Wednesday March 27, 2013

Day 37 – God’s Good News

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Read

1 Corinthians 15:1-5

1 Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain. 3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures,and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time,…

Reflect

God’s good news! The language of gospel and to gospel is the language of communication, for the words literally convey the idea of ‘breaking news’. In the ancient world of the Roman Empire the words were used to refer to the announcement of happy or significant events in the life and work of an emperor – such as a birth in the emperor’s family or news of an important victory in battle.

Gospel language was already known in the world of Judaism.  The Old Testament had spoken of a day when God’s anointed king would be revealed and announced to the world. So, Isaiah 52:7:

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news (gospel), who announces (proclaims the gospel ofsalvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

From Isaiah’s time God’s people looked for the day of the messenger who would announce God’s King. As we now look back through the lens of the New Testament we see that the messenger has not only come: he is himself the king.  He is Jesus: he himself said it (as in Luke 4:18-19).

At the center of the gospel is the rule of God’s king. We can see why the preaching of the first Christians would have rankled with imperial Rome. The Christian gospel was announcing that emperors and kings were themselves not the final authority – God’s king is supreme. All this ties together the overriding theme that bubbles through the Bible texts we have explored, namely: there is only one God who is Lord of all.

This means that all of creation has an obligation to give its allegiance to its creator and worship him as Lord. The New Testament explains that God has appointed Jesus as the king: he is now the one whom God calls on us to turn to as our Lord. The focus of the gospel is the promotion and proclamation of this news that God’s king has come and that all of us need to make the appropriate response. The gospel is grounded in the events of Jesus – his birth, his miracles, his teaching, his death and his resurrection.

Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 are an excellent summary of the gospel: He calls Jesus, Christ; he says that God’s king has come to rescue and restore us – he died for us; he tells us that Jesus was truly dead when he was taken from the cross; he tells us that God reversed human decision to condemn Jesus to death by raising him from the dead; many could testify to this.

The gospel we need to live under and introduce our friends to, is the good news that life has a purpose. God has appointed Jesus as the king, and while none of us naturally warm to this, God in his love has provided the means whereby we can be forgiven. Jesus through his death did everything needed to satisfy God’s perfect righteousness. We can be assure of this because Jesus was raised from the dead.

Consider

  1. What does God’s good news mean to you personally?
  2. If it is true that Jesus is the Lord of all, what do you intend do to help others come to know him?
Pray
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Comments
One Response to “Wednesday March 27, 2013”
  1. Betsy Shepardson says:

    When you talk about having other know Jesus, I wonder what you would say to someone who has told you that they are an aetheist. (spelling?) How would you get them to know Jesus? I was reading in the paper recently someone complaining about how they did not appreciate other’s offers of spirituality while the complainer was having a difficult time as the person who was complaining was not particularly religious.

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