How do I grow as a Christian?
If you had asked me this question when I was 5 years old, this is how I would have answered:
Ask Jesus into my heart, and try to be a good person.
Same question at age 15:
Go to church.
Read your Bible.
Be a light to the world.
Don’t do drugs.
Don’t have sex.
(And, don’t hang out with those who do!)
Then at age 20:
To be in relationship with God, and do my best to show Him how much I love Him, through serving Him, being in His Word, and loving others.
Fast forward 13 years, and my heart resonates with this:
I used to think that growing as a Christian meant I had to somehow go out and obtain the qualities and attitudes I was lacking. To really mature, I needed to find a way to get more joy, more patience, more faithfulness, and so on.
Then I came to the shattering realization that this isn’t what the Bible teaches, and it isn’t the gospel. What the Bible teaches is that we mature as we come to a greater realization of what we already have in Christ. —Tullian Tchividjian, Jesus+Nothing=Everything
There is a subtle, yet dangerous doctrine that is everywhere in our churches today: Jesus+trying hard to live a good life=being a successful Christian.
Instead, let us consider a different way of living:
…the banner under which Christians live reads, “It is finished.” So relax, and rejoice. Jesus plus nothing equals everything; everything minus Jesus equals nothing. —Tullian Tchividjian, Jesus+Nothing=Everything
This doctrine is so extremely important. It affects my everyday living and decisions. It needs to permeate my parenting. Oh, I hope it shows up through my teaching and writing! The last thing I want for YOU to hear from ME is that you need to go out and try harder to be a good Christian.
Christianity is all about what has already been done for us, NOT what we need to do for God.
The hard work of Christian growth, therefore, is to think less of ourselves and our performance and more of Jesus and his performance for us. Ironically, when we focus mostly on our need to get better, we actually get worse. —Tullian Tchividjian, Jesus+Nothing=Everything
I loved reading this book. I found myself nodding my head in agreement over and over. What we believe about the doctrine of the gospel is so very, very important.
The gospel—the good news about Jesus—is not just about how to become a Christian. It is by the gospel that we continue in Christ, everyday of our life. We must get this right.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to every one of you!
Crossway is giving away TWO copies of Jesus+Nothing=Everything to one of YOU! To be entered to win, head on over to Crossway to read more about Jesus+Nothing=Everything, and leave a comment to let us know you did.
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- Check out the Believing Better series over at Do Not Depart, where we will be hitting on some of these themes during the month of December.
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UPDATE: Giveaway is closed. Congrats to Michelle and Valerie, I’ve emailed you the details. Winners were chosen randomly by “And the Winner is…”
If you don’t want to wait for the giveaway, you can get your copy over at Crossway.
I was given a copy of Jesus+Nothing=Everything in exchange for my review. All opinions stated are mine.