Whenever I ask “How are you?” one of my professors will almost always respond “Better than I deserve.” While this answer catches me off guard, it’s a very poignant reminder of the gospel truth in both his life and my life.
I wonder if I can also get into the habit of saying this as a response. There are two reasons for this:
- Preaching the gospel to myself.
I should constantly be telling myself that I deserve suffering and banishment from God, yet because of the cross and the empty tomb, I am much better than I deserve. Jerry Bridges, in his book “The Discipline of Grace,” writes:
To preach the gospel to yourself, then, means that you continually face up to your own sinfulness and then flee to Jesus through faith in His shed blood and righteous life. It means that you appropriate, again by faith, the fact that Jesus fully satisfied the law of God, that He is your propitiation, and that God’s holy wrath is no longer directed toward you. To preach the gospel to yourself means that you take at face value the precious words of Romans 4:7-8:
Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.
- Creating opportunities to share the gospel.
Because such an unexpected response would get people to pause and take interest, it is a natural open door to share the good news of Jesus Christ. And by talking about my own sin first, it takes the “edge” off the doctrine of sin so that others can be more receptive before reflecting on their own plight. Then might even have the opportunity to share about why I’m better than I deserve. I have new purpose, a relationship with God, and eternal life. All at no cost to me, and at great cost to Jesus.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
–1 Peter 3:15