The gospel is not only something we know but something we experience. But how do we experience the gospel? Jerry Bridges helps us answer this vital question:
On our good days we think God must surely be pleased with us and is smiling at us. We forget, as we saw earlier, that all our righteous deeds are like polluted garments in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6). On our bad days we tend to think we have lost the favor of God because of our sin. We forget that he no longer counts our sin against us because Jesus has already born that sin in his body on the cross. This is not to say that we should not take our sin seriously. We do need to confess it and repent of it. But the greatest motivation for doing that is to reflect on the fact that Jesus bore those very sins you committed that day in his body on the cross, and God has forgiven you because Jesus was crushed for those sins. So in order to experience the subjective reality of our justification we must every day look outside of ourselves to Christ. About twenty-five years ago I heard on a taped message the expression “preach the gospel to yourself every day.” That is what we must learn to do if we are to enjoy the present reality of our justification. That is what Paul did two thousand years ago when he wrote, “And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). I am justified, I am righteous before God, because God has charged my sin to Christ and credited to me his perfect
Jerry Bridges, Who Am I?: Identity in Christ, 40
We experience the gospel by reminding ourselves of it every day. We preach the gospel to ourselves and day by day we will experience the joy that comes from the gospel being rooted in our hearts and lives.
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