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"Motivation" (Part 2)

Romans  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  54:50
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Romans 1:1-7

What is Paul motivated by?

For living
For writing
Paul is motivated by three main factors seen here in Romans 1:1-7...
His Master (v. 1)
His Message (vv. 2-4)
His Mission (vv. 5-7)
We examined the first one…let’s examine the second one.

His Message (vv. 2-4)

I want to consider 2 main questions, plus other secondary questions here. We already considered the first. But, by way of review...

What is Paul’s message? (v. 1)

The gospel - good news...
That God wants mankind to know.
Sourced in Him, due to Him, that which He wants to be know.
Far greater news than any other, because God is far greater than any other.
Paul will expand on this in the next 3 verses, and tell us...

What is Paul’s message about? (vv. 2-4)

It is primarily about a PERSON, who was PROMISED, BORN, and DECLARED:


A promise is a pledge to do something.
Here the word carries with it the idea of “previously” - beforehand
Paul didn’t invent it. The promise was not a new thing, though the fulfillment was.
It was well know. It was not a new thing to accept.
Notice again WHO the promise is from. It is from God - He promised - the gospel of God (v. 1)
This is important because we should be reminded that God keeps His word. He is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 145:13; Hebrews 10:23).
Deuteronomy 7:9 ESV
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
Psalm 145:13 ESV
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.
Hebrews 10:23 ESV
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
Where is the promise found?
How can it be know?
How has it been revealed by God?


Writings, but not just any writings - 2 identifiers
Prophets - who God used to write the OT scriptures, God revealed to them, supernaturally inspired them - in fact, the OT was known as the Law and Prophets; Moses wrote the Law and he was also a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15-18; Luke 24:27). This is how God made the promise known. So there was something to look for. Prophets were confirmed by fulfillment (Deuteronomy 18:22). So there was something to anticipate if believed.
Luke 24:27 ESV
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Holy - set apart, sacred, pure - this speaks to the source - only the Holy God could produce holy writings (2 Peter 1:20–21).
2 Peter 1:20–21 ESV
knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
So we are reminded here of WHO the promise is from and WHO delivered it to us, both are by God’s will.
What is the promise about?
It is about a lot of things.
What is it primarily about? Or rather, who...? Look at the beginning of v. 3...


The title “Son” or “Son of God” (v. 4) was a title for the promised Messiah (Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5), and it was a statement of equality with God (John 5:18).
Psalm 2:7 ESV
I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.
Acts 13:33 ESV
this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “ ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’
Hebrews 1:5 ESV
For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?
John 5:18 ESV
This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
The OT is primarily about this one Person. The message is the Messiah.
Literally - in prediction about Him
Figuratively - foreshadowing Him - sacrifices, priesthood, tabernacle, law, etc.
Jesus taught this (Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44).
Luke 24:27 ESV
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luke 24:44 ESV
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
* So we first see here that Paul’s MESSAGE was about THE PERSON WHO WAS PROMISED.


The word translated “born” (NASV, “born of a descendant,” better than ESV here) means literally “became.”
This implies His preincarnate existence - He was, but He became.
He became something He was not previously when He was born...
From whom was He born?
What family line was He born from?
This is a significant aspect of the promise.

From David

Even the word “descendant” is important, meaning “seed” or “offspring” (2 Samuel 7:12; Isaiah 9:7; Jeremiah 23:5).
2 Samuel 7:12 ESV
When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.
Isaiah 9:7 ESV
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Jeremiah 23:5 ESV
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
This was literally fulfilled in Jesus (v. 4; Matthew 1:1).
Matthew 1:1 ESV
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Which is who Paul identifies; where this is all going/pointing to (end of v. 4).
How was He born?
This might be obvious...
But to Paul it was important enough to specify...

According to the flesh

He took on Himself a literal body (1 John 4:2).
1 John 4:2 ESV
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
We refer to this phase as the incarnation.
He took on Himself the weakness of flesh (Hebrews 4:15).
Hebrews 4:15 ESV
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
** So second, we see here that Paul’s MESSAGE was about THE PERSON WHO WAS BORN.


“Declared” - to mark out, appoint, determine
It contrasts with “became” (v. 3).
He already was…but He was declared to be...
What was declared about Him?
Son of God...
But what else?


This could refer to “declared” - that is, powerfully declared, and this is true (Ephesians 1:19–20).
Ephesians 1:19–20 ESV
and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,
Scholars point out that this can also refer to Jesus. Thus, NASV’s “Son of God with power.”
The word order favors this. Plus this would be an appropriate contrast to the weakness of the flesh (v. 3) - a contrasting parallelism.
He gave up the exercise of the omnipotence that belonged to Him as God, which then He resumed after the resurrection (2 Corinthians 13:4).
2 Corinthians 13:4 ESV
For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.
To see it in this way is to see Him as God.
Either way, this declaration here (the resurrection of Jesus) is proof of His identity, that He is the Christ - powerfully declared (powerfully resurrected, and powerfully active and living).
How was it declared?
What happened to make this obvious?
When did this become apparent?


The resurrection then proves who Jesus was and is. He was powerfully resurrected…to continue to be powerfully active and living.
The resurrection proved His divinity just as His birth proved His humanity. So that it might be said of Jesus that He is the God-man that was promised to come - He has come.
The phrase “according to the Spirit of Holiness” may refer to the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11).
Romans 8:11 ESV
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
However, it would be an unusual way to refer to the Holy Spirit. In fact, the phrase “spirit of holiness” only occurs here. There’s no definite article. Some Bibles even included a notes that it could be a lower case “spirit.”
So again, scholars point out that this can refer to the spirit or nature of Christ, which is holy.
It contrasts with “according to the flesh” (v. 3).
The birth of Christ was according to/in tune with his flesh - humanity.
The resurrection of Christ was according to/in tune with his spirit, which is holy - divinity.
Again, either way, whether it is the Holy Spirit actively involved in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, or the holy nature of Jesus Christ, it points to His divinity and unique fulfillment of the scriptures.
*** So third, we see here that Paul’s MESSAGE was about THE PERSON WHO WAS DECLARED.
Let me reiterate the balancing contrasts for the complete picture/fulfillment stated (vv. 3-4).
Became... vs. Declared...
According to the flesh in relation to His birth… vs. According to the spirit in relation to His resurrection.
In weakness/humility due to the flesh… vs. in/with that power resumed after the resurrection.
Again, both of these in answer to the promise (v. 2)…and Jesus Christ is the only One who could be all of this.
So, in verse 3 Paul states the fact of Jesus Christ’s humanity, and in verse 4 Paul states the fact of Jesus Christ’s divinity, and this is in fulfillment of the promise that Paul states in verse 2.
There is only one appropriate response…to acknowledge Him as Lord (v. 4a).
Paul has packed so much into this, and he will continue to expand this throughout the letter, because...

This message about this Person is paramount!

To studying
To living (Colossians 1:18)
Colossians 1:18 ESV
And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
Benediction: Romans 11:33–36
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 18:15-22
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