Set apart for the gospel of God
In Romans 1 Paul states that he is a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, and set apart for the gospel of God. If he is set apart for the gospel of God, then it would serve us all well to know what the gospel of God is.
It is God’s gospel.
First, the phrase itself tells us that God is the source of this gospel. It is God’s gospel. It was planned by God, revealed by God, set in motion by God, sent by God, revealed by God, and entrusted to the apostles by God. God determined to save a people for himself, and he brought it about through his Son. It is about God and what he has done through his Son.
It is promised by God in the Scriptures.
Paul goes on to say that the gospel of God is the one he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. It is the one he promised in the Old Testament. It is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament promises. It is the gospel proclaimed by the Old Testament prophets. It is not something new that just came on the scene because God just thought of it. The gospel is what the Old Testament was foreshadowing. It is what the Old Testament was pointing to and what it anticipated. Paul says he has been called and set apart for this gospel not some other good news but the good news of God that God promised since the beginning and that is found in the holy Scriptures.
It concerns God’s son, Jesus the Christ.
Paul continues by stating that the gospel concerns God’s Son, Jesus the Christ. Friends, what we see here is that God the Father did not farm the gospel out to someone else’s child. He sent his own Son to be the good news. He poured out his wrath against sin on his own Son not some animal because that would not be sufficient and not on some other person because that person would not be perfect.
The gospel of God is the gospel concerning the very Son of God who Paul says is a descendant of David according to the flesh, that is humanly speaking. As far as his human lineage goes Jesus is in the line of David but notice what Paul says next. He, “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.” What Paul is telling us is that by his resurrection from the dead Jesus is appointed the Son-of-God-in-power. It is referring to his appointment as Messianic King. He was already the Son of God but now having conquered death and risen from the dead he is appointed to his position as the Messiah, and all of this was accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We catch here a glimpse of the contrast between the weakness of the flesh and the power of the Spirit. Jesus was born in the line of David in the weakness of the flesh, but he was exalted as the Son-of-God-in-power by the Holy Spirit. The resurrection marked the beginning of Jesus’ exalted life and there is life in Jesus because he has been resurrected from the dead.
The gospel is God’s.
Friends, is this your understanding of the gospel? Is it your counselee’s understanding of the gospel? Do you see that the gospel is God’s? It is about him and what he has done to glorify himself through saving sinners such as you and I. The gospel of God concerns his Son not your identity, not your health, not your wealth, not even your happiness or safety. The gospel of God is about Jesus the Christ.
By His Grace Alone,