Sunday, July 13, 2014

Preach, Defend, and Confirm the Good News


I'd like to challenge you to do an in-depth personal Bible study on this "Good News" that we believe, preach, confirm, and defend.

According to Bible.org, the term 'gospel' (or 'good news'):
The term gospel is found ninety-nine times in the NASB and ninety-two times in the NET Bible. In the Greek New Testament, gospel is the translation of the Greek noun euangelion (occurring 76 times) “good news,” and the verb euangelizo„ (occurring 54 times), meaning “to bring or announce good news.” Both words are derived from the noun angelos, “messenger.” In classical Greek, an euangelos was one who brought a message of victory or other political or personal news that caused joy. In addition, euangelizomai (the middle voice form of the verb) meant “to speak as a messenger of gladness, to proclaim good news.” Further, the noun euangelion became a technical term for the message of victory, though it was also used for a political or private message that brought joy.
It is this GOOD NEWS that everything rises or falls on, and it is of the utmost importance that we understand exactly what it is (and what it is not), and what it means to us.  If you are a Christian, this is the shining centerpiece of everything else that comes before or after in the Bible.  The Good News concerning Christ fulfills the Old Testament, and is the pinnacle by which the rest of the New Testament stands.

Why is it so important to deepen our understanding of this Good News?  Besides the obvious benefits, consider what Paul wrote to the church at Galatia concerning those who were trying to preach a false Gospel among them:
I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.  
Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.  I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.
Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. - (Galatians 1:6-10)
Elsewhere, Paul writes to the church at Phillipi,
So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus. - (Philippians 1:7-8)
In these dark days, it is ever more important that we endeavor to preach, confirm, and defend this Good News.  Below are just a few verses concerning the Good News of Christ, but I encourage you to take the time to study through ALL the instances of the phrase "Good News" as it appears in the Bible.

Most importantly, let the liberating, joyful truth of what it means to be made right in God's sight through faith in Jesus Christ minister to you as you do so!
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!" - (Luke 2:9-11)
We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.
This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace." - (Colossians 1:3-6)
This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. - (Acts 10:36) 
For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” - (Romans 1:16-17)
Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News! - (1 Corinthians 9:16)
Preach, confirm, and defend the Good News!

Love in Christ,
Pastor Joe

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