Just what I needed for today.
So I picked up Tullian Tchividjian’s book Jesus + Nothing = Everything the other day to try to finish it. With the way life went over the summer, I did not pick up many books to read. Now that life has slowed down just a hair, I have made it a point to get back into them. I am really glad I did. I am remembering why I love reading so much. After God’s Word, I love picking up books that challenge me and encourage me through reading them. There is so much to learn from other people who might see something in a way that I might not have yet, or ever for that matter. With that said, what I want to share today on this blog is an excerpt from his book. I hope it encourages you today as well.
We’ve recognized that once God rescues sinners, his plan isn’t to steer them beyond the gospel but to move them more deeply into it. That’s because the gospel isn’t the first step in a stairway of truths but more like the hub in a wheel of truth.
After all, the only antidote to sin is the gospel-always has been, always will be. And since Christians remain sinners even after they’re converted, the gospel must be the medicine a Christian takes every day. We can think of it this way: since we never leave off sinning, we can never leave off the gospel.
In Romans, Paul calls the gospel “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (1:16), and contrary to what many Christians conclude, he didn’t simply mean the power of God unto conversion. The gospel remains the power of God for salvation until we’re glorified. We need God’s rescue every day, in every way, because we are, as John Calvin expressed it, partly unbelievers until we die, for we remain sinners until we die. There’s nothing anyone can add to the gospel that can give us more rescue than the gospel alone does. Jesus plus nothing equals everything, everything minus Jesus equals nothing.
We never leave the gospel, ever-even as we move into deeper theological waters. As Tim Keller says, the gospel isn’t simply the ABCs of Christianity, but the A to Z of Christianity. All theology is an exposition of the gospel, a further articulation of the gospel in all its facets, meticulously unfolding all its liberating implications and empowering benefits.
And on the practical side, all true maturity and further growth in Christian living is simply the appropriation of the gospel and its benefits in daily life.
And those blessings truly amount to everything- to an extent beyond our imagining.
Everything in our lives as Christians, followers of Christ, begins and ends with the gospel. We are who we are today because of the Gospel and because of the Gospel, when we get to heaven, we will be who we will be. It really is good news. I hope it encourages you today.