Everyday we are bombarded with bad news in our newspapers and on our televisions. I would imagine that early in the first century, living under Roman occupation, with the narrow city streets of Jerusalem reverberating with the sound of marching Roman soldiers and the hillsides dotted with victims hung on crosses, the people of Judah surely became depressed with all the bad news in their day, too. Then one Sabbath, in the small synagogue of Nazareth, the son of the local carpenter’s widow stood and read from the prophet Isaiah. When He sat down, He announced that Isaiah’s prophetic words were fulfilled in Himself that very day! He had come to proclaim Good News!
I. GOOD NEWS OF FORGIVENESS OF SIN
“He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor”
- According to Matthew 5:3, Revelation 3:14-17 and 2 Corinthians 8:9, who are the poor?
- Why do we need forgiveness? See Genesis 2:16-17, Genesis 3:6-19, 23-24; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23.
- What was the price God paid to offer us forgiveness of sin? Give phrases from: Hebrews 9:22; Ephesians 1:7; Acts 4:11-12; 1 Peter 1:18-19.
- How do we obtain forgiveness from God for our sin? See John 3:16, John 14:6 and I John 2:2.
- Write out the unique aspect of the Good News that is announced in each of the following verses: Romans 5:6-8; John 3:16-18; Romans 6:23; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 10:17; John 1:12; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 1:13-14; Hebrews 13:5; John 14:1-3; Revelation 21:3-4.
- Look at Acts 2:21; 2 Peter 3:9 and I Timothy 2:3-6. To whom does God make His offer of salvation?
- Describe in your own words the first time you heard the Good News of forgiveness of sin. Who announced the Good News to you? When did you accept God’s offer of forgiveness?
II. UNANSWERED PRAYER DISPLAYS HIS GLORY
“He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of
sight for the blind, to release the oppressed”
- From the following verses, explain how someone can see, yet be blind: John 9:39-41; Matthew 7:3-5; 2 Peter 1:5-9; James 1:22-25; Revelation 3:15-17.
- What are some specific things that oppress people or hold them captive? Romans 6:12, 16, 7:22-24; Hebrews 2:14, 15.
- What things that blind you, or hold you captive and oppressed, hindering you from freely living for Christ.
- From the following verses, give phrases that encourage those who are oppressed: Matthew 11:28-30; Hosea 11:4; Nahum 1:13; Zephaniah 3:17-20; Matthew 1:21; John 10:10, I Corinthians 1:21; Hebrews 9:15; Galatians 5:11; Romans 8:1.
- Which of these verses will you share this week with someone who is held captive, blind, or oppressed?
III. GOOD NEWS OF FAVOR WITH GOD
“to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor”
- Using Deuteronomy 28:1-14 as a guide, make a comprehensive list of all the blessings God has poured out on America.
- What are some of the warnings that God gives in Deuteronomy 28:15-58 that America would do well to heed? Name the warnings that you believe are already being fulfilled.
- If our nation is sliding into judgment and losing God’s favor, what should she do, according to 2 Chronicles 7:13-14?
- What encouragement do you receive from 2 Chronicles 7:15?
- How were these promises claimed by Daniel, then fulfilled by God? See Daniel 9:1-6, 17-19 and Ezra 1:1-4.
- If God blessed Judah when Daniel cried out to Him on her behalf, do you think this could be the year of God’s blessing –if those called by His name would pray?
- What are some of the conditions that Israel needed to meet in order to receive the Lord’s blessings, according to Deuteronomy 6:5-9, 18, 24-25 and Deuteronomy 7:9-15?
- Although we are saved through grace and not by obeying the law (see Romans 8:3-4) what do you need to do in a practical way to live in accordance with God’s standards as seen in the above passages?
- What two conditions need to be met in order to receive all God’s spiritual blessings from Ephesians 1:4? Have you met those conditions?
- From Ephesians 1:1-23, list at least 10 of the blessings God offers. Explain what each one means to you.
- Consider Romans 11:33-36 ; Ephesians 1:16-19; Philippians 4:19 and John 1:14, 16.
- What phrases indicate God’s supply of blessings that He is able to pour out on all who belong to Him?
In a world of despair and increasing hopelessness, it’s time for Good News! Would you announce it? Would you present Jesus to the world between your own two feet?