Anyone opening the Bible for the first time would immediately notice it is divided into two distinct sections called, The Old Testament and The New Testament. You probably know that a testament is an old English word now called, a Will. It is a legal document drawn up for the purpose of distributing the assets of an individually at their passing. The Bible calls these two sections, the Old and New Covenant.
You also probably know that the word "Gospel" means, "good news" and that the gospel is the focal point of the New Testament. What you may not know is why the Gospel of Jesus Christ is called Good News. How can the sad biography of the exceptional and virtuous young Jewish man named Jesus who was arrested, charged, and executed in the most brutal and cruel method known to men for things of which he was completely innocent; be called, Good News?
Six hundred years before Jesus came into the world, the prophet Jeremiah prophesied of the New Covenant which makes up the substance of the New Testament. He writes, "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: --- For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." (Jeremiah 31: 10-12. also recorded in the New Testament - Heb. 8:10-12 ) In this prophecy is found the reason that the gospel is Good News.
The word "merciful" in the New Testament is translated from the Greek word usually translated "propitious". In this case it means that Jesus did not die on the cross for his own transgressions but for the sins of every man, woman, and child who ever lived on planet earth. Furthermore, notice the phrase, "their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more. No more! Can you even imagine what this means? Praise be to God it has eternal implications.
From these two phrases it is crystal clear why the Gospel is such very good news. When the terms of the new covenant are met, our sins are deleted from the very memory of God - forever, because Jesus Christ was the propitiation for all our sins. (Rom.3:25)
Pastor Gene Holman of Living Word Fellowship in Gardnerville is a member of Carson Valley Ministers' Association.