In the third verse, Paul tells us of that glorious person Who is the subject of the Gospel: God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  It is the very briefest introduction, but contains a depth and sublimity of doctrine which it would take countless sermons and essays to elaborate upon.  The very concept of Jesus Christ being the Son of God is one so deep, so amazing, as the brightest human mind can scarcely conceive of what it involves.  Nevertheless, the sonship of Christ is an essential part of the Christian faith.  He is the glorious Son Who dwelt in the bosom of the Father before the world was; a person Who, though He is a Son, yet His goings forth are of old, even from everlasting.  As long as the Father has been the Father, the Son has been the Son.  No date can be put upon these things, for they are ancient and timeless.  The Gospel concerns the Son of God, Who is really and truly God alongside His heavenly Father.

This same Christ is the Lord of all who believe.  In truth, He is lord even over His enemies, for His lordship does not result from human permission, but is an office assigned to Him by His heavenly Father.  He rules either as a gracious sovereign over willing subjects, or as a mighty King Who breaks His enemies with a rod of iron, and dashes them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.  But when Paul speaks of “our Lord,” He is referring to the gracious rule of Christ over His people, an authority to which every true believer gladly submits, and only wishes he yielded a more perfect obedience.

Having addressed the glorious person of Christ as God, Paul would join with this the doctrine of Christ’s humanity.  He is the Son of God and our Lord and King, but He is also fully man.  With good reason Jesus Christ is known by many as “the God-man,” for He fully possesses both natures, in one unique person.  Paul establishes that here at the outset of his great epistle to the Romans, informing his readers that this Gospel that he will be describing concerns that very person, Who He is and what He has done.  This Christ Who we serve and worship was, as a man, “made of the seed of David according to the flesh.”  This is Paul’s assertion that the man Christ Jesus is the true Messiah, Who was indeed foretold by the prophets.  Nothing is clearer in the Old Testament than that the Messiah must descend from the lineage of David.  Christ’s bitterest enemies never challenged His claim to royal blood, which only goes to show that they could not legitimately dispute His claim to be the Messiah.  We rejoice to own Him as the true Son of David, the great Fulfiller of the promises of God, the great King, the increase of Whose government and peace will see no end.

 

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