November 16, 2003
CHRIST ACCORDING TO FLESH & SPIRIT
The gospel of God is concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord ...made of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared the Son of God according to the spirit..." (Romans 1:3-4). But why David?
Peter's Pentecostal message quoted Psalm 16 wherein David wrote concerning the Lord Jesus. David was dead and his grave still with them so the meaning of this Psalm could not apply to him. But being a prophet, David spoke of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh, "God would raise up Christ [Messiah] to sit on His throne" (Acts 2:30).
Psalm 16 is quoted in the first recorded messages of both Peter and Paul. Peter preached Jesus Christ of the seed of David raised to sit on the throne of his father David. Paul preached Jesus Christ as David's seed, Whom "God according to His promise raised unto Israel a Savior." He included Gentiles and preached "justification by faith" (Acts 2:30 & 13:23-47). Peter preached Jesus Christ of the seed of David raised from the dead according to his gospel and always had circumcision in mind. Paul wrote, "Remember Jesus Christ of the seed of David, raised from the dead according to my gospel, wherein I suffer trouble..." (2 Tim. 2:8). Paul knew from painful experience the attitude of the circumcision toward his gospel. For him it was neces-sary to begin with Christ according to the flesh and lead on to Christ according to the spirit..." Paul emphasized Christ as seed of the woman, seed of Abraham, and seed of David, the three great pillars!
Jesus Christ "according to the spirit" refers to the Lord in resurrect-ion, not the Holy Spirit. "The last Adam was made a quickening spirit" (1 Cor. 15:45), "Now the Lord is that Spirit" (2 Cor 3:18). He was "put to death in flesh, but quickened in spirit" (1 Pet. 3:18).His own resur-rection manifested Himself to be "the Son of God with power." All the claims of Christ are vindicated by His resurrection. "God has given assurance unto all men in that He has raised Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31). Preaching "Jesus, a man approved of God," or even "Jesus Christ and Him crucified" is not enough. The gospel of God's Son requires that He Who died rose again according to the scriptures!
Ivan L. Burgener