“Most necessary it is,” wrote Martin Luther, “that we should know this article [the gospel] well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads continually.”
Why would Luther say such a thing? Are we that hardened and forgetful? Milton Vincent, in his book A Gospel Primer, lists 31 reasons why we need to “preach the Gospel” to ourselves daily. For reason number 2, “My Daily Battle,” he writes:
The gospel is so foolish (according to my natural wisdom), so scandalous (according to my conscience), and so incredible (according to my timid heart), that it is a daily battle to believe the full scope of it as I should. There is simply no other way to compete with the forebodings of my conscience, the condemnings of my heart, and the lies of the world and the Devil than to overwhelm such things with daily rehearsings of the gospel.
So why do we need to continually hear the gospel and have it “beat into our brains?” Because of the daily spiritual battle in which we are engaged. The soft whisperings of the enemy, the world, and at times our own conscience, speak loudly to our souls that we are just not good enough nor obedient enough to warrant God’s favor. As a result, we begin to waver and doubt.
Therefore, we need to fight back. The apostle Paul wrote for us to take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication (Ephesians 6:13-18).
As you read Paul’s words, I’m sure you noticed the bolded words “truth”, “righteousness,” “gospel,” “faith,” “salvation,” and “word of God” These words are basically synonyms for the gospel. So what Paul wants for his readers is for them to arm themselves with the gospel message. It is the good news of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection that protects, guards, and allows us to stand firm.
According to Scripture, those who are “in Christ” are “delivered from the domain of darkness and [are] transferred to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13). There is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” for we have “been set free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:1-2).
Because of the wonderful truths of the gospel, may we pick up and read, meditate, and memorize God’s word today and discipline ourselves to do so daily. I like what Jimmy Davis writes in regards to the spiritual disciplines (Bible reading, prayer, etc….): I don’t read my Bible to get the Father to love me. I read it to hear him say he loves me in the gospel of his Son, Jesus Christ.
Let’s beat the gospel into our heads!