The Good News of The Kingdom:
The Hope set Before us.
Friday, July 27, 2012
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The Bible has much to say about "news." It tells us about "glad tidings," which is an archaic phrase that we find in the King Jams Bible, meaning "good news." You will find it in Luke 1:19; Luke 8:1; Acts 13:32 and Romans 10:15.
This is Paul Billington speaking with you this week, and I would like to talk for a minute about the Bible's good news, or Gospel of the Kingdom of Israel. While the world continues to depress us with its bad news - it is worth our while to take a break from the news of the world, and to think about the glad tidings announced in Luke chapter One. First to Zacharias, and then to the young woman Mary. In both cases the good news concerned the birth of a child: In the one case John Baptist who was to "make ready a people for the Lord," and then in the next case the birth of Jesus, who was so named says Matthew 1:21, because "he shall save his people from their sins."
But who were "his people?" The prophecy uttered by Zacharias in Luke 1:68-71 makes this clear. Let us consider the words of this section carefully. Zacharias said:
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
So we see that "the Lord God OF ISRAEL" is to redeem his people. This is in fulfillment of the promises, covenant and oath made to Abraham. John, the child who Zacharias is referring to, was to be a teacher - he would give knowledge of salvation, he would give "light" and guidance to Israel, and he would do this to prepare the way of the Lord (verse 76).
So there was first a period of instruction - of preparation. Then the Lord Jesus enters the scene proclaiming his good news. In Luke 8:1 we read:
"And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him."
But the Kingdom did not immediately appear. It was proclaimed in Judea, and then it was a message taken throughout the Roman (Gentile) world. In Acts 13:23 there was the news of Christ's resurrection from death. Jesus was promised the throne of his father (ancestor) David (Luke 1:32, 33) and that he would rule over the house of Jacob (the Jews) for ever… "of his kingdom there shall be no end."
So the apostles maintained that all the promises were to be fulfilled by a resurrection from the dead. Acts 13:32, 33 says:
"And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."
So the Good News of the kingdom is still the real hope of true Christianity. It involves the preparation of a people, the redemption of Israel and the restoration of the throne and kingdom of David in Israel. It is also good news - or "gospel" - for Gentiles who are invited to share in the promises by belief and baptism. Let us then step aside from the news of the day, and focus more attention on the news of the Bible.
Join us again next week God willing. www.bibleinthenews.com
Printed: Friday, July 27, 2012
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