The Bad News
I’ve heard it said that you can’t fully understand good news without first understanding the bad news. As I understand it, this is the bad news:
– The God of heaven is not just holy but wholly just.
– Because he’s righteous and holy, he can’t be around anything that falls short of his
perfect standard (which he gave us in the law).
– Because he’s wholly just, he must exercise justice by punishing sin.
– Since I’m not perfect, not only can I not be with God, he must punish me. (Rom. 3:23)
The Good News
God is also the God of grace, love, and mercy, so he sent his son Jesus as he promised he would. Jesus was tempted like we are but lived a perfect life and thus fulfilled the law. He took on our punishment of death on the cross as a perfect sacrifice and God raised him from the dead; therefore, our justification no longer comes through the law but by believing in the saving grace of Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8-9; John 3:16; Phil. 2:5-11). Not only does this mean we get to be WITH God in heaven, but God lives IN us now in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Sin brings wrath (characterized by God’s absence). Perfection brings glory (characterized by God’s presence).
Christ was perfect, and we are not. Although Jesus deserved glory, he took on our wrath so that despite our sin we might receive his glory.
This changes everything!
The Bad News