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The Best News

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

“The Best News”

Series: Gospel Tools for Gospel People [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

February 27, 2022

Introductory Comments:

We are continuing our series called “Gospel Tools for Gospel People.” This week is week two of three. We are looking at three Gospel tools for you, Gospel people. 

Last week, we looked at one of my favorite tools, “The Three Circles.” This week, we’re going to look at a very simple tool called, “The Best News.”

Before we do, let’s pray together and ask God to speak to us as we study His Word. 


Have you ever had someone tell you, “I have some good news and I have some bad news; which do you want first?” Well, today, I have four different types of news to share with you. 

Sharing the good news of the Gospel is of the utmost importance. It is the only hope for our world. 

This past week I had the opportunity to hear from Darryl Strawberry for just a moment at a gathering in Orlando. Some of you know that name, he was a major league baseball player for many years. However, according to his own words, he was a womanizer, drug addict, and alcoholic. He also experienced bankruptcy and jail time. However, Darryl met Jesus and it changed his life forever. He said, “You can’t straddle the fence with God. You’ve got to make a commitment. You’ve got to surrender yourself. God was very persistent and I surrendered myself to His will and I’m glad I did.”

You may remember when Paul and Silas were in prison in the book of Acts, after they were delivered, they shared the Gospel with their jailer. Acts 16:31-34 says, “31 They said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.’ 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him along with everyone in his house. 33 He took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds. Right away he and all his family were baptized. 34 He brought them into his house, set a meal before them, and rejoiced because he had come to believe in God with his entire household.”

Remember, church, as Romans 1:16 says, the Gospel is, “ . . . the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”

So, let’s talk about the power of the Gospel. 

However, in order to talk about the good news, we must start with the . . .

I. Bad News[on screen]

I know that those of you who have been part of our Romans study have already heard a lot of bad news about the wrath of God towards sin and the total depravity of sinners, but bear with me for just a moment as we talk about the bad news some more. 

In order to understand the good news of the Gospel, we must understand the bad news of our sin. 

We must understand that . . . 

Our sin has separated us from God. [on screen]

The Bibles makes this very clear. We’ve already studied this many times over the last several weeks. 

Remember, Paul says in Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” [on screen]

Also, Paul says in Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death . . .” [on screen]

So, the bad news starts with the fact that we are sinners, our sin separates us from God, and our sin leads to death. 

However, that’s not the end. There is . . .

II. Worse News[on screen]

Last week we learned that sin leads to brokenness. One way we try to deal with that is to try and fix our own brokenness. But, we can’t, can we? When we try to fix our own brokenness, it only leads to more brokenness. 

Here’s the reality: We can do nothing to remove our sin. [on screen]

Paul points out clearly in Ephesians 2:8 – “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift.” [on screen]

This is not from yourselves! We can’t fix our sin problem. The bad news just got worse. 

This kind of bad news is like when you get a string on a new shirt that you really love. It’s bad enough that you have a dangling string, but then you start to pull on it to get it off. What happens? It only gets worse and worse. Now, not only do you have a dangling string on your shirt, but now half your shirt is gone! The bad news turns into worse news!

However, God did not leave us in the bad news. 

Remember, as Romans 5:8 says, “But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” [on screen]

Also, as Ephesians 2:4-5, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!”[on screen]

So, the bad news is that we are sinners, the worse news is that we can’t fix our sin.

However, there is also . . .

III. Good News[on screen]

When we try to fix our sin it’s like trying to put toothpaste back into a toothpaste tube; it’s like mopping a ballroom floor with month old cafeteria mop water; it’s like mowing your yard with a lawn-mower with a flat tire; it’s like getting pulled over by a police officer and then realizing it’s the guy that hated you in high school. The bad news gets only worse when we try to fix it ourselves. 

However, the good news is that Jesus can fix it!

At the cross, Jesus did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. [on screen]

1 John 1:7 says, “ . . . the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” [on screen]

Jesus is like a cold sip of iced tea after a day working in the yard. Jesus is like a comfortable recliner after a long day at work. Jesus is like the beach sunset after a stressful week. Jesus is like the cool breeze when you walk on a Summer day. Jesus is like finding the perfect size screw when you look in your junk drawer for a screw to finish a household project. Jesus is like the moment that the perfect answer comes to mind when you’re taking a difficult exam. Jesus is like hitting all the green lights when you’re running late for an appointment. Jesus is like your best friend who drops off a donut and a coffee just because they’re thinking about you. Jesus is like when your boss says everyone can go home early today. Jesus is like the smile and hug that your grandkids give you when they haven’t seen you in a long time. Jesus is like the news you receive when your bank calls and says that you had too much in your escrow account and they’re sending some money back to you. In fact, Jesus is better than all of those things! Jesus is the greatest news ever!

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life . . . No one who comes to me will ever be hungry.” 

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”

Jesus said, “I am the gate. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.”

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live.”

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit.”

The Good News is that Jesus is all that we truly need. 

However, that’s not the end. In fact, that’s not even the best news. Let’s see what is the . . . 

IV. Best News[on screen]

Through faith, we freely receive forgiveness and eternal life. [on screen]

The good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not good news if we can’t receive it; it’s only a good story. 

However, the best news in the world is that we can receive the Gospel of Jesus! We can be forgiven of our sins and come into a relationship with God!

The apostle Paul says in the second part of Romans 6:23, “ . . . the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [on screen]

When we learn the Gospel ourselves and when we share the Gospel with others, we must recognize the best news that the forgiveness of Jesus is available for us!

Concluding Thoughts:

Also, church, it’s important to remember that when we are sharing the Gospel with others, we can’t merely share it with them; we have to tell them what to do next. 

We have to make the offer! [on screen]

We have to ask them this question (or a similar question), “Would you like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior?”

Then we have to give them the answer. Tell them how they can know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Point them to the Bible. 

Romans 10:9 says very clearly, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” [on screen]

Then, offer a prayer. Remember a prayer is not a magical incantation. It doesn’t mean that if you say this that it will do something even if you don’t mean it.

Instead, a prayer is an opportunity for someone to talk to God and also to verbalize the commitment that they are making. In other words, they can confess with their mouth that which they believe in their heart. 

A simple sample prayer is: “Dear God, I am a sinner and I want to be forgiven. I believe Jesus Christ, Your Son, died for my sins and is alive right now. I turn away from my sin and now confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and receive Him into my life. I ask you, Lord Jesus, to control my life and I thank you for giving me eternal life.”

As we bring this to a close, I want to point out that there’s no “bottom line” this week because this sermon is really straightforward. Remember, bad news, worse news, good news, best news.  

However, there are some weekly challenges. Challenge yourself to live out what you learned this week in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

1. Study the Best News. [on screen]

Take some time to study this simple outline. Start with the four types of news and then fill in the gaps with the supporting truths and Scripture. 

I got an email from one of you all this week who said they had practiced “The Three Circles.” That’s incredible. Well, let’s practice this as well. You can do it, church!

2. Embrace the Best News. [on screen]

Maybe you haven’t personally embraced all the implications of the best news. Maybe you’re not living in the reality that you can be set free from sin by the power of Jesus!

Take some this week and think through the implications of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Live in the reality of the best news in all the world. 

3. Share the Best News. [on screen]

Take some time this week to share the Best News with someone. It’s really easy to remember: bad news, worse news, good news, best news. You can do it!

Our food pantry has been using the Best News method for a little while now. I heard just this past week that one of our food pantry volunteers was able to share the Best News with someone. Let’s keep it up, church!

We’ve even made it easier for you. We have a card for everyone here today. Take one with you and give it to someone this week and take a few seconds or minutes to tell them about the Best News. You can do it! I believe in you! More importantly, God is with you!


(Gospel presentation)

(closing prayer)

COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER: The text contained in this sermon is solely owned by its author. The reproduction, or distribution of this message, or any portion of it, should include the author’s name. The author intends to provide free resources in order to inspire believers and to assist preachers and teachers in Kingdom work.