“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 1:1-4.
The Old Testament prophets prophesied about Jesus in Isaiah 7:14-15, in Isaiah 9 and Isaiah 53. We also read about Him in Micah 5, and in many, many other scriptures. In the New Testament we can find prophecies about Him in Luke 24:25-27, Acts 18:28, 1 Peter 1:10-13, and other places.
In the above verses Paul briefly explains in two parts the gospel of God concerning Jesus:
(1) who He is according to the flesh, and
(2) who He is according to the Spirit.
If we disregard or change either one of these parts, we do not have the gospel of God.
What does it mean that He was descended from David according to the flesh? Quite simply, it means what it says. We know about David and his seed. Paul was of the same lineage. Hebrews 2:16. Paul says concerning himself, “For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh.” Romans 7:18. And Jesus’ flesh was just like that.
According to the Spirit of holiness He was designated Son of God in power by His resurrection from the dead. We cannot change this fact either. So the question arises: When He came to earth in that body which was of the seed of David, did He come with all the fullness of God in His Spirit? The answer is “No”, because it is written, “… who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:6-8. We often hear it said, “He was true God and true Man.” But this is not true if you mean that He retained all God’s fullness when He came to earth in the body that was of the seed of David. Nor is this statement appropriate in light of what is written in Hebrews 12:2, “… looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”
Continue reading to find out what the full gospel of God concerning Jesus means for us today.
This article is the first chapter of the book “The Gospel of God” by Sigurd Bratlie, published by Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag in 1988. It has been translated from Norwegian.
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