Week 2 Continued Study on Romans
Updated: Aug 8
Dr. Bill Peters message from Ern Baxter's Exposition on Romans
B. THE SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST
We have pointed out that Paul was a love-slave of Jesus Christ. "In a Roman household, one slave would water the garden, another keep accounts, another in the library would do skilled literary work; yet all equally would be 'not their own, but bought with a price'." As a love-slave in the Divine household, Paul was assigned a task, he was "separated unto the gospel of God" which gospel was "concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord".
Since everything Paul is going to say in this epistle concerning man's salvation has to do with Jesus Christ, this love-slave wants us to know who his Master is.
1. HIS DISTINCTIVE CHARACTER - "His Son"
The word "son" is used of angels, Adam, Israel and Christians, but never in the sense in which it is used of Jesus Christ. He is "the only begotten son". In the mystery of the Divine Being, He who "was made flesh and dwelt among us" showing forth "the glory as of the only begotten of the Father" ... "was with God, and was God" (John 1: 14; 1). That this wonderful One was coming had been the burden of the prophets "in the holy scriptures" from the beginning (vs. 2). THE Son of God has come into the world "for us men and for our salvation".
2. HIS UNIQUE NATURE - "Jesus Christ"
"Jesus" was the personal name of "the Son" and particularly designates Him as a man. "Christ" refers to Him as the divine One promised in the scriptures, Who should effect deliverance. He is both God and man. "This selfsame one is perfect both in deity and also in humanness; this selfsame one is also actually God and actually man, with a relational soul and a body. He is of the same reality as God as far as His deity is concerned and of the same reality as we ourselves as far as His humanness is concerned; thus like us in all respects, sin only excepted" (Definition of Chalcedon - 451 A.O.).
3. HIS SUPREME AUTHORITY - "Lord"
Jesus Christ is Lord! He has "all power in heaven and in earth" (Matt. 28:18). "He is Lord of all!" (Acts 10:36). He who is God and became man, is now the reigning God-man.
4. HIS IDENTIFIED HUMANITY - "Of the seed of David according to the flesh"
The record of Christian thought indicates that men have not always been careful to maintain the balance of truth concerning the nature of Jesus Christ. Some have made Him so divine that He no longer appears human, while others have made Him so human He has been deprived of His deity. Both emphases are wrong. The uniqueness of His nature is seen in the words "according to the flesh". Had He been only a man, these words would have been unnecessary. They show that He is human and His humanity can be identified as being "of the seed of David". "He is man of very man and God of very God." "The distinctiveness of each nature is not nullified by the union. Instead, the 'properties' of each nature are conserved and both natures concur in one 'person'."
5. HIS TRIUMPHANT ACT* “The resurrection from the dead”
"Christ is risen indeed!" All that Jesus Christ had accomplished in His life and death was sealed as "successful" by the resurrection. Death could not hold Him. Jesus had met the demands of law through breaking "the strength of sin" and destroying the power of death (1 Cor: 15:56). Death is "the last enemy" (1 Cor. 15:26). If Jesus mastered "the last enemy" He can handle all the lesser ones. His resurrection declares Him to be in charge of the universe!
6. ESTABLISHED POSITION - "Declared (constituted, established) to
be the Son of God with power"
"With power" are the key words here. There was no question of Christ's sonship before the resurrection. He was the Son in humiliation and subjection to the death of the cross. With the resurrection he was "established" as the Son "with power". He now assumed a new position as the occupant of the throne of the universe with "all power in heaven and in earth".
7. HIS MORAL RIGHT - "According to the spirit of holiness"
The power of death is found in sin. Christ "did no sin". Death could not hold Him because of what He was. He was sinless and completely holy. Because of this He was an adequate sacrifice for our sins and bore them successfully on the cross. Having met the demands of God against us concerning sin, and having no sin of His own, death could not hold this "Holy One".
C. THE SAINTS
Those to whom Paul addressed his letter are called "saints". They are the products of the Gospel which he preaches. Since we have heard and believed the same Gospel
we too are "saints" and interested in knowing how we are described.
1. "CALLED OF JESUS CHRIST" (vs. 6)
God "calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out" (John 10:3). The Bible indicates two things in connection with "calling" - "an outward solicitation by preaching, and an inward and simultaneous drawing by the Holy Spirit".
Christians are "them who are THE CALLED according to his purpose" ( Rom. 8:28). "Whom he CALLED, them he also justified" (Rom. 8:30).
2. "BELOVED OF GOD" (vs. 7)
Al I men are loved by God and His love is offered to them in the Gospel.
However, those who respond to the Gospel become members of God's family, and as such, become "accepted in the Beloved" and are loved with that family affection which God bestows on His "beloved Son" Jesus Christ. We are "most dear to
God" (Luther) in Jesus Christ.