

There are three doxologies in the New Testament that begin with the common phrase "now to Him who is able.”  Each of these doxologies recognizes different abilities of our God which make Him worthy of all praise and glory.  Let us consider each of these and their unique messages about what God can do.

The first doxology to consider is found at the close of Paul’s letter to the Roman Christians:

"Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.” (Rom. 16:25-27)

In this passage, God is praised for His abilities that are exercised through His word.  Specifically, God is able to establish us, which means that He is able to make us stable and strong.  He does this by means of the message of His word that Paul describes in many ways – the gospel, the preaching of Jesus Christ, the revelation of the mystery, the Scriptures, the prophets, and the commandment of the eternal God.  All of this leads to "obedience of faith,” which is how we are established.  This truth is also expressed in Romans 10:17 – "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”  For this, God certainly deserves our praise.

The next doxology is found in the middle of Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus:

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.  Amen.” (Eph. 3:20-21)

Here is a wonderful concept, for there is nothing of which we can think that cannot be exceeded by the power of God.  In fact, not only can He exceed it, but He can "do far more abundantly beyond” it.  Specifically, this has reference to "the power that works within us,” namely, the power that is in Christians through Jesus Christ.  That power is the same power that brought about the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:18-21).  It is imperative for Christians to realize that this same power is in them and to praise God for this.

The third doxology we will consider is the closing statement of Jude’s letter:

"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever.  Amen.” (Jude 24-25)

This passage speaks to God’s ability to protect and preserve Christians through the dangers of temptations, trials, and false teachings.  Jude’s letter assigns Christians a mission to "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).  It was fitting for Jude to close with this message of assurance that Christians can succeed in their mission without stumbling through the power of God.  For this, we certainly should ascribe to God all glory, majesty, dominion and authority.

When taken altogether, these doxologies give us an understanding of the wonderful things that our God can do.  God is able to establish us through His word, to do more than we ask or think through Jesus Christ, and to keep us from stumbling and make us stand.  Just knowing these things about God is enough to give us complete confidence in any situation.  Therefore, let us praise "Him who is able” for all of His wonderful abilities.  Amen!

Stacey E. Durham




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