Have You Heard the Good News?
Roy Blizzard III © 2014
Today is a day just about like any other day in our lives. We wake, we live our lives and we go to bed. Just another regular day, like so many other days before, but is this the way things should be? I think not. We should be expecting great things on a daily basis. We should be preparing ourselves for great things on a daily basis. We should be living great things on a daily basis. If you aren’t why aren’t you? Haven’t you heard the Good News?
Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t? Can you describe for me just what is the Good News as found in the Bible? Well what is the Good News or as some translations have it the Gospel?
Paul says in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” However, in Romans 1:1 Paul says, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,”. So do we follow the Gospel of God or the Gospel of Christ? The words in the New Testament that have come to us as The Gospel or the Good News is -EuAngelion Theu / ευαγγελιον θεου – in Greek or Livsorat Elohim – לּבֿשׂוּרּתּ אּלּוּהּיּם .in Hebrew
Well to begin with what is good news to you? You won the lotto; you have a new child or grandchild; maybe good news to you is that you are married or have a boyfriend? While all these things may be good, do things like this actually represent what the Good News or Gospel really is? Since all these folks like Jesus and Paul are Jews I think we can skip the Greek and just look directly at what this phrase meant to Jesus and Paul from the Hebrew mindset and let’s look first at what the Good News of God might be.
You know that the word for Good News is very closely related to the word for flesh – Basar in Hebrew and the Jews loved to play on words. In Ezekiel 36:23-ff God is speaking to man about man’s sinfulness and in verse 26 God speaks about replacing a stony heart with one that is made of Flesh. This is from the same root as the word for Gospel or Glad Tidings. So a part of what is Good news is that God replaces our Hearts that are hard and evil, stony and dead with a heart that is living and beating and desirous of God.
The living heart that God gives us is Gladdened – from the word for Good News – and made alive because God’s Spirit is sent to dwell within us and causes us to desire to live for God and be his people, people who draw near to God and live in an intimate relationship with him. God also says that when this heart is gladdened, we will be made whole from our lives of sinfulness and that God will provide in abundance for us and that this will be done so that the unbelievers will know that YHWH is God.
Verses 29 and 30 here in Ezekiel are unusual and we need to take a quick look at them because of their implications for us. 29: “I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.” 30 “And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.” What do we see here? Corn, fruit, fields, reproach, famine and heathens. What we need to see here is that this passage is foreshadowing exactly what was happening in the first century after the Holy Spirit fell upon the Disciples and then on to the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell upon the masses of Jews at the Temple.
What does the Bible say about Corn? Well in John 12:24 it states, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” My translation of John12:24 reads like this, “Amen, Amen, I say to you, unless a berry of wheat falls to the midst of the earth and dies, it will remain alone (without offspring as survivors to carry on), but when it dies it makes a lot of fruit (offspring).”
God has to take that stony hard covering of our heart and it has to die to our sinful nature in order for us to live for God. This is what happened to the Disciples. They were broken and alone and spiritually dead. That is when God became alive for them. The Holy Spirit came in power and transformed them from death to life. Their hearts became alive again.
God began to multiply the fruits, both physical bodies into the kingdom but also the Spiritual Fruit as the Kingdom began to grow. Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 – meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Not only the fruits begin to multiply, but the fields begin to ripen to harvest. At the day of Pentecost suddenly 3,000 souls were added to Jesus’ Kingdom and the fields were still white to harvest. Verse 30 “And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.”
So the fruits became even more numerous and the fields became greater with harvest ready to be forgiven of their sins and ready to become a member of Jesus’ Kingdom. A people of power and authority upon the earth no longer to remain in sinful scorn amongst and being like the heathen, in powerlessness and hard heartedness, doubt and spiritual famine ever looking for someone to save them on an earthly basis, forgetting all about the Spiritual nature of their needs.
So here we have an inkling of what the Good News or Gospel of God is; God has a plan for us to become righteous and receive power and honor and come out from among the unrighteous and become his people who acknowledge him as God. This sounds pretty good to me, but what is the Good News of Christ? Can it be even better? In Romans 1:16, Paul says that being ashamed of the Gospel of Christ would leave us powerless unto sin and death. Isn’t that right? Look at what Paul says “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
What is Paul telling us here when he says, “I am not Ashamed?” In Isaiah 41 10:ff there is an interesting concept, “10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. 12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. 13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
Paul by telling us he is not ashamed of the Gospel is saying that he is no longer striving with God or others within Jesus’ kingdom. So what Paul lets us know is that if we are always striving with God or hateful to God or others then we will perish. We have to accept the rule of God in our lives and unify with Jesus and God in their purposes and existence and by doing so God will hold our right hands, the hands of power. When God does this we exchange our power for God’s power as in Isaiah 40:29-30 and we have the power to harvest the fields that are white to harvest.
So the Good News or Gospel of Christ is the Power of God unto Salvation. If we look at what Jesus is, he is the Salvation of God, Yeshuat Elohim, in the Flesh. Jesus is that part of God that has fought for us so that we could be in a state of salvation within the existence of God. So the Good news of Jesus is a bit different than the Good News of God. God proclaimed that the salvation of God is coming and is near at hand and what will happen when that salvation occurs. The Good News of Jesus is that Salvation is here now and it dwells within the personage of Jesus and that you can be a part of his kingdom upon the earth in power and authority.
Jesus is ready to save each and every one of us if we just call upon his name. By saving us, Jesus transforms our hearts and minds and brings life to our dead spirits. By confessing our sinful nature and asking God to forgive us of our sins, God is just to forgive us of all our sins. But we have to continue to exist within God’s existence for us to continue to experience the power of God in our lives and continue to have that Glad Heart that is a product of both the Good News of Christ and God.
You have to consider one important fact; A powerless Gospel is not Good News! God or Jesus that has no power in your life is not good news to others or even you because there is nothing alive within your spirit that can help another who desperately needs that life giving Spirit to heal and change their heart. You must be like that grain of wheat that falls to the ground and dies in order to bring forth fruit. You have to get rid of that hard stony heart and allow God to bring forth Spiritual fruit so that other people want to know why we have that Hope and Joy that is not of this fleshly world.
Today, if you have never accepted Jesus as Lord of your life and asked forgiveness for your sins, now is the time to do so. God is ready to take away our shame and give us joy and move us into a powerful walk with Jesus upon this earth if we will just ask. Are you ready for the Good News to burst forth in your life today?by