Preach the Gospel to Yourself

 

The gospel is not just for the moment of salvation. We need the gospel for every moment of our lives.

Paul sums up the gospel message in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.

This is the gospel message we preach and believe. It leads to salvation. But it doesn’t stop there. The gospel message also leads to sanctification:

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. (1 Timothy 1:15)

Paul doesn’t say “I was the foremost,” he says “I am the foremost.” He continues to sin and so do we. So we must continue to preach the gospel to ourselves.

“To preach the gospel to yourself, then, means that you continually face up to your own sinfulness and then flee to Jesus through faith in His shed blood and righteous life. It means that you appropriate, again by faith, the fact that Jesus fully satisfied the law of God, that He is your propitiation, and that God’s holy wrath is no longer directed toward you.” – Jerry Bridges in The Discipline of Grace

The gospel message is not one of condemnation, but of hope. Those who cannot see themselves as sinners have no need of a Savior. But those who have felt the weight of their own sin and been met there with the grace and forgiveness offered through Christ know true joy. And we remind ourselves we have to remain in Him to continue to find that grace, forgiveness, and joy.

To remember, we preach the gospel to ourselves each day.

We remember and confess our sin:

I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. (Psalm 32:5)

We remember and confess our Savior:

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

We remember and confess our strength is only in Him:

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

This is how I preach the gospel to myself each day. I am a great sinner in need of a great Savior. In his suffering Job cried out, “There is no arbiter between us, who might lay his hand on us both” (9:33) but we have that arbiter. And we can sing with generations of believers, “I need Thee, oh, I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee; Oh, bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee” (lyrics by Annie S. Hawks, 1872).

As I preach the gospel to myself, I’m also mindful of what I put off and put on:

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” –Colossians 3:1-17 

There are five sins I believe moms struggle with the most: unforgiveness, anger, jealousy, worry, and discontentment. Let’s look at them more closely in the next days so we can practice putting them off and replacing them with Christ-likeness.

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