Phil Cox

Miscellaneous


(Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)

Home page
Recent Columns
Previous Series
Phil's background
Preaching engagements
Creation and science
Miscellaneous
Contact Phil

Links
Stubbington Baptist Church
Acorn Christian Healing Foundation
Evangelical Alliance Basis of Faith

Good News People - Part 1

15th May 2009

Please bear with me as I start by saying two very obvious things.

1. Jesus taught the Gospel – the Good News

2. The Church is called to do the same thing

I mention this because it's so easy to be negative, instead of positive, to complain instead of giving praise. But Jesus came to bring good news. In the gospels, we often find verses like these:

Matthew 4v23
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

Matthew 9:35
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.

Jesus came to Earth to preach Good News, and to be Good News. He said:

Luke 4v18-19
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.".

And the early Church followed Jesus's example:

Acts 5v25
Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.

Acts 8v35
Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

Acts11v19-20
Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus.

And so must we.

The message that the church brings is good news. We must resist the temptation to spend too long bemoaning what’s wrong, and instead, we must celebrate what’s good.

We don’t need to dwell on the state of our country – we know it’s in a bad way. We’ve analysed the problems many times. We need to bring the answer to the problems.

We can focus on how impossible it seems to bring our nation back to God – to see revival again in our land. Or we can celebrate the fact that God specialises in the impossible. Nothing is too difficult for God! Revival is always impossible, but God does it! That’s Good News!

Let’s speak faith to one another:

  • We could say “God is all powerful, but the nation has turned away from God”.
  • Or we could say “The nation has turned away from God, but God is all powerful”.

We can focus on the problem, or we can focus on the solution:

Matthew 14v22-33
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It’s a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid."
"Lord, if it’s you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.
Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

When Peter looked at Jesus, he could do the impossible - he could literally walk on water. When he looked at the wind, he was afraid, and began to sink.

And we're the same, if we concentrate on the things that trouble us, we sink, but if we focus on the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, the resurrected Christ, the Prince of Peace, we grow in faith and expectation.

And we achieve great things in His name.

More on this next week.