On Wednesday, my pastor reminded us that the gospel is not just for salvation, but also for our sanctification, and I thought of this prayer by Scotty Smith.
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
Dear Lord Jesus, even as Paul was eager to preach the gospel to believers in Rome, I’m equally eager to preach it to my own heart today—this morning, afternoon and evening. All I really need is you plus what you choose to give me, but I really do need you all the time.
There was a time, however, when I thought the gospel was only for nonbelievers—the doorway, just the portal for beginning a relationship with you. I now realize the gospel is just as much for believers as it is for nonbelievers; because from beginning to end, our salvation is entirely dependent upon the grace, truth, and power of the gospel.
Thank you for showing me that salvation is not merely our post-mortem holiday—the good news of going to heaven when we die. It’s about dead people, like me, coming to life in you now. It’s about becoming like you, Jesus—being transformed into your loving likeness. 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 are thoroughly broken and corrupted by sin. We need a big gospel for our great need. Indeed, there’s nothing more than the gospel, there is just more of the gospel. (I believe this… free me to believe it much, much more)
So I praise you today, Jesus, that you’ve already accomplished everything necessary to completely save us. You came into the world as God’s promised Messiah—the man from heaven, the second Adam. You lived a life of perfect obedience on our behalf—as our substitute, fulfilling all the demands of God’s law for us. You died upon the cross for us—taking the criticism and judgment we deserve; and you have completely exhausted God’s righteous anger against our sin. (Sing and soar, O my soul!)
Through faith in you, all of my sins have been forgiven (past, present and future), and I’ve been given the gift of your perfect righteousness. God has already declared me righteous in his sight, for he has hidden my life in yours. He cannot love me more than he does today, and he will not ever love me less. In fact, because of your work for us, Jesus, God now loves me just as much as he loves you. Amazing! I’d be slap-worthy arrogant—make that a blasphemer, if this wasn’t revealed in the gospel.
By adoption, I’m God’s beloved child; by his generosity, I’m indwelt by the Holy Spirit; by his faithfulness, I’m an heir of the new heaven and new earth. Though a non-dancer, this makes me want to dance in the Spirit! Lord Jesus, keep pressing this gospel into my yet-to-be glorified heart—pound it, reveal it. So very Amen I pray, in your priceless and peerless name.