First Things @ First

Ministry Perspectives,

We have certainly had our fair share of bad news over the past few months. There has also been a little good news sprinkled in to keep us going if you know where to look for it. When you think about it, life on earth is filled with both bad and better circumstances. It's been that way throughout the history of the world and there is no indication at least until Jesus returns that things will be all that different.

That said, the Word of God gives us both good news and bad news, as well. I was reminded of that a few days ago when I read Romans 6:23. The Word of God says in that verse, "For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

That verse is familiar among those involved with our youth group under Pastor Cody's teaching.

In this verse you have both mentioned. First the bad news because no one wants to be left with a discouraging note. The bad news as it is revealed in the Word of God is that the wage of sin is death. Most everyone understands what a wage is, or at least they should. A wage is something that is earned. A wage may be earned through time and/or effort invested. The Bible makes clear that the wage of sin is death. As human beings grow older there is inherent within all the natural tendency to choose wrong over right. The Bible calls that behavior sin. Sin occurs when I understand what is right and what is best from God's perspective and subsequently choose to do what is wrong and bad concerning His purpose for my life. Every time I am confronted with what is right and do what is wrong, I commit sin against God and that behavior earns a wage of condemnation (John 3:18). The bad news is that sin has a devastating effect on the spirit, soul, and body of every human being. Sin rewards the sinner with death. Because of sin, the body is perishing daily. Like a garment that is worn daily, the body soon wears thin and then wears out because of sin's effect on this world and everything in it. When Paul speaks of the death described in Romans 6:23, he is speaking more specifically to the death of the spirit and ultimately the death of the soul if left unchecked by grace through faith. Therefore, sin's wage is death, both physically and spiritually for all eternity.

That is the bad news that affects every human being in this world for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

However, there is good news in the Bible, as well! And it is really good news when you understand just how bad the bad news is!

The rest and best of Romans 6:23 says, '...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Now there's a hallelujah moment IF you have embraced the good news of the gospel. IF you have not yet, the good news is you may today. For the Word of God says that whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13). Saved from what?

DEATH! That thing that anyone in their right mind seeks to avoid at all cost! Or do they? While just a guess, for every one hundred thousand people who would do everything in their power to avoid physical death, there are only a few by comparison who are willing to do what is required to be saved from eternal death. Many in this world who desire to avoid death and often go to great lengths to lengthen their life on earth pay little or no mind to how they may avoid the much more devastating experience of death upon their spirit and soul. That makes no sense at all! I read once many years ago that sin is insanity! How true! Yet, such is the case for anyone and everyone who prefers to earn the wage of sin rather than embrace the gift of grace.

The absolute worst news in this world is that the wages of sin is death BUT the absolute best news in this world is that the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ as Lord! That means that you and I must surrender ourselves fully to God's purpose in life IF we hope to find and fulfill God's purpose for life. Anyone willing to yield their will to His in trusting faith will be saved! THAT'S GOOD NEWS! On the other hand, everyone who is unwilling to yield their will to His in trusting faith will perish! THAT'S BAD NEWS!

If you find yourself caught up in the continuing cycle of bad news, THEN hear some good news.

Jesus saves to the uttermost those who give themselves freely to Him (Hebrews 7:25)! No one can ever be too bad to be saved by grace, BUT anyone can be too good so long as they continue to hold onto their goodness instead of choosing to be held by grace (Romans 3:1-12).

Thank God there's good news from His Word in a world of bad news! The good news overcomes/overwhelms the bad news of this world! That is worth passing along in a world that finds itself in the grip of death and groaning under the weight as a consequence.

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel (good news) of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew and the Gentile." Romans 1:16

If you enjoy hearing good news, (and who doesn't) then pass it on before the opportunity passes away!

Be steadfast in service!

Pstr K

Hebrews 10:35-36