Building on the teaching of Jesus, (John 3:3, 16-17 NLT) the writers of the New Testament continually refer to their message (the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus) as Good News because believing the message results in a new start—being born again—(1 Peter 1:23, 25 NLT) reconciliation, (2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NLT) and a transformation of the way we think about ourselves and God…(Romans 12:2 NLT)
The Apostle Paul prayed that those committed to following Christ would “understand the incredible greatness of God’s power…the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead…(Ephesians 1:19-20 NLT) And he went on to say he was “not ashamed of this Good News about Christ [because] it is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes…”(Romans 1:16 NLT)
For some reason God has entrusted me, a flawed human being, with this message so powerful that it sometimes does its work in spite of me. “Like a flowing stream, the Gospel steadily erodes evil even if the church takes the wrong side, and even if society abandons faith.”* This is a leap of faith for me…to believe that God will accomplish his purpose even if I make a mistake…even if I don’t act according to my own commitments.
As Yancey writes, one of my challenges as a follower of Jesus is to not underestimate the power of the gospel to change lives. I must (daily) believe it and claim the force God has released to a world in desperate need.
*Philip Yancey, Vanishing Grace: Whatever Happened to the Good News?