Over the past couple weeks of our Outreach & Evangelism Sunday School Class, we have been considering the Good News of the Gospel. This somewhat redundant phrase, "the Good News of the Gospel", seeks to encourage us to understand and explore of all the wonderful truths or benefits accomplished for us in the redemption purchased by Christ.
To reiterate what we have said, many Christians are very much aware of the fact that Christ's death upon the crossed secured for believers the forgiveness of their sin. And that to them is Gospel. But is it right to say, forgiveness of sins is all the "good news" of the Gospel? Is forgiveness of sins the only benefit offered to the believer in the Gospel?
Now, to be fair, forgiveness of sins is no small matter--It cost the Heavenly Father His only begotten Son! So, we are right to emphasize it so. With that said, however, is forgiveness all or the extent of the benefits conveyed to the believer in Christ?
Another way to address this same question is to consider the value or benefit of all that God accomplished in Christ Jesus. God sent Jesus Christ into the world not only to die, but prior to His death was His birth, His life, and then after His death we have His resurrection, ascension, heavenly session and intercession, and one day His second coming. And God didn't just add these facts on to His death unnecessarily. No! Everything Christ accomplished had value. God was in and through all Christ accomplished conveying to the believer sweet and wonderful truths upon which we are to believe and rest!
This is actually Paul's point in 1 Corinthians 15. The Corinthian church apparently didn't think the resurrection of Christ was necessary for salvation. And Paul seeks to rescue them from their error by jolting them with the thought that if there no resurrection from the dead "your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins" (1 Cor 15:17). See for Paul, the resurrection of Christ was more than a neat testimonial to the power of God. Instead, it was Gospel, and the "good news" of Christ's resurrection is that believers are no longer "in their sins", but alive in Christ who has been raised! In addition, they have also the benefit of facing death without fear knowing they will be raised again with Christ on the last day (compare 1 Cor 15:29-32)!
So, as we have discussed in the class and mentioned above, forgiveness of sins is not the only benefit or good news extended the believer in the Gospel, for we also have newness of life. And that is just the beginning, for there is also the good news of His birth, life, ascension, heavenly session and intercession, and second coming.
Let the following be a summary of what "good news" we have covered so far and an encouragement to stay tuned for more as the class on the Good News of the Gospel continues:
- "You are Not Alone" - Jesus became man; He knows what it's like to be you
- "You are Righteous" - Jesus lived a perfect life for us and His righteous is imputed to us
- "You are Forgiven" - Jesus died for our sins; there is no double jeopardy
- "You are New" - Christ was raised to give us new life, even now, which means we are able to die to sin and live unto God
- "You have been given Gifts" - Christ ascended on high and gave gifts to men: the Holy Spirit, officers in the church, and individual gifts to be used in the church