We need to remind ourselves of those precious truths of the gospel—namely, that through our union with Christ in His death and resurrection, the power of sin has been broken, the guilt of our sin has been forgiven and dealt with, and the assurance of God’s presence secured to us.
Today marks 21 years since the Lord brought me to saving faith and repentance. I always find it to be a good practice to meditate on the way in which the Lord draw me out of a pit of sin and misery and to Himself in Christ. Remembering what we once were when we were dead in sins and what God did to mercifully draw us to Himself through the saving work of Christ is vital if we are to make advancement in our spiritual growth in grace. The Christian life is often fueled most of all not by learning new things (although there are always more important truths for us to learn in God’s word) but by remembering those truths that God has already revealed to us.
There are at least three clear places in Scripture that encourage us to remember the truth of the gospel in order to make progress in growth in Christ-likeness. The first passage is Romans 6. There, the Apostle Paul explained that if we are united to Jesus we have died with Him, been buried with Him, and risen with Him. In light of this truth–and the accompanying truths about our having died to the power of sin since He died to it’s power–Paul charges believers with the following words: “Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:11). Paul was charging believers to preach a specific aspect of the Gospel–what theologians call definitive sanctification–to ourselves. This charge comes on the heal of the question, “Shall we continue in sin that grace might abound?” Through our union with Christ crucified and risen, we have a powerful tool to encourage holiness in the lives of believers. If we are struggling with a particular sin or on the brink of giving into some sin, Paul charges us to preach to ourselves that aspect of the gospel in which there has been a definitive breach with sin’s power.