The good news is that we have been granted positive favor in God's sight and given eternal life.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is good news. Holy Scripture teaches that God has revealed himself to us in Christ (John 1:1,14), who has provided salvation for sinners. Salvation is a free gift of God, and it cannot be merited by our good behavior (Romans 3:22-24). The gospel declares that this gift is not the culmination of humanity's quest for God, but that salvation resides in the loving initiative of God toward men and women (Ephesians 1:4-7).
The gospel maintains that men and women, who have sinned and fallen short of God's glory, can be declared righteous through faith. Experientially we still sin, but God views believers in Christ as totally righteous. Because Christ's death provided for sinners a sinless substitutionary sacrifice that satisfies divine justice and makes known God's holy love, God no longer counts our sins against us (2 Corinthians 5:19-21). The good news is that we have received more than pardon; we have been granted positive favor in God's sight, and given eternal life.
As God's grace in Christ brings us to God, it also enables believers to continue and complete this spiritual pilgrimage. Grace comes to us while we are still in our sins and brings about a marvelous transformation by God's Spirit, which is based on the accomplished work of Christ on the cross. Thus the gospel not only involves believing the revealed truth about Christ, but it also includes calling the church to purity, holiness, and faithfulness in this world, granting hope to believers while awaiting the consummation of God's redemptive plan for his Creation.
David S. Dockery is president of Union University, Jackson, Tennessee.
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