“How to Approach the Bible” 

A study series by Arthur J Licursi

Part 24 of 24 - Jesus of Nazareth , Resurrected and Declared to be the Son of God

Romans 1:3-4 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And DECLARED TO BE THE SON OF GOD with power, according to the spirit of holiness, BY THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD:

Hebrews 1:5 (AMP) For to which of the angels did [God] ever say, You are My Son, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU [established You in an official Sonship relation, with kingly dignity]? And AGAIN, I will be to Him a Father, and He will be to Me a Son?

In Rom 1:3-4 (above) Paul refers to the crucified and resurrected Jesus of Nazareth as Son of David according to the flesh (in His humanity).” Paul says the human Jesus in the flesh was now powerfully declared to be the Son of God... by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom 1:4). In Heb 1:5 Paul confirms this from prophecy. “And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He will be to Me a Son?” Jesus was originally, from eternity past, “the Son of God,” then He became “the Son of man” via His incarnation. But now, out of His resurrection, we see that Jesus as the “man isdeclared to be the Son of God.” Thus, Jesus the God/man now is the risen Lord in His Spirit-form (2Cor 3:17). We could say this Jesus’ humanity has been added to the divinity of the Godhead, in the person of the resurrected Jesus Christ.

In Psalm 2:7, we see Christ in prophecy: “I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee.” Our Lord was of course eternally one Son of the Father. The word “begotten” here comes from Israel 's laws, referring to the time when the child was officially declared to be the father's full-grown son.

But which day was “this day” that is referred to in Psalm 2:7? On what day did the Father officially proclaim: This day have I begotten Thee”?

The answer is found in Acts 13:33, where the Apostle Paul states that God RAISED UP JESUS AGAIN; as it is also written in the second Psalm: THOU ART MY SON, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE.”  Therefore, “this day” in Psalm 2:7 was prophetic of the day of Jesus’ resurrection. So, our Lord Jesus was then officially and powerfully declared to be God’s grown up “Son” at His resurrection from the dead. I use the word grown up in the sense that Jesus only then was completed as the God/man.

Let’s now consider what Paul means here. Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to MY GOSPEL.” (2Tim. 2:7-8)

The twelve Apostles (not Paul) had proclaimed Christ as the Messiah, who was to be the Son of David (Matt 21:9), destined to sit on David's throne as King of Israel. The twelve were commanded by Jesus to preach and proclaim “the gospel of the kingdom,” to Israel only (Matt 10:5-6). But Israel rejected the King and His kingdom by killing Him (Acts 3:15). Then later, they rejected the Holy Spirit in Acts 7:58 with the stoning of Stephen. With that, God set Israel aside (Rom 11:1, 25), and with that the kingdom was also set aside.

God then raised another Apostle, Paul (Acts 9), who was both a Roman citizen and a Jew. Paul was to proclaim a heretofore hidden “mystery” or secret gospel the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). Paul proclaimed a new dispensational relationship with God was now available to all believers, based upon the pure grace of God, calling it “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2).

Christ was raised from the dead to one day sit on David's throne in the Messianic Millennial kingdom on the literal, physical, earth; as had been promised to Abraham’s seed. Regardless of Israel ’s rejection of Christ 2,000 years ago, this will yet come to pass in the Millennium. This though is in stark contrast to Paul’s gospel and “dispensation of grace” that is applicable for us right now, while Israel has been set aside. This current period will extend for an unspecified time period – “until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Rom 11:25); until the last “member” is added to “the church, which is the body of Christ” (Eph 1:22b-23a).

Though Paul never once in his 13 epistles mentions anything the human Jesus of Nazareth did or said Paul is the one who received and introduced the preaching of the cross as the basis of God’s entire provision for those who believe and have believed in all ages. Paul is the one who first revealed the meaning of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as Christ and Lord. Paul’s gospel was that Christ was crucified and raised from the dead as the God/man to certify” our justification; also to become the Head of “the Church, which is His Body.”

The “body of Christ” had never been spoken of or prophesied before Paul. But is the object of that “mystery” or secret plan of God revealed to Paul. The ascended Jesus Christ returned to earth to reveal “the mystery” (God’s eternal secret plan). The “body of Christ” for this day first required that its “Head” be raised and declared to be “the Son of God.”

Since we, the members of His “body,” are joined to Christ as the Head of “the body” we are partakers with Him in His new Sonship. We enjoy our “inheritance” that is of Him, and all that He now is as the God/man indwelling our spirit.

This is all very meaningful because, though Jesus Christ had always existed as the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth referred to as the “Son of Man,” was the first man to be begotten of God.” This declaration by the Father was evidenced by Jesus being raised to Sonship as God’s first genuine human offspring, as the glorious expression of God the Father’s fully processed life (Rom 6:4a). In this way, by His resurrection through the power of God the Father, Jesus of Nazareth became the “first of many (human) brethren” to be ascended to the third heaven as God’s first literal human offspring to bear His divine and eternal life.

Thus, this declaration by God the Father applied to “the human” Jesus of Nazareth, who was also called “The Son of Man. He now, as the resurrected and ascended Christ, still bears His resurrection “spirit-body,” a body that still bears the marks of His humanity; His scarred hands, feet and side. This is Jesus as He now exists. It is by the wounds He still bears that we know there is a very first “man” who dwells in heaven. Christ’s resurrection to heaven is our guarantee that our sins are forgiven and washed away; and that we, the creatures in whom He has invested His resurrection life, also are destined for heaven.

1 Corinthians 15:12-19 (NASB) Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

It is the Spirit of this resurrected God-man, Jesus of Nazareth, who now is both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:38). His resurrected “Spirit of life” (Rom 8:2a) indwells every believer’s spirit as their new and eternal life (John 3:16, 1John 5:11-12). It can now be said as Paul wrote, that every rebirthed believer has already been “raised up together” with Jesus to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

Ephesians 2:4-7 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

NOTE: An Appendix will follow this installment.