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March 08, 2016

How to Preach the Gospel to Yourself: An Interview with Jerry Bridges

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The beloved Jerry Bridges went to be with the Lord on March 6, 2016 after suffering from heart failure. Until his final day, Jerry was spending himself for the gospel, visiting churches and teaching God’s people what it means to preach the gospel to themselves. He made one such visit to The Orchard, where Pastor Colin is senior pastor; you will find an interview with Jerry in this article and an option to listen to his full message on preaching the gospel to yourself.

If you’ve become discouraged by your Christian life; if you often feel the weight of condemnation; if you think God has a low opinion of you or is often frustrated by your efforts; if you believe your good works get you higher marks on his judgment scale, you need to preach the gospel to yourself!

Performance is the default mode of every human: thinking we have to do good works to please God (and even other people). Our identities have become wrapped up in our own accomplishments, the opinions of others, and even the spiritual disciplines we practice, rather than the once-for-all saving work of Jesus Christ.

Author Jerry Bridges wants us to remember the gospel by preaching it to ourselves on a daily basis.

If God’s love for us is to be a solid foundation stone of devotion, we must realize that His love is entirely of grace – that it rests completely upon the work of Jesus Christ and flows to us through our union with Him. Because of this basis His love can never change, regardless of what we do. In our daily experience, we have all sorts of spiritual ups and downs – sin, failure, discouragement – all of which tend to make us question God’s love. That is because we keep thinking that God’s love is somehow conditional. We are afraid to believe His love is based entirely upon the finished work of Christ for us.

Deep down in our souls we must get hold of the wonderful truth that our spiritual failures do not affect God’s love for us one iota – that His love for us does not fluctuate according to our experience. We must be gripped by the truth that we are accepted by God and loved by God for the sole reason that we are united to His beloved Son. (The Practice of Godliness, p. 28)

In his interview with Pastor Colin Smith and Pastor Tom Olson, Jerry Bridges addresses:

  • How we can learn to trust the providence of God
  • How he started in vocational ministry after years in the military
  • The importance of applying the Bible in our daily lives
  • Why it is so vital to understand that “God loves me, personally”


Have you kept the gospel front and center in your own personal life? Or have you somehow forgotten it, leaning instead on your own good works?

Don’t wait another minute to rest on the grace of God poured out through his Son, the sinless Savior who became sin for us so that we could become his righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).


Kristen Wetherell

Kristen Wetherell is a pastor’s wife, mother of three, writer, and speaker. She is the author of several books including Help for the Hungry Soul, Humble Moms, and Fight Your Fears, coauthor of the award-winning book Hope When It Hurts, editor of 12 Faithful Women, and author of the board book series For the Bible Tells Me So. Kristen also co-hosts Front Row Seat, an interview series for pastors’ wives. You can read Kristen’s writing on her website and connect with her through her newsletter Nourished. She and her family are members of The Orchard in Chicagoland.
Kristen Wetherell is a pastor’s wife, mother of three, writer, and speaker. She is the author of several books including Help for the Hungry Soul, Humble Moms, and Fight Your Fears, coauthor of the award-winning book Hope When It Hurts, editor of 12 Faithful Women, and author of the board book series For the Bible Tells Me So. Kristen also co-hosts Front Row Seat, an interview series for pastors’ wives. You can read Kristen’s writing on her website and connect with her through her newsletter Nourished. She and her family are members of The Orchard in Chicagoland.