So Great a Salvation {How to preach the gospel to yourself}

 

It’s likely you’ve heard the admonition to “preach the gospel to yourself.” But do you have a practical, systematic way for doing that? What do you say when you preach the gospel to yourself?

Do you preach the gospel to yourself? Use these Bible words to learn more about the gospel and what to say in those times when you need to preach the gospel to yourself. 

Preaching the gospel to ourselves means allowing our thinking, emotions, and responses to daily be shaped by the truth of the gospel.

 

The gospel message about Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection has the ability to enrich us and make us wealthy in mind and spirit, word and deed (see Colossians 3:16). Yet if we have little grasp on how to effectively let it, we miss out on the power it holds.

 

In this series, we hope to give you practical help in preaching the gospel to yourself. We’ve pulled key gospel concepts and compiled them into a list of words, such as justification, redemption, and sanctification. Don’t let the big words scare you because we’ve explained them! We’ve also summarized each of these powerful truths in a useable way.

 

We hope this series will deepen your grasp on the gospel and give you verbiage for what to say when you preach the gospel to yourself.

How to use this series:

 

To begin, scroll down to read my post on the word “justification.” Then visit each of the links for more gospel words. Take notes while you visit! You may want to bookmark this page because you’ll probably want to come back here often.

Gospel Words:

 

Justification by Arabah (see below)

Sanctification by Jen

Redemption by Rebekah

Reconciliation by Kathy

Regeneration by Marci

Atonement by Leah

Adoption by Kerry

Consecration by Kimberly

 

Preaching the gospel to ourselves means allowing our thinking, emotions, and responses to daily be shaped by the truth of the gospel. Join me in a series where I hope to give you practical help in preaching the gospel to yourself using key gospel concepts.

 

 Gospel Word: Justification 

 

If you’ve ever felt inadequate, condemned, shamed, less than, or not enough, justification is your knight in shining armor, here to rescue you and safely deliver you from shame and self loathing. It is such an important word to understand that some have called it the Mt. Everest doctrine of the Christian faith.

Feelings of inferiority, deficiency, and shame are all rooted in one universal truth:  we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.

This is our universal problem. Some of us live with more consciousness of it than others, but if we allow it, every mistake, every shortcoming, every sin, every flaw and imperfection, reminds us that we are deficient and have fallen short of  God’s glory.  

We live with the consequences of our shortcomings now. All those negative feelings are one of them. Future consequences are even worse. Eternal condemnation. Judgement. God’s wrath and fury. Like it or not, the Bible clearly teaches the wages of sin is physical and spiritual death. (See Romans 6:23)

This is obviously a big problem. So what  do we do with it?

The only answer to this universal need is what we call justification.

 

What is Justification?

 

Justification means to be made right. Specifically, it means to be declared righteous in the sight of God. I don’t know about you, but that sounds really, really important to me. Like essential. 

This is not an act upon our nature, like changing a fish into a hamster, or changing a bad person into a good person. (Other gospel words deal with the need for a change in our nature, so be sure to read all the other posts in this series!)

Rather, justification means “to be declared righteous.” This means to be considered (or thought of) as righteous. Do you want God to think of  and consider you as righteous? 

That’s what justification does. It is an alteration of how God views us. To be justified by God means that at a specific point in time, God altered His view of me… of you… and considered me and you to be righteous.

Sadly, people get confused as to how this actually happens. They thrive on concocting ways to be justified before God. Some justify themselves by ignoring their consciences and ultimately silencing them.  Some adopt low views of sin and high tolerance of it in order to justify themselves. Some work hard and adhere to a system of works, rules, and deeds in order to justify themselves.

And some walk around weak and full of shame because they cannot deny their conscience or God’s law,  but neither can they accept the truth offered in the gospel.

 

You

 

The Only Way to Be Justified

 

In the first three chapters of  Romans, the apostle Paul establishes well our universal sin problem and the need for justification. Then he says in Romans 3: 21,23-24:

“But now, apart from the Law, the righteousness of God has been made known.

For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, but now they are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

 

Them are shoutin’ words there. God has made a way for us to be justified apart from the Law. Apart from works. Apart from lowering our standards and tolerating sin. Apart from walking around with our eyes downcast due to shame.

God has made a way for us to be justified freely by His grace… and that way is through the work of Christ Jesus.

This is called justification by faith. God sent His own Son, Jesus, to die for our sin and shortcomings in order to give us His own righteousness. We are justified in God’s sight when we place our trust in Jesus Christ alone,  simply trusting our need for justification was taken care of through the work of  Jesus Christ.

Justification is a gift.

 

 

What does that mean for us?

 

So maybe you know all of this but still can’t see how it relates to your daily life. How does this justification word practically affect my life and identity?

Well let’s use an example of, say, mommy guilt. Let’s say I’ve yelled at the kids a few times, not given them my attention when they needed it, wasted time on the internet, given my husband the cold shoulder, and borrowed bill money to buy pizza because I didn’t feel like cooking dinner.

On top of that, the accuser of the brethren is having a heyday with all my failures and is hounding me about what a loser I am, how I don’t hold a light to so and so, how much I should be ashamed of myself, and besides, what right do I have to teach anybody anything?

Enter our little gospel word justification.

Justification says that God considers me righteous because of the work of Jesus Christ. Therefore, I can preach the gospel to myself like this:

“Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies (Romans 8:33). Yes, I have sinned today. I have been selfish and lazy and rude and wasteful. I have failed to keep God’s moral law and failed to love my family. Nevertheless, God’s Word says that God justifies the ungodly (Romans 4:5), apart from works of the law (Romans 3:21). God justifies the one who places her faith in the work of Jesus Christ.

I therefore, in simple trust, cast myself upon the work of Christ and the provision of the cross as my only hope. I receive the gift of God and trust that in spite of my sin, I have been justified by faith and am at peace with God (Romans 5:1).”

And I can go to bed happy and joyful and pure of heart knowing my sin, my universal need, has been taken care of in Christ.

 

Key Verse to Memorize:

“And to the one who does not work but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.” Romans 4:5

 

SOS Summary (What to preach to yourself):

God justifies the ungodly. I have been justified by faith. I am at peace with God.

 

what to say when you preach gospel 1500X2000

 

 

so great a salvation

 

 

 

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28 Comments

  1. Oh goodness, this is so, so good. You have explained justification in such a wonderfully understandable way. I love it. I think this might be my favorite part: “To be justified by God means that at a specific point in time, God altered His view of me… of you… and considered me and you to be righteous.” God altered his view of me! Once He saw me one way, then, after I accepted Jesus, God saw me a different way. Praise Him! Such cause for rejoicing in Christ. Thank you for such a wonderful post, friend.

  2. I can already think of a few friends who are going to benefit from these words.
    I’m constantly overwhelmed at the fact that God loves us enough to provide a way to Him apart from the law.
    Thank you for sharing these great truths with us. I’m grateful for the opportunity to take a good look at what can be some hard words to understand. It may seem simplistic, but from what I’m reading so far in this series, it boils down to just one thing – God’s Love.
    So great a salvation, indeed!
    Blessings, friend!

  3. Arabah what a beautiful picture and reminder you have shared that in Christ we are at peace with God. We should all be sleeping well every night ;).

  4. Yes, yes! These ARE shoutin’ words! I am at peace with God. Justified freely by His grace. What an incredible gift. Such beautiful and needed truth to preach to our hearts!

  5. So much comfort here! Boy, does this Truth ever ring true in my heart. I needed this boost to face the week. Thank you, dear friend, for rallying our minds to the work of our Savior. I’m so glad He put this series on your heart and that you heeded His still, small voice.

  6. Yes, a new creation! I love this. God views me differently, righteous…wow! We do need to stop each day and remind ourselves how God views us. It makes a difference in our daily walk. Thank you for your simple explanations of this beautiful word. May we all live justified by His Grace. Tammy

  7. Yes, yes, yes! I especially like how you addressed the fact that we get confused about justification. Either we ignore our own sin, or we work and work to overcome it in our own strength. Neither is beneficial to us! Thanks for inviting us all to join in on this special series!
    Jen :)

  8. Who can bring a charge against me? Not me! Not the devil. Not a man or woman in the world because IT IS FINISHED!!!

    Oh how I love the breastplate of righteousness after years of failing to put it on.
    Justified because of Jesus. Justified because of the cross. Justified. Amen! How I love Him!

  9. 1) You are one of my favorite writers. Period. Because I love the way you teach through words. It’s always so clear.
    2) I grew up in church. Have heard the word justified umpteen times. Have studied Galatians intently – where that word is said 8,000x. And I’ve never understood it as clearly as I do after reading this post.
    That’s why God made you a writer! (Just saying.)

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  11. Very good article I really enjoy your writings you really make them so you can understand. Please continue the good work. Again thank you for letting your group.

  12. Very good article I really enjoy your writings you really make them so you can understand. Please continue the good work. Again thank you for letting me in your group.

  13. love what you’re doing with this. How many people go to church, hear the church words and pretend to understand. Justified is a good word to cover. It doesn’t mean we’re justified in committing sin (that horrible consequence that so easily separates), but that He who took our sins on Himself at the cross can say, “I’ve got cha – I’ve got cha covered. I took the penalty for you so you can stand before the judgement seat un-condemned.” How powerful is that? May He who blesses nightly bless you today. Chris~

  14. This is wonderful. However, I am having a problem accepting the gospel. Not that it all happened, but that any of it was for me. I have never had anyone love me in my whole life, so why would God? Why on earth would He do anything for me? I’m not worth it. There’s an almost visible wall between Him and me, to the point I don’t even pray anymore. When I do I feel so superficial about it because I have no idea what to say. I hear of people having such peace and happiness from knowing they’re saved, but I doubt I am. How do people believe it’s for them? I can see in myself that He is changing me, but I still feel so distant and separated from Him. What do I do?

    1. Dear Kristina, I’m so glad you asked this because to this, I have an answer (I don’t have an answer to everyone’s questions but I do for this one, which makes me pretty excited!) I can relate to what you are saying and I’ll just tell you how I came to the point where I am now, of accepting God’s love for me. It happened for me through I Timothy 1:15, which says, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.”

      I thought about that verse and thought about it and finally, I decided it was worthy indeed of my full assurance and weight- I could rest on the reliability of it. Of what, you ask? That the only pre-requisite to receiving God’s love was being a sinner. Yep. That’s right. You don’t have to be lovable. you don’t have to be worthy. I don’t have to be liked by anyone else or even yourself. None of those things are required. The only requirement is that you be a sinner.

      See what great news that is? Well, I guess someone who didn’t think they were a sinner wouldn’t think it so great, but for those of us who aren’t trying to kid anyone? Well it’s the best news EVER.

      So I decided to place my trust in that one fact: that Christ came for sinners and I qualified. What did that look like? Well it meant I said it out loud to myself when I felt unworthy. It means I prayed it back to God, shaky and wobbly. I said, “God, Your word says You sent Christ in love for sinners and that’s me, so I’m placing my trust in it.”

      As I began to do that, my faith began to grow. And grow. And grow. Sometimes I could see it growing but most the time I couldn’t, at least not right away. But looking back, I see how one little step of embracing that one verse changed everything for me. I hope it does the same for you. I’m praying for you now. Please let me know how you are doing in your walk with Christ and email me if you need to. :)

      1. Thank you for your response to this question I believe in the finished work of Christ. But I at times forget who I am in Him. Hallelujah Lord, you have helped to lift a load off me.

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