The Good News (or the gospel) that Scripture refers to, is the news that God is not going to treat us (anyone) as we deserve to be treated! That’s it! It is not the message of a denomination, or of an institution! It is not a list of things we must do to be saved.
The Good News is embedded in the heart of this passage:
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12, NLT).
Everything found in the entirety of Scripture (the Law and the Prophets) is encapsulated in this one passage.
Because God offers to treat us better than we deserve, we are to do the same with each other (including complete strangers). We are to treat one another as we would like to be treated—with mercy and grace. This is the Good News of the Gospel!
You may ask, “What about justice, and the doctrines of the church? Aren’t they important?” They are, but if that’s all we have we’re doomed, because while they inform us who God is, they cannot change us. The motivating essence of Scripture is that God is going to treat us far better than we deserve!
Like the story of the father with his wayward son, God is ready to lavish us with Heaven’s best garment, ring and shoes, and an over-the-top party, to celebrate our acceptance of his mercy!
Anyone who wants to embrace God’s values and be included in his plan for an undamaged future, can know they are accepted.
“I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for” (1 John 5:13-15, NLT).
Rich DuBose writes from Northern California.© 2002 - 2020, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.