The “Good News” is HOPE. The “Gospel” is the crux of our faith. John 3:16 puts it SO plainly, that even little children can understand, (paraphrasing) “For God loved the world (you and me) SO much, that He gave His Son (Jesus) as a sacrifice, so that if we believe that Jesus died in our place on the cross, we will not perish, but have everlasting life!” This message is re-iterated throughout the New Testament, with each iteration bringing more clarity, more enlightenment to that extraordinary act of Love. In Galatians 2:20, Paul adds even more clarity to the implications of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I
who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by
faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Paul wrote this at a time where he was refuting Peter’s stance on Gentiles and Jews being equal as believers. Peter was leaning toward the Jewish law concerning Gentiles, which led Paul to make the point that we are no longer under the law. The law had been washed away as it were with the blood from Jesus’ death. When we acknowledge / associate ourselves with Jesus’ act on the cross, we allow our “Self” to suffer the same fate as Jesus: death. In doing so, a transaction takes place where “self” is exchanged for Christ. Self is no longer our center- Jesus is. The implications of this concept is enormous! Instead of having the confines of the law of Moses dictating how we live, we now have freedom to TRULY live because Christ now lives in us!
As my dad used to put it so eloquently, “What does this have to do with the price of tea in China?”
Associate yourself with Christ. Accept Him as your Lord and Savior. In doing so, you effectively kill your self, your ego, on the very same cross that Jesus died on. What do you get in return? EVERLASTING life, because the One who conquered death is LIVING in you! Your spirit is reborn under the new covenant, not the old. In 2 Corinthians chapter 3:6-11, Paul talks about the difference between the old covenant and the new covenant:
6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the
face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?
9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!
10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
Death is replaced with Life, Temporary is replaced with Permanence, Condemnation is replaced with Righteousness, and Law is replaced with Love. I want permanence in God’s kingdom, I want His righteousness to replace my condemnation, and most of all, I want to spend eternity with the One who loves me SO much, that He gave Himself up for me.