Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Shhh. (02/18/10)
TITLE: HAVE YOU HEARD THE GOOD NEWS?
By Henry Jaegers
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If there is good news it is rare for any one to hear, since bad news invades our present information age. It appears that when bad news abounds, good news is more readily received. Good news is like a mountain spring not far from an arid desert. When we speak of good news we are referring to the Gospel, the good news that no one is telling. Perhaps for people like me, they have always believed it as a fact but never took the time to give it any consideration.
We can summarize the Good News like this:
“It is the greatest story ever told,
The greatest person who ever lived
The greatest offer ever made.”
I.THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD.
It is a true story about a loving God who created man with the purpose of enjoying continuous fellowship. That continued and then one day the man whom God created with a free will, chose to believe a lie and disobey God. The results of that choice were serious. Man experienced guilt, pain, and eventual death because of this separation. The greatness of this story centered on God who made steps to restore Adam and provided a way to cover his sin. However, those born after him, would inherit a sin nature and would have the sentence of death in their bodies. Throughout the Old Testament we see provision set in place to take care of man’s sin. All of these were temporary in nature until the coming of the Messiah. The greatest story ever told is the story of God’s love reaching out to fallen and rebellious man. The good news is that it still extends to all today.
II.THE GREATEST PERSON WHO EVER LIVED.
History records that Jesus of Nazareth lived. He was the greatest historical figure, the greatest moral example, and greatest teacher of truth. Christ fulfilled over fifty prophecies in the Old Testament and He is the promised Messiah sent by God. He came for one purpose: to become the true Lamb of God who takes away our sin. He lived a life without sin and met the divine requirements needed to satisfy the wrath of a Holy God. Instead of my having to die for my own sin, Christ went in my place and God accepted His death as mine. Through this work of Christ it is now possible for man to experience forgiveness and freedom from guilt. He offers to us new life and a new purpose for living.
III. THE GREATEST OFFER EVER MADE.
Following what we have said, this great work of Christ is not something that comes automatically. We are told that Eternal Life is a free gift, but that means an effort must be made to receive it. In Ephesians 2: verse 8 and 9, we find these profound words: “For by grace (God’s undeserved favor) are you saved through faith (Faith is the action that reaches up as a beggar receiving a gift from a king) and that not of yourselves, (It cannot be earned or deserved.) It is the gift of God (how do we respond to a gift when we have nothing in return to offer Him?) not of works lest any man should boast. (When it comes to grace there is no-one to deserve glory and praise but God alone.
Have you understood why the Gospel is Good News? The best news is what follows when you reach out to receive this Gift. To receive this gift a suggested prayer is offered for you to begin this new commitment to follow Jesus.
“Lord Jesus, I have waited so long to hear about the Good News that leads to Eternal Life. I recognize my sin and empty efforts that have kept me from experiencing your love. Please grant to me the gift of Eternal Life. Help me to love your word and through the Holy Spirit give me the strength to be faithful. In Jesus name I pray.”
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