The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

The Real Good News

Posted by israeliteindeed on February 11, 2014

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit…having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.  The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.  I Pet. 22-25

The ESV renders that last sentence this way–

“And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”

The Word is preached to people by the gospel.

That same Word is the incorruptible Seed–Jesus–through Whom we can be born again.

Obeying the Word (Jesus) is obeying the Truth, and by this our souls are purified.

The Truth = the Word of God = Jesus, and we obey and enter into these by obeying the gospel or good news. All of these are to be obeyed.  You cannot “receive the good news” without obeying Jesus. You cannot be benefited by the gospel (way of salvation) without submitting to Jesus (the Way of Salvation).

A false gospel (that promises blessing for a life of continued rebellion) is often called “the good news” by those who think it very good news indeed that they can sin with impunity now that God is turning a blind eye to their sin because they prayed a little half-hearted prayer. Such a person does not yet know Jesus or the Truth or the Good News. They are still in ignorance and darkness. Though they might list the “death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus” in their doctrines, those precious things will not profit them until they obey the Truth.

The true “good news from a far country” is only refreshing to a weary soul, burdened with carrying the weight of sin (Prov. 25:25; Matt. 11:28-29). The good news of Jesus–Redeemer and Lord–comes to the poor in spirit;  it is the poor who will be brought into that “far country” and inherit the kingdom of God. The poor are ready to be delivered from their slavery to sin and made the willing servants of a new Master.  The mourners (over their sin and spiritual poverty) are they who will be comforted by the good news (Matt. 5:3-4; Isa. 61:1-3).  Those who are proud and remain in obstinate rebellion to God should have no expectation of good news at all; instead the messenger of death will be sent against them (Prov. 17:11).  For the wages of sin is death.

The good news is news of the Kingdom of God (Matt. 4:23, 9:35; Lk. 4:43, 8:1, 16:16). It is the authority of the righteous King ruling over His subjects from their very hearts, while also providing for them all that they need.  The good news also reminds us that although the kingdoms of men often reward unrighteousness and take advantage of others, there is a higher Kingdom ruling over them, and a just King who will always make things right in the end. Although we ourselves have sinned against this King of kings, His will for us is that we repent of our sins and be reconciled to Him through the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Mediator between God and men. We can be translated from the perishing kingdoms of this world into the Kingdom of the Forever-Living Son of God; and in that Kingdom, we can possess an inheritance that our enemies cannot take from us.

The good news includes within it this wonderful proclamation, “Your God reigns!” (Isa. 52:7)  Yes, for those who live on Mount Zion under the authority of King Jesus (Heb. 12:22), they need fear nothing that can happen to them in this world. Their God reigns. He has not only redeemed them from all iniquity, He shepherds them every step of their pilgrimage.  He is King of all the earth, reigning over the nations, seated on His holy throne (Psa. 47:7-8).

The good news is a publishing of peace to those who through obedient faith are redeemed (Isa. 52:7-9; Nahum 1:15). The redeemed have peace with God because they are forgiven, and live at peace with others as much as they are able (Rom. 12:18; Heb. 12:14).  Their peace surpasses human understanding because it does not rely on comfortable circumstances, but is fueled by faith in the unseen God and His Word.  The wicked are excluded from this peace because there can never be peace unto the wicked (Isa. 48:22);  thus the prophet Nahum proclaims in the same breath that proclaims peace–“The wicked…is utterly cut off.” The wicked have no inheritance in the kingdom of peace.

The good news is a proclamation of righteousness.  David knew this, though he acknowledged that he had committed many sins, and needed a merciful Redeemer through Whom to enter in.  He testified that the law of God was abiding in his very heart, and he delighted to do the will of God (Psalm 40:7-9). Have you washed your robe and made it white in the Blood of the Lamb?  Are you following Him daily in the paths of righteousness?

The good news can be of no profit to the hearer, if the hearer does not add faith to the message (Heb. 4:2-11). Obedience is the only proof of faith.  By faith Abraham obeyed (Heb. 11:8).  Those who disobey the message will not enter the promised rest, even if they are thought to be “the people of God” by others and themselves.  Although the wedding feast is prepared, many who are invited will not be found worthy (Matt. 22:8). Many hear but reject the Word of God, judging themselves unworthy of everlasting life (Acts 13:46).

With the good news–news of peace with God through submission to Jesus–comes the possibility of offense and falling away. Jesus testified to John the Baptist as he was languishing in prison and beginning to doubt–

The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.  Matt. 11:5-6

Some only endure for a while, but when persecution or tribulation arises BECAUSE of the Word–Good News–Jesus–they are offended and fall away (Matt. 13:21). Jesus was warning John the Baptist not to be offended into unbelief due to the injustice he was experiencing. The good news is not news of worldly comfort or popularity with men, but eternal spiritual riches in Christ and peace with God. The wicked plot against the just, and gnash their teeth at them–indeed they even put them to death.  But the Lord makes sure the inheritance of the righteous is secure, completely out of reach of the wicked (Psa. 37). He has destroyed the ultimate enemy–death–by His own resurrection from the dead. He has promised to raise from the dead those who fall asleep (die) in Jesus.

Many want the good news of life after death and forgiveness of sins, but they don’t want the good news that there is a Lord & King Jesus to whom they must submit right now and forever. If they would only taste and see His goodness, they would see that by holding onto sin, they keep themselves from all truly good things!

I have served both God and the devil, and testify that God is a kind, loving, patient, helpful Father;  while the devil was like a cruel desert Pharaoh, demanding that I make brick with no straw and beating me for every failure. There is only one way to have eternal life, unsinkable hope, and unshakeable peace–one must have Jesus as Lord. I almost perished in my sins, and I was sinking fast in despair as I followed lie after lie.  And then I met Jesus. He wanted me to turn and He offered me forgiveness, and a new start with Him in control. For me, it was very good news indeed.

 

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One Response to “The Real Good News”

  1. born2bfree said

    Yes! Good news for me too… the best I ever heard! And the best life too. I never want to go back.

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