Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
In John 8:12, Jesus says that he is the light of the world. This imagery makes me think about warm sunshine or the beam of a bright flashlight in a dark room. But because I am a nerdy scientist, I also like to ask myself, what is light? It turns out that light is made up of two different things: an electric field and a magnetic field, which move in a certain pattern around each other. It takes both the magnetic field and electric field together to have light.
This thought, even though it is nerdy, helps me to understand the nature of Jesus, as described in Romans 1:1–7. Jesus was both “descended from David according to the flesh” and was also “declared to be the Son of God.” Jesus is both human and divine. There cannot be Jesus if he does not have a body, but likewise there cannot be Jesus without the Spirit of God living inside of that human form. It took both his body and his Spirit combined to make the Savior of the world.
Even though it can be explained in simple terms, I still find myself amazed at this unlikely union. But as a scientist, I see many mysterious combinations in the world around me that I cannot fully understand. An electron acts both like a wave and like a particle. Water can exist as a solid, liquid, and gas. Perhaps God built these mysterious combinations into the world around us to help us recognize the Savior of the world.
Dr. Christopher Turlington is an assistant professor of chemistry at Hope College.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.