The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 118 of 181
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Christian circles today, but in what sense is it used? Too often the One Whom it is all
about seldom get mentioned, the word merely describing the acts of men with a religious
veneer to improve things. We need to be on our guard against these sort of ideas which
are widespread, and in view of the verses of Holy Writ quoted above, are sheer deception.
The Apostle states that the Lord Jesus Christ "was made (or better `was born') of the
seed of David according to the flesh" (1: 3). This does not mean that He was so, merely
by human judgment, but rather as regards His humanity. He was a true descendant of
David. There are two spheres in this context. "In the flesh", He was born of the family
of David. "In the Spirit" (the Holy Spirit), a divine sphere, He was declared to be the Son
of God with power. The verb horizo rendered "declared" also has the force of "defined"
or "appointed". This is its meaning in Acts 17: 31 where it is stated that a day of
judgment for the world has been appointed by God. At Bethlehem the Lord Jesus was
born and appointed to be the Son of God. But this was in weakness and lowliness. In
resurrection the same appointed Son of God was with power--"all power is given unto
Me in heaven and in earth" (Matt. 28: 18) and His exaltation was "far above all"
(Eph. 1: 18-23; Phil. 2: 8-11). This was "according to the spirit of holiness". The latter
phrase is a Hebraism for the Holy Spirit. The stupendous miracle of the resurrection is
based upon the activity of the whole Godhead, Father (Gal. 1: 1), Son (John 10: 17, 18) and
Holy Spirit (Rom. 1: 4; I Pet. 3: 18).
Paul proceeds to state:
"By Whom we have received grace and apostleship, for (or `to' margin) obedience to
the faith among all nations, for His name" (1: 5).
His apostleship was a gift of grace as he declares in chapter 15: 15, 16 "because of
the grace that is given to me of God. That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the
Gentiles", hence the words "among all nations" of chapter 1: 5.  The object of his
witness was with a view to believing obedience, that is to bring about the obedience that
is based on faith in Christ. Belief without such obedience is barren and does not accord
with the teaching of the N.T.