We introduced the idea yesterday that it is every Christian’s job to share the good news of God’s love. But what is the gospel – what exactly is it that God wants us to proclaim? That’s the subject of today’s study.
(3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1Co 15:3-4)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (Joh 3:16)
The Good News of God in Skin
The gospel begins with the idea that God loved us enough to wrap Himself in skin and become a citizen of the world He made. He did this so He could give His life for our sins.
(22) Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, (23) Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Mat. 1:22-23)
(5) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Phi 2:5-8)
(14) Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; (15) And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (“Heb 2:14-15)
The Good News of a Suffering Savior
Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came into the world, lived a sinless life, and suffered the fate every sinner deserves. He took our punishment and our place when He laid down His life on the Cross.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2Co 5:21)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (src=Rom 6:23)
The Bad News Behind the Good News
The good news was necessary because of some bad news. (If you think about it, this really makes sense. The goodness of good news is almost always sin in contrast to, and response to, related bad news. Which is better news, someone being cured of their cold, or someone being cured of their cancer?) The bad news in this case is that every man, woman, boy and girl is a sinner. We have done things we know we should not do. We have left undone thing we know we ought to do. Some folks sin in ways that are easier to see than other, but we are all sinners.
(10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (12) They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Rom 3:10-12,23)
Our world decides what is good by finding out what is average or normal. If enough people act a certain way, that behavior is normal and, therefore, acceptable. God doesn’t take a poll, though, to determine right and wrong. He doesn’t change His standard of righteousness if enough people fail to measure up to it. God doesn’t grade on the curve. So the fact that we are all sinners doesn’t make sin OK, it makes all of us first class passengers on the Titanic. We may be enjoying ourselves, but we’re headed for disaster.
The Good News of a Risen Savior
Everything we’ve talked about so far would have been useless if it were not for the next part of the good news – the resurrection. Christ’s resurrection is the central theme of the gospel. It shows that His sacrifice was acceptable. It shows that our sins have been paid for. If Jesus Christ didn’t rise from the dead, you might as well stop reading right now.
Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: (2Ti 2:8)
(14) And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. (15) Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. (16) For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: (17) And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. (18) Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. (19) If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. (1Co 15:14-20)
The Good News of Salvation by Faith
You’ve heard what a mess we’re in – a world full of sinners unders the just condemnation of God. You’ve heard how God stepped in to help up by giving His Son to pay for our sins. You’ve heard about Christ’s amazing victory over the grave. He did all this, and more, to make salvation available to us. If you were God, what price tag would you put on this opportunity?
God makes the rules, so He could have put any price on salvation that He decided was fair. He could have said, “I will saved you if you give a million dollars to your church.” He might have said, “I will save you if you pray an hour a day, go to church three times a week, and donate your organs when you die.” He didn’t demand any of those things, though. Instead, He offers salvation as a free gift to anyone who will recognize they need it, and trust God by faith to receive it.
(8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8-9)
What About You?
Maybe you’re reading this good news today for the very first time. Maybe you’ve heard it before, but never acted on it. Will you admit to yourself, and to God, that you are a sinner? Will you put your trust in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, for the forgiveness of you sins? You might express your faith in Christ in a prayer like this:
Lord, I know that I’m a sinner. I’ve done things I shouldn’t have done. I’ve failed to do things I should have done. I deserve Your judgment, but I’m thankful that Jesus Christ, your Son, died to take my punishment. I accept Him as my Savior. Please forgive my sins because of what Jesus did for me. Amen
If you have trusted Christ as your Savior after reading this study, or you have questions about it, please email me.