Is it really Good News?

Good (1)

So much of what we talk about in church revolves around this idea of Gospel or good news.

Mark opens by saying that his writing is the Good News about Jesus Christ. Matthew 4 says that Jesus traveled around preaching the good news about the kingdom. In Romans, Paul said that he is not ashamed of the Good news of Jesus Christ and just a few verses earlier he defined it this way,

God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.And you are included among those Gentiles who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ. I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people. [1]

This week in the study of Acts at Westbrook we encountered Stephen, who was the first recorded martyr for the gospel. He makes a grand speech before the Sanhedrin and right before they stone him to death he tells Jesus is the Messiah.

All this talk of the gospel can make one wonder if it is really good news. Is it really something that I would give my life for? Really the question to ask is, “What makes it good news?” The typical reply to this would be that Jesus saved us and now we don’t have to go to hell. Which is really good news. But I want to challenge you today that there’s more to it than that. Hugh Halter says it best in his book Flesh,

Jesus’s gospel includes salvation of our souls, but that’s just the starting point. The kingdom of God means that God is making things right: people get help; they have food on the table, protection from enemies, healing for diseases; and they will get a fresh start. The kingdom means that abuses stop, the poor are cared for, and everyone can be accepted into a true community of meaning and substance. For Jesus, it is about the kingdom of His Father bringing heaven to earth, adopting people into the family of God, calling them sons and daughters and friends. In God’s kingdom we are not just people He saves but fellow heirs of all that the King has. We inherit everything, including the privilege of working with Him to see His kingdom win the day. Now that’s good news! [2]

The good news is for eternal life and for our lives now. It’s good news that means wrongs will be righted, people forgiven, and wounds healed. It means that people will be welcomed into community no matter who they are and love becomes the law of the land. There are a lot of things that we believe, but this may be the most important thing for us to remember. We need to begin thinking if the good news of Jesus Christ is really true and really good then it changes the way that we live. Paul wrote to Colossians, “This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.” [3] The Gospel changes things for the better. It’s not just for the future; it’s for now.

There’s a lot of confusion nowadays of what is meant when people say that we need to preach the Gospel or live out the Gospel or even that we should be Gospel centered. What it means is that the Kingdom of God can change people here and now and we need to live like that’s a reality.

If the Gospel is true and really good news, then…

I am loved. People can be healed. Wrongs can be made right. Rejected people can be welcomed. Refugees and orphans can find a new home. Slaves can be freed and the poor can have enough to live on. This is all possible because the work of Jesus Christ has made us people capable of doing these things in the here and now. We long for the return of Christ and the restoration of all things, but we can begin living like his kingdom is real now.

[1] Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013), Ro 1:2–7”
[2] Halter, Hugh. Flesh: Bringing the Incarnation Down to Earth (pp. 55-56). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.
[3] Col 1:6

One thought on “Is it really Good News?

  1. Lift Up 06/11/2016 / 1:35 pm

    This is awesome stuff!! Thanks for sharing!

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