Preaching the Gospel to Ourselves
We all know that we should preach the Gospel to others, right? Jesus was pretty clear just prior to His ascension that He wanted us to make other disciples. We hear a lot about talking to our neighbors and going to the nations to give this life saving news to those who do not know it. But how often do we stop to preach the Gospel to ourselves? Why would we have to do that anyway?
If you think about it, one of the biggest struggles of the Christian life is falling back into old thought patterns. Although we know that we are saved by the grace of God, through the blood of Jesus Christ, we can be guilty of falling back into a mindset of works-based salvation. This is the false idea that somehow our actions affect our salvation or how God feels about us.
Ask someone how they are doing with God and instantly their mind goes into a checklist mode. “I prayed and read my Bible today. I didn’t cuss when that person cut me off in traffic. I volunteered in Kid’s Church. God and I must be doing pretty good.” This isn’t just a struggle for new Christians, this is a challenge for all of us.
How do we fight this urge to base our salvation on our own works? The same way we came to faith in the first place, by preaching the Gospel to ourselves. In Romans 12, Paul talks about how we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. Continuously reminding ourselves about the work of Christ in our lives not only keeps us out of wrong mindsets, but also fuels love and obedience. Think of it as positive brain washing.
Here are just a few verses that I have tried to commit to memory and consistently keep at the forefront of my mind.
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. — Romans 3:23–24
So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. — Romans 8:12–14
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. — Ephesians 2:4–6
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. — 2 Corinthians 5:21
Take a few minutes today and everyday to preach the Gospel to yourself. The Gospel is not just a one and done checkbox. It is the reality of our lives by which we live and walk in.