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The Good News

by Dale Offutt

(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)

 

Our present day will, of necessity, refer to prophecy.  Jesus was sent on his mission by God because of the need for Jesus to leave his heavenly home. God’s great mission program planned redemption for all mankind. Because of his love and his mercy, even before the creation, he planned or us to have a wonderful Savior.  And he knew in advance there would be is which would result in death. God knew in advance the need to send Jesus to become sin for us. He knew the humiliation, pain, death and the shedding of blood to cleanse mankind from sin.  His plan for the mission brought salvation and the resurrection, his resurrection. He is the Christian’s forerunner, the cross and the tomb.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” He spoke not only for just a few people, but for the whole world.

The Jews knew from teaching of the prophets that their Messiah would come to live among them as a ruler. They thought that his coming was to be a political ruler. Their present Roman government was one of domination and cruelty. Their expectation was to have an earthly king. He would give the people a relief from hardship and mistreatment. What they failed to realize was that God’s prophets predicted a king, but the king would provide spiritual guidance and ultimately be their Savior and their messiah.

The mission of Jesus offered eternal life and not just a temporary government to meet physical needs. Spiritual prospects such as God’s anointed one, God’s messenger, God’s ruler and God’s Savior was hardly a consideration from a weary people. God’s people failed to recognize the teaching of Jesus. They would not believe nor would they even accept him while in his ministry. For needy people, they should have accepted Jesus.

Moses had even prophesied the coming of their prophet and Messiah. They did not hear and understand the prophecy which foretold of spiritual needs and salvation with the coming of their promised Messiah.  Jesus rebuked the Jews for failure to recognize the fulfillment of the messianic promise made by Jesus himself.

Jesus said these words to lay claim to God’s people. Will you read with us as we read from the gospel of John chapter five, verses 31 through 47?

“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. There is another who testifies in my favor and I know that his testimony about me is valid. You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth, not that I accept human testimony, but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light and you chose, for a time, to enjoy his light.  I have testimony weightier than that of John, for the very work that the Father has given me to finish and which I am doing testifies that the Father has sent me and the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his Word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.  You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts.  I have come in my Father’s name and you do not accept me. But if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.  How can you believe if you accept praise from one another yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?  But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses on whom your hopes are set.  If you believe Moses, you would believe me. For he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”
They knew the rules, but missed the Savior. Unfortunately they had their own religious system and they failed to accept Jesus as the Savior from God. They had knowledge from the prophecy of Moses.

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers.  You must listen to him.”  The prophet, even Jesus, was the one prophesied by Moses of whom we just read.

After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the prophet who is come into the world.”

The mission of Jesus to come to this earth was not an after thought, but part of God’s original plan. Jesus on his mission was prophet, priest and king.  Isaiah prophesied the birth of Jesus who would come as the great deliverer, the Messiah, Jesus. He had a   ministry and was, indeed, a great light to people living in the darkness.  Jesus referred to himself as the light of the world.  His mission was the plan of God to be a light.

Hear the Word of God as we read from Isaiah, Isaiah nine verses one through seven.

“Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulon and the land of Naphtali. But in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.  On those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.  You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy. They rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest. As men rejoice when dividing the plunder.  For as in the day of Midian’s defeat you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders and he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. On the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord almighty will accomplish this.”

Oh, how thankful we should be for Jesus making his mission to planet earth to save us from sin.  We noted that in our previous study our first parents sinned which caused death. The prophecy of Jesus led us to realize that Jesus was the only one who could and will judge and destroy. Satan will be destroyed. And let us always remember and thank God that in spite of Satan we have Jesus Christ who would be the Savior for mankind of this world.

The mission brought Jesus to the cross for our sins.  Humanity could only be saved by sacrifice, the sacrifice of Jesus. And God’s great redemptive plan and the mission of Jesus the apostle Paul stated: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Oh, to think that when one gives his life to Jesus we really make an exchange, our sin for God’s righteousness. Yes. Our sin was poured into Christ at his crucifixion. His righteousness was poured into us when we were baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of sin. That is what we mean when we say that one has become a Christian. Christians can say, “Our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus.”  Oh, yes, God planned even before the creation our salvation through the person of his only begotten son Jesus. The most important work that Jesus had was to go to the cross and die for our sins.  The Lamb, Jesus, was slain before the creation of the world. So God had even the blood of Jesus planned before sin caused death.  He knew in advance that mankind would need the blood of Jesus to cleanse and to save mankind.

The apostle Peter said that Jesus redeemed us with his precious blood, that Jesus the Lamb was without blemish or defect. It takes the blood of Jesus to save mankind.  Without blood there is no forgiveness. Jesus was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God who raised him from the dead and glorified him. And so your faith and hope are in God.

Oh, what  a blessing to know that the mission of Jesus is real. And, furthermore, all can live with faith in God and hope in God. And we believe in just a few days, perhaps, Jesus will be coming for all who have received Jesus as their Savior.

As Christians we rejoice because Jesus came to earth to die for our sins.  Also encouragement is given to God’s children when these words are heard. Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people and he will appear a second time not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.  That is from the book of Hebrews chapter nine verse 28.

Are you waiting with joy for the coming of Jesus? Our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body, Philippians three verse 20.

Are you waiting eagerly for your new home in heaven?

 

      Dale Offutt retired as Minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ.  He went home to    

     be with the Lord in May of 2015.

 




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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33