The news is chock-full of stories about war, new diseases, corruption in politics, and all other sorts of negativity. Good news is sadly rare at five o’clock on your local station, but it’s something we all hope to hear. Bad news wasn’t in short supply in the ancient world, either. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul had a lot of good news. It’s the same good news for us today….

[Related: Jesus and Fake News]

The Good News Is That Jesus Came to Rescue Us

Here’s some bad news: the Bible says people are slaves to the kingdom of darkness. But good news comes with it.

Colossians 1:13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son…

When we don’t follow Jesus Christ, we’re citizens of the “kingdom of darkness.” But God didn’t want to leave the Colossians in that place. So He sent Jesus to rescue them. This isn’t just true of the Colossians, but of all people in all times and places. God wants to transfer all of us “into the kingdom of His dear Son.” And it gets better:

The Good News Changes Lives Everywhere It Goes

Paul hadn’t even met the Colossians when he wrote this letter, but he heard of all the good happening there.

Colossians 1:6 This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

And he had more good news for the Colossians: good things weren’t just happening in their city, but all over the world. Paul knew, because he’d seen firsthand how the good news of Jesus changes how people see the world. How Paul saw the world had been changed.

The Good News Changes the Way Believers See Reality

The good news of Jesus changes us. It gives us a new perspective on living.

Colossians 1:9-10 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

As citizens of a new kingdom, we live to honor God and we grow into the people He truly made us to be. This is because we’re like a branch that’s been moved from a sick tree and grafted into a healthy one. The life from the good tree (Jesus) nourishes us, and we bear fruit. This is why people who follow Jesus become kinder, why they are able to break long-standing addictions, or how their broken marriages are healed.

The Good News Changes What Is Actually True About Us

The last of the good news is that more than our perspectives change. What is actually true about us changes.

Colossians 1:12-14 He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

On the outside, we see Christians who become better people. But this is because of that fruit metaphor from above, which is a picture of what has happened: God has forgiven us of our sins because we have trusted Jesus Christ. And when our sins are forgiven, we start on the path of being re-created into the people God wants us to be – this is why Jesus talked about being “born again” (John 3:3).

[Related: What Does It Mean to Be “Born Again”?]

So don’t let the evening news keep you down. There’s good news for the world today, and it’s been good news for 2,000 years. Jesus has come to rescue us! Have you let Him rescue you?

Talk About It

  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Do you follow the news? Why or why not?
  3. Read Colossians 1:13. In your own words, what is “the gospel”? When was the first time you really understood it?
  4. What do you think it means to live in the “kingdom of darkness” versus the “kingdom of light?” Is it just about being a good, moral person versus being a bad or immoral person? Explain.
  5. Share a story of someone’s life that was changed after hearing the good news of Jesus. How does your story compare?
  6. Read Colossians 1:9-12. How has the message of Jesus changed your perspective on life? Give an example.
  7. What does it mean that the message of Jesus changes what is actually true about us? How would you communicate that to someone who struggled with guilt or shame?
  8. Read John 3:3. Why do you think Jesus describes faith as a type of “rebirth?” What should all of us take away from this teaching of Jesus?
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

Written content for this topic by Daniel Martin.