“Amazing Grace.” “Good News.” “The Gospel.”
The above phrases have been tossed around so much in Christian communities that they have almost lost their meaning. Those of us who grew up in church tend to think that “Amazing Grace” is just a song sung at funerals, that “Good News” applies to overseas missionaries and that “The Gospel” is for the unchurched or unsaved. Tullian Tchividjian (Billy Graham’s grandson) explains in his new book, “One Way Love. Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World”, exposes the status quo of our Christian culture and helps reveal the fullness of the good news of the gospel…Which is the amazing Grace of God!
You have heard me say that I was once a weary and exhausted pastor. This was a result of me doing Christianity instead of being a Christian. I wasn’t the only one. Pastor Tullian calls it being a “Performancist.” Saying, “we can give people the impression that Christianity is first and foremost about the sacrifice we make for Jesus rather than the sacrifice Jesus made for us; our obedience for him rather than his obedience for us.” The Gospel is not do good, get good. The Gospel is Jesus IS good, period! We need to change our perspective; it is not what I have done for Jesus. It is what Jesus has done for me. His finished work has paid the price that we could not. If you have responded to Jesus’ offer of salvation, then you are no longer condemned. Your sin was punished on the cross! Now that is good news!!! You can be free from guilt, condemnation, accusation and shame! Not because of what you do, but because of what Jesus DID for you!
“We need to be told over and over that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. That nothing can separate us from God’s love and that Christians live their lives under a banner that reads ‘IT IS FINISHED!’” –Tullian Tchividjian, “One Way Love”
I used to struggle in my life with guilt, fear, shame, and condemnation! I used to white knuckle my way through my issues, just holding on so I didn’t screw up again! I would look around and wonder where this victorious and abundant life was supposed to be. I was exhausted. I would often find myself thinking that if I somehow performed well enough, I would be accepted, loved and liked…even by God. That is an exhausting and hopeless place to be. God in His goodness began to unveil the fullness of His gospel to me. God’s love for us has nothing to do with our works but the finished work of Jesus Christ. Paul says in Galatians 2:16 that:
“Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law because by works of the law no one will be justified.”
Pastor Tullian says, “The law reveals sin but is powerless to remove it. It points to righteousness but can’t produce it.” This is where grace comes in! His name is Jesus. We are made righteous through His sacrifice for us on the cross! This is why it’s all about Jesus. It really is ONE WAY LOVE! Jesus came to do what we could not. The book “One Way Love” makes plain the AMAZING GRACE of God.
If your story is anything like mine, I encourage you pick up this book. It is the “Book of the Month” at Gospel Life Church for November, so you can grab a copy on Sunday morning in our bookstore or if you can’t wait click right HERE to order it on Amazon. I would also encourage you to read through the book of Galatians and ask God to reveal His amazing grace to you. Trust me, the gospel is Good News because you can rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ. It’s not your works that make you righteous; you don’t have to maintain your salvation! God Saves Sinners without a scrap of human effort! I know this sounds all too good to be true, but I promise is is true - all of it!
This Sunday at Gospel Life Church, Pastor Rob will begin a sermon series titled, "Surprised by Grace". For six weeks we will encounter the story of Jonah in a way that will not only open your eyes, but will completely surprise you as you encounter the incredibly powerful, absolutely relentless and inexhaustible grace of our God!