For you to be able to preach the gospel to yourself and for you to be able to recognize parseltongue, you must know the truth. You cannot fight with something you are unfamiliar. If you’re unfamiliar with a sword, would you expect to handle it expertly in combat?
Yet, how many of us are journeying through life without any familiarity with the gospel story found in scripture? How many of us desire the Spirit’s daily transforming power to kill sin but aren’t using the scripture inspired by the Spirit?
The Christian life is a journey. We are “sojourners and exiles” but in order “to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:11) you must have an offensive strategy.
That offensive strategy is feeding on Christ. The more you feed on Christ. The more you will have of the Spirit. The more you have of the Spirit the more you will recognize lie from truth.
First, you must engage God in Scripture. Scripture is our sole authority and will equip us to live in light of the gospel.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17
How can the author of Hebrews say the word of God is living? It lives because the Scripture is breathed out by God and his Spirit changes us through the truth of the gospel found within its pages. Therefore, to do discipleship without a heavy daily dose of the gospel is folly. This dose comes through reading, meditating, and sharing the word.
Second, you must engage the Gospel word with others. This requires intentionally growing relationships with other Christians who you can share life and the gospel with. The death of Christ builds community so to disciple yourself without involving others is also folly.
Be actively involved in a local church. Give others permission to speak lovingly into your heart. Humbly accept criticism and rebuke from others. That’s hard. Community is hard! It is in community that we see the redemptive power of God working in and through us. We cannot fight the lies of the enemy on our own. We need one another and we also need to own our discipleship journey. We preach the gospel to others and ourselves. This is the journey of discipleship in all of life.