4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
4 and declared to be the Son of God
The title “Son of God” harks back to Psalm 2:7. This term speaks of the deity of Christ.
The word “declared” means to mark out the boundaries or the limits of something. The word “declared” carries the idea of having been determined, defined, appointed. We get our English word “horizon” from the Greek term. A horizon marks boundaries between earth and sky. The Son of God was eternally God, but God declared Him openly to be so to men. As man Jesus became something He was not before, but God declared His deity during Jesus’ earthly life. His birth as a man required this declaration. Thus, God separated the deity from the humanity of Christ. The resurrection defines the Son of God.
Jesus is both God and man in one person. The humanity of Christ is not the deity and the deity is not the humanity of Christ. Christ was both true humanity and undiminished deity in one person forever. Verse three teaches Jesus’ humanity and verse four teaches the deity of the Son of God.
The fourth verse has three parallel phrases that describe what God did to portray Jesus’ role to man:
“according to the Spirit of holiness”
“by the resurrection from the dead”
The power of the resurrection is indeed an awesome thing. This was declared with power. Jesus existed with unprecedented power in His humanity but especially in the event of the resurrection.
Paul did not say that Jesus was appointed the Son of God by the resurrection. However, since He was born in weakness of human flesh, He was raised with power. The resurrected Christ is a powerful idea. The resurrection is what declared or defined His deity. It proves His deity but it is also the crucial transition point in His work as the Savior. His resurrection was the deathblow to death itself.
according to the Spirit of holiness,
The Holy Spirit accomplished the resurrection. The Holy Spirit raised the humanity of Jesus from the dead.
by the resurrection from the dead.
The resurrection of Christ from the dead declared His deity. The resurrection was the point where He transitioned from humiliation in His humanity to His glorified life. Thus, as a result of the resurrection God declared Jesus to be the Son of God with power. God declared Jesus to be His everlasting Son by the resurrection. We see His glorification as the Son of God by the resurrection. The resurrection asserted His Sonship.
The resurrection was the dividing line between Jesus’ state of humiliation as a man and His state of exaltation as the Son of God. His resurrection made it abundantly clear that He was the Son. His glorification was the restoration of the full use of His deity (Jn 17:5) from man’s viewpoint. This does not mean that He was restored to His deity but to the use of His deity apart from His humanity.
Christ’s resurrection authenticates His deity.
The power of the resurrection set Jesus apart and verified the assertion of His deity. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, we would not have the uniqueness of the resurrection to authenticate His deity. Jesus was declared to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead.