Thursday, May 14, 2015

How Do I Preach The Gospel to Myself?

Jesus calls us to believe the gospel. One way we do this is to preach the gospel continually, not only to others, but especially to ourselves. The result will be that you will see yourself as a much worse sinner than you thought, but you will also then see Jesus as a much greater Savior than you ever imagined.

How do I preach the gospel to myself?

  • See and own your sin.
Examine yourself in the mirror of God’s Word. Pray that God would bring to light your negative emotions and attitudes as well as blatant rebellion against God’s holiness. As you do this, guard yourself against sin’s deceitfulness. You will likely feel the tendency to water down God’s standard, compare yourself to others, shift blame, or commit to trying harder. The list just named are reflections of man-centered moralism.
  • See the sin beneath the sin.
Push the “Why?” question until you find what ever you are looking to, other than Jesus, for meaning and value in life- your “functional messiah.”  Ask yourself this question to see your sin clearly, "I will sin if I get                 , and if I don't get                 I will sin?"  Once you answer this question, you will have a clear view of your idol.
  • Expose the idols of your heart.
Idols always disappoint. They are weak. They can’t deliver when you fall short; they can only raise the bar. They can’t forgive you when you fail; they can only lower the boom. They are harmful. They hurt you spiritually, emotionally, and physically. When we worship idols, we are saying to God, "Jesus is not enough. I also need … in order to be happy."  As you expose the idols, confess, “I am a much bigger sinner then I thought. I am a worthy recipient of God’s judgment. Trying harder won’t cut it. I am helpless and hopeless in myself. But there is One who can deliver and rescue, so I flee to Him and Him alone!”
  • View repentance as a gift. 
 Pray for the gift of repentance. Do not try to stop sinning: ask God to change your heart. You may change for a season by your own willpower, but eventually you will become resentful or fall back into worshipping your idols, false saviors that distract you from the true Messiah.
  • See Jesus as the only true Savior. 
Jesus lived for you; think about and give thanks for specific ways He has lived obediently where you have failed. Jesus also died for you; think about Jesus’ death on the cross for your specific sins and idolatry. Thank God that your sin has been punished once and for all. God sees you in Jesus; think about how God sees you clothed with Jesus’ perfect righteousness. Thank Him specifically for how He provides for you in Christ in ways your idols promised but could never deliver. Jesus lives in you; thank God that He does not leave you to live the Christian life on your own, since the Spirit of Christ now dwells in you. Ask Him to live His righteous life though you, specifically in the areas where you have repented and confessed sin.

Embrace the gospel as your motivation for living. Embrace it and know that the gospel changes you, the gospel empowers you to serve, and through the gospel you meet God!

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