Summary: The focus and dependability of Paul's gospel
March 7, 2010
Last week we started the book of Romans, and we looked at the first verse. We saw that the Apostle Paul was a slave of God’s, called and set apart for the gospel message from and about God.
This week we’re going to continue to verse two as we study the gospel message itself.
[Paul preaches the gospel of God] which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake, 6among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:2-6, NASB)
There are several points I want to make about this text:
1. The gospel is God’s promise, therefore, it is trustworthy (:2).
First, we’ll never be let down:
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)
It is impossible for God to lie. (Hebrews 6:18)
Also, the fact that the fulfillment of the promise rests on God, we can rest assured in our salvation knowing that His promise is perfect and complete. One of the greatest proofs for eternal security is that both the fulfillment and the maintaining of God’s promise rest on Him.
Finally, the message of the promise doesn’t need to be changed, sold, or peddled; the promise is God’s. We are only messengers.
Application: Trust the Message
2. The prophets’ prophecies serve as proof of the promise (:2).
Isaiah reveals that the Messiah will be born of a virgin (Is. 7:14) and gives a graphic account of the crucifixion (Is. 53).
Micah prophesies of His birth in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2).
David tells that His clothes were to be divided up by the casting of a lot (Ps. 22:18) and that none of His bones were to be broken (Ps. 34:20).
Zechariah foretells of His betrayal for 30 pieces of silver (Zech. 11:12).
In all, there were more than 300 specific Old Testament prophesies fulfilled by Christ. These prophecies were recorded by the prophets as the promise of God before they occurred.
Application: Base Your Trust on Knowledge
3. The promise concerns and is fulfilled through the person and work of Jesus Christ (:3-4).
This gospel is given “concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Everything in the gospel centers on Jesus. Anytime you hear a gospel that doesn’t preach Jesus as the only center, then it’s a false gospel.
But the name “Jesus” isn’t what defines Him. After all, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to love and serve Jesus. Look at some of the names and phrases Paul uses:
“Son of God”
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. 2Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?
4For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
9then He said, "BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL." He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD. (Hebrews 10: 1-2, 4, 9-12)
“Descendant of David”
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
“Resurrection from the dead”
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. (I Corinthians 15:13-14)
“Jesus Christ our Lord”
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:15-20)