Why is the Kingdom of God Good News, Part Two
Last time I pointed out that when Jesus began to proclaim his message to the nation of Israel under Roman occupation in the 1st century, he said that they were to change their thinking because the Kingdom of God was present and available.
The writers of the gospels (gospel means “good news”) tell how Jesus went about through all the villages proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom and healing all who were sick. (Matthew 4:23) Jesus is the Son of God come to earth in human form. In my last post I pointed out that when we come under the Leadership of Jesus we receive the forgiveness of all our sins and we receive healing for our bodies. But we can receive a deeper and more valuable healing even then the healing of our physical bodies.
Jesus gave his life at the cross as a ransom for our sins. He came to buy us back from the dominion of sin. Basically, sin is our human tendency to pursue our lives independent of God’s wise leadership. God created us to live under His leadership. This is how each of us has been designed. When we try to live our own lives without God’s guidance and help we generally make a mess of things (Oh how I know this from experience!)
The ten commandments are God’s warnings about where our selfish pursuit of life will often take us: lying about ourselves and others, coveting the material possessions of others, stealing things that belong to others (including the credit for good things done by others), worshipping things that are less than the real God (e.g. money, status, power, etc) , dishonoring our parents, violating our marriage vows, and even murder itself. No matter how hard we try to “be good” we will never reach God’s holy design for living when we attempt that in our own human energy.
Through Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection, God made a way for our very heart and nature to be changed. We can actually receive the very life and nature of God if we will believe in and trust in Jesus as our Leader. Paul, who was one of the early followers of Jesus wrote these words in his letter to the Romans, chapter 5 and verse 10:
“For if …we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled shall we be saved by his life.”
In other words, Jesus’ death on the cross brought us back into relationship with God, but it is his very life given to us that rescues us from our old prideful and selfish ways. This is a healing at the core of our being, bringing us back to our original design before sin twisted the world. When we trust Him as the One who rescues us from sin, Jesus infuses His Divine life and nature into our hearts. The Bible tells us that we become a new creation! We begin to learn how to let Jesus live his life in and through us, changing our thoughts, desires and decisions. I’ve heard it said that “only Jesus can live the Christian life.” This is true, and he desires to live that life in us! We believers truly live by the life of another. As we surrender to Jesus our King each day we allow His life to grow and to flow through us. We live by the life of the Son of God. This life is a life free from guilt, free from shame, free from sin and free from limitations! We also have the joy of knowing God Himself, but that is a subject for another blog.