In the ancient world, after the defeat of an enemy army, it was necessary to take the good news across the country. Runners would go to every town and city to declare the good news. In each place, their message gave great joy to the people who were anxiously waiting for news. Their country would know peace and safety from its enemies (Isaiah 52:7).
By his own death, Christ defeated the devil (Hebrews 2:14-15). He frees Godís people from the punishment for their evil deeds, from death and from fear. He makes people who were formerly Godís enemies into the children of God. God forgives them and he has the most wonderful plans for their future.
That is good news, of course, for those sincere people who have long prayed for God to do these things (Luke 1:68-75). However, most people do not live like that. Perhaps they live to please themselves; perhaps they even choose to serve the devil. We ask whether the gospel, the good news about Christ, can be good news for them too.
In Mark 2:17, Christ said that he did not only come to help good people. Rather, Christ came to save (rescue) people who have wandered away from God (Luke 19:10). God wants them to turn from their evil deeds so that he can forgive them (Ezekiel 18:30-32; Luke 7:36-50). God wants them to invite Christ into their lives, so that they will be his people (John 1:12).
That was good news for the people who became Christians in Ephesus. Previously, many of them had used magic (Acts 19:17-20). God warns strongly against that (Deuteronomy 18:10-12); Such practices give the devil power over peopleís lives (compare 1 Corinthians 10:19-21). However, when people become Christians, God changes their lives completely (2:1-13). God frees them from the devilís power (6:11). So, Ephesusís Christians knew that the good news of the gospel really was for them, too.
Next part: One Spirit (Ephesians 2:18)
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© 2018, Keith Simons.