Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Gospel Has Power: Romans 1 (part 1)

In this lesson we take a look at the gospel in Romans 1. We narrow in on verses 1-5 and verses 16-17. As we have looked through all of these nuances of the gospel, I have enjoyed seeing how many of the references of the gospel have been intertwined with what we’ve already looked at.
Verses 1-5
We see that Paul was set apart for the gospel (it was his calling by God to proclaim the message of and about Jesus Christ).
The gospel was:
• Promised beforehand – we have looked at this before in our first lesson on Mark 1. The first note after the announcement of the beginning of the gospel was a reference to the Old Testament (see here).
• It was regarding his Son, who:
  • o In his earthly life was a descendant of David. Now why was it important to denote that Jesus’ descent from David was critical to the gospel? If we look back to the Old Testament, we see in 2 Sam. 7.12-14 that God promised to establish a dynasty through David and that this dynasty would last forever. God claims that He will be the king’s father and the king will be God’s son. We start to see how the King is designated God’s son (or the son of God). We also look to one of the Royal Psalms (Psalm 2) where the King is installed and God says to the King (from the line of David), “You are my son; today I have become your Father.” We see a connection with the four Gospels to Jesus being the son of God after his baptism by John. In the Synoptic Gospels, God states that Jesus is his son, with whom he is pleased. In John’s Gospel, John the Baptist reveals that God has revealed Jesus to be the Son of God.
  • o Jesus’ resurrection revealed that his was appointed the Son of God in power. This was accomplished by the Spirit of Holiness (or Holy Spirit). It points out that he was more than just a good moral example, but now we see that the Son of God is truly King. He is more than just king in the earthly sense (in the line of the Davidic kings), but he is the King who has ushered in the Kingdom of God. (We discussed the connection between the gospel and the Kingdom of God in lesson two, see here).
  • o Jesus Christ is our Lord. He is our Kurios, which would have been an ascription of the Roman emperor. Caesar is not our Kurios, but instead, through his resurrection, Jesus is our Kurios.

• Paul points out that his calling is to the Gentiles. We see the universality of Jesus’ kingship. He is not just the King of the Jews, but he is King of all. Paul’s commission is to spread the message that Jesus is King (Lord/Kurios) to the Gentiles.

We will look at Rom. 1.16-17 in another post.

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