Excellence and Sufficiency of Divine Power
"Now to him that is of power to establish you" (Rom. 16:25). This is not a petitionary prayer, but the adoration of Deity. No request is made for the saints, but God is exalted before them. The apostle begins by reminding us of the excellency and sufficiency of the divine power. He had concluded his introduction to this epistle by affirming "the gospel of Christ... is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Rom. 1:16). Now he points out the believer is equally dependent upon God’s power for his establishment. Christians cannot establish themselves, nor can their ministers establish them; the one or the other may use the appointed means, but they cannot ensure success. God alone can make them effectual to any of us. But blessed be His name, He can do so, for "God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (2 Cor. 9:8). Note that the word able includes disposition as well as capacity: He can, He will (cf. Rom. 4:21; Eph. 3:20).
The Greek word translated "stablish" (sterizo) is rendered "set steadfastly" in Luke 9:51 and "strengthen" in Luke 22:32 and Revelation 3:2. It means "to thoroughly establish," "to make rooted and grounded in the faith" (Col. 1:27) both in heart (1 Thess. 3:12) and in walk (2 Thess. 2:17). This is a duty incumbent upon us, for we are expressly bidden, "Stablish your hearts" (James 5:8). But because we are not sufficient for such a task, God has graciously made the promise: "But the Lord is faithful [though we are unfaithful], who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil" (2 Thess. 3:3). Though it be our privilege and obligation to study the Word, to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, yet so strongly are our hearts influenced by sin, so dull is our understanding and so feeble is our love, that the working of God’s power is required to preserve us. Not only were we unable to bring ourselves into the faith but we cannot continue in it without divine strength. Because of our proneness to apostatize, the subtlety and strength of our spiritual enemies, the evil of the world in which we live, God’s power alone can keep us (cf. Jude 24).