Posted by Andy Naselli
Douglas Wilson suggests three senses in which the Bible uses the word “amen”:

  1. covenant oath
  2. benediction
  3. doxology

Here’s how David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Romans: An Exposition of Chapter 11: To God’s Glory [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1998], 289-90) reflects on Paul’s doxological use of amen in Romans 11:36 (concluding his third and final sermon on Romans 11:33-36):

So I put to you a final question. Having gone through this mighty revelation of doctrine, having followed the mighty demonstration of the great Apostle right away through to chapter 11 verse 32, having listened to the Apostle’s doxology where he ends by saying, ‘To whom be glory for ever and ever . . .’ do you say ‘Amen’ to this?

What does this ‘Amen’ mean? It means that you confess that you are nothing, that you confess that you are a vile hell-deserving sinner, that you acknowledge gladly that you are what you are solely by the grace of God; that you have ceased to defend yourself, you have ceased to try to excuse yourself, you have ceased to try to justify yourself in any way whatsoever. I go further; that you have ceased to try to pit your mind against God’s way. Are you still arguing against election? If you are you have not said your ‘Amen’ to all this. Do not forget the mighty demonstration of chapters 9-11. The purpose of God according to election! Are you still standing up and putting your mind and your opinion against it? If so you are not saying your ‘Amen’ to this great doxology. The man who says his ‘Amen’ is the man who says, I am nothing, He is all. I know nothing, I can do nothing, I have nothing. I am simply a vile sinner, I owe all things to the grace and the glory and the mercy of God and I give it Him. I give it Him with my lips, I confess Him, I say I am nothing, I say it is all of Him—I do it by my life. I am ready to say what Paul says, not only here but again to the Corinthians: ‘Of him (of God) are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, him that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.’ And I say ‘Amen’ to it. What can we say? There is nothing to say except what the Apostle says: ‘To whom be glory for ever’!