Romans 1:3 – Concerning His Son

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, 3 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,through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The gospel of God, the one that had been promised beforehand and revealed through the prophets in the Scriptures is a gospel concerning his Son. Paul is saying to us that the gospel, the good news, is about Jesus Christ; it’s about his person and his work and he has been the subject of the prophets throughout the Old Testament, but is no revealed to us in these last days.

John Stott writes of this verse in his commentary on Romans:

God’s good news is about Jesus. As Luther put it in his gloss on this verse” ‘Here the door is thrown open wide for the understanding of Holy Scriptures, that is, that everything must be understood in relation to Christ.’ Calvin writes similarly that ‘the whole gospel is contained in Christ.’ Therefore, ‘to move even a step from Christ means to withdraw oneself from the gospel.’

Jesus confirmed this truth when he said to the Pharisees, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.”

My friend, the story, the message, and the heart of the gospel of God is not just about Jesus Christ it is Jesus Christ himself. Everything that God has done and is now doing in redeeming mankind is centered around Jesus Christ. Without him there is no Christianity. Without him there is no salvation. Without him there is no hope in this world.

Since the gospel points us to Christ himself and to move away from that truth is to lose Christ, let us do as the writer to the Hebrews says “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.” Or as the song goes:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

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