I’ve never been much of a math fan, but this kind of math…well this I can get excited about. Gospel math. Basic addition and subtraction. And it goes something like this.
Jesus + Nothing = Everything
Or why not switch it around?
Everything – Jesus = Nothing
I read Tullian Tchividijian’s book, Jesus + Nothing = Everything, this past summer and although I was already familiar with some of his teachings thanks to my amazing Bible Study teacher, reading the book gave me even more to think about.
In this study of Colossians, Tullian dives into grace. He points out that sometimes we try to temper grace, put a harness on it, dish it out in little convenient spoonfuls…just enough to goad us to improve a little more. Just enough so we feel guilty about not doing the right thing. Sometimes we might even view grace as something that happened long ago at that single moment of salvation.
But grace is a living, breathing, alive phenomenon that God has for each of us every day. We will never move beyond the gospel. We need it every day. God’s goal for us is to move us deeper into the gospel, not beyond it.
In his book, Tullians says, “Preach the gospel to ourselves every day—here it is, If God has saved you—if he’s given you the faith to believe, and you’re now a Christian, if you’ve transferred trust from your own accomplishments and abilities to Christ’s accomplishment on behalf of sinners—then here’s the good news. In the phraseology of Colossians 1, it’s simply this: you’ve already been qualified, you’ve already been delivered, you’ve already been transferred, you’ve already been redeemed, and you’ve already been forgiven. Day by day, what God wants us to experience practically only happens as we come to a deeper understanding of what’s already ours in Christ.”
The gospel truly is freedom. Freedom to not only allow Jesus to remove our chains of bondage, but to keep them broken at our feet. Freedom to not add anything—even those good things we cling to (church, behavior, etc.)—to Jesus. And freedom to stop obsessing over conquering our sin but instead, soak in the conquest of our Savior.
If our focus is Christ, our behavior will follow. Our life will be filled with good fruit.
I’m just beginning to learn that salvation isn’t a one-time thing, it’s an ongoing process, one I need to seek God for every minute of every day. My dependence can’t be on anything else. I can’t add anything to my Savior. He’s paid it all.
I love this song by Kristian Stanfill called “One Thing Remains.” I think it says it all. Enjoy!