The Gospel is good news!
Good news that there is hope, salvation, forgiveness, reconciliation, life, glory … for all of us. Good news that we don’t have to do anything to get it, but that God is willing to freely give it to us.
Why? Because we deserve it?
Absolutely not! We are dead in our sins, separated from God our Creator, and it’s not just a passive state. We are actively enemies in our minds by wicked works, heading to a lost eternity, without hope.
‘But God … is rich in mercy’ (Eph 2:4)
There is good news for us – the Gospel.
‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Roms 6:23)
God wants to bless us with the gift of salvation – eternal life – and is able to because His eternal Son, Jesus Christ, willingly took our place under the wrath of God, was wounded for our sins, and died, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.
That death was on the cross, where Jesus suffered, going into the darkness and the place of separation, to cry ‘My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’, bear the wrath and judgement of Almighty God, and then die for our sins, to rise again the third day.
Without Jesus Christ there is no hope of salvation, no good news, no Gospel.
Without the cross there is no hope of salvation, no good news, no Gospel.
Therefore, the Gospel that we preach and make known can be summarised in four words.
Christ and Him Crucified
(source : forwardinhope.com)
Life’s most important questions – Is Jesus alive?
The Lord Jesus Christ is no ordinary person. I make this statement in the present tense because the Lord Jesus is not just a figure of history but he is, today, still alive in heaven. I don’t mean alive in the way we might think about a relative who has died and hope is now in heaven. As a Christian I believe people who have turned from their sin and accepted Jesus as their Saviour will be in heaven when they die but this is not my point at the moment. I mean that Jesus is alive, physically in heaven.
Your response might be – impossible and unbelievable!
The evidence points to it being statistically impossible for the historical predictions (the bible calls them prophecies) being fulfilled accurately being mere coincidence!
It was impossible to deceive so many historians and eye witnesses on a such a grand scale!
In support of this the bible clearly states: ‘these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life in his name’, John 20:31.
What do you think?
HERE TODAY – WHERE TOMORROW?
HARRY & MEGAN’S WEDDING SERMON – PREACHER MICHAEL CURRY
The following excerpt from John chapter 5 is crystal clear that Jesus, in defining Himself as the Son of God, is declaring that He and His Father are the One True and Living God.
Let me take you through it, and then I’d be glad to hear your thoughts.
The chapter begins with Jesus healing a man at the pool of Bethesda, who had been ill for 38 years. Note, first of all, the authority with which Jesus speaks:
8 Jesus said unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
He doesn’t invoke the name of the LORD, or attribute the miracle to God, but seems to act by His own will and in His own authority. The problem was … Jesus had healed the man on the Sabbath day, an act that the religious leaders classed as work, and therefore illegal.
9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for you to carry thy bed. 11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up your bed, and walk. 12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto you, Take up your bed, and walk? 13 And he that was healed did not know who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, you are made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto you. 15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. 16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
In His defense, Jesus makes an astonishing statement!
17 But Jesus answered them, My Father works hitherto, and I work.
What does He mean by this? Well, we don’t need to guess, for the Jewish, religious leaders, experts in the Law of Moses, had no doubt what Jesus meant, immediately identifying it as blasphemous. They claimed that Jesus was essentially saying, ‘I am God’.
IF YOU THINK DIFFERENTLY, I’D LIKE TO HEAR YOUR EXPLANATION BELOW.
18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
Some make the point that these are Jesus’ enemies speaking, so why should we believe them? A fair question, but Jesus Himself goes on to clarify His meaning, drawing the union between Himself and His Father ever clearer. Instead of denying their claim, He confirms it by pointing out the unity of action: ‘as the Father … even so the Son’. It is this unity of mind, purpose and action that is the point of the phrase in v19, ‘The Son can do nothing of Himself’.
(ADAM TO BEGIN WITH, THEN ALL THE REST OF US, MAKE FREE CHOICES TO ACT OUTSIDE THE WILL OF GOD AND/OR DISOBEY HIS WORD, FOR JESUS CHRIST, THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE! HE CANNOT ACT ‘OF HIMSELF’; OF HIS OWN ACCORD, OUTSIDE OF THE FATHER’S WILL AND PURPOSE, FOR HE AND THE FATHER ARE ONE GOD.)
19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shews him all things that himself does: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises up the dead, and quickens (makes alive) them; even so the Son quickens whom he will. 22 For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son:
Not only does Jesus confirm their understanding, but in this last verse enhances it, by pointing out the consequences of it for the Jewish leaders themselves: they cannot say they are honouring God, if they do not honour the Son.
23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honours not the Son, honours not the Father which has sent him.
How do you honour God, the Father?
Well, because the Father loves His eternal Son, He desires that you honour Jesus Christ, the Son, in the same way, for they are One God, and there is only one response: to bow down and worship!
(courtesy of forwardinhope.com)
Have your say at the bottom of this page.
I discovered recently that ‘¹ A national commission investigating loneliness in the UK in January 2017 showed that a fifth of the population privately admits they are “always or often lonely”’.
Herbert Van Zeller, 1905-1984, once wrote ‘the soul hardly ever realises it, but whether he is believer or not, his loneliness is really a homesickness for God’. That’s quite a statement. Loneliness is deeper than a lack of company and it affects people in all stages of life.
The following quote from an article in the Guardian newspaper gives us an insight into the loneliness that afflicts young people – ‘²I’m 22 years old and going into my fourth year in medical school. I have been using study to escape loneliness, insecurity and anxiety’. So here is an intelligent young woman and despite all the prospects that she has in life she is lonely.
Social media posts and images are often a cover up for the fears, anxiety and rejection that many fear. There is a real loneliness in many lives. Liz Hoggard in her ³article in the Daily Telegraph writes ‘Researchers now recognise that loneliness is a serious public health issue. As a predictor of early death, it eclipses obesity. Some studies argue that it is a bigger killer than cancer or heart disease’.
The Bible teaches that we were not designed to be solitary creatures; our social needs are deeply ingrained in our personalities. ‘It is not good that the man should be alone’ (Genesis 2v18) is a classic and abiding statement of truth. At a basic level we were created to have a relationship with God as well as with other human beings. Numerous times in scripture we come across the statement ‘I will be their God and they shall be my people’ (Leviticus 16v12, Jeremiah 31v33, Jeremiah 32v38, 2 Corinthians 6v16). In the original creation God came down and walked with Adam & Eve (Genesis 3v8) but sin entered and that relationship was damaged.
Sin separates us from God in this life, and the next, if we fail to address our need of forgiveness and salvation. God is the source of joy, peace, contentment, justice and all the valuable things we crave for in life. Without God, we are without hope in this life (Ephesians 2v12). I believe that the ultimate answer to loneliness is found in a person – Jesus Christ. Life can only be lived to the full when God is involved. Jesus said ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent’ (John 17v3).
Loneliness is only one of the many effects of sin.
Sin came into the world by an act of disobedience on the first man’s part (Romans 5:12 states – ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned‘) and it has been perpetuated by our acts of disobedience.
Before the effects of sin can be resolved (and this will only be partial until we are in heaven where there will be no sin, death etc) the root (cause) has to be dealt with. Which is why the scriptures teach in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 that ‘Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures‘.
To know God in your life you need your sins forgiven. To experience the joy of that relationship each individual needs to turn from their sin (repent), turn to God and trust His Son, Jesus. You trust Him in the sense that you understand that He (Jesus) is the Son of God, that he paid the price in full to cancel sin when he suffered and died on the cross. You believe that He alone can forgive you for your past behaviour, your sinful character and that you need Him as your Saviour.
If I have confused you please get in touch and I will try to answer any questions that you might have.
Stephen Baker (source http://www.findingthemissingpeace.co.uk)