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Preach This

May 22, 2014 | by: Mike Law | 0 Comments

From time to time I’ve mentioned the need to “preach to yourself.” That idea and concept comes from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his book Spiritual Depression (see pages 20-21). In that work, Lloyd-Jones identifies that we often have the problem of listening to ourselves instead of preaching to ourselves. We listen to our thoughts of bitterness and resentment, and so we’re tempted to spiral into discouragement and despair. Lloyd-Jones says that part of the answer to this quandary is that we should preach to ourselves. But if that’s the case, what should we preach? We should preach God’s Word to ourselves, and especially the good news of the gospel. Joe Thorn picks this idea up in his book Note to Self, and on page 30 he helpfully summarizes the core of the good news that we should be preaching:

“At its core, the gospel is Jesus as the substitute for sinners. We could summarize the whole by saying that in his life Jesus lives in perfect submission to the will of God and he fulfills his righteous standard (the law). In his death on the cross he quenches God’s wrath against sin, satisfying the sovereign demand for justice. In his resurrection he is victorious over sin and death. All of this is done on behalf of sinners in need of redemption and offered to all who believe. This is therefore very ‘good news.’ Jesus’ life is good news, for his obedience to the Father and fulfillment of the law is for us. While we as sinners fail to keep the law, Jesus was perfectly faithful. Jesus’ death is good news because his death was a payment for our sin, and by it we are cleansed from our guilt and released from condemnation. Jesus’ resurrection is good news because his victory over death is ours and through it we look forward to a resurrection of our own” [ Joe Thorn, Note to Self, (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2011), 30].

When you’re tempted to complain, preach this good news to yourself. When you’re tempted to become angry, preach this good news to yourself. When you’re tempted toward despair, preach this good news to yourself. When you’re tempted to shift blame, preach this good news to yourself. When you’re tempted toward anxiety, preach this good news to yourself. Whatever you may be tempted by, whenever you may be tempted by it, preach this good news to yourself.

HT: Of First Importance

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