Wisdom-Trek / Creating a Legacy
Welcome to Day 1171 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.
I am Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom
What Is the Good News? – Worldview Wednesday
Wisdom – the final frontier to true knowledge. Welcome to Wisdom-Trek where our mission is to create a legacy of wisdom, to seek out discernment and insights, and to boldly grow where few have chosen to grow before.
Hello, my friend, I am Guthrie Chamberlain, your captain on our journey to increase wisdom and create a living legacy. Thank you for joining us today as we explore wisdom on our 2nd millennium of podcasts. This is Day 1171 of our trek, and it is Worldview Wednesday.
Creating a Biblical worldview is important to have a proper perspective on today’s current events. To establish a Biblical Worldview, you must also have a proper understanding of God and His Word. On our Worldview Wednesday episodes we are in a series in which we are covering another detailed review of a book from one of today’s most prominent Hebrew scholars Dr. Micheal S. Heiser. We are taking a deep dive and will share Dr. Heiser’s insights into the question, which is also the title of his book “What Does God Want?”
What Is The Good News?
As we continue on with Dr. Heiser’s book, it may sound odd to ask that question at this juncture. We have invested several weeks walking through the story of the Bible, the story of how God wants us in his family. We join that family by believing the good news, referred to as the gospel.
I’ve discovered that a lot of people who attend church don’t really understand the gospel. Some can’t articulate it. Others who can express it coherently often struggle with truly surrendering to its simplicity. They suffer inside over truly believing that the gospel is all that’s necessary for everlasting life.
Some of you may wonder what I’m talking about. I’m willing to bet, though, that as I explain what I mean, you’ll either see yourself or someone you know in what follows.
We’ll start by defining the gospel. I’ll ask some questions along the way that are important to consider for clarity. We also need to talk about what the gospel isn’t, but we will save that for next week. When we get to that part of the conversation, you’ll see what I mean by the struggle I mentioned.
If people struggle to define it, what is The Gospel?
It’s fairly easy to define what the term “gospel” means. The biblical word “gospel” refers to the message of salvation. The English word “gospel” is a translation of a Greek word (the original language of the New Testament) that referred to a reward given to someone who brought good news. Hence you’ll often hear the term “gospel” equated with “good news” — the good news about the message of salvation.
Let’s think about that. It might feel like we learned something. I suppose we did, but we didn’t actually learn the thing we needed to know. It’s nice that we can now define a term. But we actually haven’t said anything about the content of the message of salvation. We’ve defined what the word “gospel” refers to, but not what the gospel actually is.
So let’s talk about what the gospel means. What is the content of God’s offer of salvation? What are the details of the good news? And why is it good news? The word appears almost 100 times in the New Testament so we ought to be able to figure this out.
The apostle Paul probably talks about the gospel message more than any other New Testament writer. He uses the word “gospel” for the message he preached about Jesus in I Corinthians 15:1-4.
Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.
I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.
Paul defines his message, the gospel, elsewhere such as Romans 1:1-5.
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. God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures. The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life, he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ, our Lord. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.
The content of the gospel — the good news — emerges clearly in these passages. Here are the elements:
- God sent his Son…
- Who was born in the line of David…
- As the man Jesus Christ…
- Who died for our sins…
- Who was buried…
- And who rose from the dead…
These items are the content of the good news. Let me describe them again here in light of the bigger picture of the story we talked about earlier:
The Son of God became a man. He suffered and died on the cross so that our sins would no longer keep us out of God’s family. He rose from the dead so that we could also overcome death and be with his Father, our Father, the only true God, forever.
Let’s probe that a bit. If this is the good news, why is it good? Lots of reasons. It’s good because our salvation doesn’t depend on our own performance. You don’t see anything about your amazing track record or having a clean rap sheet in those passages. The content of the gospel is not about what you’ve done, or might do, or need to do. It’s about what someone else did for you. That’s good news for all of us, because none of us is perfect. None of us pleases God all the time. None of us is fit to live in his family and be called by his name on our own. We have to be made acceptable to God. The content of the gospel tells us how that happens.
Notice that Paul described his ministry of telling people the good news as“bringing about the obedience of faith.” He wanted those who heard his message to “hold fast” to what he said. How do you “obey” the gospel? Get Baptized? Give money? Behave well? Don’t be a jerk? Help the poor?
Those are all worthwhile things, but no. God wants “the obedience of faith.” You obey the gospel by believing it.
Did you also notice that Paul didn’t say “the obedience of comprehension?” We may not completely understand things like God becoming a man in Jesus, or how the resurrection could happen. That’s okay. God doesn’t demand we figure it all out and then get back to him to take a final exam. He wants belief. Understanding why these things are rational can wait.
The content of the good news is God’s offer to forgive you and give you a permanent place in his family. His offer shows his love and kindness. The Bible sometimes uses the word “grace” in the place of those terms. Since there is no greater power, God wasn’t coerced into the offer. No one is twisting His arm. He offers you salvation because he wants you. All he asks is that you believe.
That is the good news of the gospel.
That will conclude our lesson for this week from Dr. Heiser’s book “What Does God Want?” Next Worldview Wednesday, we will discover why we need the gospel, and what the gospel isn’t. I believe you will find each Worldview Wednesday an interesting topic to consider as we build our Biblical worldview. Tomorrow we will continue with our 3-minute humor nugget that will provide you with a bit of cheer and help you to lighten up and live a rich and satisfying life. So encourage your friends and family to join us and then come along with us tomorrow for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.
If you would like to listen to any of our past 1170 treks or read the Wisdom Journal, they are available at Wisdom-Trek.com. I encourage you to subscribe to Wisdom-Trek on your favorite podcast player so that each day’s trek will be downloaded automatically.
Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most of all, your friend as I serve you through this Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal.
As we take this trek together, let us always:
- Live Abundantly (Fully)
- Love Unconditionally
- Listen Intentionally
- Learn Continuously
- Lend to others Generously
- Lead with Integrity
- Leave a Living Legacy Each Day
I am Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Everyday! See you tomorrow!