The Gospel of Jesus is Good News. That is what "gospel" means in Greek. It is the good news because Jesus has removed the requirements of keeping the Law in order to obtain salvation and that through Jesus, we can obtain eternal life. Jesus made it possible for people to receive the free and complete gift of salvation by faith. Our father Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6). It was his faith in God that made Abraham righteous before God, not keeping the law, not keeping the commandments. The Law of God is perfect because God is perfect. The Law is a reflection of the character of God. It is wrong to lie because lying is against God's character. It is wrong to steal because stealing is against God's character. That is why the Law tells us what is wrong. God is not arbitrary and neither is His Law. Though the Law is good and perfect, no man can keep it perfectly. No person can keep the Law. Jesus taught us that to even look on a woman with lust in your heart is to commit adultery with her (Matt 5:27-28). You see, the Law of God is not simply to govern actions. It is for our hearts and attitudes. Purity of heart is what God wants from us. Purity of heart down to the deepest part of our being. Why? Because God's heart is the Purest and Most Holy of all. And since the Law was spoken by Him and came from Him, the Law is Perfect and Holy. That is the level of perfection you must have when trying to keep the Law. However, we are not able to keep the Law. We sin. We fail. The Law says do not lie, but shows us where we lie -- in our very hearts. It says do not commit adultery, but shows us where we commit adultery -- in our hearts. The Law of God is perfect. We are not. God is perfect and Holy. We are not. We are not able to keep the Law of God because we are finite, limited, and affected by sin. How can anyone ever hope to please God through keeping the Law? How can anyone ever hope to please God and attain heaven by doing good deeds? It is not ourselves that we must please, but a Holy and Pure God.
The Good News
The Good News is that you do not have to try and keep the Law of God to please Him. You do not have to try and raise yourself to the level of God's Perfection by trying to keep His Holy and Perfect Law. You cannot do that. If you thought you could, then your heart is full of pride. What you can not do, Jesus did do. He kept all the Law perfectly (John 15:13). Jesus laid his life down for his friends. Jesus performed the greatest act of love in the universe. He died for our sins. He paid the penalty of breaking the Law, which is death. If this were not so, there would be no damnation. Jesus took our sins and died on the cross in our place (I Pet 2;24). This great act of love is unsurpassed in all the world. It means that you can, like Abraham (Gen. 15:6), be righteous by faith. All you need is faith in Jesus. Are you tired of trying to keep all the Laws in Islam as you strive to do more good deeds than bad deeds in the hope that on the Day of Judgment your good deeds will outweigh your bad? Because you earn in large part your salvation, you cannot know whether or not you will be saved. If you are tired of trying to be perfect, of trying to obtain Paradise through your works, then you need Jesus. Jesus said, "If any of you are heavy laden, come to me, and I will give you rest," (Matt. 11:28). Jesus forgave sins in Luke 5:20 and 7:48-49. He walked on water (Matt. 14:25). He rose from the dead (Matt. 28:6). Have you done more than He in keeping the Law or performing miracles? Has even the Prophet Muhammad done more than Jesus? The Good News is that you, like Abraham, can be made righteous by faith. Do you want the righteousness that is by faith? Or, do you want to earn Paradise through your deeds? Can you earn it? Have you done it so far? Have you been doing enough?
that He gives eternal life, (John 10:28-30).
that He received all authority in heaven and earth, (Matt. 28:18).
that He is the Way the Truth and The Life, (John 14:6).
that He will resurrect people on the Last Day, (John 6:40, 44, 54).
that the Holy Spirit bears witness of Him, (John 15:26).
Do you want to try and please God through keeping the Law of Allah or by the grace of Christ? Is the greatest act of love to ask you to earn heaven through good deeds or is it to be a sacrifice in order to give to you what you cannot attain yourself? In which is the greatest act of love? If you want the eternal life that Jesus can give you, then trust what He did on the cross and do not rely on your own works to please God. Trust Jesus by faith. It is not Muhammad who forgives sins. Jesus does that (Luke 5:20; 7:48-49). Jesus said, "Believe in God. Believe also in me," (John 14:1). Like Abraham, be righteous in God's eyes . . by faith.
Till next week then, be blessed by the name of Jesus our Lord and saviour.