The News of the Day
You have been out most of the day and come home, sit down in your favorite comfy chair, and using the hand-held remote, turn on the television. Its 5:59 p.m. and you turn to a well-known national TV channel because you want to catch up on the news of the day.
After viewing a short 30 second commercial for a skin care product, its time for the news program to air. After the short burst of introductory music, the broadcast announcer says, “Now, here with today’s news is Brian Green…”
Though the TV studio background is a very familiar setting, an unfamiliar face greets you with a smile saying, “Hello, my name is Brian Green, and today, I feel good! Yes, I feel REALLY GOOD! Life is just great right now.”
He continues, “I’ve managed to turn a few things around financially, I’ve lost 12 lbs in weight over the last few weeks and my relationships are so much healthier too. This new job as a news broadcaster, I have to say, is the best career move I’ve ever made. I wish you could have seen me a few weeks ago. My life did not have the same sense of purpose as it does today. I was fairly miserable most of the time. But I tell you, now, there’s definite, noticeable spring in my step and I just want you to know, ‘Today is a great day!’ Over to you, Andrea Mckenzie with today’s weather…”
Andrea says, “Yes, thanks Brian, I want to tell folks that the weather today really makes me feel so happy inside. I used to live a long way from here and when I woke up this morning and opened the window curtains I saw the sun shining and I just knew I had made the right decision to move here. It brings such a smile to my face! I always felt there was a piece missing in the jigsaw that is my life and the weather here fills a void in my heart. On days like today, I have absolutely no regrets about moving here…”
By now, I hope you are feeling the utter sense of the ridiculous in what has just been described. Unless you have tuned in to a comedy channel by mistake, you are never likely to witness such a thing on your television screen. But let us ask ourselves why?
The reason is rather obvious isn’t it? It is because the news is objective not subjective. News is the recounting of events outside of ourselves. When we watch the news we hear such things as “today at the JFK airport in New York, a Boeing 747 had to make an emergency landing after one of its engines failed in mid flight…a spokesperson for Boeing said that no one was in immediate danger and no injuries were reported. The plane landed as a precaution…” and so it goes on.
The word Gospel comes from the Greek word euangellion and means Good announcement or good news.
Two Aspects of the Good News
The good news of the Gospel has two aspects to it. Firstly, it concerns what the Lord Jesus Christ achieved by His life, death, burial and resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15: 1 “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…“
The second vital component of the good news concerns how Christ’s atoning work of redemption is actually appropriated by sinners. This is the good news of grace.
Galatians 1: 6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.”
Based on the sure foundation of Scripture alone, we are justified by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, all to the glory of God alone.
When a large stone is thrown into a lake it produces ripples in the water that reach to the edge of the lake, so the Gospel, when believed, affects people’s lives in all sorts of ways. If no ripples emerge, we can be sure that no stone hit the water. However, we must never confuse the message of the Gospel (the large stone) with the affects of the gospel (the ripples in the water).
The News is Not About You, It’s For You
As important and as interesting as it may be to hear news of a changed life, or of how a God shaped void in the human heart has been filled; of finding meaning and purpose to life – these things, as wonderful as they may be, are not the Gospel. They are wonderful affects of the Gospel but not the Gospel itself.
The Good News is the message of Christ and Him crucified, His Person and work – what He achieved in His life, death and resurrection for us sinners. It is an announcement of something accomplished outside of us, in real time, in human history. It reveals the fact that as our God appointed Substitute, He absorbed the wrath of God in our place, so that all who believe in Him, will in no way perish, but instead have everlasting life.
The Gospel is News. When was the last time you heard it or shared it?
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…” – Romans 1:16