Lesson 98 - Chapter 16 verses 20-27

Lesson 98 - Chapter 16 verses 20-27

Verse 20-24

And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.  The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.  Timothy my fellow-worker greets you; and so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen.  I, Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord.  Gaius, host to me and to the whole church, greets you.  Erastus, the city treasurer greets you, and Quartus, the brother.  (The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  Amen.)

The Greek word for crush is “suntribo,” which means to break in pieces or to smash.  It refers to the defeat of Satan at the Second Advent.  Notice that it is God Who will do the crushing, not us.  We are incapable of putting Satan under our own feet.  Soon means in a short period of time.  Even a thousand years is a short period of time in God’s timetable.

The grace of our Lord Jesus is designed not only to glorify God in time and eternity, but it is grace that protects us from satanic influence.  This also implies that satanic influence includes legalism, and anything by which man alleges to gain blessing from God, anything that man can do or say or think to get blessing from God, when in reality it is God who blesses man totally apart from man’s ability.  Grace is what sustains the believer during Satan’s rule of this world.

Timothy was a travelling companion of Paul and became a pastor-teacher, which Paul acknowledges in these verses.   Every person has a spiritual gift for a reason; it is related to the plan of God.  Every believer has at least one spiritual gift and is to be faithful to the Lord by functioning under that spiritual gift, whatever it is.  Do your job as unto the Lord.  Lucius was one of the prophets and teachers who ordained Paul and Barnabas as missionaries in Acts 13:1.  He also spent 18 months with Paul in Corinth.  

Jason was a man who lived in Thessalonica where Paul had been his guest.  During a riot against Paul, Jason’s home was attacked. Paul escaped but Jason was seized by the mob and taken to court where he was accused of treason. The charges were dropped. (Acts 17:5-9)  Jason demonstrates the fact that God has a place for everyone. You do not have to be a pastor-teacher, an evangelist, etc., and the very fact that you are a believer signifies that you received a spiritual gift at salvation and that you have the opportunity to be in full-time Christian service in whatever you are doing in life.  Full time Christian service is not the monopoly of a few; it is the privilege of all believers who are motivated by Bible doctrine in their souls and use their volition to execute the Christian Life of Way as ambassadors of Jesus Christ.

Tertius was someone who worked with Paul.  Paul went almost totally blind and couldn’t write himself.  Terius acted as a secretary to Paul as the one who actually penned this epistle.  Apparently Quartus was a local believer who had attained maturity. There is a tradition that he eventually became a pastor in Syria, north of Sidon, but there is no way of knowing whether this is true. Whether it is or is not the fact remains that he is not known for anything in Scripture except just being a person mentioned by Paul.  But there is no such thing as a person of insignificance in the plan of God.  “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” is an insertion. The information stated in the verse is correct but it is not found in the original Greek.

Verses 25-27

Now unto 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 glory forever.  Amen.

The Greek word for establish is “sterizo,” which means to stabilize or make stable. The original use was to support or to fix something so that it stands upright and immovable.  Stability in the Christian life comes only as a result of the amount of accurate Bible doctrine you have stored in your soul and how you use that doctrine on a daily basis. 

Paul gave these believers three ways that God had provided the potential for stability for them.  These three ways were in conformity with the Gospel, the preaching of Jesus Christ and the revelation of the mystery.   The good news of the Gospel is not only the gospel of salvation but all of the good news pertaining to God’s provision for the human race.  Preaching Jesus Christ means preaching everything that is contained in Christology (the study of Jesus Christ).  Christology includes the Incarnation, the Hypostatic Union, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, the Ascension, the Session, etc.  The revelation of the mystery is the doctrine of the Church (the Body of Christ).  This mystery had been hidden for thousands of years and was revealed during the Church Age.  The Greek word for revelation is “apokalupsis” meaning unveiling, disclosure or uncovering. The Greek word for mystery is “musterion” meaning truth revealed for the first time.  It refers to all of the dispensations prior to the Church Age, and in all of these dispensations there was absolutely no reference to Church Age doctrine. Dispensationalism is the divine interpretation of human history and one the most important keys to the proper and accurate interpretation of the Word of God.

Paul was the chief “revealer” and human author of the Scriptures with regard to the dispensation of the Church.  Church Age doctrine was now being revealed by the Apostle Paul and others.  The prophets referred to in these verses are New Testament prophets who were preaching the revelation of Church Age doctrine, not prophecy in the sense of future events.  Prophecy in the Bible can be foretelling or forthtelling.  Both are by commandment from God to the preachers and writers of Scripture.

This mystery of Church Age doctrine (the Canon of Scripture) was being circulated throughout the world by faithful men and women utilizing their spiritual gifts.  The word canonicity comes from the Greek word “kanon,” meaning a ruler or measuring stick.  In other words, canon means a norm or standard.  In the case of the Canon of Scripture, it is God’s divine norm or standard for a collection of books, which form one book, our Bible.  The writers of Scripture were often themselves aware that what they were writing was by inspiration from God the Holy Spirit.

Peter gives us an excellent synopsis of the origin of the Word of God in II Peter 1:16-21.  Remember that much of what Peter wrote was taught to him directly by Jesus Christ.  Peter was an eyewitness to Christ’s ministry on earth.  Peter was at most major events recorded in the Gospels. (Matthew 16:28; 17:1-8)  Peter revealed the fact that all Scripture originates with God and is not someone’s private inspiration or interpretation.  This means that God the Holy Spirit so directed the writers of Scripture that without changing their personalities, their literary style, their vocabularies or their personal feelings, God’s complete and coherent message was permanently recorded, with perfect accuracy, in the original languages of Scripture. (II Timothy 3:16)

Before the written Word of Scripture came into existence, revelation of Scripture came through the spoken word of prophets and others, through dreams and visions, and through angels.  In this dispensation God speaks to us only through His Word.  (Isaiah 6:8-10; Daniel 10:9; Isaiah 1:1; Psalms 68:17)

Some portions of Scripture are direct quotes from God or times when He spoke directly to man.  The Bible is a book not only of doctrine but it also contains devotional literature, such as is found in Psalms and Proverbs.  The Bible is so accurate that it even records falsehoods or lies of man and Satan.  What we have been given by God is a record of His Divine Viewpoint Thinking (the mind of Christ) - His plan, His purpose and His will for each of us.  And He has made sure that it has been preserved throughout the centuries.

Obedience to faith was the result of revealing this mystery doctrine; not only faith in Christ for salvation but obedience to “the faith” (Bible doctrine).  Bible doctrine is the key to the execution of the plan of God.

God the Holy Spirit is the believer’s teacher and guide.  It is His ministry to guide the believer to truth and teach the believer truth.  He uses pastor-teachers in this age to teach Bible doctrine, but it is the Holy Spirit Who makes that information understandable.  Believers learn Bible doctrine when they expose themselves to it under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  The result is storage of doctrinal information that can be used by the Holy Spirit to guide you into a victorious Christian life.  Ignorance of God’s Word means limited guidance by the Holy Spirit. (John 7:17; 14:26; 16:13-14; Romans 8:14; I Corinthians 2:10-16; II Timothy 2:15; 3:16)

“To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen” are the final words of Paul to the believers in Rome.  Wisdom belongs to God and is imparted to us as we study, learn, believe and apply the truth of the Word of God.  God alone is worthy of glory, honor and praise.  It is only when we execute the Christian Way of Life that Jesus Christ is gloried by our life.   When Paul said “amen” he was saying, “I know it; I accept it and I appreciate it.”