Preach the Gospel to Yourself Daily (pt. 2)

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” (1 Cor 15:3-4).

The cross stays on center stage even when the end times and eternity are portrayed in the New Testament’s final book, as Jim Elliff points out: “One is taken aback by the emphasis upon the cross in Revelation. Heaven does not ‘get over’ the cross, as if there are better things to think about”- heaven is not only Christ-centered, Elliff observed, but cross-centered – “and quite blaring about it” (C.J.Mahaney)

Last week, we saw how the Gospel was the most important message in all history. And we ended by asking two questions. First, is the Gospel as precious to your heart as it is to God? How would you answer that now? And secondly, why is this Gospel so important to God? Today, we will study two more reasons for that.

“I’m a Christian, I don’t need the Gospel!”

Observe:

  1. According to Romans 1:7, who is Paul writing the letter to the Romans to? How does he describe them? Do you think they were Christians or non Christians?
  2. According to Romans 1:15, what is Paul eager to do?
  3. According to Romans 16:25-27, what could strengthen and establish the Romans?

Interpret:

  1. According to the Scriptures we’ve looked at above, do you think the Gospel is for Christians too?
  2. How do you think Christians are strengthened and established by the Gospel (Rom 16:25)?

Apply:

  1. Where do you find your strength to live the Christian life daily?
  2. Do you want to be established? What must you do?

 

Now, let’s look at two more reasons to preach the Gospel to yourself daily!

Preach the Gospel, secondly, because it is the most powerful tool.

Here, I’ll make two points. The gospel is the most powerful tool for salvation and sanctification. In fact, the Gospel seems to be the only tool! Romans 1:16 tells us that the Gospel is “the power of God for salvation”. It is not one of the powers of God, but THE power of God. Second, the Gospel is the most powerful tool for sanctification. How is a Christian made like Christ and mature? (Read Romans 16:25-27 and Col 1:28). When Paul wanted the Philippian church to be united through humility, he did not ask them to do many fun things together but rather, to have the attitude of Christ in the Gospel (Phil 2:5-8). When he wanted the Ephesian church to be united, what did he say? He emphasized their unity in the Gospel (Eph 2:11-3:11). Okay, let’s apply this personally now. Do you struggle with any sins in the day? Think of the difference if you would come to the Cross every morning. Do you struggle with pride? A sight of Christ bleeding will shatter your pride, convincing you that you have no good works of your own. (When you survey the Wondrous Cross on which the Prince of Glory died, your riches gain you’ll count as loss and pour contempt on all your pride.) The forgiveness of Christ for you will grant you the power and motivation to forgive others. Do you struggle with priorities? Come and see the priority Christ has shown you. He has left heaven and lived His entire life for one purpose: To die and glorify the Father. Are you feeling condemned by your sin? Here, at Calvary, He tramples over satan and destroys sin! Are you depressed? He will be your joy. Are you going through some trial? Remember His Love for you. If God would kill His Son for you, will He not get your through this trial? Every struggle of the human heart and every sin will be defied by the glories of Calvary, therefore, come to the fountain of the Cross, come, and drink abundantly!

Finally, preach the Gospel to yourself daily because we often forget this important message. I’m going through a series of Deuteronomy in church now and it’s startling how much Israel sinned because they forgot what God had done for them. Often, we fall and sin and live ungodly lives because we forget what God has done for us at Calvary. We are forgetful creatures, and must be reminded of this glorious and powerful truth everyday! As demonstrated, Calvary covers and conquers it all.

Conclusion:

 My friend, do you see the importance of the Gospel? It is of FIRST IMPORTANCE! Now, if you’re not a Christian or unsure you are saved, I hope you’re convinced that this Gospel is of vital importance to the Christian faith. Let me encourage you to pick up a Bible and perhaps start at the Gospel according to Mark and read and see why we Christians are so excited about this thing we call “Gospel!”. If you’re unsure of your salvation, or perhaps have not been faithful (in your estimation) to Christ, come now to this Cross. Here is the Gospel. Here is Calvary. Here is a Savior who will forgive you. Only, leave your good deeds and self-righteousness behind and cry out, “Lord I believe! Help my unbelief!”. Are you a Christian? Is the Gospel now central to your life? I hope you’re convinced of it’s first importance.

Application – How do I preach the Gospel to myself?

This is taken from the book, Living the Cross Centered Life by C.J.Mahaney:

  1. Memorize the Gospel (Mahaney gives some verses to memorize like 2 Cor 5:21, Is 53:3-6, Romans 3:23-26… The passage that has been stuck not just in my head but in my heart the most intensely is the entire Isaiah 53. If you memorize this, I promise, it will change your life too.)
  2. Pray the Gospel (Like Paul)
  3. Sing the Gospel (Eg. When I Survey the Wondrous Cross… Countless songs are about the Cross! We will spend eternity singing about this Cross so why not start now?)
  4. Review How the Gospel Has Changed you
  5. Study the Gospel (For resources see the recommended books below)

Let me recommend several materials on this subject if you’re interested:

 

1. Why should I “preach” the Gospel to myself?

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2007/06/25/talk-dont-listen-to-yourself/

2. A list of helpful books.

–          Living the Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney
           (A very clear section at the end of HOW you could do this)

–          A Gospel Primer for Christians by Milton Vincent

–          The Gospel For Real Life by Jerry Bridges

–          The Cross of Christ by John Stott

–          God’s Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts

 

3. Most importantly

The cry of the Reformation: “Scripture, Scripture, Scripture!”

 

For more questions or materials, do leave a comment on this post and we’ll get back to you.

25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, 26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen. (Romans 1:25-27)

 

Daryl joined Transform Student Ministries this past summer serving in the Intern Program. When we asked Daryl for a short bio for the blog, he told us that he is a great sinner, and has a great Savior.

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2 Responses

10.21.11

Daryl – I have often wondered if we have made the Gospel too compact – too neat and clean. Matthew tells us that Jesus had a simple message in 4:17. Repent.But in the last paragraph of chapter 4 he seems to tell us the message Jesus proclaimed was The Gospel of The Kingdom. – Could it be that chapters 5-7 are sample sermons of the Gospel of the Kingdom? – if so that would be a lot more than Believe Jesus is the Son of God who died for my sins so I go to heaven when I die…
Glad you are on mission of establishing people in God’s word!

10.21.11

Dear David.

I gladly agree with you that the Gospel is also called “The Gospel Of The Kingdom of God”. This occurs many times in the New testament, especially in Matthew, Luke and Acts. Thanks for pointing that out.

The question at hand is not, I think, “Is the Gospel also the Gospel of the Kingdom”. That is beyond question because it’s clear in Scripture. Rather, it is important what it means that the Gospel is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Would you like to share what you see in Scripture?

(For those who are also interested in this topic, a good study will be to do a study on the Book of Matthew. Also, a good book on this subject is “Gospel and Kingdom” by Graeme Goldsworthy or the recommended book which is simpler to read, “God’s Big Picture” by Vaughaun Roberts)Your Comments

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