While away in Florida earlier this month, I got out of the routine of watching the morning and evening shows that I typically watch. And since returning home, I’ve not gotten back into that habit.
Yesterday, I turned on one of the shows I like to watch, and it was still about the same old news I heard a month a ago! And a year ago! Much of it bad news! Negative news! Depressing news!
Then I thought about my word for the week, “good,” that I wrote about yesterday. And how the news of God’s Word is good! In fact the English word “gospel” is derived from an Anglo-Saxon word, “godspel”, or “good story. ”
The original Greek word is “euaggelion”. Originally it signified a present given to one who brought good tidings”, or “a sacrifice offered in thanksgiving for such good tidings having come.” Later it came to be used for the good tidings themselves.
The word “Gospel” is used 100 times in the New Testament. The Good News of the Gospel has been explained in many different ways. But I like the succinct statement of a 19th century preacher, Walter Scott, who immigrated from Scotland to America in 1818. His signature explanation of the Gospel was simple.
“The Gospel is facts to be believed; commands to be obeyed; and promises to be received.”
The Facts of the Gospel are Good News!
(1) The Good News of God’s Love.
The Bible speaks of “the gospel of God” (Rom 1:1). It originated in the mind of the Father. It was purposed and planned before the beginning of time. Why? Because “God so loved the world…” (John 3:16)
(2) The Good News of Jesus’ Sacrifice for our Sins. Jesus brought light and life to the world. He came to make known the Father. To show God’s love, mercy and grace. The Gospel is all about Jesus. His life. Death. Burial. And resurrection. (1Cor 15:1-6)
(3) The Good News of our Salvation. The Gospel saves! (Rom 6:15). It saves us from sin. Sanctifies your soul. And secures your salvation.
(4) The Good News of God’s Family. We’re not alone in our struggles! God’s eternal purpose and plan was to purchase a people for His possession. We are called, not just to believe, but to belong! To Him. To Jesus. And to His spiritual family that is called the church. (Rom 12:4-5). Our communion with fellow Christians is Good News!
The Commands of the Gospel are Good News!
The Bible says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:4). To reduce the gospel to rigid rule keeping that is onerous is to miss it’s point and purpose. Yes, there are commands to be obeyed! But they are not arbitrary, impossible, or unbearable.
God didn’t give us the gospel to make us smarter sinners! God expects us to obey (Rom. 16:26). The Gospel demands repentance ( Acts 17:30). Instructs us to change our allegiance and confess Christ as Lord (Matt 10:32-33) And commands us to be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). In doing so we imitate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:1-17). And, then to follow the example of Jesus. To grow in discipleship. Develop spiritual disciplines. And mature as God’s children.
The Promises of the Gospel Are Good News!
It is indeed good news! When we believe and obey the gospel we receive remission of sins. Access all spiritual blessings in Christ. Experience fellowship with God. Belong to His spiritual Family. Enjoy the privilege of prayer. Feel peace of mind. Obtain a spiritual inheritance. Guaranteed the gift of the Holy Spirit. And are promised a home in heaven for eternity. No wonder Peter calls them “great and precious promises!
The Gospel. If you haven’t believed it, obeyed it, or received it, give it an honest evaluation. It’s Good News! Better news than you’ll see on TV!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman