Jesus Is Better Than Self Help

The gospel is more than a message about God saving you from the penalty of your sin.

Self-improvement messages are nearly everywhere. We see them on television, in advertisements, on the internet, and in magazines, newspapers, and books. You will find multiple steps to living a better life or to making yourself more attractive, a superior athlete, the smartest student, and even rich.

With constant bombardment of self-improvement messages, we must be careful that we don’t reduce our relationship with God through Christ to a series of steps to living the best Christian life possible. When we do this, we belittle God and turn Him into someone who helps us achieve what we want out of life.

How do we protect ourselves from adopting selfish methods in our relationship with God? Simple. We live in light of the gospel.

According to A. W. Pink in The Redeemer’s Return, the gospel is more than a message about God saving you from the penalty of your sin. It is a message about God saving you from the penalty of your sin, the power of sin, and the presence of sin.

Throughout your life you are brought along by Jesus and lovingly empowered by the Holy Spirit to live for the glory of God and enjoy Him forever. So instead of formulating a new series of steps to take, look to Jesus. Preach the gospel to yourself every day as a way of placing your trust for your life in His hands, not your own.

Read Ephesians 2:1-10

How did Paul use the word saved in Ephesians 2:5, 8? (He wrote in the present perfect tense, which indicates an action that was already completed at the time of his writing. This means we have already been saved from something.)

From what have we been saved? (From Ephesians 2:1-3 we see that we’ve been saved from God’s wrath.)

When talking about being saved, the Bible typically has two ideas in mind: (1) We are in danger and cannot rescue ourselves; and (2) Someone else rescued us. Be creative and think of ways you and your family could act out a rescue mission in your home that captures these two points.


Thank God for his mercy and grace in rescuing you from the penalty of your sins through faith in Jesus Christ.

And you did he make alive, when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins, wherein ye once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience; among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest:– but God, being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have ye been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus: for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.
-Ephesians 2:1-10



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