Tag Archive | The Good News of Jesus

I Corinthians 14:33 ” For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.”

So, I’ll ask you this question today…When was the last time you were calm and totally at peace, without a care in the world?  For the vast majority of us, it’s been quite a while.  This Corona virus has managed to disrupt our routines, throw our home life into confusion, and leave us feeling like we have no control.  That’s because when disorder with all its turmoil and instability takes up residency either within us or our home…all peace fades away.   But there is a answer for this and His Name is Jesus…for the Gospel of Jesus Christ is called the Gospel of Peace.  Now it doesn’t mean you will never have to experience disorder in your life, but it does mean that by having a relationship with Jesus you can be set free from the distress brought about by it.

Mark 4:26-27 ” He also said, ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.’ “

A man of folk-lore and legend in the Midwest is John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed.  During the 1800’s he wandered the country-side of large parts of Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia planting apple orchards…some of which still stand today.  This American pioneer nurseryman spent his lifetime scattering seed in hopes of a harvest someday.  In these verses, Jesus is likening the kingdom of God to the mystery of germination and growth and what man’s responsibility is in it all.  We are told to plant or scatter seed…the Good News of the Gospel Message, and then to allow God to do the rest.  For God’s kingdom grows in His time, in His way…always moving forward. So just like Johnny Appleseed, we are to be sowers of hope and leave the progress up to God.

Ephesians 2:12-13 “Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”

In these Scriptures Paul is speaking to Gentile Christians…then and now.  For in this man-centered world we are cut-off from the promises of God…or as Paul wrote, “without hope and without God.”  But we have been brought near to God by the sacrificial death of His Son, Jesus Christ…who gave His life as a atonement so we may have the gift of eternal life.  God’s compassion was evident to fallen man when we read Isaiah 65:1 which says, “I revealed Myself to those who didn’t ask for Me; I was found by those who didn’t seek Me.”  We were once expelled from the dominion of God, banished and living in exile when Jesus came and paid the price…reconciling us back to God and destroying the barrier that sin had created.

Galatians 1:6-7 ” I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the One who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all.”

Paul used the word gospel twice in this verse but both had very different meanings.  The first meant the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ…that by way of His death, burial, and resurrection, we might have eternal life.  The second gospel could not have been farther from that truth.  It was distinctly different and deceptive and was leading the Church of Galatia astray.  In II Corinthians 11:13-15, Paul called these teachers, “false apostles and servants of Satan masquerading as apostles of Christ.”  They came proclaiming a ‘new and improved’ Gospel Message that was categorically incorrect and flawed, but the people were accepting it.  Paul here was charging them to be vigilant and discerning…for if the message did not proclaim justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone…it was a false gospel.

I Corinthians 15: 13-14 ” If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”

The foundation of Christian faith is this, “We believe that Jesus died and rose again…” (I Thessalonians 4:14)  But stop and think about this for a minute.  How absurd does this really sound?  You actually believe that Jesus was crucified, died on a cross, was buried…but 3 days later rose from that grave alive?   How delusional can you be?  And if you do truly believe this “fairy-tale”, you must be living in a fantasy-world!   But this is exactly how the world views the Gospel Message…some far-fetched implausible story.  Except, within this story is something that all of mankind is constantly searching for… peace, hope, and freedom from guilt and shame.  For the resurrection of Christ is the basis of our hope as Believers, and it is only by our faith that we are set free from the penalty of sin and death.

II Corinthians 5:19 ” …that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.”

The chasm between God and man was too wide, so He sent His only Son to atone for our sins… in order that we may be reconciled.  And so , “We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” (Romans 5:11)   But there’s also responsibility attached to this reconciliation, for II Corinthians 5:18 tells us, “All this is from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”  So as Believers, we are called to serve others with compassion, and share with them a message of hope – The Good News of the Gospel- that they too may repent and believe…and be reconciled.

Revelation 5: 1-3 ” Then I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?’ But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.”

The angel was asking, who is worthy?  Who is deserving enough, with the power and capability to loosen the seals of the scroll?  And it says… there was no one.  Certainly it couldn’t be sinful man, for like Isaiah when he saw the Lord, we’d all have to exclaim, “Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips.”  But there is One that is worthy of opening the scroll. Only one that lived a perfect and sinless life here on earth.  His name is Jesus Christ, the Worthy One.

Galatians 3:10 ” All who rely on observing the Law are under a curse, for it is written: Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”

I had the “Rules of the Road” booklet for the State of Illinois out the other day when I thought to myself, “My goodness! Driving a car sure has lots of rules and regulations tied to it!”  The same goes for the Old Testament Laws spoken of here…all 613 of them.  In this verse Paul was quoting Deuteronomy 27:26 and basically telling us that it’s impossible to keep all 613 Laws perfectly.    So what are we to do?  We’re doomed before we even try.  Enter Jesus Christ,  who came to redeem us from the judgement and punishment of this curse, for it tells us in Galatians 3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us…”    In other words, our inability to keep all the Laws was overcome by the blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross.

Ephesians 6:19 ” Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the Gospel.”

So what stops you from sharing Jesus with others?  Awkwardness? Apprehension?  Do you realize that even the early Church had reservations about telling others the Good News of the Gospel…for in Acts 4:29 the Believers prayed, “Enable Your servants to speak Your Word with great boldness.”  So I pray for you today that the Holy Spirit would give you the words to speak to that unbelieving friend, stranger, or relative.  And that you would speak with confidence, boldness, and articulation as you share the Gospel Message with them.

Hebrews 2:14-15 ” Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

Jesus Christ took on flesh and walked among us…fully man, yet fully God.  For death is the destiny of every man. (Ecclesiastes 7:2)  Yet Jesus came to earth to give us freedom and victory over death.  “Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (Hosea 13:14)  So we no longer need to fear death…for Jesus came to set us free.