The Gospel of Truth
Bible Reading: Ephesians 1:13-14; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 2:1-5
There’s a lot of bad news in the news! Though written almost forty years ago, Anne Murray’s song “A Little Good News” well captures the mood of our day: “One more sad story’s one more than I can stand; Just once how I’d like to see the headline say; ‘Not much to print today, can’t find nothin’ bad to say.’ We sure could use a little good news today.”
Amidst all the bad news we hear, it’s good to remind ourselves that there’s an enduring message of good news that’s of first importance to us all! But to appreciate the goodness of the good news, we must first come to terms with the badness of the bad! Bad news prevails because we live in a sin-cursed world. Adam and Eve sinned against God and unleashed a sin-contagion from which no one is immune (Romans 3:23, 5:12, 6:23). We were created to know and worship our Creator. Sin has worked instead to turn us all into death-deserving rebels! Were that the end of the matter, man’s existence on this planet would constitute the ultimate of tragedies. We’ve all sinned. We’re all deserving of death. Eternal separation in a place called hell is what we deserve (2 Thessalonians 1:9). There is absolutely nothing we can do to rescue ourselves from our plight and avert God’s righteous judgment (Ephesians 2:1-3).
In the midst of this darkness, there is a light that shines in its message of hope and salvation. That message is the good news (i.e., gospel; 1 Corinthians 15:1). It is the gospel of God (Romans 1:1), for it is His message to us of salvation through His Son. It is the gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:12), and it speaks of how Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead to save us. In fulfillment of the Scriptures, the eternal Son of God became man and dwelt among us (John 1:14; Luke 24:44-46). In a radical divergent manner of life, He spoke truth, showed love, lived without sin, and purposed “to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45; 1 Timothy 1:15). His death on the cross was no accident, for He was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). “Christ died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3). “He was raised on the third day,” having triumphed over sin, and death, and the devil himself (Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:54-56). Based on Christ’s finished work, salvation—from sin and death to the glory of heaven—has been availed to those who believe.
Like a ray of glorious sunshine beaming through a cloud darkened sky, the gospel is a light to us in this darkness. The Apostle Paul elsewhere referred to it as “the gospel of the glory of the blessed God” (1 Timothy 1:11). The message illumines us to the truth about God. There is bad news in this world! Does God care? Will He, can He, do anything about it? The message is God’s declarative response. Does He care? “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Can he do anything to rescue us from our plight? “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
That message proclaimed by Paul to the Corinthians two millennia ago has spread from those early days to the four corners of the globe, having worked through the centuries to “save to the uttermost” those who have believed (Hebrews 7:25). It is a timeless, powerful, and glorious message of truth imparting forgiveness and life eternal to all who believe! It represents the sole means by which anyone can be saved (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) and is the only answer to any of the problems that beset the sons of Adam. Someone shared it with you—you believed and were saved. God made it known to you, that you might pass it on. There is a lot of bad news in the world, but Christ died for sins and rose from the dead, and that, my friend’s, is a good news that triumphs over all the bad!
How precious is the Book divine, By inspiration giv’n! Bright as a lamp, its doctrines shine, To guide our souls to heav’n. Its light, descending from above, Our gloomy world to cheer, Displays a Savior’s boundless love, And brings His glories near.John Fawcett
MY HOPE IS IN THE LORD
My Hope is in the Lord, who gave Himself for me
And paid the price of all my sin at Calvary
For me He died; For me He lives,
And everlasting life and light He freely gives.
No merit of my own His anger to suppress,
My only hope is found in Jesus’ righteousness. Refrain.
And now for me He stands Before the Father’s throne;
He shows His wounded hands and names me as His own. Refrain.
His grace has planned it all, ‘Tis mine but to believe
And recognize His work of love and Christ receive. Refrain.