The Son of God with Power: Unpacking the Meaning of Romans 1:4

Apr 19 / Nader Mansour
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" 

Did Jesus become the Son of God at the resurrection? Why do so many people think that's what Romans 1:4 is saying?

In the Christian faith, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most significant events in history. It represents the triumph of life over death and the ultimate display of God's power. But what does it mean that Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead? Let's explore this beloved but often misunderstood verse in Romans 1:3-4 and its significance.
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Christ's Sonship and Resurrection

 Romans 1:3-4 describes Christ in lofty and inspiring language "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead".
The focus of this verse is on the declaration of Christ's Sonship through the Resurrection. However, many people misunderstand it and believe that Christ became the Son of God only at the time of the Resurrection. But, that is not the case. There are two key words that seem to go by unnoticed in the verse.

The words "with power" are crucial to understanding the verse. The verse is not saying now Jesus has become the Son of God, or that he is now declared to be the Son of God for the first time. Rather, the emphasis is on his sonship being declared "with power". Christ was already the Son of God from the beginning, even before creation. Satan knew this as well as the demons, who recognized His Sonship often during his ministry on earth. The Father had declared Christ's sonship at the baptism. Satan was contesting that very real sonship in the wilderness of temptation. Therefore, the Resurrection did not make Jesus the Son of God, but it was a declaration of His Sonship with power and authority. The words "with power" are crucial because they differentiate Christ's Sonship before and after the Resurrection. This doesn't mean that his prior sonship was without power. The context makes clear that this power is the victory and triumph of Christ over sin and death. Now He is declared to be the Son of God with power over the grave and death! He has conquered the stronghold of Satan.
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The Power of Christ's Resurrection

The declaration of Christ's Sonship through the Resurrection was an affirmation and proclamation that echoed throughout the universe. It signifies that Christ, the divine Son of God, has dominion over death and the grave. Everything now belongs to the Son, and there is no place in the universe outside of His Dominion. The Resurrection power of the Son means that Satan has no more foothold in this world, Christ has even obtained the keys of hell and of death. Humanity has been delivered!

1 Peter 3:19 refers to this very declaration of Christ's Sonship. Here's that puzzling verse with explanation words in [brackets] based on what we've discovered:
"By which [Resurrection] also he [Christ] went and preached [announced powerful victory] unto the [evil] spirits in prison".
It states that Christ preached unto the spirits in prison, meaning that His Resurrection was an announcement of his powerful victory to all the hosts of darkness and the demonic hordes of Satan. It was an announcement that Christ is indeed the Son of God with triumphant power over them and that there is no place in this universe that is not under His Dominion, even death. Hallelujah! đź’Ş
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The Significance of Christ's Resurrection for Us

The Apostle Paul makes a very powerful application of the resurrection of Christ to the believers. It's in Romans 6:4-5
"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection".

Paul draws a parallel between our spiritual resurrection and the physical resurrection of Jesus. He emphasizes that Christ's resurrection was not self-induced but was made possible by the glory of the Father. This declaration with power over the domain of death marked His sonship and was the ultimate defeat of Satan and sin. In the same way, we too are raised from spiritual death by the glory of the Father through our faith in Christ. It's crucial to understand that we cannot raise ourselves from the dead; it's only by God's grace that we are rescued. This was clearly and emphatically declared in the resurrection of Christ who was raised by His Father. Many people imagine that Christ raised himself from the dead, thinking that this uplifts and magnifies the power of Christ. Not only is this idea false but it is dangerous, for it destroys the very resurrection of Christ. If Christ raised himself from the dead then he wasn't dead; and if he wasn't dead he didn't need a resurrection! Beware of this alluring temptation of denying the resurrection of the Son and it's declaration with power. When we grasp this truth, we can walk in newness of life with confidence, knowing that we have the same resurrection power through Christ. Christ's Resurrection means that we are delivered, and humanity has been liberated. It signifies that there is no more foothold for Satan in this world, or in our lives.

Conclusion:

The declaration of Christ's sonship with power after his resurrection reverberated throughout the universe, shaking the far reaches and bounds of creation. This declaration signified the defeat of Satan and sin in a world of death that was once alienated from the government and life of God. Satan had claimed this world as his little piece in the vast universe, with the graveyard as his dominion where no one could challenge his authority. But Jesus came into the domain of death, died completely, and trusted himself into the father's hand. By the glory of the Father, he was raised from the dead, and this victory extends to all who believe in him. We have resurrection power in the Lord Jesus Christ and are delivered from the stronghold of death, just as he was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a powerful demonstration of God's authority and dominion over all things. Christ's Sonship was already in place, but the Resurrection established His Sonship with power and authority over sin and the grave. It means that there is no place in the universe outside of His Dominion, even death. Christ's Resurrection is the reason we celebrate as Christians, and it signifies that we have a Risen Lord who has defeated death and has all authority in heaven and earth.

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