The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it–or the righteousness of another.
The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself.
But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.
The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead–so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective.
It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone.
The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone.
You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.
“Give me a new idea,” I said,
While musing on a sleepless bed;
A new idea that’ll bring to earth
A balm for souls of priceless worth;
That’ll give men thoughts of things above,
And teach them how to serve and love,
That’ll banish every selfish thought,
And rid men of the sins they’ve fought.”
The new thought came, just how, I’ll tell:
‘Twas when on bended knee I fell,
And sought from HIM who knows full well
The way our sorrow to expel.
SEE GOD IN ALL THINGS, great and small,
And give HIM praise whate’er befall,
In life or death, in pain or woe,
See God, and overcome thy foe.
“I saw more clearly than ever that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how the inner life might be nourished.” George Müller
“You have been called to give yourself to the work of God’s kingdom and to daily obey the commands of the King. You’ve been called to recognize that your life is no longer your own because you were bought with a price. But the work you do is never to be done in order to earn something. The work you’re called to do is to be done in celebration of something. You don’t work to earn God’s favor; rather, your work is a hymn of thanks for the favor that Christ achieved on your behalf. You don’t have to wonder if you’ve worked enough. You don’t have to fear that you’ll mess up and get booted out of the family. You don’t have to fear seeing the back of God’s head. You don’t have to be haunted by the question of whether you’ve done enough for long enough. The bridge of impossibility has been walked by Christ. The job is done. Your relationship with God is eternally secure. Now, in thankfulness, go out and do his work.” Paul David Tripp
Are there any words particularly inspiring you toward Jesus lately?