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?
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.
Preaching the gospel to ourselves means allowing our thinking, emotions, and responses to daily be shaped by the truth of the gospel.
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, read my post about ATONEMENT below. 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.
Justification by Arabah
Sanctification by Jen
Redemption by Rebekah
Reconciliation by Kathy
Regeneration by Marci
Atonement by Leah
Adoption by Kerry
Consecration by Kimberly
When Jeffery Ebert was five years old, his family was driving home one night on a two-lane country road. This was before the days of seat belts and air bags. Ebert was sitting on his mother’s lap when their automobile was struck by another one, driven by a drunk driver. Although Ebert has no recollection of the collision, he does remember feeling confused and fearful at being covered in blood from head to toe. Soon he realized the blood in which he was covered was that of his mother.
In the split second that it took for her to realize what was about to happen, she had instinctively pulled Jeffery closer, and wrapped her body around his. It was her body that slammed against the dashboard, her head that shattered the windshield. She took the impact of the collision so Ebert did not have to. She eventually recovered from her injuries, but Ebert saw a beautiful illustration of our topic today displayed before his eyes.
In its simplest form, the word means ‘to cover, to make reconciliation. It conveys the sense of appeasing, cleansing, and purging.’ In the Old Testament, we find the first use of the word in Exodus 30:10 where the annual blood sacrifice to cover the sins of the nation of Israel is being described. The High Priest was instructed to come into the Holy Place once each year to offer a blood sacrifice on the altar of incense. The sacrifice would atone for, or cover, the sins of the people for another year. Each year the sacrifice had to be repeated.
While Exodus 30 is the first use of the word ‘atonement’, it is not the first time the concept is conveyed. In Genesis 3, we find Adam and Eve hunkered down behind a bush, hiding from God. They had done the very thing they were told not to do, and now sin had entered into their world, and ours. Genesis 3:7 tells us that Adam and Eve ate the fruit, and their eyes were opened. We are told that when their eyes were opened, they realized they were naked. They ran to the nearest tree, and grabbed some fig leaves to make a covering for their nakedness. Can’t you just imagine? Trying to somehow piece together a few fig leaves. And then trying to get them to stay put over the exposed parts! It must have been so frustrating. They did what you and I often do~~try to find coverings for our sin that will never do the job.
Any sin we try to cover, God will uncover; while any sin we uncover, God will cover.
God came along and called out those two rebellious dust bunnies. When they confessed their sin, God provided the first atonement that we see occur in the Bible. In Genesis 3:21, we find God making garments of skin for Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness. Remember what kind of sacrifice was required for atonement later on in Exodus 30? A blood sacrifice. Oops! We have a problem, Houston! No sin had entered the world up until the time of Adam and Eve’s rebellion, therefore nothing had ever died. How could there be a blood sacrifice to cover the sin of God’s children? Well, there couldn’t……until something died. That something was likely a lamb or ram.
God, Himself, slayed the perfect animal (remember, there had been no sin, so the animal would have been spotless), and used its skin to make a covering for Adam and Eve’s sinfulness. Now, they experienced atonement, or at-one-ment. They were now clean before God. Mind you, there were still consequence of their sin to deal with, but they were right before God, once again.
Since that day, sin has always required a blood sacrifice to bring humans back into right relationship with God. For centuries, the ancient Israelites slaughtered innumerable lambs that were offered as a covering for their sin in the tabernacle or temple. Yet, it was never enough, because that covering only lasted until the next sin…which if they were like me, probably happened on the way out of the temple. So, they had to offer another sacrifice, and another, and another.
Surely, there was a better way. In Romans 3:25 Paul tells us of the better way. He said,
“God presented him (Jesus) as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood.” emphasis, mine
Jesus, the perfect, sinless LAMB of God allowed His blood to be spilled on Calvary’s cross in order to provide the ultimate covering, or atonement, for my sin and yours. His blood was the final sacrifice that would be needed to atone for sin. While the blood of goats and lambs only covered sin until the next sin, or the next year, the blood of God’s only Son atoned for all eternity.
You see, the only payment for sin is death; the death of the sinner. But, when One steps in, and offers to become the payment for the sin of the sinner, then the sinner is spared. Jesus stepped in and became the payment, the covering, the atonement, for our sin. All we have to do is accept His payment on our behalf, and allow our sin to be covered by His blood before God. When we do, we are made right with God.
Have you accepted His death as covering for your sin? If not, will you today?
It is as easy as asking Him. It might sound something like this: Dear Jesus, I know that I can never be perfect before God in my own power or goodness. I know that you died on the cross to make atonement for my sin; to cover my sin. Would you please forgive for my sin and disobedience, and cover it all with your blood? I invite you to live in my heart today, and forever. Amen.
Linking up on Tuesday with Kelly Balarie at Purposeful Faith. #RaRaLinkup
If you desire to go deeper in your walk with Jesus, I have provided links to two excellent resources. One is from Dr. Adrian Rogers, What Every Christian Ought to Know. The other is from Dr. Charles Stanley, Romans: The Gospel of God.