Jesus Christ as a Man (Romans #1)

Text: Romans 1:1-7

Who is Jesus Christ? Who was Jesus Christ? Why does it matter? If you had to describe Jesus Christ, how would you do it? Think about it. Now, describe him without referring to yourself, such as he’s MY savior. How would you describe him? Now, describe him without referencing yourself, but only use a description that you could give evidence for. So if you say He’s the Son of God, what evidence do you have that that’s true?

We’re going to go back to the beginning of Romans. We covered enough last week to get our bearings in Romans, but we’re going to take our time through some of the subjects that have already come up in this letter. The first subject and truly the primary focus of the letter is the man named Jesus who is called the Christ.

The first seven verses are Paul’s greeting. He deals with five aspects of the man Jesus Christ.

Jesus was Paul’s master (vs 1)

  • Paul is a servant of Jesus Christ therefore Jesus is his Master or Lord.
  • As a matter of practice, that means Jesus was his example. Look at John 13:13-17 how Jesus defines this relationship.
  • Matthew 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.
  • Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
  • Jesus asked the hypocrites why do you call me Lord but you don’t do the things I say?
  • Calling Jesus Lord or Master is not only an obvious statement of Jesus’ identity, but it’s a statement of your responsibility.
  • Look at 1 Corinthians 11:1.
  • Some teach that Jesus taught something different to Jews and then gave Paul some other set of doctrines to teach to Gentiles. Paul disagrees. He says Jesus is my Lord, I’m His servant and I’m following Him. Paul would have no right to say, Follow me as I follow Christ if Paul is forging some never-before-seen doctrines that no one can verify in the life of Christ.

Jesus was the subject of prophecy and the Holy Scriptures (vss 1-3)

  • Revelation 19:10 …for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
  • 2 Peter 1:20 …no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. That means testifying of the LORD Jesus Christ.
  • Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. Substitutionary ram in Gen. 22, Passover lamb in Exodus, Judah offering himself for Benjamin, Boaz the kinsman redeemer, David, Mordecai, Elihu spoke as Christ in Job, and many many others.
  • This is a supernatural feature of the Bible. Remember, the Bible is a compilation of many different books and letters. It is not naturally explainable how one man was spoken of centuries before His birth in remarkable detail.
  • Most religious leaders appear out of nowhere or take up an office already in place. It’s not seen in history where a religious leader is spoken of prior to his birth in measurable detail. The anticipation of a Messiah by believing and unbelieving Jews proves there was a culture of expectancy based on prophetic statements before Jesus Christ was born.

Jesus was/is a literal man (vs 3)

  • The fact that Jesus Christ was a man is not up for debate even among critical unbelieving scholars. There is something like 40 independent sources that corroborate the life of Jesus Christ. For comparison’s sake, Tiberius, the Caesar at the time, is corroborated by 10 sources.
  • Seed carried by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, David
  • Matthew 22:41-42 unbelieving Jews knew the seed who as Christ was carried by David.
  • John 7:42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?

Jesus is physically alive after his death (vs 4)

  • Acts 13:32-39
  • Reasons
    • The empty tomb with no body every produced. If Jesus’ body was in the tomb, the Jews would’ve produced it a long time ago.
    • Female eyewitness accounts. No ancient author would have ever used the witness of a female for proof of the resurrection. Women were viewed as an invalid testimony in the first century and their testimony was not allowed in legal proceedings. Yet the Bible records that the risen Christ first appeared to Mary Magdalene. However, this testimony was used and became part of Biblical record. This could only be because there was no way to refute it.
    • The resulting actions of the apostles
    • 500+ eyewitnesses
    • Conversion of Paul from persecutor to apostle
    • I’ve heard this one too: People don’t die for a lie. But that is not true. Suicide bombers, soldiers in war sometimes, and others have oftentimes died for lies.

Jesus calls and qualifies men to the gracious service of God (vss 5-6)

  • The fact that Paul is an apostle is a big deal. He was not part of the twelve. He spent much of his life persecuting Christians. Who, by the way, somehow managed to be Christians without Paul’s doctrine. (If you think Paul started something new, you’re not listening to the words of God.)
  • Jesus equips his people by grace so that they can put on display what obedience to God looks like to a world stuck in darkness chasing their own pleasures.