The GospelJesus’ Invitation to Be Glad in God
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation!” Isaiah 52:7
What is Jesus’ gospel of grace?
Gospel means “good news.” Grace, in the simplest terms, is “unmerited kindness.” If you put the two ideas together, then Jesus’ gospel of grace is God’s good news about his unmerited kindness towards us.
In the simplest terms, Jesus’ message of good news can be summarized in three words:
God rescues sinners.
In more elaborate terms, God in unmerited kindness offers to meet our deepest questions, desires, needs, and ambitions through Jesus. But he begins by addressing our greatest need–the forgiveness of our sins by sending his son, Jesus, to take our punishment in our place. This is what we call “salvation.”
But our salvation is not just individual and personal. No, God seeks to redeem all of the world and all of history. Jesus offers redemption for our whole person, the whole of creation, and the whole of history through his gospel of grace.
Why “good” news?
Good news is beautiful when it contrasts bad news. God’s good news is no different.
God’s good news is prefaced by bad news: we are sinners.
Sin, in the simplest terms, is breaking God’s moral law. Out of all our needs—physical, emotional, financial, social, and the list goes on—why does the forgiveness of sin top the list?
If God truly exists as perfectly moral and just, then it follows that he holds us morally accountable. Unfortunately, we all have our laundry list of moral failures—from white lies, to hidden sins of the heart like lust and selfishness, and the list goes on.
Scripture describes our predicament this way: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23)
Who can claim to be a morally perfect human being with a spotless, clean record? Who can stand on his own moral record before a perfect God, confident that he will receive God’s eternal approval and have God’s eternal wrath passover? What is more, our moral shortcomings must be paid for with some form of retribution. Scripture says, “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23)
How does the gospel of grace make me glad?
An act of kindness shines beautifully in the face of need. If our most dire need is to be acquitted of our guilty status before the judgment bench of God, then the gospel of grace is indescribably beautiful because God in undue kindness offers to us a lopsided exchange:
God rescues sinners by Jesus taking our place.
Jesus, who kept all of God’s laws to moral perfection, switched places with our guilty selves before the judgment bench of God. He was motivated by love and the desire for us to be forgiven and restored to friendship with God. Jesus became the wrongly accused and innocent scapegoat. We as the guilty ones are offered an undue pardon. What kind of baffling exchange is this?
Jesus took the punishment for our guilt upon himself, and transferred his innocence onto us. Jesus satisfied God’s justice by taking our retribution.
Here is the “glad” part: We go free if we accept Jesus’ unfathomably generous exchange of our guilt for his innocence.
God accomplished all this through Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection. This forgiveness is nothing short of incomprehensible love. As the poet writes: “The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell.”
The apostle Paul paints a beautiful description of God’s kindness in his letter to the Christians in Rome: “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us… The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord… ” (Romans 5:8)
Jesus earns for us the loving approval before God that was impossible for us to earn on our own.
How about you?
Jesus’ gospel is for you, too. If you want to trust Jesus for the forgiveness of sins or have more questions about Jesus’ gospel of grace, contact us today.