Many contemporary Christians are looking for something “new” to share from their pulpits and classes — but they are making a huge mistake. In Romans 1:15 the Apostle Paul writes: “So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.” It should be instructive to us that many (and perhaps most) of the people to whom Paul was writing here were already Christians. But he was still going to “preach the gospel to you.” That reminds us that we never lose our need to hear the gospel.
Jerry Bridges has famously written that Christians need to “preach the gospel to ourselves” every day. We need to be reminded that we are sinners, and are only saved by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. This keeps us humble, and thankful; inoculates us from self-righteousness and legalism, and keeps us praising and thanking God for what He did for us in Jesus.
A faith that has “grown” so much that it has moved past the gospel is not a mature faith at all; it is misguided, and most likely legalistic and proud. We never outgrow our need to hear the gospel, just as the old hymn reminds us:
“I love to tell the story, for those who know it best, seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest. And when in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song — ’twill be the old, old story, that I have loved so long.”
So what should you preach and teach on this week? Whatever lesson you cover, be sure to “preach the gospel” in your message somewhere, and share that “old, old story” which we never outgrow our need to hear!