Son of God, Risen Savior

Romans 1:1-4

Gospel today as promoted by some fellows with big audiences has more varieties than colors in Joseph’s coat. Nearly all of them are sugar-coated poison.

“God wants you to be a winner, not a whiner.” Osteen

“…belief (in hell as conscious, eternal torment) is …misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious spread of Jesus’ message of love, peace, forgiveness and joy that our world desperately needs to hear.” Rob Bell, Love Wins

It’s about living the life you want because a great percentage of the population is living a life that [someone else] wanted…Start embracing the life that is calling you and use your life to serve the world.” Oprah Winfrey

If anyone understood and clearly articulated the Gospel, was apostle Paul. Identified as the author of our text, Paul writing by inspiration of Holy Spirit is a trustworthy source of teaching on the subject. Well-known NT theologian wrote: “The one all-important difference between Saul the Pharisee and the Apostle Paul was his evaluation of the person of Jesus.” George Eldon Ladd I believe Ladd has identified an effect and not the cause of difference. Let me correct that statement this way: “The one all-important difference between Saul the Pharisee and the Apostle Paul was his [transformation by the Gospel] of Jesus.”

3x in book of Acts alone have account of Paul’s conversion as he was confronted with the risen Christ on road to Damascus. Obviously a significant event in his life; understood from first-hand experience what it meant to be changed by the power of God. True, his “evaluation of the person of Jesus” changed as result of his face-to-face encounter with Lord Jesus. But what made Paul different from Saul started in the very depths of his being as he was transformed by the God of the Gospel.

Paul identifies 3 essential things here in our text about the Gospel – God promised it in Scripture; it concerns his Son; focuses on Lord Jesus’ death and resurrection.

a. promised in Scripture – not a new thing

far more than “what” is promised; most important – “who” is promised

very first hint and promise of the Gospel, the good news for mankind bound in slavery to sin identified a person – seed of the Woman

not anything new – Gospel didn’t start with Paul, not even with pronouncement in the Garden; Gospel is older than Creation – determined by God: Father, Son and Spirit before was ever anything other than God

good news promised by God, one who would conquer evil; everything necessary to make it good news to God’s people included in the promise

A. descended from David – one of us

really human – Son of Man

didn’t simply have appearance of man; his body not an illusion, a hologram, something assumed so he wouldn’t stick out in a crowd

use word incarnation, it’s good word and important one; means “the act of taking, or being manifested in, a human body and nature.”

Jesus, son of David, as blind men identified him (Matt. 9:27; 20:30) on at least two occasions, really was David’s descendant with real human body, real human nature

after resurrection Jesus himself went to great lengths to demonstrate reality of his humanity:

John 20:27 “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side.”

John 21:9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread.

why important? means we don’t have to try become something we aren’t for Gospel to “work”

Son of God became one of us that he might do for us in our nature, human nature, what we cannot do for ourselves

justice requires life for life – God’s condition declared on Mount Sinai (Ex. 21:23), satisfied on Mount Calvary

whatever he has accomplished or will accomplish on our behalf applies to us in present state/condition

our risen Savior is mediator, high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses since he was tested in every way as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15)

means his work of redemption is effectual for us in our condition as fallen sinners “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” (Eph. 2:12)

B. declared to be the Son of God – at the same time, God

really God – NT authors had no problem accepting / declaring dual nature of Christ

don’t ask for explanation of how “one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures”

great minds of the church don’t try to explain, most often only say what it does not mean

bottom line: this son of David according to the flesh at the same time the son of God with power – a real person with a real mission

means he had/has/will have all resources necessary to achieve whatever is required for his mission

can debate endlessly about how much a sinless man might accomplish; one thing true, no man can bring himself back to life

total victory over all mankind’s enemies requires victory over death – only possible by power of God

Gospel only good news if it offers genuine hope – that Son of God has done for us what we cannot do for ourselves and by power of God is determined to make it reality in those who trust him

C. by his resurrection – our Savior

don’t misunderstand what Paul is saying – was not the Son of God because God or anyone else declared him so

just like God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, God the Son has existed eternally – “we worship One God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity” Athanasian Creed

Paul is saying: by his resurrection he was declared to be “the Son of God with power”; he’s been Son of God all along, now is obvious to all he is Son of God with power

born in weakness according to the flesh, raised in power; no wonder he could say “All authority has been given to me. Go, therefore…” (Matt. 28:18-19)

even though final victory has not been declared, it’s a given: 1 Cor. 15:25-26 “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be eliminated is death.”

Son of God, Lord Jesus has been victorious over death; when he returns in glory he will finally eliminate it

it is resurrection, that we worship a risen Savior, that is God’s guarantee that Lord Jesus will return – Acts 17:31“he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

if he has power to bring himself back to life, certainly has power to bring others to life

Jesus himself said: John 10:17-18“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

raising those dead in trespasses and sins to newness of life – far more than just picking us up, dusting us off, pointing us in right direction, off you go

are picked up out of our coffins, given new life, led off in the right direction

“our justification, which was begun in his death, was perfected in his resurrection. …By his death [Christ] paid our debt, in his resurrection he received our acquittance, Isa 53:8; when he was discharged, we in him, and together with him, received our discharge from the guilt and punishment of all our sins.” Poole

isn’t that good news?? if we are in Christ, have “received our discharge from the guilt and punishment of all our sins.”

D. Jesus Christ our Lord – and our Lord

phrase either near beginning of v.3 or at end v.4 depending on version of the Bible

gospel is good news of a whole Christ, must be accepted that way

Jesus (he shall save his people from their sins) Christ (God’s anointed) our Lord

not a buffet – pick and choose what, how much we want, we think meets our needs; it’s all or nothing, on Jesus’ terms

if you want the blessings that accompany salvation, you must be a follower of Christ, one with him

Paul preaching, 1st missionary journey: Acts 13:32-34And we ourselves proclaim to you the good news of the promise that was made to our forefathers.God has fulfilled this to us their children by raising up Jesus, as it is written in the second Psalm: You are My Son; today I have become Your Father.Since He raised Him from the dead, never to return to decay, He has spoken in this way, I will grant you the faithful covenant blessings made to David.”

Jesus gave invitation during earthly ministry. As risen Savior, gives same invitation, makes same offer regarding those blessings:

Matt. 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Invitation is not “come to church”; not “buy my book and read it”; not “come hear story and respond”; not even “come let me show you how to help yourself”. Invitation is “come to Jesus”; Gospel is that God loved sinners and gave himself, his life, for their redemption. Truth of Gospel is found in pages of Scripture; experience of Gospel is found in saving relationship with a person, Jesus Christ “who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried; and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures.” To God be the glory, great things he has done!


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