If you have not read Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchivijian I would highly recommend it to every believer. It explains how a clear understanding of the gospel of grace is not just essential to entering the Christian life, it is also essential to living it.
All people must come to Christ recognizing that we are saved by grace - favor we do not deserve. We are accepted based on His performance on a cross, not based on our performance. When Christ said, "It is finished," (John 19:30) He meant, "It is finished." Our debt of sin was paid in full by a loving Savior who died was our substitute and rose again.
What Tullian so superbly explains, is that the basis on which we are saved is the basis on which we serve. We don't have to earn His acceptance, we already have it. We don't have to impress God; we are so clothed in Christ's righteousness, He views us through the perfection of His Son. Getting our mind off ourselves and onto Him and who we are in Him is liberating, exciting, and motivating. An understanding of the gospel of grace is not only key to our salvation, it is key to our sanctification. I love his comment, "Christianity isn't turning over a new leaf, it's receiving a new life." That life is all about Him and the resources He has for us each day due to our new, never to be changed, indescribable position in Christ.
If as a Christian you are struggling with your self-image, living a life pleasing to God, understanding legalism versus grace, this book is a must read.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Larry Moyer, Founder & CEO, EvanTell
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done..." gets to the heart of this book - it's truly about JESUS CHRIST and the active and passive obedience of the only Savior. Clearly there's plenty more to say about our sanctification, and the author isn't seeking to say that this small work is all that's needed, but it's definitely a useful tool in the life of any true believer.
Jesus + Nothing = Everything is the equation that Tullian Tchividjian took away from a year of great trial and turmoil. He describes the bitter divisions that soured the beginning of his pastorate at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and the personal anchor that he found in the overwhelming power of the gospel. The book of Colossians forms the basis of Tchividjian's call for Christians to rediscover the gospel and continually reorient their lives around Jesus.
Tchividjian insists that many who assume they understand the gospel fail to actually apply its riches to their lives. He takes particular aim at self-righteousness, which motivates moral behavior by fear and guilt. In contrast, the gospel of grace, with the radical freedom that it brings, provides the only sustainable motivation for Christians. This book delves into the profound theological truths of the gospel, yet the message is intensely practicalâ€”Tchividjian sounds the call for believers to lean hard on Christ in every area of every day.
This book was easy to read through and at times Pastor Tchividjian goes on so much with the title it is almost numbing and tiresome. His main point is well taken in that we bring nothing to our Lord when he bestows salvation on us and that anything we try to bring are filthy rags. The events that lead to this book are the same trials every believer experiences when they are doing the work of the Gospel. The world hates this message, there is no other way they could live if they did not do all they could to destroy the Jesus of the Bible. Which is the main point of any trial. Thank be to God that this trial was one that he was able to grow closer to the Lord.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Crossway Publishing, Inc. for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
Jesus + Nothing = Everything makes sense. We know that it's true in a logical way. But when left with nothing, do we still live in the truth of having everything in Christ? This book is about the very nature of our salvation and the sanctification process.
Tchividjian talks about a common falsehood in Christianity, a "do more, try harder moralism that robs us of the joy and freedom Jesus paid dearly to secure for us." Salvation becomes man centered, another tool in our belt of personal development. The remedy, according to Tchividjian is to meditate on and live in the reality of Jesus's victory.
I love this quote.
"The only way to deal with remaining sin long-term is to develop a distaste for it in light of the glorious acceptance, security, and forgiveness we already possess in Christ. I need to be reminded of this all the time, every day. Because the fact is, guilt doesn't produce holiness; grace does."
I received a free copy of this book from Crossway Books in exchange for my honest review.
I found this book very insightful and thought-provoking. So often, we think that the gospel is just to get us into the "Christian club" then it's up to us to maintain our membership. This book reminds us that the gospel is for daily living. I need Christ's saving power in my life as much today as when I first believed. This book also reminds us that it is God's power in us that makes us like him, not our own efforts. I need to continue to come to Him, confessing, repenting and acting in faith to how He would have me to live. When I act in faith contrary to what my heart wants to do, I glorify God.