Romans 1:7; 5:17; 7:12-20; 11:6; 16:20
It means from the Greek, "A Good Message" literally or more to the point "Good News" referring to a message of good tidings such as when David was victorious over Goliath, good news or a good report. But when it comes to our Lord it is more specialized and specific to what Christ has done, His Person and Work.
This is Kerygma in practice, meaning the preaching of the early church (Luke 4:18-19, Romans 10:14, Matthew 3:1). In Acts 2 focusing on the Person and work of Christ and our response to Him. His birth, death and resurrection what He did for our benefit and what we gain as a Christian by faith.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
The main lesson for us is in how we understand its ramifications, and that is we do not deserve this! God imputes His righteousness unto us by what Christ has done and declares us righteous. The salvation that we received as Christians who are running His Church is that we all have been rescued from a terrible situation. Ultimately, it means being delivered from God's wrath. It is also God's work for us: redemption. In theology, this means "Justification," which means God's righteousness is covering us. Righteousness is His character, something that we do not have on our own, but we can seek to emulate so we can show others who He is. This is not passive on our part; we are active "in with" faith. This declaration means we, as the elect, are free from our debt of sin, but we as debtors are to be witnesses to the lost, that we respond in gratitude to what He has done for us with our faith and obedience. Let's look at four points of our receiving His Gospel:
- He took our place in life and in death.
- He took our place in judgment before God's just wrath, which we could never attain by ourselves, no matter how good and faithful we were.
- Our creation and salvation are by His choosing and purpose, that as Christians, we are not our own, but belong solely to our Lord. Thus, we must live our lives as a reflection of His glory, and not of ourselves, because there is nothing we can do alone that deserves any kind of merit to please God for salvation.
- God desires and deserves our whole-hearted loyalty, allegiance, trust, obedience, and devotion; so, what is stopping you?
What does this mean as to how we can manage our life and His Church? We can do so! Have you realized that your debt has been totally cleared, your sin has been completely covered, and your dread has been replaced with wonder and Eternity? Then, how has it affected your life? How are you at treating others in light of how God is treating you? Do you obey His call and precepts? Does this transformed life impact others around you? Is your church being run with the focus on how to glorify Him or how to please yourself? Do you "get it," that all you are is the result of Christ is in you? If not, why? What is in the way? Are you willing to get on your knees to seek His face and His righteousness for your life? Without it, you have nothing but debt and sin-and a church in ruins!
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26-29
When we are mature in Christ, we will not see ourselves as excused from the daily concerns of life, thinking that we are above it all, because we are not. We are all called to engage in life with our full endeavor, to guard ourselves from rationalism that says I am my own boss; I can do as I please. If we do rationalize in this way, we patronize and disrespect others who are also His children and miss what the Church is about, which is reconciliation, and what Christ would have us do, which is act within His Fruit.
Try asking yourself these questions.
1. Do you think that you may be too arrogant to see the adventure of normal daily life? Be honest.
If so, then you may not be able to get a grasp on the small things, and will fail in the larger things of life. Life is not to be looked at as being mundane. Let us see ourselves as His children, embracing the small before we seize the large. May we become men and women of true faith, set apart for our Lord's service, not considering if the task is too small and insignificant for our ego and position that we alone perceive.
2. Then, there is the other side of the coin. Do you think that you may be so eager to venture into new experiences of life that you ignore what is right in front of you?
If so, you may not be able to engage in the responsibilities to which God calls you. What are these responsibilities? They are found by knowing your spiritual gifts and natural abilities, and growing in the maturity of your faith through Scripture, biblical teaching, prayer, and worship.
3. What are your priorities and motives? Are they Christ-centered or self-centered?
4. If you are having success in your career or relationships, are you prideful of it? If so, why?
5. What does Grace mean to you? What are you going to do now with it?
© 1998, 2001, 2003, Richard J. Krejcir, Ph.D., Discipleship Tools www.discipleshiptools.org