1. Propagating the Resurrected Christ as the Firstborn Son according to the Promise Made to the Fathers
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Scripture Reading: Acts 13:23, 32-34, 38-39; Rom. 1:3-4; 8:29
I.     “From this man’s seed, God, according to promise, brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus…And we announce to you the gospel of the promise made to the fathers”—Acts 13:23, 32:
A.     The seed of David mentioned in 2 Samuel 7:12 is actually Christ as God’s firstborn Son (v. 14; Heb. 1:5-6), who has both divinity and humanity and is typified by Solomon.
B.     The word concerning “your seed” in 2 Samuel 7:12 and “My son” in verse 14 implies that the seed of David would become the Son of God; that is, a human seed would become a divine Son:
1. This corresponds with Paul’s word in Romans 1:3-4 concerning Christ as the seed of David being designated the Son of God in His humanity in resurrection.
2. These verses clearly reveal that a seed of man, that is, a son of man, can become the Son of God:
a. God Himself, the divine One, became a human seed, the seed of a man, David.
b. This seed was Jesus, the God-man, who was the Son of God by virtue of His divinity alone—Luke 1:35.
c. Through His resurrection He as the human seed became the Son of God in His humanity as well.
 
 
II.   “God has fully fulfilled this promise to us their children in raising up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; this day have I begotten You’ ”—Acts 13:33:
A.     In verses 32 and 33 we see that Christ as the Firstborn of God was promised to the fathers, and God fulfilled this promise by raising up Jesus.
B.     Resurrection was a birth to the man Jesus:
1. He was begotten by God in His resurrection to be the firstborn Son of God among many brothers—Rom. 8:29.
2. He was the only begotten Son from eternity—John 1:18; 3:16.
3. After His incarnation, through resurrection He was begotten by God in His humanity to be God’s firstborn Son—Heb. 1:6.
C.     Paul was able to see the Lord’s resurrection in Psalm 2:7: “You are My Son; / Today I have begotten You”:
1. Paul applied the word today to the day of the Lord’s resurrection.
2. This means that Christ’s resurrection was His birth as the firstborn Son of God.
3. Jesus, the Son of Man, was born to be the Son of God through being raised up from the dead; therefore, God’s raising up Jesus from the dead was His begetting of Him to be His firstborn Son—Acts 13:33.
D.     Through incarnation God’s only begotten Son put on humanity and became the God-man (John 1:14, 18; Luke 1:35); then in resurrection this God-man was born of God to be His Firstborn (Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:6; Rom. 8:29):
1. Before incarnation God’s only begotten Son did not have the human nature; He had only the divine nature.
2. In resurrection God’s firstborn Son has the human nature as well as the divine nature.
E.      Through His resurrection Christ was born to be the firstborn Son, and at the same time all His believers were born to be the many sons of God—1 Pet. 1:3; Heb. 2:10:
1. Among these many sons, only the Firstborn is God’s only begotten Son—John 1:18; 1 John 4:9.
2. This only begotten Son of God, in His resurrected humanity, is also the firstborn Son of God—Rom. 8:29.
3. The Firstborn has both divinity and humanity, and we, His believers as God’s many sons, also possess both the human nature and the divine nature—2 Pet. 1:4.
F.      In Acts 13 Paul was not preaching Christ as the only begotten Son, as the Gospel of John does (1:18; 3:16); rather, in Acts 13 Paul was preaching Christ as the firstborn Son of God, for propagation:
1. As the only begotten Son, the Lord is the embodiment of the divine life; the Gospel of John emphasizes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that, as the Son of God, He is the embodiment of the divine life—1:4.
2. Through resurrection Christ became the firstborn Son of God as the life-dispenser for the propagation of life—Rom. 8:29.
3. First, Christ was the only begotten Son as the embodiment of life; now He is also the firstborn Son for the propagation of life.
4. Through His becoming the firstborn Son of God in resurrection, the divine life has been dispensed into all His believers to bring forth the propagation of the life that is embodied in Him.
III.  “As to His having raised Him up from the dead,…He spoke in this way, ‘I will give you the holy things of David, the faithful things’ ”—Acts 13:34:
A.     The resurrected Christ is the holy and faithful things of David; the holy things of David, the faithful things refers to the resurrected Christ—vv. 33-34.
B.     The phrase the holy things of David, the faithful things indicates that Christ was of David, for it was out of David’s seed that God raised up such a One—Rom. 1:3-4.
C.     The phrase the holy things of David, the faithful things is actually a divine title, a title of Christ.
D.     These holy and faithful things are all the aspects of what Christ is, such as life, light, grace, righteousness, holiness, the bread of life, the living water, power, wisdom, glory, the depths of God, the Head, the Body, the firstfruits, and the second man.
E.      All the holy and faithful things are Christ Himself as mercies to us—Isa. 55:3; 2 Chron. 6:42; Psa. 89:1.
F.      We need to see that the resurrected Christ is all the holy and faithful things given to us by God as an all-inclusive gift; this was the Christ preached by Paul in Acts 13.
IV. “Through this One forgiveness of sins is announced to you,” and “in this One everyone who believes is justified”—vv. 38-39:
A.     To be forgiven of sins is on the negative side and is for our release from condemnation—v. 38.
B.     To be justified is on the positive side and is for our reconciliation to God and our being accepted by Him—v. 39; Gal. 2:16; Rom. 3:24-25.
C.     In Acts 13:38 and 39 Paul twice spoke of “this One”:
1. This is the One who has been resurrected to be God’s firstborn Son, our Savior, and the many holy and faithful things.
2. Through the One who is the firstborn Son, the Savior, and the holy and faithful things, forgiveness of sins has been announced to us, and through this One we are justified.
3. The One by whom we are forgiven and justified is Himself our forgiveness and justification:
a. Both forgiveness and justification are mercies from God to us, and these mercies are aspects of the resurrected Christ—vv. 33-34, 38-39.
b. Christ in His resurrection is our forgiveness and justification.
 
 
 
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