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February 21, 2012

The Gospel (The Good News)

God is the Creator and Sustainer of everything in the universe. He is holy (entirely separate/different from us), loving, just, compassionate, vengeful, gentle, infinite, all-powerful, all-wise, patient, and jealous. In short, God is good! We were created by God and for His good pleasure (Genesis 1:27). Being made in His image, we are designed to enjoy Him and have perfect fellowship with Him. But, there is a problem—a BIG problem.

Contrary to popular thinking, we are not sinners because we sin; but, rather, we sin because we ARE sinners. The psalmist declared “In sin my mother conceived me.” As descendants of Adam, we are under the curse of his disobedience, and we are by nature haters/enemies of God. (If you don’t believe me, watch the news.) And God, being perfectly just, cannot simply forgive us for our transgressions against Him. “The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). Just as a worker earns a wage, so we earn just punishment. “Death,” in this sense, does not mean physical death, but spiritual death—eternal suffering under the just punishment of God, in hell.

God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, nor does He desire that this happen. In order to express His perfect love and compassion to all of creation, He left His throne of glory in heaven to become a man and dwell among us. He lived a sinless life and was offered up as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. “He Himself bore our sins” (1 Peter 2:24). Christ was made an abomination by drawing the world’s sin unto Himself on the Cross and, in turn, was crushed under the just wrath of The Father (Isaiah 51:10). Three days after His death, He rose from the grave, proving His victory over sin and death, and securing the way of salvation. He now stands at the right hand of God advocating for His saints until the day of His return.

Salvation, however, is not guaranteed to everyone. Jesus told the masses that they must “Repent and believe the good news” in order to be saved (Mark 1:15). This means: You must turn from your life of sin and run to God to receive His free gift of salvation. Then, and only then, will He grant you forgiveness and the unspeakable joy of being in a right relationship with Himself. God’s grace through Jesus Christ is not just a ticket to heaven; it is an ability to defeat the power of sin, and ultimately to be with God for all eternity. I’ve been gone, and I have come… I have lived on both sides. This is the truest of things: True and everlasting joy, peace, love, and life are only found in God through His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the good news!

“This is truly awesome” – Ethan Holub

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