Summary: Four things that make the Gospel "Good News."
Good News: You baptized seven people today in the river.
Bad News: You lost two of them in the swift current.
Good News: The Protestant Women of the Chapel voted to send you a get-well card.
Bad News: The vote passed by 31-30.
Good News: Your Chapel Council accepted your job description the way you wrote it.
Bad News: They were so inspired by it, they also formed a search committee to find somebody capable of filling the position.
Good News: Mrs. Jones is wild about your sermons.
Bad News: Mrs. Jones is also wild about the "Gong Show," "Beavis and Butthead" and "Texas Chain Saw Massacre."
Good News: Church attendance rose dramatically the last three weeks.
Bad News: You were on vacation.
Good News: Your congregation wants to send you to the Holy Land.
Bad News: They are stalling until things really heat up down there.
Good News: Your biggest critic just left your chapel.
Bad News: He has been appointed the Military Endorsing Agent of your denomination.
Well what’s the good news this morning? The good news is what the Bible passage we just read calls the Gospel. Gospel is really just a fancy way of saying Good News.
Interrogative: . So what is so good about this message that it should be called the Gospel?
Transition: There are four things suggested in these eight verses that make the Gospel good news. The First is it’s incredible...
V. 2 By this Gospel you are saved
Now the good news is secondary to some very bad news--that is that you need to be saved. The message of the Scripture is plain. Each of us is a sinner who is destined for punishment. To avoid that punishment, and to gain the gift of eternal life God has for us, we need to be saved.
The good news is that we can be. Jesus has paid the price, He took the punishment for our sin so we could be saved from it.
ILLUSTRATION: Many of you have probably never heard of Daniel Rohrbough--but he is a modern day hero. Daniel Rohrbough attended Columbine High School and was there on that horrible day when two students went on a rampage of violence and terror. Daniel Rohrbough stopped his escape from the building to hold a door open so that other students could escape and he was killed holding the door. Daniel died while helping others have a new chance at life (found on sermoncentral.com’s Illustration database).
In the same way Christ died to give us the chance not just at life here on earth but to have eternal life and an earthly life envigorated by a relationship with the creator. The Gospel is good news because of that life giving potential.
The second thing that makes the Gospel good is its...
3-4For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
Jesus didn’t go to the cross by accident, this was God’s battle plan to save the race that he loved so much but he was bound to punish because our sin had shut him out.
The prophets had laid out God’s plan long before and Jesus fulfilled it exactly as written. He died according to the Scriptures, but it was not defeat because he rose again according to the Scriptures. It was the plan; it was predicted.
ILLUSTRATION I’ve been listening to Stephen Ambrose’s book "D-Day." In it he goes into great detail about the planning that went into that huge operation. It wasn’t just left to chance. God did not leave the most important battle of History to chance either. He had a plan that was predicted by the Prophets--a plan to save us.
The next good thing about the Gospel is that there is ...
5-6 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
The New Testament writers make a great deal of the witnesses of the ressurection of Jesus Christ. To them it wasn’t merely important that people put their faith in a fantasy...It was important that the message be true.
Faith in the Gospel has always been Faith in fact, not faith in fantasy. And so the witnesses are listed and the reader of Paul’s day is invited to go looking for them, most are still alive, go ask them yourself.
Now if I was going to concoct a false religious pseudo-supernatural story, I would never invite people to go looking for witnesses, I would instead pronounce a curse on all those who doubt.