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We have peace with God
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We have peace with God

Here is the Good News of the redeeming love of Jesus Christ that we celebrate on Easter: Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was the perfect sacrifice that fully paid for your sin, my sin and the sin of all people.

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And Jesus Christ’s glorious resurrection from the dead proved that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for sin. Christ was raised from the dead to bring us back to the right relationship with God.

This is the heart of the Good News – The Gospel. Jesus Christ alone saves. The salvation Jesus Christ gives us is full and free.

The contemporary Gospel writer got it right:
“He paid the debt, He did not owe
I owe the debt, I could not pay
I needed someone to wash my sins away
Now I can sing a brand-new song, amazing grace
Lord Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay.”

We cannot save ourselves. But thank God for the Good News: “He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.” (Romans 4:25 NLT).

In fact, the saving events of Easter which are the death of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection from the dead, form the climax of the story of God’s redeeming love in the entire Bible.

These saving events form the core of the Gospel, the Good News the Apostle preached: “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know.

But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him.

But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave. God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this.

So let everyone know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah! Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:22-24, 31-32, 36, 38 NLT). We turn to the following Bible texts on the critical importance of Christ’s death on the cross to save all people who will come to Him:

• “In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” (Hebrews 9:22 and Heb 10:4 NLT)

• “Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.” (Hebrews 9:11-12, 14b NLT)

• “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT)

• “There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever” (Hebrews 7:23-24 NLT)

• “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people. The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:50 & 51 ESV, 52-54 NLT)

• “And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.” (Hebrews 10:19 & 20 NLT)

Indeed, the Good News or the true Biblical Gospel that saves us is this: “Jesus died for our sins and was raised again from the dead to make us have a right relationship with God.”

Nothing more, nothing less!! You will not be saved by “seeds of money you sow into the life and ministry of a pastor or man of God.” You will not be saved merely because you regularly go to church and regularly give tithes.

You will not be saved merely because you have received water baptism. (You may be a dry sinner before baptism and emerge only as a wet sinner after baptism.) Give money towards God’s work and go through Baptism to please God only after you have been saved and cleansed by the blood of Jesus.

Martin Luther and the Reformers rejected monetisation of the Gospel. We too must both repent of and reject monetisation of the Gospel in the church today. The answer the Apostle Peter gave to the people who asked, “What must we do – to be saved?” is “Believe in the Lord Jesus as your sin bearer and Redeemer God and repent of your sins and wrong doings.”

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When we “believe and repent,” God forgives us and sends His Holy spirit into our lives to transform us into new creations on the inside. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17). The Apostle Paul writes on what the Biblical Gospel is: “Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it.

It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.

He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” (1 Cor 15:1-4 NLT). There is no other Biblical Gospel. We must first respond to the Easter Biblical Good News and also share this Good News with others.
 
 
(The author is a consultant in Authentic Christian Spirituality and Discipleship and former CEO of  the Scripture Union)

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