Summing It Up Simply Scott M. Gibson September 1, 2005 Romans 16:25-27 Have you ever tried to put into one sentence what a magazine or newspaper article, a book you’re reading or a movie you’ve seen, is all about? All you want to do is state it in a simple, clear way. It’s not all that easy to do, is it? Perhaps the article in the newspaper was about the trouble at the local high school. It’s not clear what kind of trouble we’re talking about. If it’s about the trouble with the building and the possibility of losing state accreditation, then it’s clear to us. But sometimes it’s tough to put into words what we read, heard, or learned. Of course, some of us, even when we get a clear picture of what we want to say as we summarize, find it difficult to be brief. That’s sometimes what we think is Paul’s trouble when he writes. But in Romans 16:25-27 Paul sums up all that he’s been writing about at the end of his letter to the Roman Christians. What does Paul tell the Roman Christians as he concludes his letter? He sums it up this way: Christ concealed is now revealed and God helps us to believe and calls us to obey him. What does he mean? I. Christ concealed is now revealed. Christ was concealed (25b). Since the fall of Adam and Eve humanity has waited for the coming redemption. Paul talks about the “groaning of creation” for the coming of Christ earlier in his letter – we know it, and the Roman Christians did, too. But Christ was a long time coming. He was “hidden for long ages past.” The Old Testament Scriptures told of his coming but they did not tell when. But the text tells us Christ is now revealed (26a). Christ came in the flesh as a little baby. And His coming fulfilled the ancient writings. Christ concealed is now revealed. What is the result that Christ concealed is now revealed? II. God helps us believe and calls us to obey him. All throughout this brief text we are reminded again and again that God is the one who is in charge: He is the one who is able to make things happen. He is the one who orchestrated all of redemption. Therefore God helps us to believe in Jesus. He is the one who helps us believe. And God is the one to whom all our thanks is to go. And what is the result? God calls us to obey Jesus. We are to obey Jesus’ teachings. We are to obey Jesus’ commands. We obey Jesus so that we might glorify God. God helps us believe and calls us to obey him. For the entire passage we can sum it up simply: Christ concealed is now revealed and God helps us to believe and calls us to obey him. Advent is a time when we think about Christ’s first coming. The clarity of Paul’s summary at the end of his letter makes the mission of Christ plain: Christ concealed is now revealed and God helps us to believe and calls us to obey him. ___________________ Sermon brief provided by: Scott Gibson, Haddon Robinson Professor of Preaching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, MA. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.