Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Jesus is the Son of God - Romans 1:1-7

What is the resurrection all about? Why the big fuss about Easter? The fact is that there is more than one answer, it's like a diamond with multi-faceted sparkles. As you consider each side in turn, you see the different individual aspects, but together they sparkle together.

I began re-reading Romans last night, and was smacked in the face by Paul in the opening words. You know the way you know some things, but then when you revisit them, you come to see them again for the first time? The introduction of Paul's letter to the Romans was like that for me last night.

Had you asked me for a summary of Romans 1, I probably would have launched into the section on God's wrath. But there's so much more in Romans 1. In fact, there was so much in the first sentence (which lasts for seven verses!), that it was all I read last night. One sentence, I hear you say, that's not much of a Bible reading! Check out the text some time. Romans 1:1-7 is one sentence! Commas are littered through it as Paul moves from one theme to another.

Notice the development of the theme. First Paul, his identity as a servant of Christ and an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God. The gospel which was promised by God beforehand in the Scriptures through the prophets. The Gospel is about God's Son - descended from David, and declared to be Son of God through his resurrection. He's Jesus Christ the Lord.

Through Jesus, Paul (and others) have received grace and apostleship to bring the obedience of faith for the sake of his name - not just among Jews, but among all the nations, including the Romans who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. So it is to the Romans he is writing, loved by God and called to be saints. It is to them that he sends, brings, wishes, grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Wow! What a sentence! Paul packs so much into the sentence that you could never exhaust the glorious truth of his words.

Briefly, however, we notice some of the key themes we will find in Romans being mentioned in this opening sentence. Notice that it is God's gospel - the gospel, the good news is all the work of God from start to finish (Rom 3). Further, the gospel is centred on Jesus, man and God - which is all about the resurrection (Rom 6). Thirdly, notice the importance of what Paul is seeking to bring about in his preaching and apostleship - 'the obedience of faith.'

The obedience of faith. So often, we can detach those two concepts. We may think of faith as the intellectual assent to certain truths or statements about God. But actually, faith is the active trust in God, as opposed to trust in oneself to secure salvation. This faith is expressed and outworked in obedience - firstly the obedience to God who has commanded the gospel to be preached and obeyed, but also in obedience to the commands of God (Rom 12-14).

To put it all together. Jesus has been raised from the dead. This is the good news. It is also the proof and sign that he is the Son of God. He is the Lord Jesus Christ. the only adequate response is in the obedience of faith, as we are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

Will you trust, obey, bow down, or will you continue on your way in disobedience, rejecting Jesus as your King? What's the big fuss about Easter? Jesus is Lord! Jesus is King! Jesus is alive!

1 comment :

  1. Gary - You sound like a very dedicated Christian to me. Perhaps you might wish to review my similarly named blog - It might be of interest to you as you grow in the Lord Jesus Christ.