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The Gospel (Lesson 1)
A Promise of Good News | Acts 13:32
"And now we proclaim to you the good news!"
The gospel is a promise of good news.
The word gospel in the Bible comes from a very old Greek word that was used to announce something that would cause people to celebrate, such as the victory of a King who had defeated an invading army.
When the Bible announces good news to us, it causes us to celebrate, too.
Why? Because the Bible also reveals bad news.
The bad news is that after the first humans were created, they rebelled against the ways of the Creator-King. In their rebellion against the ways of the King, they became traitors.
A traitor is someone who refuses to follow the King's wisdom. Another word the Bible uses for traitor is sinner. A sinner isn't just someone who has broken a rule. A sinner is someone who has acted in a way that deserves the consequences of treason.
The consequence of treason is severe. In fact, the King's law requires traitors to die for their offenses. You can see how this is very, very bad news!
In contrast to this bad news, the Bible proclaims good news. The King himself, Jesus, came into the world to suffer the consequences of our treason.
That is what the cross is about. It is why he had to die a traitor's death. He did it for us.
The good news is, when you admit that you've acted like a traitor, and trust what Jesus did that he did it for you, you not only are fully forgiven but also reconciled to a God who now treasures you as his own son or daughter.
This is good news. It's the best news. News worthy of celebration!
Not only that, but the good news is a powerful motivator that gives us a new desire to follow and honor our Savior-King Jesus in every area of our lives–to the praise of his kindness, mercy, and grace.
Discuss the Lesson
What does the word "gospel" mean?
What is the bad news that the Bible reveals to us?
How does the concept of sin as treason change the way you see your sin?
How does a King's victory help you understand the good news of the gospel?
How does the good news of the gospel motivate us to follow and honor Jesus in our lives?
Why is the good news of the gospel worthy of celebration?
A Suggested Prayer
Dear Father in heaven,
Thank you for the good news of the gospel. We confess that we have acted like traitors, rebelling against your ways and deserving the consequences of our sins. But we thank you, Lord, that you sent your son Jesus to suffer and die in our place, taking upon himself the punishment that we deserved.
We give you all the praise, honor, and glory, now and forever.
In Jesus' name, Amen.