One of my favorite cartoons on TV is Futurama. It’s the brainchild of Matt Groening, the creator of the Simpsons. The premise of the show is that a guy wakes up in the distant future and has to integrate with a world that is mostly a parody of almost all the sci-fi tropes we’ve come to know over the years. One of my favorite characters is Professor Farnsworth, the sort of leader of the band of misfit characters. There is an ongoing gag where he bursts into the room to announce a mission by saying “Good news everyone!”, and when he goes on to explain it, it is actually very BAD news. For example: “Good news, everyone! Today you’ll be delivering a crate of subpoenas to Sicily 8, the Mob Planet.”
Sometimes I feel like our modern Evangelical church is like Professor Farnsworth. We tell the world “Good news everyone!” when declaring the gospel, but follow it up with “God is very angry with you and if you won’t believe in him he’s going to burn you forever!”
I think this is largely because we’ve relegated the Gospel to something that only effects our future (going to heaven when you die). We end up fixating on the eschatological implications of the Gospel and almost ignoring the present ramifications of the Good News about Jesus. Yet the New Testament adamantly declares that the Gospel is effects our past and present, as well as our future!
In our study of Romans, Paul has been reminding the Roman churches about the nature of the Gospel and how it should have a unifying effect on them. In ch 5-8 he’s been reminding them of what our lives look like now that we have a new covenant with God through Jesus. He’s compared that new life to our old life enslaved to sin and in fear of condemnation by the Law of Moses.
In the section we’ll be reading this Sunday, chapter 8:1-17, Paul will get to the very heart of what the gospel is, and what it means to US! He reveals to us why the good news is really good!
In v1-4 he launches off with the stunning declaration of our deliverance from condemnation for sin. How easy or hard is it for you to believe that you have been declared “not guilty” by God because of Jesus’ work on the cross? How easy or hard is it for you to believe that God no longer associates you with any sin of your past, present or future? How would you describe this as good news?
In what ways to you see your life energized by the resurrection power of God (v11)? Obviously, this has future implications of our bodily resurrection at the end of the age, but in what ways can you see that effecting your life today? How would you see this as good news for a life in this world?
What do you see as the importance of having our identity built on being a child of God (v15)? How does being God’s beloved child affect your status, relationship and purpose in this life? In what way is being brought into God’s family good news?
I love chapter 8 of Romans – this is such an encouraging section to read! Hope to see you on Sunday!
One thought on “Why the Good News is REALLY Good”
How does being God’s beloved child affect your status, relationship and purpose in this life? In what way is being brought into God’s family good news?
– When I speak about God in my life…Freedom is the first thing that came to mind. When people are trying to figure out what this Christian thing is all about its real easy to be overwhelmed, turned off or even scared. And a good majority of Christians help with this fear. I couldn’t have said it better myself – ““Good news everyone!” when declaring the gospel, but follow it up with “God is very angry with you and if you won’t believe in him he’s going to burn you forever!”
So when you asked the question above the first thing that came to my mind was Freedom. Being a child of God is Freedom to live. And I mean LIVE. We all have our worries and we will always be human but when I learned that I could really lean on Dad for my every need, I was free. In my life I named it the “Easy Button” Just like in that Staples commercial. When I start to have those normal human emotions like anxiety, fear, worry, or hatred they only last so long before I slap that easy button and all of a sudden I have peace.
I should say also that this “easy button” didn’t come overnight. God had to earn my trust. That may sound kinda strange but its true. God met me where I was and he would help me with the smallest thing. I was also testing the waters with him. If he was real we were going to find out. And the crazy thing is he didn’t punish me for that. He loved me through that small thing. And then there was another small thing.Those small things began to grow more and more. Until it finally became habit to trust him on a regular basis.
Now after this many years I don’t walk through life with the weight of the world on my shoulders. When you start the journey with Christ and grow with him it is INCREDIBLE! I want people to know that being a beloved child of God is the most amazing thing in the world. Whats funny is, every human in this world wants comfort and peace. Christ can give you just that. GOD IS NOT MAD AT YOU! He really isn’t. He loves you!
Being a part of God’s family is GREAT news.