Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Romans 1:1-4

"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our lord..." (rom 1:1-4)

Romans 1:2-4 is essentially an unpacking of the phrase "the gospel of God" from verse 1. I think at the center of these verses is Jesus, shown in the phrase "concerning his Son". The gospel of God is all about Jesus, after all!

Piper points out that it is very important to understand two main things about Jesus, lest we go astray.

1. Jesus existed before he came as a man.
Piper brings up Romans 8:3 "For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh..." By God sending Jesus in the likeness of flesh it implies that Jesus existed before he was sent.
But this is all over the bible! I immediately thought of verses like Colossians 1:16 which says things like: "For by him all things were created" and "all things were created through him and for him". And John 1:1-18, which also says that Jesus was in the beginning, the creator, and that he became flesh.

2. Jesus is God.
Colossians 2:9 says plainly that "For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily."
These two things, that Jesus existed before he came as a man and that he is God, are things I believe wholeheartedly. But when I step back and let them sink in, let my mind run wild with the implications, it is hard to swallow intellectually. To think that God would come down as a man, experience all the pains and heartache of human life, that he would be executed by the very people he created, FOR those people, and that he would raise up from the dead... it's just wild. What's more is that it was on purpose. It was his plan to show me how good he is and to save me. He didn't have to do it, he didn't owe me or anyone. After all he is God! This is the gospel. Jesus is the center of it and it is good news.

To hear the sermon:

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