No message deserves the name "gospel" which does not set forth the good news that everything the thrice holy God required for the salvation of His people was fully and finally accomplished by the substitutionary sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. He satisfied the demands of a broken law for His people when for our sins He suffered, bled and died. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Galatians 3:13). The strokes of divine justice fell upon that blessed One Who died upon the cross in the stead of His people. The salvation of a chosen race was conditioned upon His obedience "unto death, even the death of the cross." God Almighty looked to His Son for complete satisfaction to His every demand and He was not disappointed.
It is not good news to set before me any conditions which I must meet before sin can be put away and God can declare me to be righteous. If you lay down certain ceremonies I must observe, spiritual advances I must make, specific duties I must perform or rigid precepts I must obey, you give me no hope at all; in fact, you mock me in my misery. If my salvation is dependent upon any contribution on my part, I must forevermore be lost because I am a sinful man, alienated from God because of my iniquities and there is no possibility of me ever winning His favor.
"The gospel of the blessed God" is good news for helpless sinners because it declares, "salvation is of the LORD." He appointed a people unto salvation and the Lord Jesus has cancelled the indebtedness of all the chosen ones. By His death He removed their sins and brought in everlasting righteousness. The exalted Sovereign sends to them the Holy Spirit Who grants to His people life, repentance and faith. He gives them the blessed assurance that Christ accomplished everything that needed to be done to justify them before God. This is a salvation conditioned, not upon the sinner, but upon Christ. Here is good news indeed!
--- Pastor Jim Byrd
NONE GOOD, NO NOT ONE
I once read a statement by a group that said, “We operate from the belief that everyone is essentially good.” I thought this a bit contradictory since it was given in a statement of policy concerning dealing with problems between individuals! If all people are “essentially good,” then why all the problems among them in the world: the wars, the crime, the conflicts between individuals, the mistrust and on and on? But what is worse, this same principle is at the core of most all religious beliefs. Yet the word of truth is clear. God who knows man far better than we know ourselves says, “There is none good, no not one…” The “good heart” that most claim to have is the seat of all bad, all evil according to God. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9) The hearts of men are “desperately wicked” and most deceitful, deceiving us into imagining we are essentially good. Christ said, “For out of the heartproceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:” (Matt. 15:19) If we were essentially good instead of evil, self-deceived sinners, there would have been no need for a Savior such as Christ! Our self-righteousness is not righteousness at all in God’s sight but sin. Therefore, if we are saved, we must be “made righteous” through the imputed righteousness of Christ. Christ alone is “essentially good.” He is the only sinless, perfect and good man essentially that ever lived in this world. The righteous we read of in scripture are only righteous in Him! It is no wonder that false religion offers its faulty remedies and ways of salvation, it denies the true condition of man. I have often heard people deny God’s election, predestination, effectual calling, and salvation through an imputed righteousness, saying they do not believe them. The truth is, they do not believe what God says about them! If we are spiritually dead sinners with no righteousness of our own, deceived, blind, helpless and unable to save ourselves, then these precious truths are essential! A man that would have been called a “good man” by most came to Jesus and asked, “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thoume good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” (Mark 10:17,18) Christ is the GodMan and essentially good and none are looked at as good but those in Him. In Christ, believers are good, perfectly righteous, in God's sight. “As He is, so are we in this world.” (I John 4:17)