Saturday, 18 October 2014

What is the Good News?

At church my wife Hannah and I help support students in Lincoln to transition into life as a student and prepare them to leave university in the real world as a Christian.

As part of this we are looking at what the 'Good News' is and how it should affect our lives. Here is the first session looking at what news is so good in the Christian worldview.

"Good News", often talked about as the gospel, is what sets the Christian worldview apart from every other worldview.

Paul lays down what the Good News truly is in 1 Corinthians 15:1-5:

"Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures..." (emphasis added)

 The man Jesus is God, or Christ, and because of this he could die in our place, to pay for our sins as the perfect sacrifice. He was buried but rose from the dead, showing he had defeated sin and death and that what he did and said through his life was true. Through this we can be saved from the judgement that we deserve.

This is the basis of the Good News: thanks to Jesus, we can be saved.

Through the rest of the Bible we are told what believing in this Good News brings:
  • Colossians 1:3-8, 21-23
    The Good News is called the word of truth: by it we can know the truth about reality.
    It brings us hope laid up for us in heaven.
    We are reconciled - that is that we have been made right - with God through it.
  • Acts 15:6-9
    The Good News means that we can have God himself in us - the Holy Spirit.
    It means that our hearts are cleansed.
  • 2 Timothy 1:8-10
    Although it means we will experience suffering, we have something that is glorious enough to suffer for.
    It tells us that death has been abolished and so we can have life and immortality through it.
The Good News is that God became man to die for our sins in order to defeat death and bring us salvation.  Through his work in this, we can know the truth, have a hope of heaven, be reconciled to God and forgiven, have the Holy Spirit, have faith, have a glorious message to tell that is worth suffering for and have life and immortality.

That's good news indeed!