The Wonderful Son

But what kind of gospel, what good news, could cause a persecutor of Christians to call himself a member of Christ’s Body? Paul writes that he was called according to the “gospel of God” in Romans 1:1. This gospel was promised in the Scriptures (v. 2), and is:

Concerning His Son, who came out of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was designated the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness out of the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 1:3-4

Christ is first! Christ is preeminent! The gospel of God begins with a wonderful, mysterious Person. He is the seed of David, implying genuine humanity, and the Son of God with divinity. This is a deep answer to Matthew 22:41-46, where Jesus silenced His questioners by asking them the question of questions:

What do you think concerning the Christ? Whose son is He?
Matthew 22:42

I remember clearly a moment of confronting the deep mystery of a Person who is at once a genuine man and the complete God.
I sat at a cafeteria table, Bible in hand, and asked myself how a man could be infinite. Being raised in a Christian home had brought me to a certain comfortable understanding of Christ’s person, but at that moment I realized that I had invented ways of explaining Jesus to myself that made sense, but didn’t match the truth in the Word. It was with a real sense of awe that I prayed – Lord, who are You?

When Paul asked the same question, the answer changed him irrevocably. Here in Romans, he compactly presents a view of Christ that is full of revelation. The Recovery Version note on designated in verse four helps to see Paul’s view of this Person at the center of the gospel of God:

Before His incarnation Christ, the divine One, already was the Son of God (John 1:18; Rom. 8:3). By incarnation He put on an element, the human flesh, which had nothing to do with divinity; that part of Him needed to be sanctified and uplifted by passing through death and resurrection. By resurrection His human nature was sanctified, uplifted, and transformed. Hence, by resurrection He was designated the Son of God with His humanity (Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5). His resurrection was His designation. Now, as the Son of God, He possesses humanity as well as divinity. By incarnation He brought God into man; by resurrection He brought man into God, that is, He brought His humanity into the divine sonship. In this way the only begotten Son of God was made the firstborn Son of God, possessing both divinity and humanity.
Romans 1:4, note 1

There are many rich and profound things here that touch the depths of the person of Christ1, but what astounds me about this note is how it continues:

God is using such a Christ, the firstborn Son, who possesses both divinity and humanity, as the producer and as the prototype, the model, to produce His many sons (8:29-30) — we who have believed in and received His Son. We too will be designated and revealed as the sons of God, as He was in the glory of His resurrection (8:19, 21), and with Him we will express God.
Romans 1:4, note 1

This is not simply a matter of dry doctrinal debate, or of sussing out technical minutiae, but a revelation of living Person who I, and all His believers, are joined to. I am simply full of praise to Christ that He would make me a son of God2, and a member of His Body. This is good news!


  1. For a concise presentation of the truth on this topic, see Concerning the Person of Christ by Witness Lee, published by Living Stream Ministry.
  2. Romans 8:14.

One thought on “The Wonderful Son

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s