What the Good News is About
Dec 26, 2021 1599
Even as a Christian, I really struggled for most of my life to get my head around what the Good News was all about. That’s because, sadly, too many people confuse and complicate it. The Good News is another term for the Gospel.
As a little kid, I though the Good News was all about me. It was all about the good things that God was going to do for me – with the emphasis on me. It was about asking God for all the things I wanted, so that I could get them.
Then I went through a phase in which I thought that the Good News was about church, so that if you belonged to my church you had the Good News but if you didn’t you weren’t part of our team and you were going to end up in the bad place.
Next, I went through a phase where I thought the Gospel was about the things I had to do so I could be closer to God, or so that God would love me, or so that I could be more sure of being saved. (Notice the emphasis on “me” again.)
In the next phase I went through, I thought the Gospel was all about intellectual religious ideas; you can call that “theology” if you like. In this phase, unless you used exactly the same kind of wording that I used to describe the Good News, then you were going to the bad place too.
The Gospel isn’t a set of dot points to believe, but it is instead a person in whom you can trust.
Eventually I gave up and I just thought that anything in the Bible that could conceivably be called “good news” was the Gospel. I was very confused. For example, Jesus wants us to live healthy lives. Good news, right? God is going to judge the world, Good news again! And on and on I went.
All of these are wrong. It’s sad that there are so many people who are still stuck in one of these unhelpful ideas about what the Good News is about. No wonder people don’t always get a clear idea of what the message of Christianity is.
But the Bible is so clear. The book of Romans, in the Bible, was written specially to teach us what the Good News is about. There, in the very first three verses, the apostle Paul wrote,
This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News. 2 God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. 3 The Good News is about his Son (Rom. 1:1–3, NLT.)
News is about Jesus and what he has done so that we might be saved.
The Good News isn’t about a what, but it is instead about a who. The Gospel isn’t a set of dot points to believe, but it is instead a person in whom you can trust for a specific purpose. What is that great purpose? Some verses later on, Paul tells us:
For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes… (Rom. 1:16.)
The Good News is about Jesus and what he has done so that we might be saved. It’s that simple. It isn’t about what I need to do; that would be very bad news. It isn’t about how I can help Jesus out with what he needs to do; that would be bad news also. We are completely powerless to save ourselves, but the Good News about Jesus is that he is the one with the power to save everyone who trusts in him.
If the Good News is about Jesus and what he has done, then where do we look to see what he has done? Which look to the Cross, which includes both the atoning death and all-conquering resurrection of our Lord.
That’s what the Good News is about. Just as the heart in your chest sends life through to blood to every part of your body, so too Christ and him crucified is the heart and the source of everything else.