What is the Good News?

Pure Milk
1 Peter 2:1-3 ESV

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Another name for the gospel of Jesus Christ is the “Good News.” And, what is this “Good News”? It is that Jesus Christ “bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Pet. 2:24). It is that he delivered us out of bondage to sin, so that sin no longer has mastery over our lives. And, he gave us new lives in Jesus Christ, and he has empowered us to live godly and holy lives.

Sin destroys lives. It destroys relationships, families and marriages. It causes harm to others. And, it separates us from God. So, Jesus made the way for us to be free from the control of sin over our lives and to now live to please him with our lives. By his grace, through God-given faith in him, we are empowered to put away sin from our lives and to long for the purity of the truth from his Word, which is where we learn about our Lord and his will for our lives, so that by his power we can grow to maturity in our walks of faith and become the people of God who he created us to be.

Living Stones
1 Peter 2:4-8 ESV

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”

and

“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

Under the Old Covenant Relationship God had with his people, the temple of God was a physical building. Today the temple of God is the followers of Jesus Christ, who have been delivered out of their slavery to sin. It is a spiritual structure, not a physical one, and we are its stones, with Jesus Christ as our chief cornerstone, our foundation and the source of our faith.

We are God’s house, which is a spiritual house. And, we are being built up to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Holy means to be set apart to God and to be separate from the world of sin, because we are being made to be like Christ. It means we no longer live the way we did before we believed in Jesus Christ. We no longer follow after the pattern of the world of sin, but we now follow Jesus Christ with our lives.

As priests of our God, we now offer our lives as living sacrifices to God, holy and pleasing to him, which is our acceptable worship of him. We are no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we are transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from living for sin and self to now living to please our Lord in every way (See: Rom. 12:1-2).

But, not everyone believes in Jesus Christ. To us, he is our precious cornerstone, the foundation of our faith, and the reason we are able to walk in freedom from sin and to live to his righteousness. But, to others, he is an offense and an obstacle to them, which they trip over, because they refuse to believe, and thus they disobey him to their own destruction.

A Chosen Race
1 Peter 2:9-10 ESV

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

When Jesus Christ gave his life up for us on that cross so that we could be delivered from our bondage to sin, he bought us back for God (he redeemed us) with his blood shed on a cross for our sins. Thus, we who believe in him are no longer our own, but we are his possession, his people, created to be like him in true righteousness and holiness. Our lives now belong to him, so we are to honor God with our lives. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (See: 2 Co. 5:15, 21).

When we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we are delivered from darkness (sin, wickedness, Satan) and we are brought into his light (truth, righteousness, God). Amen! So, now we are to proclaim to others how they, too, can be turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God so that they can receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (See: Acts 26:16-18).

As Sojourners
1 Peter 2:11-12 ESV

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, God removes us from the world of sin, but not from the people of the world, for we are to be the light to the world in telling them how they, too, can come to know Jesus Christ and be saved from their sins. He removes us, instead, from the power and strength of influence the world once had over our lives so that we now walk by the Spirit of God and no longer live to please our flesh. But, we have to walk in the freedom he has given us and not revert back to following after the ways of our sinful flesh.

So, while we still live on this earth, we are to live as though we are strangers, aliens, who do not belong here, for heaven is now our home, and the earth is just our temporary place of dwelling. We should no longer be engrossed in the ways of this sinful world, but we should honor and glorify God with our lives. For, he is now our life, and our lives are hidden in him.

Thus, we should, by the power and the working of God’s Holy Spirit, who now lives within us, abstain from partaking in the sins of the flesh. And, we should be walking in the Spirit, to please God with our lives. We can’t do this in our flesh, though, but only as empowered by God’s Spirit. He will give us all we need to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly (fleshly) passions (lusts) and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives, while we await our Lord’s return (Tit. 2:11-14). We just have to submit our lives to God and yield to the Lordship of Christ in our lives, resist Satan, and draw near to God.

Full Release
An Original Work / April 15, 2012

Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.

Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
through salvation,
By His Spirit, from above.

Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 1:31 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from Your Word. I pray we will take these words to heart and obey them.

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