The Gospel – The Bad News and The Good News

The Gospel is absolutely our favorite thing to talk about at Riverside Community Church. Whether in worship, in one of our small groups, or simply sitting down to fellowship together over a meal, the gospel is something that we are passionate about.

But with that said, one of the things that we find in talking with folks sometimes, is that the gospel message is sometimes seen as something other than what it truly really is. So what is the gospel? First of all, gospel simply means “good news.” It is the good news of Jesus Christ – who He is, and what He has done for us, and what this good news is doing as it goes forth in the world today. In Romans 1:16, the Apostle Paul says “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile .” So here he tells us that the gospel is power! It is the power that God uses to save people from sins and death, and to a new life in which they can know God. In the following verse Romans 1:17, Paul goes on to say “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” So at the center of the gospel then is righteousness. But what is righteousness? Righteousness means being “right.” It means being perfectly good, perfectly just in all ways and in all things. Ezra 9:15 says “O LORD, God of Israel, You are righteous!”

So for a person to be righteous, then means for them not just to be “good” morally, but to be “good like God.” At this point we find out “the bad news.” The bad news is that because we have all gone against God in one way or another (in our thoughts, words, and deeds) we have sinned against God. Sin is committing crimes against God. And just as it would not be right for a criminal who has committed a terrible crime to go unpunished, so our crimes against God must be punished. If sin was not punished, there would be no such thing as true justice. But the wages of sin is death – death physically, death spiritually, and death eternally (meaning separation from God and all that is good forever.) And what makes even worse, is there is nothing we can do to make ourselves right with God! Now, if we stop there, there is no hope for any of us, but there is good news!

The good news of the gospel is that in God’s love, God the Father sent Jesus Christ, God the Son, into the world to live a perfect life in our place! As our substitute – Jesus lived a perfect, righteous life and He went to the cross to suffer for our sins. On the cross, God took our sins and He put them on Jesus, and He was punished in our place. He died for the sins of His people. But on the 3rd Day, Jesus was raised from death in glory, never to die again! He rose to bring hope to our lives and hope to this world, and this hope for a new life lived with, and for God, is available for those who receive and believe this good news that is offered to us through faith. Have you received this good news, and believed in Jesus as your only hope to be saved from sin, so that you can be acceptable before God? The good news is…if you believe this, then the perfect righteousness of Jesus is credited to you, as if you did all that Jesus has done! Because of Jesus, you are justified before God, you are adopted into His family, and you are given the Holy Spirit who will dwell in you, helping you, until Jesus comes again in glory.

So unless we understand first the bad news, we will not be able to see just how good, the good news really is! The bad news tells us the reality of how things are, and who we are apart from God. But then it shows us just how good the gospel is in that God has given everything in order to love people like us. It truly is amazing. If you have any questions, or would like to talk to someone more about this good news, contact us through the website, we love to talk about the gospel!



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Riverside Community Church
Sundays at 10:30 am
311 Old Mill Road
Cartersville, Ga 30120
(470) 315-2344

Riverside Community Church is a mission church of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)