How many times have you heard the gospel message in your life? For some, it’s never, but for many Christians, we’ve heard it hundreds or thousands of times. One of my daughters started attending Life.Church recently and we’ve attended with her a number of times. They present the gospel every week at the end of their service. It’s beautiful to see people accept God’s love every week.
You heard this quote before?
“Preach the gospel to yourself every day.”Jerry Bridges in Discipline of Grace
Why would we need to do that if we’re already Christians?
Here’s my take: Because we have short memories and we need frequent reminders of our need for God’s saving mercy.
On day 4 we mentioned the Gospel is one of many reasons to give thanks. In this article, I’m going to explore seven reasons why we can be thankful for the gospel.
#1: The gospel demonstrates the extent of God’s love for us
We don’t deserve God’s mercy. We have broken our side of the covenant more times than we can count. As Paul told the Romans, “ But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Rom. 5:8).
#2: The gospel reveals our great need for God’s mercy
God knows just how sinful we are. In Psalm 14, David describes God as searching the earth on the hunt for anyone righteous. The search ends with this verdict: “All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Ps. 14:3). God chose us inspite of our sin.
#3: The gospel frees us to receive God’s love
We were dead in our sins. We couldn’t do anything to deserve or receive God’s love. But God showed us mercy and made it possible for us to receive his love. Paul described it like this, “But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” (Eph. 2:4-5).
#4: The gospel empowers us to love others
Our sinful nature is focused on self-preservation. We normally love others when it benefits us. When Jesus commanded us to love others as we love ourselves, we don’t recognize just how radical that is. That’s why he later expanded on this in John 15:13: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” As we grow in our ability to love others selflessly, we can return thanks to God for changing us.
#5: The gospel releases us from bondage, addictions, and isolation
Paul told the Galatian church, “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law” (Gal. 5:1). Jesus came to set captives free. Sin holds us bondage in the form of addictions, isolation, and rebellion. In talking to the Romans about this, Paul said, “Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living” (Rom. 6:18).
#6: The gospel renews our minds
As we have been changed by the gospel our minds will begin to see life as Jesus does. Paul put it like this, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom. 12:2).
#7: The gospel gives us hope for the world
In Colossians 1:23 Paul proclaims the “hope of the gospel.” The gospel gives us the hope of forgiveness, reconciliation, and holiness. But it also gives us hope that people from every nation, tongue, tribe, and language will one day believe upon Jesus for salvation.
These theological truths provide great reason for thanksgiving on a personal level and for everyone we know. But here’s the rub: do we believe it? Do we reflect upon it daily? Does it lead to thankfulness?
Spend a few minutes journaling on why the gospel message is important for you today. Use one of these prompts to guide your thoughts.
Father, I thank you for showing me your great love through the perfect life and death of Jesus. Thank you for paying the price to redeem me from the death I deserve and for giving me eternal life as a reward. I don’t even have words to express my gratefulness for your mercy. I pray you would show me how to love my family, my friends, and my neighbors with Christ-like love. Thank you for renewing my mind and I pray you would continue your good work on my mind, my heart, and my attitudes. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.