“Preach the gospel to yourself every day” –Jerry Bridges
It’s easy, sometimes, to get caught up in the thousands of “issues” that surround the Christian faith. As a student, my mind was constantly working on some type of question or mulling over the most recent class debate (Is baptism a symbol or a sacrament? Is “church-shopping” wrong? How does the gospel relate to culture?). I loved those questions and I still do, but there were times when I was so caught up in it all that it would have been hard for me to succinctly tell someone what Christianity was, at its core. But after I graduated and was reading a book about the emergent church, I ran across the above quotation. “Preach the gospel to yourself every day.” And it seemed like everything stopped.
Every single day, I need to remind myself that I am sinful. Depraved. Broken. I cannot justify myself through my striving, no matter how hard I try. I deserve hell.
And yet, in his holy mercy, Christ came to earth and died on the cross. In his perfect love, he made a way out of death for humanity: He has atoned for me. This righteousness is received though faith, in God’s free and continuous grace, and is available to all who believe.
I don’t have to strive to save myself, because He has promised to cover me. Every day.