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THE GOOD NEWS
Special thanks to We Care Ministries and evangelist/director Larry West for this beautiful, simple presentation.
Also, thanks to Kevin Ziegler (https://restorationplea.com) for his revision work including updating the Scriptures to the New American Standard Bible.
All Scripture quotations are from the NASB, copyright by The Lockman Foundation.
What if the Lord were to return today, do you know FOR SURE, NO DOUBTS, that you would go to live with Him forever? Do you know for CERTAIN that you are going to heaven? Can a person even know?
There is GOOD NEWS! As the Scriptures teach, a person can know! And that is truly GOOD NEWS!
So, if you have a Bible, follow along as the GOOD NEWS (GOSPEL) is presented to you below. And after going through the presentation of GOOD NEWS, and then obeying the GOSPEL, you can be CERTAIN where you will spend eternity! When you are ready, keep reading...
WHO IS JESUS?
So, if you have a Bible, go to the back of the New Testament to I John 5:13. The apostle John writes that we can KNOW how to have eternal life! Here is what he wrote: These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
But then we must ask what was written? In the Bible there are many LIFE and DEATH statements. You should pay very close attention when the Bible talks about LIFE (eternal life, eternity, heaven, salvation) and DEATH (condemnation, eternal punishment, separation from God). Read what was written, quoting the words of Jesus in John 8:24: “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
Notice the DEATH statements in the verse: “you will die in your sins”. The good news is Jesus says we don’t have to die in our sins! Jesus does say we need to believe that “I am He”. This leads to the question, though, who is this Jesus who said “I am He”?
Jesus, one day asked His disciples about this. Here is how it is recorded in Matthew 16:13-17:
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”
Notice in the above verses from Matthew, Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” The word Christ means anointed one – one who is set apart for a purpose. The Old Testament, which was written in the Hebrew language, uses the word Messiah, which you may have heard before.
So Simon Peter is saying that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. The Christ is the one who would fulfill all the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. Peter is saying the one who does that is Jesus! Peter also adds “the Son of the living God.” But whose Son is He? Jesus answers that for us at the end of the Matthew passage: “My Father who is in heaven.“
But is believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, all we must believe concerning His identity? Let’s continue our study and let the Bible continue to answer our questions. Notice what John 1:1 says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Jesus being the Son of God, is God. Notice how the apostle John continues in John 1:14: And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
When Jesus came to earth, or as the apostle John wrote, “became flesh,” did Jesus have to leave the Godhead in heaven? Notice as you read Colossians 2:9 next, Jesus is 100% man and 100% God: For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form;
When the apostle Paul wrote that passage in Colossians, the “in Him” was talking about Jesus. The fullness of Deity (who God is) dwells in bodily (human or flesh) form! Jesus was God in human form.
Now notice that God the Father calls His own Son God. Here is how the Hebrew writer put it in Hebrews 1:8: But of the Son He says, “YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER.”
One asks, though, who did Jesus claim to be? Did Jesus claim to be God in the flesh? Notice in John 8:58 that Jesus claims to be the great “I Am”: Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
In order to know that you have eternal life (LIFE statement) and not die in your sins (DEATH statement) we must believe that Jesus is who the Bible says He is! We must believe Jesus is God, or we will die in our sins.
The Bible teaches that there are three persons in the Godhead. Read how Matthew 3:16-17 mentions God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit – the three in one: After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
Notice God the Father – a voice out of the heavens; God the Son – My beloved Son; God the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of God. Jesus is one of the three persons of the Godhead.
But what did Jesus do, and why did He do it?
WHAT JESUS DID AND WHY...
Jesus said that we must believe that “I am He”. What is it that Jesus did, and why did He have to do it?
Notice from I Timothy 2:5 what Jesus is called: For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
The apostle Paul calls Jesus the one mediator between God and men. A mediator is a go between. It is someone who stands in the gap between two – in this case, between God and between men. But why do we need a mediator between us and God? There must be a separation between us and God for us to need a mediator. But what has caused this separation? If you read Isaiah 59:2, the Old Testament prophet writes about the cause of separation: But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
The prophet says that our iniquities have created this separation. It is our sin that causes God to hide His face from us. This puts in quite a predicament. In fact, we must ask the question, is there anything that can save us? The New Testament teaches us what is the power of God to save us. Read Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
The Gospel? What is the Gospel? The word means good news, but lets continue to let the Bible interpret itself. Read I Corinthians 15:1-4: Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
Notice the Gospel has three main statements:
Christ died for our sins
Christ was buried
Christ was raised on the third day
Here is the Gospel in picture form:
Click on picture for full view.
Why, though, did Jesus have to die, and be buried and rise from the tomb in order to save us? The apostle Paul writes that we needed the blood of Jesus (which is representative of His death) in order to be redeemed. Read what he wrote in Ephesians 1:7: In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.
It is a wonderful thing to have God forgive our sins. In fact, God desires to forgive us. He wants to take away our sins. Read how Jude describes it in Jude 24: Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.
God wants to present us blameless, or faultless! Jesus takes care of a huge problem we humans have – and that is our SIN problem. Because of Jesus’ death, He redeemed us from our sins!
But after Jesus was buried, he rose from the tomb alive. Why did He need to resurrect from the grave? Because He came out of the grave alive, Jesus took care of a second problem all humans have – a DEATH or GRAVE problem. The apostle Paul describes how Jesus took care of our GRAVE problem. Read I Corinthians 15:20-23: But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming.
Notice the two things that the Gospel brings us as you read II Timothy 1:10: but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
The Gospel bring to us:
The apostle Paul puts it another way in Romans 5:10: For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Through His death, we were reconciled! Through His life we are saved! Those are LIFE and DEATH words! Now that is GOOD NEWS!
There is still something that we need to ask: How do I get in on the Gospel? How can I be saved through the Gospel
HOW TO GET IN ON IT...
Jesus, God in the flesh, came to earth and died for my sins. His death took care of our SIN problem! He did not stay in the tomb dead, but rose on the third day! Through His resurrection, Jesus took care of our GRAVE problem! But we need to know how to get in on this Gospel! We now return to some of those LIFE and DEATH statements we find in the Scriptures. As you read Romans 10:9, notice what we need to do to be saved: if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
The apostle Paul, who wrote the book of Romans tells us that we must do two things:
Confess Jesus as Lord
Believe that God raised Jesus from the dead
So in these LIFE and DEATH statements we learn that if we want to be saved we must confess and we must believe the Gospel.
The Bible also tells us that we MUST change our lifestyles. There are many Scriptures that teach this, but let’s read a few to see what kind of changes we need to make. Read I Corinthians 6:9-10 and notice lifestyle changes we must make: Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
Other Scriptures that could be studied are Ephesians 4:17-5:7; Galatians 5:19-26; Romans 1:28-32. In order to inherit the kingdom of God, to be saved, there are changes we must make. The Bible calls this repentance. But what happens if we chose to not change? What if we chose not to repent? Then what happens. Read what Jesus says if we chose not to repent in Luke 13:3, 5: “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Notice that Jesus uses LIFE and DEATH statements! If we chose not to change, we will perish. So if we want to get in on the saving grace of our God, what must we do? How can a person get in on the Gospel? Read the apostle Paul’s words in II Thessalonians 1:7-9: to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.
How can I escape the judgment of God – flaming fire, retribution, eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord? According to the Scripture we must obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. But how does one obey the Gospel? Read the following passages and see if you can see the Gospel portrayed there. Do you remember what the Gospel is? The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Here is Romans 6:3-6: Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.
How do we get into Jesus’ death? The text says we are baptized (immersed) into His death. A person is buried with Christ, and raised up to walk in newness of life. Then read Romans 6:17-18: But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
But why would God want us to get into Jesus’ death? Maybe this picture can help portray a person who is obeying the Gospel and answer that question.
Click on picture for full view.
So where does one actually become a Christian? When does one put on Christ? Galatians 3:26-27 answers that question: For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
WHAT WILL IT COST?
Jesus came to earth as God in the flesh to take care of our two main problems. By His death on the cross, He paid our price for our sin, taking care of our SIN problem! When He came out of the tomb alive on the third day, He had victory over death and the grave, taking care of our GRAVE problem! And you learned that in order to get in on the GOSPEL, one must be willing to be immersed into His death! Into the water! Into the death! Into the blood!
But before you make take that final step, you should realize the cost. Salvation is free – that is, Jesus paid the price for us! But when we make a decision to become a Christian, one will often be persecuted for the faith. Jesus told His disciples that it should not surprise them. Read what Jesus said as recorded in John 15:20: Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
If they persecuted Jesus, they will persecute you when you follow the Gospel! Jesus went on to teach about how intense this persecution can be, even coming from within one’s own family. But as Jesus taught, one needs to be willing to consider the cost. Read Luke 14:26-28: If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?
To count the cost takes commitment. Read the words of the apostle Peter in II Peter 2:20-21: For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.
Once a person obeys the Gospel, we need to overcome the temptations that may come our way. This takes great commitment.
If you are ready to take the next step, read the following passage out loud! And then let God know your answer! Acts 22:16: Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.
If you are ready to be baptized (immersed), find someone who will take you to the river, creek, lake, pool, or somewhere where there is much water, and have them immerse you into Christ for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Please do not delay – it is a matter of LIFE and DEATH!
Eternity is on the line! If you are near Madison, IN, please contact us, and someone would be happy to immerse you into Christ. Otherwise, if you have a church of Christ or Christian church near you, go ask one of their members to immerse you!
We pray that you will obey the GOSPEL and be buried into Jesus’ death! God bless, and may He receive ALL the glory!
If you have obeyed the Gospel, we would love to hear from you! Or if you have any questions, we can help you find answers from the Scriptures.