In his book The Discipline of Grace author Jerry Bridges says we all need to preach daily to ourselves the gospel of grace. The gospel of grace is that “unmerited favor… [which] comes to us through the Lord Jesus Christ” (60).” Earlier Bridges says, “Everyday of our Christian experience should be a day of relating to God on the basis of His grace alone” (19). Grace is awesome; God’s grace is amazing.
But this grace is nebulous to a lot of people. For many God’s grace is only perceived when life seems to be going good. Even though grace is for every moment, many don’t sense God’s grace in the difficult times of life. God’s grace does not seem sufficient (cf. 2 Co 12:9). This may be because of ongoing guilt—that nagging sense that you don’t deserve God’s grace because of your past or current sins. It is for this reason that preaching the gospel of forgiveness to yourself is also important to your spiritual growth. For while you were a sinner, in the midst of your sinning, Christ died for you (Rm 5:8). God doesn’t wait for you to repent to forgive. He doesn’t ask you to get ‘better’ before He forgives you. Christ forgives you from the Cross, once and for all (Heb 10:12). You are forgiven and free. It is for freedom that Christ has set you free (Gal 5:1). Preach to yourself daily the fact that you are eternally forgiven for past, present, and future sins through the Cross of Christ.
Now, even though I have preached the amazing truth of God’s grace and forgiveness to many and to myself, they and I sometimes still get stuck. Grace can be so amazing it doesn’t seem real. And forgiveness doesn’t seem like it’s working, because I am still prone to sinning. How do I get myself unstuck from this vicious cycle? This is when I preach the gospel of blessing to myself. In my ministry I see people yearning to receive a blessing. Some think others get all the blessings. Some believe they never got a blessing from an earthly father or mother. But the Spirit has come, the heavens have opened, and God says to you today, “You are my Son or Daughter, in you I am well pleased. You are my beloved” (Mt 3:17). Preach to yourself that in Christ, the Father is blessing you with a full-measure of the Holy Spirit. You are blessed by God.
Preach to yourself everyday God’s eternal favor, Christ’s never-ending forgiveness, and the Spirit’s on-going blessing upon you. I am graced; I am forgiven; I am blessed! When I preach to myself this multifaceted gospel, I can go and grace, forgive, and bless others in Christ.
© Paul Dordal, 2014