But Paul cannot stop there.  He has stated that the Gospel concerns the person of Jesus Christ, both as the Son of God and the Son of man, of the lineage of David.  But this theme of the divine sonship of Christ is one that is too majestic to be left alone without further remark.  Verse 4 is an incredible, striking statement that contains very much of the glorious Gospel which Paul will describe in such painstaking detail over the succeeding chapters.  He introduces the glorious sonship of Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the resurrection of the dead, all concepts which will crop up again and again in this letter to the Romans.  Indeed, it must be acknowledged that these are frequent themes in all the apostolic writings, and must of necessity in any faithful ministry be harped upon constantly.

It is important to notice in this verse that Paul says the resurrection of the dead declared Christ to be the Son of God with power.  I only establish this point because there have been heretics from time to time who have argued that there was a point in time when Jesus became the Son of God; thereby inferring that there was a time when He was not such.  This suggestion we cannot tolerate, no matter at what point in redemptive history they may recommend.  Christ’s prayer in John 17 shows plainly that He, as the Son, enjoyed an eternal relationship with His Father.  At the resurrection, Christ was begotten again from the dead; which may very well be what Psalm 2 is pointing to, when we find God saying, “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.”  Biblical evidence is entirely persuasive that the Son of God is indeed God’s Son by eternal generation.  Thus, Gabriel would say to Mary that the holy thing that should be born of her would be called “the Son of God,” which is entirely different from saying He would become the Son of God.  Along those same lines, Paul here insists that the resurrection of Christ is a declaration of His sonship, not a point in history when He became the Son of God.

The apostle Paul throws this in the face of all who would deny that Jesus Christ is the true, eternal, proper, and only Son of the living God.  To overthrow that glorious doctrine, which proves that Christ the Son is equal with God the Father, one must overthrow the incontrovertible historical fact of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead.  Such an overthrow can never occur.  The best weapons in the Devil’s arsenal could not keep Christ in the grave, nor has all his legion of followers been able to devise a single credible argument against the historicity of our Lord’s resurrection.  From the moment the stone rolled away from the door of the tomb, until time shall be no more, that empty grave will stand as an everlasting witness that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God.  Moreover, He is the Son of God with power.  All power is committed unto Him in heaven and in earth, and He exercises that power now for the good of His church over all the earth.

 

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