Why Do We Need Good News?
The Good News is Jesus Christ. We have a severe problem, and He is the answer to this. The problem is the sinful heart of man.
23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;(Romans 3:23)
Christians know the Bible quote, but do we understand the implications of this?
Several words denote the sinful nature of man. Some of these are:
- Sin: To fall short of the target – a term used in archery
- Transgress: To violate or break the law
- Trespass: To be without a share in the prize because we missed the mark
- Iniquity: Perversity or depravity
We tend to underplay just how fallen and sinful humanity is. Christians in the past used to talk about the total depravity of man.
“There is no one righteous;(Romans 3:10-18)
no, not one.
11 There is no one who understands.
There is no one who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned away.
They have together become unprofitable.
There is no one who does good,
no, not so much as one.”
13 “Their throat is an open tomb.
With their tongues they have used deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is under their lips.”
14 “Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood.
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways.
17 The way of peace, they haven’t known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
There are four responses to the Word of God. One of these is the correct response, and three are not. The correct response is to obey God in sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:8)1 8 Therefore let’s keep the feast, not with old yeast, neither with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.. In other words, we do what is right with the right motives.
The three wrong responses are:
- Sincerity but not truth – Doing what is wrong with the right motive
- Not sincere but true – Doing what is right with a wrong motive
- Not sincere and not true – Doing wrong with bad intent
These three wrong responses can convince us that sometimes people are doing good when they are not. We sin because our hearts are sinful (Jeremiah 17:9)2 9 The heart is deceitful above all things and it is exceedingly corrupt. Who can know it?. Wrong actions come from an evil heart (Matthew 15:19)3 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual sins, thefts, false testimony, and blasphemies.. It is not sufficient to try to change our actions. The human heart has to change. We cannot do this; only God can change the heart (Psalm 51:10)4 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me..
Sin has a life cycle (James 1:15)5 15 Then the lust, when it has conceived, bears sin. The sin, when it is full grown, produces death.. In other words, evil grows and develops in people and nations. Everything in the world decays and erodes. Spiritually this is also true of sinful man and countries. There is such a thing as spiritual erosion or entropy. The history of the nations has been a cycle of growth and then decay. There has been a moral aspect to this which also follows the same pattern. God talks about the iniquity of the Amorites coming to full harvest (Genesis 15:16)6 16 In the fourth generation they will come here again, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full.”. The story of the end times is the story of the sinfulness of humanity coming to full growth and what God does about this.
Typically the growth pattern of sin is:
- People sin and feel shame about this.
- As time goes on, people feel less shame and become more brazen and boastful over the evil they do.
- As people continue to sin, they become hardened and blind to the fact they are doing wrong.
- Eventually right is called wrong and wrong is held up as virtuous.
- Sinful people start condemning people for doing and teaching what is right.
- The wicked persecute the righteous.
What sinful man needs is a change of heart. God can only accomplish this heart change. The Good News of Jesus Christ is the power of God to change the human heart. The word Gospel means good news.
16 For I am not ashamed of the Good News of Christ, because it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first, and also for the Greek.(Romans 1:16)
There are many attempts to change things for the better. Politicians seek to reform society and find political solutions. Despite many years of political work, man is still sinful.
Some churches think that a drive to improve society will establish the kingdom of God upon the earth. They major on good works and hope that this will improve things. A social gospel does not get the heart of the problem. Good works are commendable but will not bring in the Kingdom of God upon the earth.
Other churches think that demonstrating miracles and healings will change the world. They talk about preparing the earth for the return of Jesus Christ. Jesus did more miracles than anyone when He was here. Miracles have not changed one heart.
God has commanded that we go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15)7 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to the whole creation.. Those who receive the truth of this good news have cleansed and changed hearts. The Kingdom of God is established within them (Luke 17:21)8 21 neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ for behold, God’s Kingdom is within you.”. The sin problem is dealt with because a pure heart has been given to everyone who believes the Gospel (Matthew 5:8)9 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God..
We must take care that we do not get side-tracked into trying to change the heart of mankind by anything less than the full and true Gospel (Jude 1:3-4)10 3 Beloved, while I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I was constrained to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For there are certain men who crept in secretly, even those who were long ago written about for this condemnation: ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into indecency, and denying our only Master, God, and Lord, Jesus Christ.. We need to take care that the Gospel we are proclaiming is not some abridged or altered version of the truth. Paul warns against declaring anything other than the full Gospel (Galatians 1:6-9)11 6 I marvel that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different “good news”, 7 but there isn’t another “good news.” Only there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the Good News of Christ. 8 But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any “good news” other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed. 9 As we have said before, so I now say again: if any man preaches to you any “good news” other than that which you received, let him be cursed..
- Can you think of further problems that sin creates in the world and the lives of people?
- Have you received forgiveness for the sins you have committed?
- How is the Gospel being compromised and distorted by people?