People who preach the Gospel to themselves ought to be the most hardcore, committed soldiers for Jesus out of anyone. Why? Because we know that a self-centered Gospel is not a complete Gospel. Instead, the Good News reminds us that we have been redeemed out of slavery to sin, given the Holy Spirit, and charged to walk in the good works prepared by God himself before the beginning of time. So, as I am rehearsing the Gospel during my daily devotions, I am reminded not only of God’s amazing love for me, but I am also calling myself to “suit up” for the good works that are await me in my day.
Here are three quick ways that preaching the gospel to ourselves fuels good works…
1. We are Redeemed not by Good Works but for Good Works. The Gospel tells us that Jesus gave himself up for us to “redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). My zeal is not solely God-ward praise that I have been redeemed from lawlessness, but is also directed towards my fellow man so that I might lay down my life for him. So, in preaching the Gospel to myself, I am simultaneously praising Jesus for saving me from lawless living and am stirring up in myself zeal to do good works.
2. The Incarnation does not only Serve as our Salvation. The Gospel also tells us that the death of Jesus Christ serves not only as our salvation, but also as our example. 1 Peter 2:21 says “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” So, as I am preaching the Gospel to myself, I am thanking Jesus for suffering for me while I am committing myself to suffer for others. I am remembering that in exchange for my hate, he gave me love and therefore I commit myself to give love when I am hated. I am praising him for forgiving me for all my wrongs, while also accepting the fact that I too am called to forgive.
3. We are now no Longer Slaves of Sin, but Slaves of Righteousness. Romans 6:18 says, “having been set free from sin, [you] have become slaves of righteousness.” The Gospel does not just tell me that my freedom from sin is solely in Heaven, but instead my freedom not to sin is now. I have been saved for the purpose of not sinning any more. I have been saved so that I can no longer be chained to my sin, but instead I can be ruled by righteousness, holiness, and godliness. What an empowering message to start the day ready to serve our children, ready to love those rude to us in the store, eager to serve unjust employers, and so on!
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
– Ephesians 2:10