Good?

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.
Summary
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!
Morgan Hines

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Same old gospel

When we ask ourselves, “What is the gospel?”, there may be a tendency or a desire to want to give a “new” answer…a creative twist to the message of the “good news”. This is logical of course, because we people like to hear a new idea, a new tagline, a new way of updating that which may have grown stale. 

The thing with the gospel; however, is that it is timeless. It incorporates the very things that we’ve heard all along: God’s love, God’s mercy, God’s sacrifice. To “sum up” the gospel doesn’t mean a search for something new, but a proclamation of something we that we’ve heard over and over.

John 3:16-17

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Even these two verses speak to the heart of the gospel message. God loves us. God seeks to show mercy on us. God sacrificed His son for us.

I believe sometimes we, as Christians, may believe the same way about the gospel and yet disagree on the emphasis of the message or then what our response is to it. Sometimes we agree on what the gospel “says”, but don’t live the good news. We don’t always love the world. We don’t always show mercy to others. We don’t sacrifice anything.  

I saw this video recently of a talk held at the Pepperdine Lectureships, a “Pep Talk” done by an old friend, Mark Moore, who has spent much of his life as a missionary and a person who seeks to feed the hungry (physically and spiritually). I’d encourage you to click on this link and fast forward to 1:14:00 for his talk on the gospel message. 

I think much like Jesus’s example, we are partners in a mission to feed the hungry and give living water to the thirsty. I believe the gospel has more to do with life than it does to do with death. I believe the gospel springs from the love of God and the implications of His love for us. I believe the gospel is that though we have needs and though we lose our way, God is a God of mercy and grace, and lights our path toward the life we are called to. I believe that Jesus, God’s Son, is that way, that truth, that life.

I believe there are hungry among us and that we should eat with them. I don’t believe we are sent to condemn the world, but to help proclaim that God is saving that which is lost, restoring those who are broken, and feeding those who are hungry.

Chad Tappe

Good news from God

The gospel is that God has made a way for us to have a saving relationship with him for now and through eternity by the death of his son Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins so that he can live in us through the Spirit.

Humanity is born spiritually dead. This is the bad news. The good news is “the gospel”. The good news is a solution to this problem of being spiritually dead.  God provided the solution to this problem by sending Jesus as the Messiah, the savior.

Jesus died on the cross to deal with our sin problem, the sin issue. God decided to give his own life in exchange for ours and provided propitiation/atonement for our sins.

He did this to remove the sin problem so that he could send his Spirit and restore the life that had been lost in Adam/in the garden for those who are willing to receive the forgiveness and the gift of the Spirit.

Forgiveness reconciles us to God and the Spirit of the Lord being present in us saves us and walks with us now and into eternity.  For those who accept this and receive this, he will walk with us actively now and reveal himself to you and guide you.

The Bible is the testimony of who he is and of what he has said and there will be eternal consequences, either a life with him or a life without him, for what we decide in this life.

Sin – death – forgiveness – restoration of life

Romans 5:9-11

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Wade Poe

The gospel of Christ

The gospel is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. Rom 1:16

-Concerning God’s power:
The gospel is the good news that Jesus has bridged the gap existing between God and man, the gap created by wrath, sin, law, death, in a process called justification
The gospel is the good news that God has not abandoned this world that belongs to the evil one, but is actively breaking out His kingdom reign here and now. He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness in a process called redemption. 
The gospel is the good news that the Spirit of God dwells and works within His people to accomplish Kingdom goals beyond what we can ask or imagine in a process called sanctification.
 
-Concerning the believer:
The gospel is the good news that all people are freely offered grace, regardless of race, nation, or tribe under Jesus.
The gospel is the good news that there is a way of life that leads to true life under the reign of God.
The gospel is the good news that the spirit enacts in believers a fruitful life.
The gospel is the good news that a community of believers exits to bear witness to the world and edify one another.

-Contrast to the world: salvation both now and later
The gospel is the world view that the incarnation of God changes everything, turning the rules of the world upside down. Life now reigns over death. Jesus orients a follower to making Christian decisions and having Kingdom values. This is in contrast to the values of the world. 
Faith and Spirit replace self and flesh. This is the life that is truly life.
 
-Active in bringing:
Followers must follow Christ by continuing his mission. 
His mission is seeking the lost, advocacy, holiness, and faithful relationship. 
The world will one day be redeemed by God, justice brought, wrongs righted, rights rewarded. 
Death is no longer the victor in the world. 
God’s will can be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Shannon Cooper

The good news of Jesus

The gospel of Christ is the story of Jesus. That story begins in the creation of humans in the image and likeness of God, being given authority over the earth and having the power to decide how to live their life and who to live it for. The result was sin entering the world and everyone having a huge sin problem. God, out of his love and grace, made a plan to offer redemption and salvation to everyone. His plan led to choosing Abraham, through whom he would call out a people and through whom God would send a Savior. That plan ultimately led to God sending his own Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to be born of a virgin named Mary and live among us as a human. He took on our bodies, felt our pains, knew our weaknesses and felt the urges we all feel. He was tempted in everyway like we are. Yet he didn’t sin but went about showing and telling people about God.

The religious people, especially the leaders of his time, rejected Jesus, the innocent son of man and Son of God. They hated him to the degree they made a plot to have him put to death. They thought it was all their idea. But God had planned all along for the Christ to die for the sins of the world. He willingly took our sins upon him and was punished for our sins, so that we can be totally forgiven of our sins and be right with God. He paid the price of sin with his blood and God then placed on everyone who commits to Jesus the very righteousness of Jesus.

The gospel is such wonderful news because it gives each of us the opportunity of being right with God, no matter what we may have done wrong in the past, what we do now or what wrongs we will do in the future. In order to be saved by the gospel, God’s power unto our salvation, we must have faith in Jesus. Our faith will lead us to turn from our sins to God and to walk with him. That faith will lead us to obey the gospel by being baptized into Christ, by being buried with him and raised from the water to live a new life in him.

The gospel is that the blood of Jesus constantly cleanses a person living by faith in Jesus. We live as part of the community of believers called the church and anticipate a day when we will all be together in heaven with all those who have lived for him through the ages.

 

Leon Barnes

The good news is…

The Good News of Jesus was God sent Him to this world to bring salvation for all.  

The Good News includes Jesus life, death and resurrection.  The life of Jesus is a living sermon on love, compassion, helping our brothers and sisters in the Lord, aiding the poor, feeding the hungry, answering temptations with the word of God, leading others to God, accepting others as they are, praying, and always trusting in God.

Jesus knew that He must go through the beatings and be spit upon, listen to false witnesses, and be crucified, yet through all of this He remained focused on God.  He was silent when he could have lashed out at His accusers.  This is a great lesson for us when we go through our trials. Even as he hung on the cross He asked God to forgive those sinful people.
The good news of His resurrection was He defeated death/the devil, for us to have a home with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit for eternity.
Jackie McRoberts

The gospel is …

The good news is that the Messiah that was prophesied about in various places by various people in the books of the Old Testament, actually came and did all the things that they said He would! Everything about the Jesus story is good news, but the fact that it is a story that starts in Genesis and goes through Revelation makes it even more impacting.

It is great news that God knew us well enough to know that we would need lots of proof, so He provided it by telling people through the ages (Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, David, etc.) how He was going to save His people – through a child, given birth to by a virgin, in Bethlehem, through a life spent among us, and then slaughtered like a lamb for sacrifice. When this is all supported by historical, non-biblical writers, it gives credence to Him as our Savior.

Then there’s the best part of the gospel, and that is that even death, which was viewed as the end, wasn’t able to stop Him. He overcame it just as God had planned by waking up from death and spending time with His people before going back to Heaven – more proof for those who need it. So, by beating death in His own body, He beat it for us as well, making salvation not just a great thing for this part of our life, the part on Earth, but also for the next part, the part in Heaven, where we will be able to actually see Him. That’s good news – the Gospel!

Tammy Beck

“What is the gospel” series

Our staff recently worked through a process of articulating the gospel. We here have a series of short posts of people explaining the good news of Christ in a concise way.

This project sought to accomplish several things:

  1. We want each person keeping the main thing the main thing. The process of putting ideas onto paper helps each individual become more consistent and thoughtful in their dialogue and teaching.
  2. We want our church and ministries keeping the main thing the main thing. This exercise helped us simplify our message/ vision/ strategy as a church. Too often we let the tail wag the dog. By boiling down the gospel to its core we can more capably be the church God wants us to be.
  3. We want to proactively create a narrative for our discussions, instead of becoming caught up in our unique perspectives. While we do value diversity, often times our communication deficiencies have us talking past one another. By going through this process we were able to discover some of our unnamed assumptions that were impeding true communication.

Read and comment what themes you see, or what parts of the gospel you find key that we may have overlooked.