Updated: Aug 20, 2020
"I think I really met Jesus and it was the best kind of bad."
That phrase, "best kind of bad" has stuck with me in my walk with Christ for years. It was originally uttered after a summer of intentional discipleship under a group of godly men who showed me what it really meant to submit to the Lordship of Christ.
As a young college student I loved Jesus but was arrogant, foolish, and determined to only learn by making mistakes! The summer I spent being discipled revealed to me that to really walk with the Lord was to be confronted by the Word of God and by the Spirit in a way that leaves you crushed but hopeful. Like Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4... "struck down, but not destroyed".
The gospel represents the worst news imaginable AND the best news possible - all at once!
Ephesians 2:1-5 says,
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ..."
The bad news is that each one of us is a ruined, spiritually bankrupt sinner, separated from God. DEAD in our sins. As in lifeless. This is the first foundational truth of the gospel - that we have sinned, were born into sin in fact, and this means we are doomed. This realization should hit us heavily and cause sadness and remorse. And if not for the second foundational truth of the gospel, this bad news would leave us hopeless.
That's when the good news swoops in and rescues us. That God is so rich in mercy that by the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross and through the power of His resurrection, we can be made clean and righteous through repentance and faith! God's justice and mercy perfectly balanced in the person and work of Jesus create a way for us to be alive and reunited with God, forgiven and free to pursue Him now and in eternity.
The tension of the good/bad news is where the Christ follower lives. That we are unworthy of God's love or mercy yet also full recipients of His grace in Christ by faith. I once heard our hopelessness described like this:
If you had drowned and were dead on the bottom of the ocean floor and someone on a boat threw a life ring overboard, would that help you? NO! You're dead. You can't do anything. Your only hope is that someone swims down, pulls you up and does CPR to bring you back to life! (bad news)
This is precisely what Jesus does for those who cling to him by faith and walk with him in obedience. (good news)
The temptation will always be to make the gospel ALL good news - but to diminish the truth of our absolutely desperate condition in life diminishes the work of Christ on the cross. What's more, if you are in Christ, you do not have to fear facing the deepest and darkest parts of your soul. Jesus already stared them down and took them with him up the hill at Calvary!
So the best kind of bad news is the kind that has already been fixed better than it was before. And that kind of good/bad news is only TRULY found in Jesus.
That's what we will seek to do here on the Good/Bad blog: examine life and the world through the lens of scripture and the gospel to find the redeemed truth in a fallen world.
Our goal is to be incisive and encouraging without being worldly or fluffy - to face the bad news of living in a fallen world with the rich truth of Jesus's victory as our foundation.
To God be the glory!