Preach On

I’m thankful that the encouragement to “preach the Gospel to yourself” daily has become a part of the culture at Redeemer. Hopefully, you can’t hang around our church family long without being encouraged to do just that. I was first introduced to the concept back in 2009 when I read Jerry Bridges’ book, The Discipline of Grace for the first time. Bridges wrote:

To preach the gospel to yourself, then, means that you continually face up to your own sinfulness and then flee to Jesus through faith in His shed blood and righteous life. It means that you appropriate, again by faith, the fact that Jesus fully satisfied the law of God, that He is your propitiation, and that God’s holy wrath is no longer directed toward you. (pg. 59)

Since reading The Discipline of Grace I have read in many other books the encouragement to implement this practice. Many of the advocates of preaching the Gospel to yourself will appeal to Martyn Lloyd Jones book, Spiritual Depression. Here is a summary sentence of Jones’ counsel:  “Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?” (Our friend, Kevin Sanders, has recently posted a fuller quote on his blog.)

William Farley’s newly published book, Hidden in the Gospel, is meant to be a “tutorial” on preaching the Gospel to yourself. Farley says preaching the Gospel to yourself is more than merely Scripture memory because you are seeking to apply Scripture to your life. You are seeking to get it into your head in order to get it down to your heart, so to speak. He also says it “differs radically” from positive thinking. “Truth is often irrelevant to the positive thinker. Instead, he or she tries to create reality by thinking positively.” However, he concludes, “Christians do not create truth. The Truth creates the Christian. It shapes and molds us.”

Pastor Farley is a practitioner, not just an instructor. Let the following remarks from his experience further encourage you to adopt this practice as well as spur others on in it. He writes:

I have discovered the benefit of continually preaching the gospel to myself. It has melted the fog of depression, repulsed the demons of despair, and displaced feelings of unworthiness and failure with the love of God. When I have been discouraged, it has motivated me to keep plodding. It has humbled me before the wonder of God’s glorious grace. It has encouraged me to love God and others. It has prompted me to be patient with the failings of others. It has urged me to forgive seventy times seven times. (pg. 11)

About Pastor Matt

Matt Baker is the Pastor of Redeemer Fellowship Church.
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