by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 1 Study # 5 February 17, 2004 Lincolnton, N.C.
(008)Thesis:The Gospel of God concerns the Son of God as the Resurrected Lord.
Introduction:Last week we looked into what I called "Paul's succinct summary of the content of the Gospel of God". We saw that he focused upon "God's Son Who entered into human history by means of God's use of David's gene pool." We saw that there are two issues in this summary. The first is the essential identity of God's "Son". The second is the extreme focus upon His connection with David. Though the use of the word "extreme" may be, itself, extreme, the fact stands that when Paul decided to make a brief summary statement of his message, he brought out two issues: God's Gospel is about His Son and God's focus is upon His Son's connection to David in terms of "fleshliness". This is enormously important to our understanding of redemption because the Redeemer had to be human. This evening we are going to pick up on Paul's own summary of the content of the Gospel as we move into verse 4. There is a structure to the language of verses 3-4 that we need to understand. It has been posted in the February 17 set of Study Notes on Romans(008). From this structure we can see that Paul had a deliberate double focus in his presentation of the Gospel. It had to do with the Son of God as the Seed of David and the Son of God as the Executor of Power. This means that there are two fundamental issues in the Gospel: the one that has to do with the Son's entrance into history via David's gene pool; and the other one that has to do with the Son's emergence into Sonship via resurrection.
I. The "Sonship" of Jesus Christ Our Lord.
A. There are two aspects of "Sonship".
1. There is the eternal identity: Jesus has always been the "Son of God".
2. There is the temporal realization of the eternal identity: Jesus was "designated" the "Son" at a specific point in temporal history.
a. The translators of our text stumbled over verse four and, in the process, made our grasp of Paul's meaning a little more difficult.
1) They translated the word behind "declared" in a way that is unique to Romans 1:4.
a) Of the eight times it is found in the New Testament, this is the only time it is translated "declared".
b) Their choice was probably driven by the notion that the resurrection validated the identity of Jesus as Paul argued in 1 Corinthians 15.
2) Their translation tends to push us in that direction: to see resurrection as the validation of our faith.
b. The translation should carry Paul's claim from his Greek into our English.
1) Paul's claim is that Jesus was "determined" by God to be "Son of God With Power".
a) The issue here is not about validation in the eyes of men.
b) The issue here is the on-going program of God in which the privilege of being the Executor of God's Power is not conferred until all of the qualifications have been met.
i. In the preaching of the Gospel, Peter, in Acts 10:42, announced that God had commanded him (and others) to proclaim the fact that Jesus was the One Whom God had ordained to be the Judge of the living and the dead.
ii. In the preaching of the Gospel, Paul, in Acts 17:31, argued his case because there was a day coming when God will judge the world by that man Whom He ordained.
iii. Jesus, in His preaching of the Gospel in John 5:27, said that He would be the Executor of Judgment because He was the Son of Man.
iv. The point is that the title "Son of God With Power" means that the Title Holder is going to use the "power" to execute judgment
(a) This includes, but is more than, the "day" of judgment.
(b) This has to do with being the King of God's Kingdom throughout the entire duration of the divine kingdom program.
v. This action cannot be taken up by just anyone: there are critical qualifications that must be met in real time history [successful execution of righteousness without compromise/failure; successful follow-through in the task of redemption; and ultimate victory without flaw].
2) Paul's claim is that his Gospel is a message about One Who will execute the power of God in rule over His creation/kingdom because God has "appointed" Him to do so.
c. The specific point in temporal history is identified: the day of resurrection.
1) Paul says this in our text: He was decreed 'Son of God with Power' by resurrection.
2) Paul makes this very claim in Acts 13:33 from Psalm 2.
a) This claim interprets the "event" to be the day of resurrection.
b) The Psalm identifies the nature of the "Power" that the Son is to wield: the power of dominion over the nations.
B. There is a standard of "realm" for this developed Sonship.
1. In verse 3, the standard of "realm" for the Davidic Seed was "flesh".
a. This realm was absolutely crucial because it was the realm of which the redeemed partake.
b. Jesus entered this realm by means of David's gene pool.
2. In verse 4, the standard of "realm" for the Execution of Power is "spirit of holiness".
a. This realm was absolutely crucial because it was the realm which made the redemption genuine (a historical movement from the realm of the fall into the realm of glory).
b. Jesus entered this realm by means of resurrection (put to death in the flesh and made alive in the spirit: 1 Peter. 3:18).