Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Gospel of The Son

Romans 1:9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you.

The Gospel of the Son - The Gospel on the move
In today's blog I want us to continue exploring further what the Book of Romans teaches us about the Gospel.  Yesterday we considered that grand introduction to the letter, noting the features of what Paul termed "the Gospel of God".  Today we look at another designation, namely "the Gospel of His Son".  Don't think that Paul is speaking about two Gospels, rather understand that in the designations, "Gospel of God" is giving a description of the Gospel, whereas the phrase "Gospel of the Son" is dealing with the Gospel's movement.   
When I see that phrase "the Gospel of His Son", I'm reminded of the passages in which God the Son commands His church to go forth and proclaim the Gospel. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8-11)  Romans 1:8-15 is all about showing us how this "Gospel of the Son" is really the message about Him and from Him, moving and being communicated by those who have believed on Him.  Note how the Gospel is on the move in these passages.

1. The Gospel of the Son is to be a proclaimed message. Rom 1:8
As the Gospel moves forth in its proclamation, it is to be proclaimed both worldwide and locally.  Romans 1:8 states - "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world."  With the world in view, Paul also desires to proclaim the Gospel on a more local level to the Romans in 1:15 "So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome."

2. The Gospel of the Son is to be preached constantly in the church. Rom 1:9
Author Jerry Bridges once commented that we as Christians need preach the Gospel to ourselves everyday.  Everytime the church gathers together, the life transforming activity that Christ has ordained to cleanse His saints and call forth sinners is the ministry of the word.  The word for "preaching" here in Romans 1:9 is the word "euangilizo" from whence we get our word "evangelism".  The Gospel not only imparts spiritual life to all who by grace through faith believe, it functions to provide continuous life to the Christian following conversion.  The Gospel is like a lense, bringing into ever sharper focus the Person and work of Jesus Christ. 

3. The Gospel of the Son provides the basis for spiritual maturity. Romans 1:10-15
As Paul expresses his desire to come and preach the Gospel to the Romans in person, he lists the benefits that come with continual exposure to the Gospel.  First, Christians who are delighting in the Gospel with one another will expierience and edifying faith. (Romans 1:10-11)   Then Paul speaks further of how in the context of enjoyment of the Gospel, the church experiences an encouraging faith.  (Romans 1:12) Edification builds up my faith, and encouragement fuels the desires needs to walk in faith, which leads to Paul's third detail regarding how this Gospel of the Son undergirds spiritual maturity, namely it promotes a fruitful faith. (Romans 1:13-14)  Edifying faith, encouraged faith and fruitful faith all mark maturity and growth in the Gospel.

As you can see, the Gospel of the Son describes a message that is constantly moving.  It is desired and expected that when we as Christians are daily proclaiming, preaching and using the Gospel as the basis for spiritual maturity, we will look and act more like the Son.  The Gospel of the Son is the Gospel of God on the move, getting us to the very God who sent His Son.  May we rejoice and be thankful for the Gospel of the Son.