The Text

Romans 1:1–7 (CSB) Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures— concerning his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh and was appointed to be the powerful Son of God according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection of the dead. Through him we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the Gentiles, including you who are also called by Jesus Christ. To all who are in Rome, loved by God, called as saints. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Support

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—

I Timothy 1:12-17 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures— concerning his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord

This is the Old Testament.

Consider:

Luke 24:27 (CSB) Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures.

Matthew 5:17-20 (CSB) “Don’t think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass away from the law until all things are accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.

who was a descendant of David

  • Matthew 1:1 “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
  • Luke 3:23-28
  • Davidic Covenant

2 Samuel 7:12–16 (CSB): 12 When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up after you your descendant, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will discipline him with a rod of men and blows from mortals. 15 But my faithful love will never leave him as it did when I removed it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and kingdom will endure before me forever, and your throne will be established forever.’ ”

according to the flesh

John 1:1–14 (CSB): 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.

6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light.

9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was created through him, and yet the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, 13 who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.

14 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

and was appointed to be the powerful Son of God according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection of the dead.

Romans 8:12-13 (CSB) So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, because if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

John 3:35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand (Daniel 7; Hebrews 1:1-2)

Through him we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the Gentiles,

This is the Great Commission. Listen to what you and I have been commissioned to do by our Great Lord and Savior:

Matthew 28:16–20 (CSB) The eleven disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Mark 16:14–20 (CSB) Later he appeared to the Eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table. He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who saw him after he had risen. Then he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes; if they should drink anything deadly, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.”

So the Lord Jesus, after speaking to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word by the accompanying signs.]

Luke 24:36–49 (CSB) As they were saying these things, he himself stood in their midst. He said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. “Why are you troubled?” he asked them. “And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself! Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” Having said this, he showed them his hands and feet. But while they still were amazed and in disbelief because of their joy, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” So they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.

He told them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. He also said to them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead the third day, and repentance for forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.”

Acts 1:7–8 (CSB) He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

including you who are also called by Jesus Christ.

Consider:

  • the promise of Isaac in Genesis 17
  • the calling of Isaiah in Isaiah 6
  • the calling Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1
  • the calling of Paul in Acts 9

Ultimately:

Romans 8:28–30 (CSB) We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.

To all who are in Rome, loved by God, called as saints. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

Compare the love for the world versus the tender, affectionate, personal, relational love that God has for his people–those who believe and trust in him–those who are called saints (Ephesians 4:11-16) - Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Where do you see God in the text? What does the text say about God?

God

All the promises of God are yes and amen:

2 Corinthians 1:20 (CSB) For every one of God’s promises is “Yes” in him. Therefore, through him we also say “Amen” to the glory of God.

All of the promises in the Old Testament, starting from Genesis 3:15, through the law and the prophets, through songs and wisdom, all culminating that God would save his people. In other words, we will be his people and he will forever be our God.

The Gospel

Here is the gospel proclamation:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever shall believe in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

What about those who do not believe in Christ Jesus:

John 3:36 (CSB) The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who rejects the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.

Our Responsibility

This is the call: trust in God alone.

Theologically, we know that God does not lie. But how do we know that to be sure? His written word is the transcript of all of his promises. More so, it is the transcription of His heart. Now, some things in the Bible are too difficult for us to understand and some too mysterious. That is okay. Because what we do have is His Son, Christ Jesus our Lord. Even the most hardcore atheist would be foolish to deny the historical life of Jesus Christ. But Christ was not a merely a historical marker that changed all of mankind’s history. He came so that he completely, definitely, perfectly fulfilled one thing: to save His people from their sins forever.

Trust in God. Nothing on this earth. How does that old hymn go?

Let the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.

Or to put it in another way:

“On Christ’s glory I would fix all of my thoughts and desires, and the more I see of the glory of Christ , the more the painted beauties of this world will wither in my eyes and I will be more and more crucified to this world. It will become to me like something dead and putrid, impossible for me to enjoy.”

John Owen. The Glory of Christ.

Pray

My Gracious Lord
 

You have given me the commandment
to follow you
to obey you
to listen to your voice
to heed your prophecy
to take you at face value
to take you at your word
to honor you
to worship you
to love you with everything within me.

God
I will need
to be created like new
to have a completely different heart
your Spirit to replace my missing one
not just a changed mind
but a renewed mind
a righteousness not my own
holiness that I am so distant from
a grace that layered upon more grace
a mercy that is new every morning
a love that never ceases
an adoption that calls me your own
a romance that makes you my Beloved

I am going to need you
the only God
who alone is mighty to save.

Today
give me you.

Amen.

Media

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