What is the Good News?

I have been talking to God about this subject for a long time. This morning this is the message I have to write.

When God created man and woman and put them in the garden, we’ve all heard the story, it is true by the way, there was a protection or a covering over them. They were in God’s glory. The only things they knew were God’s truths which is all things true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of a good report. They were told not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Think about this, the knowledge of evil. This knowledge of evil comes from a different source than God. God is good. Evil is from satan. When they did eat of that tree, the way I see it is, there was now another influence over them. They now hid from God, they were ashamed of their nakedness, they felt condemned and they had fear.

Because of this they could no longer be in the presence of God. The acceptance of these things made them no longer pure. God’s very own presence is absolutely pure and Holy and awesome. His presence and proximity burns up evil just like a refiner’s fire which means to protect them he had to remove his close proximity of glory.

Man is now going to choose which voice to listen to. We begin in Genesis with God still leading and directing them, speaking to them IF they will listen, sending his angels to help them, even the spirit of the Lord as we read on occasion. Basically he was always working to keep them and ask them to follow him but very few would listen. He delivered them from slavery in Egypt (a representation still today of us). He wanted to be close to them and direct them in ways that they could see so he had Moses make the Ark of the Covenant where his presence resided with them once again and he gave them laws to follow so that he could remain with them. He delivered them from their enemies and helped them take the land he had intended for them to have. He gave them a king when they asked for one even though he warned them how that would govern every area of their lives and take away their freedom. He sent prophet after prophet to warn them and try to redirect them. He always had a plan and he just needed to get to his plan.

His plan was Jesus, his own Son, born of his own Holy Spirit to a virgin woman named Mary. He was the Son of man, Immanuel, God with us, in human form. He came out of his great love for us and walked among us and gave his life as the final sacrifice for our sins so that he could save us now and for eternity. This sacrifice would (by the laws of the Kingdom) take back the Kingdom allowing him to be present in his people again. This presence is the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ himself that now resides in our hearts when we accept Jesus into our hearts by belief in what he has done for us. What does this mean? It means we are once again in the glory of God, able to walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self control. It means the war is over, the battle has been won, and we can live this life in peace. We can live as if we never ate from the tree of the knowledge of evil. There is a new creation in Christ. Whatever point we are in life however, we now have to throw off the old and put on the new. It is as if we have to be reborn into a different understanding of truth. We now can recognize evil and turn from it. We have direct access to God through Jesus once again. And there is even more as we develop our relationship with God.

As you read this I want you to see how the story of the Bible is a story of your very own lives. You were created by God. You have had to walk through a wilderness, God wants to deliver you out of that wilderness and have you know truth through his Son Jesus Christ. He wants to walk this life with you, he has given you your very own purpose. He wants to protect you and keep you and he is preparing a place for you to spend eternity with him. And, this is not hard, it is a free gift that Jesus purchased for you by dying on the cross for all of your sins. His sacrifice took all of your sins and made you pure so that you are now a vessel made for the Spirit of Jesus Christ, God himself. You will never be alone again and you are bought for eternity.

Julie Ethridge