Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Do You Want the Good News First or the Bad News?

You may be thinking, “How about some good news without the bad news first?” It is difficult, maybe impossible to do and still be honest. The reason for this is the very nature of the words “salvation,” “saved,” “redemption,” and “justification.” They all have a meaning in them that implies something to be saved from, redeemed (bought back) from, and to make just that which is unjust.

Here are two examples:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:1-5)

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:3-7)

If we were not bad, we would not need to be saved from our badness and God’s judgment on that badness. Besides the contrast of the good and bad, there are those wonderful words “the kindness and love of God” and “his mercy” and “because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy” and “by grace.”

Recommended reading: Three Kinds of Love by Masumi Toyotome. You can contact me by calling (208) 883-0997 or by sending an email to ccm@moscow.com. Our website address is http://ccmbooks.org.

(Taken from Good News/Bad News)

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