Good News! God loves you and wants you back!
Mark 1:1-15, What is the Good News? (2/6/12)
What’s “evangelism”? You probably already know that it means, “sharing the good news.” Today in Sunday School we were talking about how we would explain the nature of Jesus to unbelievers. That may be an important question; however, it’s not where Jesus started in talking to unbelievers. Where he started was with the good news: The time is now! God is near! Repent, and believe in the good news!
The Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God
Just as it is written in Isaiah the prophet,
Look! I am sending my messenger before you, to pave your way,
A voice of one crying in the wilderness,
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make his paths straight!”
John the Baptizer was in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance unto the forgiveness of sins. All the land of Judea and all the Jerusalemites came out to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. John was clothed in camel’s hair with a leather belt, and he ate locusts and wild honey.
He cried out, “The one more powerful than I am is coming behind me, and I am not worthy to kneel and unstrap his sandals. I baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
Now, in those days, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately coming up from the water, he saw the heavens opening and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down upon him. And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my beloved son – I am well pleased with you!”
Immediately the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild beasts, and angels took care of him.
After John was betrayed, Jesus went to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God and saying, “Now is the time! The kingdom of God is near! Repent, and believe in the good news!”
Matthew 18:12-14, Why bother? (2/7/12)
Jesus told three parables about lost things: a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. The point of all three parables is the same: God actively seeks out his lost children, and God rejoices when he finds them. Keep in mind that you may be the tool that God needs to seek and find the lost.
“What do you think? If someone has a hundred sheep, and one of them strays, won’t he leave the ninety-nine on the mountain and go to seek the stray? And if he happens to find it, I tell you for sure, he rejoices about that one more than about the ninety-nine that never strayed. Just so, it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones be lost.”
John 10:7-18, What do they get? (2/8/12)
When you share the good news with others, what do they get out of it? Salvation, yeah, yeah – but what does that mean? It means the security of belonging to someone much more powerful than you are, who loves you enough to lay down his life to protect you. It means being cared for by someone who knows who you are and loves you anyway. Not just salvation from death, but salvation to life, abundant life, starting today – provided by the good shepherd, Jesus.
1 John 1:1-7, What do we get? (2/9/12)
Remember a couple weeks ago when we were talking about the body of Christ? You can’t be a Christian all by yourself, because by definition you are part of a larger body. John says, we, as one part of the body, can only have perfect joy when we share our experience with Jesus and God the Father with you, the other part of the body.
Christian fellowship is not optional. We must be in fellowship with the Father, and with the Son, and with each other – and an important part of that fellowship is the sharing of what we have heard, seen, and touched of Jesus Christ in our own lives. Only in that way can our joy be complete.
Matthew 28:16-20, What are our choices? (2/10/12)
“Disciple” means “student” as a noun or “teach” as a verb. Although vs. 19 is often translated “make disciples [noun] of all nations, baptizing them…,” in Greek it uses a verb: “disciple all the nations.” The James Murdock New Testament gets this exactly right.
I always kind of understood this as a one-step process: make disciples by baptizing them. That’s wrong. It’s a two-step process: disciple [teach] them, then baptize them. Since Jesus doesn’t make this optional, I suggest that we start by teaching them the good news of Jesus Christ.
More about Living the Christian Life
A Call to Christian Living
Living So It Shows
Sharing the Good News
Who Is Your Legacy?
Five Spiritual Disciplines
New Life and New Standards
Living in the World
Love One Another
Again, Love One Another
And as a Final Word, Love One Another
Copyright 2012 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved.
Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the
author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the
Bible-study participants. Thanks to the
Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers
for their support and enthusiasm. All
errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.
St. John’s United Methodist Church,
2626 Arizona NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
Traditional worship services are held Sundays at 8:15 and
11:00 a.m. in the sanctuary. Casual worship services are held Sundays at
9:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center.
are held monthly on the second Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. St. John’s feels especially called to the worship of God and to the service of our neighbors through our music program
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