“The Bible tells us the bad news that we are in trouble with God, and then it tells us the good news that God has provided a solution that far surpasses our problem. Three times in his letters the apostle Paul paints a grim picture of bad news about us, and then each time he says ‘but.’
In effect, he is saying, ‘Here is the bad news, but here is the Good News as well.’ And in Paul’s message, the Good News always outweighs the bad news. Take just one of these instances, in Ephesians 2:1-9. After telling us that we were, by nature, objects of wrath, Paul says, but now ‘God, who is rich mercy,’ has actually ‘raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms.’
That is surely a dust-to-glory story. What could be a greater contrast than an object of God’s wrath seated with His Son in a position of glory? This good news doesn’t begin when we die. It certainly does address that issue, but it also tells us that there is good news for us now. We don’t have to feel guilt-ridden and insecure in our relationship with God.
We don’t have to wonder if He likes us. We can begin each day with the deeply encouraging realization that I am accepted by God, not on the basis of my personal performance, but on the basis of the infinitely perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ.”
–Jerry Bridges, The Gospel for Real Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2003), 18.