Guest Post by Scotty Smith
A Prayer for Preaching the Gospel to Ourselves
I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Rom. 1:15–17
Most gracious Lord Jesus, even as Paul was eager to preach the gospel to believers in Rome, so I’m eager to preach it to my own heart today. There was a time when I thought the gospel was only for nonbelievers—simply the doorway for beginning a relationship with you. I now realize we believers need the gospel just as much as nonbelievers. From beginning to end, our redemption is entirely dependent upon the grace, truth, and power of the gospel. Indeed, there’s nothing more than the gospel, there is just more of the gospel.
Thank you for rescuing us from the notion that salvation is primarily death preparation. It’s about coming to life and it concerns the whole of life. It’s about becoming like you, Jesus—one Day being as beautiful and loving as you. It’s about deliverance from our little stories of personal peace and affluence, that we might serve in your big story of pan-national and cosmic redemption. What a privilege and honor!
Only the resources of the gospel are sufficient for such a task, for we’re not just separated from God by a great distance, we’re thoroughly diseased by our great depravity. We need a big gospel for our great need, and that’s exactly what you have in you.
Jesus, we worship and adore you for accomplishing everything necessary to completely save us. You came into the world as God’s promised Messiah, fulfilling the hope of Israel’s prophets. As the second Adam, you lived a life of perfect obedience as our substitute—fulfilling every demand of God’s law for us. As the Lamb of God, you died upon the cross for us—taking the punishment we deserve. You have exhausted God’s righteous and holy anger, once and for all. Hallelujah!
We no longer fear death and facing judgment; and we no longer dread life, and carrying the burden of our guilt and shame. Your painful cry, “It is finished”, is now our celebrative song.
Through faith in you and this good news, all of our sins have been forgiven—past, present and future; sins of thought, word and deed. God has already declared us righteous in his sight because he has robed us in your perfect righteousness. We’ve been adopted as his beloved children and are now indwelt by his Holy Spirit. God cannot love us more than he does today, and he’ll never love us less. Amazing! In fact, because of your work for us, Jesus, God now loves us just as much as he loves you, for he has hidden our lives in yours. Astonishing! We believe, help our unbelief.
As this gospel is bearing fruit throughout history and the world, may it continue to do so in our hearts and lives, even this very day. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ priceless and peerless name.