Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Paul’s Gospel

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel. (2 Timothy 2:8 NIV)
Let's look at how Paul refers to his gospel, the gospel he preaches, in his letter to Timothy. Notice three key elements in his summary:

  • Jesus the Christ
  • Raised from the dead
  • Descended from David
This is very similar to how he portrays the gospel in Romans 1. We often think of verse 16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ ...” But he describe that gospel in the first four verses of Romans:
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God — the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 1:1-4 NIV)
Here we can see the same three key elements that we found in 2 Timothy 2:8.
  • Jesus the Christ
  • Descended from David
  • Raised from the dead
Christ means the same thing as Messiah, “anointed,” and refers to the one whom God anointed and established as king over Israel and the nations, as prophesied in Psalm 2. In order for Jesus to be Messiah, it was necessary for Him to have been descended from David, to sit on the throne of David as king over Israel.

The resurrection from the dead by God through the Holy Spirit powerfully demonstrates that Jesus is the Son of God. This identification of Jesus as Son of God and Messiah shows Him to be the one God has chosen to be King over Israel and the all the nations of the earth (see Psalm 2 and Today I Have Begotten You). So Paul understands the ministry of the gospel as calling all the nations to respond to King Jesus in faith and obedience: “Through Him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles [nations] to the obedience that comes from faith for His name’s sake” (Romans 1:5 NIV).