Goodness in the Good News
Most Christians are familiar with this term ‘Gospel’ or ‘Good News’. Indeed, it’s a pleasant word that brings hope to many. Though it is mentioned more often in the New Testament bible; this word is originally from the Old Testament. Now, what is this ‘good-news’? And why the bible counsels all faithful Christians to propagate this ‘good news’ elsewhere?
The Kingdom Gospel
The impression of the word ‘gospel’ found in the Old Testament is accredited to various aspects in the New Testament books. One of the examples: it is written in Galatians 3:7-9, NIV-Bible; “Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” In a sense, faith was so indispensable for both pleasing and accepting God even in those days of the Old Testament.
The New Testament explains this good-news as “The gospel of the kingdom”. It is written in Mark 1:14-15, NIV-Bible; “After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” In fact, Jesus was emphasizing the second coming of the Christ. But many didn’t understand though Jesus spoke of a literal kingdom apparently. The Bible even says, this same gospel has preached already in the Old Testament, but none of them understood its meaning – as it is written in Hebrews 4:2, NIV-Bible; “For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.” Again, having faith is the key to accepting the true messages from God!
The true message that Jesus brought was about the Kingdom of God! Jesus didn’t preach about himself solely as a savior, or any significant events about His own life; instead he acknowledged and glorified God in everything as he addressed that he was sent by Him – the father in heaven. Jesus’ proclamation of “good news” was all about God’s kingdom being established on earth, especially during His second coming, which bible also commented as “millennium” – the thousand years of reign. The Word of God says in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, NIV-Bible; “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” In other words, good-news is a great invitation from the Lord for the chosen to be a part of His kingdom. Since the Kingdom comprises many elements, chosen people have great roles and duties in that kingdom – the theory of assumption!
The Good News of Grace
The good news in the bible has a variation with regards to deliverance which also comes through the power of God’s grace. True believers are given God’s grace through the right faith in Jesus the son, to become totally guilt-free from the past – this is the absolute ‘Good News’ beyond comprehension for novices to begin a new life in Jesus! The bible says that the chosen are, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for them. It is more like; being able to receive the Good News is the restoration, which makes us acceptable in the kingdom of God. The word of God says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV-Bible; "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new". Bible further says that God presented Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for all the sins – and the benefit of that divine blood is passed on to the believers through their granted faith. It is written as well in Romans 3:25, NIV-bible; "God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood – to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished". This gave second chance through the ‘free gift of grace’ is the favor of God – a kind of reconfirmation of His predestined theory mentioned in the first book of Ephesians – a perfect good news for all those who believe in his name.
The Gospel of Reconciliation
Though there is varied good news in the bible, the most crucial and beneficial in terms of salvation, is the one given by the Apostle Paul, I guess. And it is written in the form of a testimony in Colossians 1:21-23, NIV-Bible; “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death, to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant”. Thoroughly inspired, Apostle Paul undoubtedly encouraged all the believers to accept the invitation of the gospel, in terms of righteousness. Moreover, he was explaining the process of transformation happening inside the hearts of true believers, once they have accepted or embraced the love of God.
Apparently, the bible is talking about reconciling with God through his son Jesus Christ. It also clarifies that one can attain salvation through the right faith. In a nutshell, the true belief in Jesus Christ brings salvation – a great hope, and good news for this ailing generation! And that is the hope which brings revival to the believer. Besides, this same hope brings assurance of salvation, which motivates as well the believer to preach the gospel elsewhere.
Preaching the Good News has never been tough since the bible is full of God’s good promises. Still, most of the times, good news in the bible seems hard for many to accept or understand. As a matter of fact, if not understood conscientiously, the good-news in the bible is not necessarily good. And no one is to be blamed for that since it is the divine proclamation of the Lord for the chosen exclusive. Even though the invitation is open, not many are given the chance to accept that – and it is mentioned in the bible as “many are invited but few are chosen”. In addition, desire to preach or propagate the gospel is the fulfillment of the word of God. Once reconciled to God, the joy of the bearer will increase and cannot be kept hidden as it will explode with great passion from within. The word of God says in Matthew 5:14-16, NIV-Bible; “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” And surely, the good deeds are your holy life, in faith and righteousness.
Who can shut the mouth of the spirit? None – once the spirit of the Lord is visible in a person, the spirit speaks. It is written in John 7:38, NIV-Bible; “Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” Bible says that the preachers and teachers were ordained by the Lord to speak God’s glory. And they have no boundaries in terms of languages and places, since God is in control.
The Gospel of Discernment
Behold, Satan is at work to distort the good news of the Lord. He would craftily pervert the good-news with various insignificant factors which are contrary to the Bible-principles and its teachings. To be precise, the work of the Satan is not totally deviated from the bible-teachings in terms of salvation; instead, He may take many short cuts, which are parallel with the word of God, and thus missing and imitating the authenticity of the bible fundamentals with various convenient aspects. It could be difficult to recognize the work of the devil without the righteous discernment since the bible warned over an impostor – as it is written in 2 Corinthians 11:14; “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”
In short, the “Good News” mentioned in the bible seems indistinct in the minds of many believers while they remain lukewarm in their spiritual life. The word of God says in John 1:9-12, NKJV-bible; "That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him, He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name" – a very well said 'Good News' for those who are chosen according to God’s good plan and purpose. Amen