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Jesus is better than self-help

The gospel is more than a message about God saving you from the penalty of your sin.

Self-improvement messages are nearly everywhere. We see them on television, in advertisements, on the internet, and in magazines, newspapers, and books. You will find multiple steps to living a better life or to making yourself more attractive, a superior athlete, the smartest student, and even rich.

With constant bombardment of self-improvement messages, we must be careful that we don’t reduce our relationship with God through Christ to a series of steps to living the best Christian life possible. When we do this, we belittle God and turn him into someone who helps us achieve what we want out of life.

How do we protect ourselves from adopting selfish methods in our relationship with God? Simple. We live in light of the gospel.

According to A. W. Pink in The Redeemer’s Return, the gospel is more than a message about God saving you from the penalty of your sin. It is a message about God saving you from the penalty of your sin, the power of sin, and the presence of sin.

Throughout your life you are brought along by Jesus and lovingly empowered by the Holy Spirit to live for the glory of God and enjoy him forever. So instead of formulating a new series of steps to take, look to Jesus. Preach the gospel to yourself every day as a way of placing your trust for your life in his hands, not your own.

Read

Ephesians 2:1–10

  • How did Paul use the word saved in Ephesians 2:5, 8? (He wrote in the present perfect tense, which indicates an action that was already completed at the time of his writing. This means we have already been saved from something.)
  • From what have we been saved? (From Ephesians 2:1–3 we see that we’ve been saved from God’s wrath.)
  • When talking about being saved, the Bible typically has two ideas in mind: (1) We are in danger and cannot rescue ourselves; and (2) Someone else rescued us.
  • Be creative and think of ways you and your family could act out a rescue mission in your home that captures these two points.

Prayer

Thank God for his mercy and grace in rescuing you from the penalty of your sins through faith in Jesus Christ.

This devotion is adapted from the Who Do You Think You Are? Study Guides with Daily Devotions resource.


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