Sunday, June 29, 2014

the Good News: read all about it (part 1)

The Word for today:
Acts 14:1-12
mark this: Acts 14:7
And there they preached the Good News.
Angels announced good news:
And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people." (Luke 2:10)
Jesus proclaimed the Good News. In his very first sermon, he said that telling the Good News was his primary objective:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim the Good News." (Luke 4:18)
In his last words to the disciples, Jesus said that proclaiming the Good News should be our primary objective, as well:
"Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere." When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God's right hand. (Mark 16:15, 19)
The angels and the apostles, the Savior and the saved--everyone is telling the Good News. Today, we'll look at the broad meaning of "the Good News." In subsequent days, we'll take a more detailed look at what it takes to tell it.
In the Bible, "the Good News" and "the gospel" mean exactly the same thing. So telling the Good News means to do what Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John did. They told us about the many facets of Jesus:
  • Matthew told us he is the Messiah/King that God had promised in the Old Testament scriptures.
  • Mark told us he is the Servant of God, as promised in the Old Testament scriptures.
  • Luke told us he is one of us--the Son of Man, as promised in the Old Testament scriptures.
  • John told us he is the Son of God, as promised in the Old Testament scriptures.
Paul was the great evangelist of the early church. An evangelist tells--you guessed it--the Good News. Paul stressed that the Good News had already been written in Scripture; that Jesus' life, death, and resurrection had been foretold in the Old Testament (which was the only "Scripture" Paul had).
And now I want to remind you, my friends, of the Good News which I preached to you, which you received, and on which your faith stands firm. That is the gospel, the message that I preached to you: that Christ died for our sins, as written in the Scriptures; that he was buried and that he was raised to life three days later, as written in the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Paul wanted everyone to know that the Good News had been proclaimed from the Bible's earliest pages:
The scripture predicted that God would put the Gentiles right with himself through faith. And so the scripture announced the Good News to Abraham: "Through you God will bless all people." (Galatians 3:8)
The Good News, then, is your whole Bible--all the way from Genesis to the gospels to the writings of the apostles. It's "O.K. News" when we can proclaim John 3:16 and a smattering of verses from Romans and Psalms. But the News becomes Better and Better when, over time, we learn to bring more and more of God's complete Word to the telling.

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