Written for Our Instruction (2): Jesus in the Letter to the Romans

Thomas D. Stegman SJ

The second in a series of articles on the rich theology contained in Paul?s Letter to the Romans. Thomas D. Stegman SJ is professor of New Testament at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, USA.

In our first reflection on Romans, we encountered the prominence of the theme of ?the gospel of God? (1.1), the good news that God has acted in history to bring salvation and to right what has gone awry in creation because of sin. Immediately following the initial reference to God?s gospel, Paul then explains that this gospel focuses on Jesus, ?who was descended from David according to the flesh and set apart as Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead? (1.3?4). This creedal-like statement contains many seeds of the apostle?s christology. As we will see, Paul focuses on Jesus as the Messiah, the Lord, the fulfillment of Scripture, and the new Adam.

Jesus the Messiah
The heart of Paul?s proclamation of the gospel is that God?s righteousness (i.e., his covenant fidelity and love) has been definitively revealed dia pisteo?s Ie?sou Christou (3.21?22).

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