Paul can scarcely mention “the gospel” without adding some superlative or descriptive, so high was his affection for the glorious good news that he carried through the length and breadth of the Roman empire.  Here, he introduces a concept that will be quite familiar throughout the entire letter, namely, that the Gospel is no new philosophical idea invented by a carpenter from Nazareth, but that it had long before been promised in the sacred scriptures.

Here he mentions “the prophets,” which may refer in particular to men who actually exercised the prophetic office such as Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, or perhaps it may include the entire Old Testament record.  I prefer to broaden the intent to mean the latter.  At any rate, we of the Christian church must forever stand upon the prophets of the Old Testament, and declare to the world that none of the arguments against the Bible have any force, because they cannot overthrow the prophecies of Christ which were made so long before He was ever born, and then fulfilled to the letter in His life.  We know that He is the seed of the woman who crushed the head of the serpent, and the true seed of Abraham in Whom all the nations of the earth are blessed.  We know that He is the prophet like unto Moses, and the son of David Who is greater even than Solomon.  We know that He is the Son of God as it was written in the second psalm, that He died and yet saw no corruption, as it was written in the sixteenth psalm, and that He is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, as spoken in the one hundred and tenth psalm.  We know that He is both a child born and a son given, and that He is Jehovah’s suffering servant, foretold by the evangelical prophet Isaiah.  We know that He is the righteous Branch, Whose name is called THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Micah tells us He would be born in Bethlehem, Haggai tells us the second temple would be radiant with His glory, and Zechariah tells us not only that He would enter into Jerusalem on a colt the foal of an ass, but also that He would reign as a priest upon His throne.  Yes, every Christian should wholeheartedly concur with the apostle Paul, that Christ Himself, Whose person and work are the sum and substance of the Gospel, was promised long before by the prophets of God in the holy scriptures.

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