Jeff Vanderstelt. Gospel Fluency: Speaking the Truths of Jesus into the Everyday Stuff of Life. Wheaton: Crossway, 2017 pp. 109-10.
When I first started to become aware of my need to grow in gospel fluency, this was not a natural process for me. I had to practice preaching the gospel to myself first. I regularly rehearsed the truths of the gospel at the beginning of my day:
- God is perfect.
- Jesus lived perfectly for me. He is my righteousness.
- God loves me. Jesus died for my sins. I am loved and forgiven.
- God is powerful and mighty.
- Jesus rose from the dead.
- I am more than a conqueror in him.
- God is alive and present and with me.
- He sent his Spirit to be with me and in me. I am not alone or without the power to overcome.
- God is for me and not against me.
Then, throughout my day, I had to preach the gospel to myself over and over again. I didn’t do this alone. I asked the Holy Spirit to teach me, encourage me, remind me of what is true of Jesus, and convict and correct me when I was going the wrong way in my heart and mind. I still do this. Every day, I invite the Holy Spirit to preach the truths of Jesus to my heart all day long: “Holy Spirit, remind me of Jesus. Keep teaching me all that he is and all that he has done, is doing, and will do. And remind me who I am in Christ as a result. I need your witness. I need your help. I need your guidance. I need your power. I need your truth!” As I become aware of a thought, emotion, or motive, I ask myself some or all of these questions:
- Is this really true? Or is it a lie?
- Is this from God or someone else?
- Does this sound like the Devil’s accusation or the Spirit’s conviction?
- Does it line up with the gospel of Jesus Christ?
- What am I hoping in right now? What do I believe this hope promises to give me?
- Why am I considering this behavior? What will be its outcome?
- In all of this, what is true of Jesus?
- What is true of who I am in him?
- How did Jesus do better for me? How did he speak a better word over me?
- What about Jesus do I need to remember and believe right now?
If you are going to grow in gospel fluency, you need to do the same. Just as in learning a language, you need to capture and examine your thoughts to see if they line up with the gospel, then bring them into submission to Christ by regularly rehearsing the truths of the gospel to yourself over and over again.