August 31, 2015
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
His Unchallenged Deity
“Of whom, as concerning the flesh,
Christ came, Who is over all, God blessed forever”
Romans 9:5 is one of the great, clear, definitive statements of the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. In this section, Paul is enumerating the privileges and blessings of the nation of Israel. His listing culminates in the promised Messiah. It was not only the greatest of all Israel’s blessings but the fulfillment of all God’s promises to the nation.
It reminds us of the great debt we owe to the nation of Israel. They have given three great things to the world: Monotheism, the Scriptures, and the Messiah.
His expression is also a doxology of praise. Romans contains four tremendous doxologies (1:25; 11:33-35; 16:25-27). But this doxology is unmistakably directed to the Lord Jesus Christ. Each doxology in Scripture has four elements: a direction, a descriptive, a duration, and a desire.
As to its Direction: the praise and worship is to Christ. In His deity He is worthy of praise and worship. God, Who will not share His glory with any other, delights to have men worship the Son. A day is coming when He will bring His Son into the world and He has decreed that in that day all the angels will worship Him (Heb 1:6). Likewise that to Him, every knee will bow and every tongue confess (Phil 2:10, 11). He is seen as the One Who is over all. The Creator of chapter 1 is now the Controller of all. In chapter 11:33-35, He will be the Consummation of all. Everything is from Him, for Him and to Him. He was the architect of creation, the agent through which it came to be, and the aim of it.
As to its Descriptive: He is over all and blessed. In the same paragraph in which he speaks of himself as wishing to be accursed from Christ for the sake of his fellow Jews, he is compelled to own that the Christ is the blessed. Men hung Him on a tree, the place of a curse; but He is most blessed.
The Duration: It will be forever and ever or for the ages. There will never be a moment in the eternal ages when His name will not be blessed by the families in heaven and on earth. He will be the object of worship and praise for His worth and His work.
The Desire: “Amen!” May it so be! This is one of the seven “amens” of Romans, each being worthy of consideration. But this “amen” resounds and echoes in every heart. Gladly do we assent to the praise of which He is deserving. With anticipation we look forward to a day when heaven and earth will unite to worship the One who is God blessed forever.
What a privilege you and I have, each day, to bend our knees and take up the theme that currently fills all heaven, and which will one day fill an entire universe. And what a privilege on Lord’s Day to meet with other believers and to collectively ascribe praise and honor to the Lord Jesus! To be able to think God’s thoughts about His Son is the highest privilege we have on earth.
1. Look at the four doxologies in Romans and see how Paul finds at least four different reasons for worshiping God in those doxologies.
2. Look at the other clear statements of the deity of Christ: John 1:1; 20:228; Phil 2:6; Col 2:9; 1 Tim 3:15; Titus 2:13; Heb 1:10; 2 Peter 1:2; 1 John 5:20.