There is no greater subject than Christ and His gospel. The word gospel means "good news" and good news it is. The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ came to this old sin darkened world to redeem sinful man.
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God. (Romans 1:1) Paul introduces himself to the Roman Christians by describing himself and his work in three ways.
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ... This was Paul's signature—he was a servant of Jesus Christ. There is a great lesson in the way Paul introduces himself. Paul had studied and received his education at Jerusalem under Gamaliel, the greatest Jewish teacher of his time (Acts 22:3). Upon the completion of his education, Paul joined the sect called the Pharisees. They were proud and authoritative religionists who held strictly to their brand of the law. He was later a member of the great Sanhedrin. Paul could have introduced himself as "Saul the distinguished theologian." His Hebrew name was Saul, meaning "one who is sought after or asked for." It signified someone who was prominent and much in demand But he used his Roman name Paul, which means "small or little." Here is a man who was once a proud Pharisee, glorying in his pedigree, his education and his religion, now he signs his letters Paul, the little one. He did not try to exalt himself. The days of 6 trying to be a big shot were over for Paul. Paul was little, the Lord was great.
Furthermore, he introduces himself as a servant. This is very significant. The religious leaders of his day who used such terms as "Rabbi" and "Master," and who sought the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues. (Matthew 23:6) But when Paul introduced himself to the Roman Christians, he didn't begin by magnifying himself. Instead he identified himself as a lowly servant or slave. By this term he does not mean that he is forced against his will to be a slave to someone. The word servant carries the idea of a bondservant. The Mosaic law allowed a servant to voluntarily become a permanent bondservant of his master. And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever. (Exodus 21:5-6) A bondservant is one who voluntarily surrenders his life to the will and service of another. In essence this is what Paul had done. He had voluntarily given himself wholeheartedly to the Lord Jesus Christ with all of his life.
In doing so Paul was following the example of his Saviour. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45) No greater Servant ever lived than Christ. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:7) Just think about it. Jesus Christ could have come to earth and sit upon the throne as King of kings and Lord of lords. When He possessed every right to supreme authority, he took the role of a servant. The Creator voluntarily chose to serve his creatures. Jesus said, I am among you as he that serveth. (Luke 22:27) To understand this idea of being a bondservant is to get down to the very heart of the 7 Christian experience. Every child of God ought to be a bondservant, one who voluntarily gives himself to the Lord Jesus Christ for life.
Paul was called to be an apostle. Paul became an apostle when he saw the Lord Jesus Christ on the Damascus road (Acts 9). It was there on that dusty road that he was converted and called into the gospel ministry. The word apostle means "sent one" and carries the idea of a "commissioned emissary or messenger." Paul establishes the authority for his ministry. In declaring his authority Paul was not being proud and pushy. In his letter to the Corinthians Paul declared, For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. (1 Corinthians 15:9) Paul was not flaunting his credentials as many do today, but was simply declaring the fact that he spoke with the authority of Christ.
Paul says that he was separated unto the gospel of God. Paul was a separated man. Notice that his emphasis was not on what he had separated from, but what he was separated unto. The word separated means "to mark off from others." It carries the idea of setting boundaries. So far as Paul was concerned, there was no other purpose for his existence. His life was to be spent within the boundaries of the gospel. He never stepped outside of his boundary. Everything he did was in service to his Saviour for the purpose of propagating the gospel. Paul's life purpose is summed up in his words, For to me to live is Christ. (Philippians 1:21)
Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures. (Romans 1:2) God always works according to His word. 8 Paul was making it clear that the gospel was not some alternative plan that God had to come up with because the Jews had rejected their Messiah. His message was not to proclaim some new theology. Paul's message was as old as the word of God. The gospel was in the Old Testament Scriptures. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3) The Old Testament had clearly revealed the person and work of Christ. The ceremonies, rituals and even many of the people of the Old Testament serve as types and point to Christ. From the time of man's fall he looked for the Messiah (Genesis 3:15). Every type, every promise and every prophecy of the Saviour was fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ.
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. (Romans 1:3-4) Previously Paul had stated that he was separated unto the gospel of God. Now we come to the person that the gospel is all about—Jesus Christ. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers. (Romans 1:9) Our gospel is a Christ centered gospel. Paul, by inspiration offered a strong warning to those who pervert the gospel.
Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not 9 another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:3-9)
Paul wrote this warning concerning the Judaizers who were gospel by mixing works with grace. The word gospel means "good news." Noah Webster defines gospel as:
"The history of the birth, life, actions, death, resurrection, ascension and doctrines of Jesus Christ; or a revelation of the grace of God to fallen man through a mediator, including the character, actions, and doctrines of Christ, with the whole scheme of salvation, as revealed by Christ and his apostles."
The gospel is all about Jesus Christ. Any preaching that is not Christ centered is not true gospel preaching.
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. (Romans 1:3) Christ as born as a descendant of David. The word made comes from "ginomia" and carries the idea of a "transition from one state or form to another." This is what happened at the Virgin Birth when the Christ took on a human nature. He was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.
Notice He does not say, He was born of the seed of David, but He was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. Paul uses the same terminology in the book of Galatians, But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, 10 made under the law. (Galatians 4:4). John also used the same expression, And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14) He was not born flesh but made flesh. Ordinary humans are born flesh every day, that requires no miracle. But Jesus Christ was made flesh. This is the Virgin Birth. It is important to understand that Christ is not simply 50% man and 50% God, He was 100% man and 100% God. Christ did not simply become human, but became a unique person, fully God, and at the same time, fully man. This is what theologians often refer to as the Hypostatic union.
He was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. Jesus' natural mother, Mary, and legal father, Joseph, were descendants of David (Matthew 1:6, 16; Luke 1:27). In order to fulfill prophecy the Messiah had to be a descendant of David (2 Samuel, 7:12-13; Psalm 89:3-4, 19, 24; Isaiah. 11:1-5; Jeremiah 23:5-6). In the opening sentence of the New Testament we read, The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. (Matthew 1:1) And when we come to the closing chapter of the New Testament, Jesus says, I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. (Revelation 22:16) Jesus perfectly fulfilled all the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. As the descendant of David, Jesus inherited the right to reclaim, restore, and to rule David's kingdom.
And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness... (Romans 1:4) The term Son of God points to the Deity of Christ. The Jews of the first century understood the term Son of God to mean deity, But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said 11 also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. (John 5:17-18) The Bible gives many references to Christ's Deity. Looking down from Heaven God said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:17) Jesus said, he that hath seen me hath seen the Father. (John 14:9) God the Father refers to His Son as God, But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (Hebrews 1:8)
Don't miss the contrast here between His humanity and His deity. He is seed of David according to the flesh. But He is the Son of God according to the spirit of holiness. John Phillips wrote:
"The expression spirit of holiness suggests that the Lord Jesus lived a life of victory over the power of sin, and indeed, His life was perfectly holy. He never looked with lust; He never uttered a hasty, unkind, untrue or frivolous word; and He never entertained an impure thought. He was never accused by conscience, never inflamed by wrongful passion, never out of step with the will of God His time was never wasted, His talents never debased for selfish ends, His influence never bad, His judgment never wrong. He never had to apologize for anything He did or retract a single word He said He was never too late or too soon; never upset; never insipid, shallow or afraid He lived on earth approximately twelve thousand days and every one of them was a marvel of holiness."
That phrase spirit of holiness is not a reference to the Holy Spirit. It is speaking of the very essence of God, and Holy is what Jesus is. This is His testimony according to the Scriptures. Over and over the word of God declares Jesus to be without sin. 12
The Lord Jesus Christ fully met the righteous requirements of the Law. He was perfectly holy because He was the Son of God
Next Paul says, by the resurrection from the dead. (Romans 1:4) Jesus was victorious over death further proving His deity. Jesus had promised Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. (John 2:19) He explained further, But he spake of the temple of his body. (John 2:21) That prophecy was never fully understood by the disciples until Christ's resurrection. But three days after His crucifixion, when He rolled away the stone and stepped forth in resurrection glory, the disciples got the picture. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. (John 2:22) Just as His righteous life proved His Deity, so does His resurrection from the dead. Death could lay no claim upon Jesus. Jesus is God and God does not die. Jesus died only because He submitted to death in our place. Jesus said, ... I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh 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 commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:17-18) Jesus is the only One Who ever died and conquered death. He said, I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am 13 alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (Revelation 1:18)
Paul said, For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) Paul clearly defines the Gospel message as the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Paul makes it clear that Jesus literally lived, He literally died, and He literally rose from the dead. The resurrection of Christ is essential to the gospel. After all, what good is a dead Saviour? And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:17) Praise God! Jesus Christ came of the grave and is alive for evermore.
The devil hates the doctrine of Christ's resurrection because it is where He was defeated. What a death blow the resurrection dealt to Satan. Satan tried throughout the Old Testament to stop the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 from being fulfilled. Even at Christ's birth Satan tried to get Him killed and throughout His ministry Satan constantly moved against Him. When Christ was pronounced dead Satan thought he had won the war. The death of Adam was Satan's handiwork. God had assured Adam that if he disobeyed and partook of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that he would die. Satan's temptation led to Adam's disobedience. With Adam's disobedience came both his spiritual and physical death. Satan put Adam in the grave. Up until the resurrection of Christ Satan could claim every grave as his own possession. But when Jesus stepped out of that grave, Genesis 3:15 was fulfilled and Death was Conquered and the Devil was Crushed
By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:5-6) Paul had been a 14 recipient of God's grace on the Damascus road. It was during that time that he also received his apostleship.... for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name. The word for speaks of "intent or purpose." That intent is obedience to the faith among all nations. God saved and called Paul with the int�