Inside View Jan/Feb 2020
The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry is an evangelical organization. We share the gospel with everyone willing to listen. The word evangelical comes from the Greek evangelion, meaning “good news” or “gospel.” An evangelical is someone who shares the Good News of salvation through Christ with others. The message is part of our DNA, and we would not be living up to our evangelical identity if we failed to share it.
The apostle Peter commanded us to be ready always to tell people about the hope within us (1 Pet. 3:15). I’m grateful for every opportunity to share the greatest news I ever received: that Jesus Christ died for my sins so that, by faith in Him, I can have a relationship with God for eternity.
The Bible teaches our relationship with God broke when Adam sinned, and the only way to restore it is by faith in God’s Messiah. This concept was first revealed in the Old Testament, where God unveiled His plan for mankind’s salvation: “The just shall live by his faith” (Hab. 2:4). Living by faith is so important that the New Testament stresses it in three places: Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; and Hebrews 10:38.
The Old Testament explains vital aspects of God’s redemptive plan. We see it is God alone who provides a Son of Promise to defeat the great rebel, Satan, and reverse the consequences of humanity’s fateful decision to join Satan’s rebellion against the Creator (Gen. 3).
Through the prophet Isaiah, we learn we are all unclean, and even our best behavior is insufficient to pay our debt for sin. Our good deeds are like filthy rags to God (Isa. 64:6). He sees us as unrighteous sinners, and no amount of good works can remove our sins and restore our relationship with Him. We are all like sheep who have gone astray (53:6).
In Leviticus, we learn that God, who judges us for sin, also provides a way of escape through blood sacrifice. God says the blood that gives us life is the only thing that can pay our sin debt and atone for our souls (17:11).
The Law defined the concept of redemption: Only a near kinsman could buy back a relative’s property by paying his debt. For our sin debt to be paid in full, someone without sin would have to shed his blood for us. This person must be related to us physically to qualify as our kinsman-redeemer.
Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord gave us a sign: A virgin would conceive and bear a son who would be called Immanuel, meaning “God with us” (Isa. 7:14). To be sinless, he would have to be born without sin and live a sinless life. To be born without sin, he would have to be virgin-born. To live a sinless life, he would have to be God Himself. To be the Messiah, he would have to be from the lineage of Jesse, King David’s father; and the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord would rest on him (11:1–2).
Isaiah foretold that God’s promised Son would be “wounded for our transgressions” and “bruised for our iniquities” (53:5). We can be healed by His suffering because the Lord laid our iniquity on Him (v. 6). Psalm 22 describes the personal agony He would endure for us.
God promised to bless the nations through Abraham’s Seed (Gen. 12:3). God’s Servant, the Messiah, not only would bring Israel back to Him in repentance, but He also would be a light to the Gentiles; and His salvation would reach to the ends of the earth (Isa. 49:5–6).
This is the Good News of life everlasting through faith in the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. As evangelicals, we share this wonderful message. It is one of greatest importance for me, my family, my community, and the world. And it’s a message revealed in both Testaments of the Bible.
I pray you have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation. If you have not and would like to know more, you can check out Who Is Jesus? on our website at whoisjesus.foi.org.