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Summary: THE IDEA OF GOD'S PROGRESSIVE REVELATION THROUGH TIME IN THE REDEMPTION STORY IS INTRODUCED BY PAUL IN THE TEXT. WE EXPLORE HOW GOD COULD NOT SHOW THE AMAZING TRUTH OF REDEMPTION ALL AT ONCE TO MAN BUT NEEDED THE WHOLE OF HISTORY TO WRITE THE STORY TO US

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Romans 1:2-4 – Progressive Revelation

2. Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

3. Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

4. And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

I. In Romans 1:1 we established:

a. The author, Saul of Tarsus transformed by Grace to Paul the Slave of Christ

b. The definition of the Christian life as “Called & Separated”

c. Introduction of the core teachings that save the soul “The Gospel of God”

II. The Gospel and Progressive Revelation

a. Paul is now going to introduce an idea that is core to how he will unfold the teachings of salvation

b. The idea is what theologians call “Progressive Revelation”

i. Progressive Revelation is the idea that the glorious riches of grace are so mind-blowing that God could not share it with man all at once

ii. God had to share the beauties of grace in an unfolding manner over time with promise, precept, prophet, purging, and paradise

c. Take Revelation 13:8 calls Jesus “the lamb slain from the foundation of the world”

i. We must understand that “progressive” does not refer to God developing the plan of redemption

ii. Progressive deals with not the limitation of God in “perfecting” the plan of salvation

iii. Progressive deals with the limitation of man in grasping the fullness of grace

iv. This is key to understand as a difference, because God is perfect in knowledge, does not change, improve or grow

d. Let’s look at the history of this promise that unfolded into our redeeming Savior

II. The first Promise

a. God didn’t waste any time getting the good news of hope

b. The first preacher of hope was the one that also banished man from the Garden to the sterile plains east of Eden

c. Because Jesus was the “lamb slain from the foundation of the world” man’s sin did not take God by surprise and His plan of redemption was already “as good as done”

d. The first promise comes when God is cursing the serpent (and Satan) “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

e. The first promise was a victory declaration of God against satan and sin

i. In the first gospel that was declared God was the preacher

ii. The same voice that thundered creation into existence, boomed from heaven to declare the utter defeat of sin & satan

iii. The same voice that carried with cadence from the mountain, as Jesus declared “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” was the voice that declared the coming battle with sin and satan.

iv. That’s why 1 John declares “for this purpose was the Son of God manifest, that He might destroy the works of the devil”

f. In this hopeful promise, you see the great result, have a hint at the Virgin Birth, and see the bruising for our iniquities that would be Calvary.

g. But because revelation would be slow to unfold, you don’t know:

i. His name will be called Immanuel, that it will be God Himself that will crush the power of sin and redeem humanity back to himself

ii. That the unfolding will take a few millennia as God prepares man to receive grace

iii. That the struggle of man to unshackle himself from sin will be futile as the original sin in the garden spreads virally into man’s nature breeding all manner of wickedness and rebellion

III. The Pledge Continues

a. God’s righteousness unfolds in judgment against humanity, only saving Noah’s family from wrath

i. Yet even with the punishment, comes the promise of salvation with the Rainbow

b. God’s Promise focuses into a PLEDGE to Abram, that through him all the nations of the world would be blessed

i. The election of the seed of Abraham to bring redemption to the world unfolds in God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

c. God’s Promise selects Judah as the royal line that the King of Kings would be born into the world

IV. The PRECEPTS of God Unfold

a. It is important to understand, as Paul will later expound, that before the Law was Promise

i. Abraham was justified by faith & grace before the Law

ii. The promise was not for the Law but for redemption

b. So we see the law enter, and the PRECEPTS are wrongly interpreted as the “PRESCRIPTION for RIGHTEOUSNESS”

i. Paul will later point out that the purpose of the LAW was to show us our hopelessly sinful state and our need of grace

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