“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:33–36 ESV)
Right theology should always lead to doxology
Doxology isn’t a word we use much but we should. It basically means “glory.” Doxology is “to give glory; to give praise.” We might use the word worship. The reason I point this out is because of the location of this praise passage in Romans. For nearly 11 chapters Paul has gone deep on the gospel and God’s ways and purposes. He has unfolded God’s amazing ways in saving sinners and making us righteous. It is the richest 11 chapters of doctrine in all the Bible. What is Paul’s response? Silence? Does he merely clear his throat and go on?
No. All this truth isn’t merely information for Paul. This is no professorial lecture. He wrote these chapters with tears in his eyes. Tears of sorrow, repentance, gladness, and joy. The truths of the gospel were welling up in his heart and he gets to verse 33 and he just can’t contain it anymore. He bursts forth with joy! “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!” The deepest explanation of the gospel produces the greatest apostolic joy.
We live in a day where many church folks are less interested in theology and more interested in the superficial. I sat in a gathering of pastors where one pastor of a very large megachurch in the South railed against teaching doctrine because people aren’t interested in that anymore. It doesn’t move them anymore. I recall hearing John Piper explain why. Doctrine doesn’t move people in the church anymore because doctrine doesn’t move pastors anymore.
This explains so much of popular evangelicalism. When God doesn’t excite us anymore, we need something to get people to church. And what’s that? Hype. The Show. Dumb it down. Something that stirs people’s emotions and interest other than God.
Look at the bestselling Christian books for the last 20 years. How many of them are about God? None. How many are about the gospel? None. The bestsellers are something like 7 ways to improve your life, improve your marriage, improve your parenting. Those are important things, but not the most important. Is this coincidence or an indication of where the church is at? May I ask, where are you at? Where are we as a church? I make it no secret that I desire to pastor toward a deep and rich doctrine-loving congregation. We are doing Romans after all.
A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Superficial theology creates superficial Christians or perhaps, superficial professing Christians. Christian culture is so awash in this that most of us don’t even realize it. We have swum in the shallow end of the pool for so long we think that’s all there is. Then when you to come to Romans, it’s not just the deep end of the pool, but the deep end of the ocean. Here we discover that the deep things of God are not only mind blowing but will produce a better doxology. A humbler Christian. A grace-shocked and grace-filled Christian who lives in wonder that such a massive God would purpose to love and to save someone like me.
 A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, p. 1.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
© 2019 by Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s website address (www.bethelweb.org) on the copied resource.
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