Friday, June 12, 2015

DOXOLOGY - The Beginning and The End

“Praise God from Whom all blessings flow...”

No message - indeed no deed - is complete unless it concludes with a doxology - for this is the great consummation of all of God’s activities in the midst of His chosen. The doxology is the amen - “So be it, truly!”  It is the last word.

The Doxology - as we have come to know it - is the type of many.  It is actually derived from a hymn written in 1674 by Thomas Ken.  It is the concluding stanza of this hymn which is entitled “Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun” based on Psalm 17:15: “But I will behold thy face in righteousness, and when I awake, I shall be satisfied with thine image.” Geneva Bible 

Here is the first stanza of the hymn:

Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise,
To pay thy morning sacrifice.

Nothing awakens the soul like a doxology - a sacrifice of praise. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” Hebrews 13:15 NIV

“Praise Him, all creatures here below;”

The root word - doxa - is from ancient Greek which is translated glory.  And when used as orthodox it means right belief or truth. The proof of all rightness is does it give glory to God. Glory and truth are inseparable.  This is the abiding prayer of the Son: “I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.” John 17:9-10 ESV

Peter expresses this so clearly: “Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:11

“Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;”

There are many that are eloquent, many that are persuasive, many with great talent - even those who manifest altruism.  Yet these abilities in themselves are no proof that they are of God.  Do they draw attention to the gifted - or to the Gifter?  Only that which truly gives glory to God will have sustaining effect - all others will melt away as a fleeting fancy.

Piety without the amen of doxology will ring hollow and empty - drawing attention to the progeny rather than the Progenitor. 

Paul’s passion was to bequeath this truth to his young disciple Timothy before his earthly journey had completed its course and he knew he was nearing that consummation. Even in the midst of his trials he knew the sustaining power of God and to Him he gave the glory. “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:18 KJV His hope expressed in the last of his letters was that his life would culminate in doxology. 

This doxology was on my mind this past week as a friend and I traveled to hear a young preacher/teacher.  His text was 1 Timothy 1:15-16: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” NIV

As he began to exposit on this passage and the preceding verses my eye was drawn to the great doxology of verse 17 - would this be the amen of his message?  And being exegetically faithful it was! “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” 

When God revealed Himself to mankind He did it via His glorious Name - “Then the LORD God (YHWH Elohim) formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7  In the dynamic equivalency of the Godhead the Father glorifies the Son, the Son glorifies the Father and the Spirit reveals the Glory of the Son. The ultimate and singular purpose of the Father is a company of the elect conformed into the image of the Son - “he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29 KJV

The story of mankind (Adam) begins with doxology; will find its finality in doxology and will be sustained by doxology.  “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 1:25 

“Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” 

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