The Simple Good News
Left to ourselves, we all have broken relationship with God, however, God has made a way to restore this relationship.
Relationships are based on what we share in common with another person. Specifically, relationships are based on our shared values.
The God that made this world is good. The highest value that God lives by is beneficial love for others. God is also interested that people share this value.
Problem and Solution
However, we have all chosen our own selfish value system. From infancy our motivation has been selfish, to get what we wanted. Left to ourselves, we don’t know how to be any other way. This selfishness of people is the cause of all broken and damaged relationships in this world. It also breaks our relationship with God. It makes us rebellious against the way that God wants us to live.
God sent Jesus to bring a solution to this problem. Jesus came to teach us beneficial love and to demonstrate it with his life. He came to establish a new spiritual kingdom for all people. Jesus is the king, and he offers a way for all people to enter into his kingdom and to have relationship with him.
The way it works
God sent Jesus. Although we don't know how, Jesus is both fully God, and was fully human.
God wants to forgive the rebelliousness of our selfish values. In response, we must be willing to give up our own value system and adopt God’s value system of beneficial love. Making this change is challenging for us because it is not in our nature, but God gives us strength to grow in this change.
If we do not choose to respond to this offer of forgiveness, we will be dead to God. Death is a relational term because it clearly describes the (dead) state of our relationship. This death is the simple consequence of our selfish values. Our choice continues indefinitely and even to the afterlife. The effect is loneliness, some now, but intensely so in the afterlife.
The offer to come into God’s kingdom is free to us, although it came at great cost to God. Jesus had to die to make our forgiveness possible. In his death, he took the consequence that we instead deserved. This is because for a time he was cut off from relationship with God. note After a couple of days Jesus returned to complete life; this was convincing physical evidence of what he had also done for our relationship with God. Because he conquered death, he showed that that our hope for life is a certainty.
This is what happens in forgiveness! The forgiver absorbs the cost of the relationship consequence from the offense. The offender is unable to undo an offense after the time that it happens. It is as if they owe a relationship debt to the other. Only the forgiver can restore the relationship by taking up this cost on themselves.
See also about Forgiveness
The good news is simple: there is a part you believe and there is a part you do. The part you believe is what God has done for you, that God lived this value system of love for you. The part that you do is to start learning and living God's value system for others.
So, please choose to become a follower of Jesus