Artie Hunt is in his seventies. He is a small man with a band of solid white hair wrapped around his balding head and a thin, white mustache to match. He looks a bit cartoonish, which I intend as a compliment, because it fits his jovial personality. Artie Hunt loves the Word of God, but more than that, he loves the God of the Word.
I’ve had the wonderful privilege of listening, watching and “experiencing” Artie teach the grade-schoolers in our church for many years now. There is no question that he enjoys it. Often when he is talking about the sinfulness of man and being dead in our trespasses, Artie will illustrate by flopping down on the floor and lying as still as a corpse. These past few years have concerned me though, as I’m starting to pray more for his ability to get back up! Alas, he always does! He bounces right back and continues with his lesson as if nothing happened.
When Artie is explaining the infinite nature of God, he’ll write these words on the whiteboard, “On and on and on and on and on and on…,” then pretend to keep writing beyond the board and onto the classroom wall, then out one door (you can still hear him out in the hall saying, “…on and on and on and on…”) and finally back in the other door, still carrying on and on. He teaches a weekly class on the topic of God’s providence and he often voices his only complaint that he only has a year to teach this to his fourth grade students.
Artie is ready for Heaven. He is ready to see the Lord. He gets physically worked up each time he talks about going to Heaven. He semi-jokingly tells us that he wakes up every morning a bit disappointed that he’s still here on earth. He then trusts that the Lord kept him here one more day to serve him. And he does.
Artie Hunt is a contagious Christian. His love and exuberance for the Lord elicits from those around him one thing: a desire to praise God. His life is doxological. That is, his life is one that not only brings glory to God, but entices others to do the same. He just cannot help himself!
This kind of doxological enticement is one we find often in our Bibles. Certainly there are plenty of passages in Scripture that command us to worship and glorify God, but these doxologies are almost spontaneous “bonus texts” (all inspired by the Holy Spirit, of course) inserted periodically in our New Testament epistles that do more than command us to praise God – they compel us to praise God!
The simplicity and yet difficulty with such passages is in the fact that they do not tell us to do anything—at least not grammatically. There are no demands in these doxologies—no imperatives. What they do accomplish though - I hope - is to inundate you with waves of glorious truths about our God that should command and compel us to only one response: praise!
Our New Testaments are full of these short praises, particularly as they surround this one word “doxa,” from which we get our word “doxology.”
- Romans 11:33-36
“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 16:25-27
“Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.”
- Galatians 1:3-5
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
“To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen”
- 2 Timothy 4:18
“The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
- 1 Peter 5:11
“whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
- 2 Peter 3:18
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
- Jude 1:24-25Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory 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.
“To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The New Testament writers were doxological writers because they lived doxological lives, just like my friend Artie. How about you? Is your life an obvious doxology to the goodness and grace and mercy and kindness and patience of your God?I hope it is.