Pure Gold

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This post by Tullian Tchividjian is rich Gospel gold and reminds us that Christ has given us everything we need pertaining to life and godliness:

This morning, as I was re-reading a portion of her book Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life, I was recaptured by a truth that I preached recently. In my sermon on Colossians 1:9-14, I said:

It’s important to note that in these verses Paul doesn’t pray for something the Colossian Christians don’t have. Rather, he prays they will grow in their awareness and understanding of what they do have. Christian growth doesn’t happen by working hard to get something you don’t have. Christian growth happens by working hard to live in the reality of what you do have.

I used to think that when the Bible tells us to work out our salvation, it meant go out and get what you don’t have—get more patience, get more strength, get more joy, get more love, and so on. But after reading the Bible more carefully I now understand that real gospel fruit happens, not as we “work harder” but only as we continually rediscover the gospel. You could put it this way: rediscovering the gospel is the hard work we’re called to.

You see, the secret of the gospel is that we become more spiritually mature when we focus less on what we need to do for God and focus more on all that God has already done for us. The irony of the gospel is that we actually perform better as we grow in our understanding that our relationship with God is based on Christ’s performance for us, not our performance for him.

With this same idea in mind, Elyse writes:

One reason we don’t grow in ordinary, grateful obedience as we should is that we’ve got amnesia; we’ve forgotten that we are cleansed from our sins. In other words, ongoing failure in sanctification (the slow process of change into Christlikeness) is the direct result of failing to remember God’s love for us in the gospel. If we lack the comfort and assurance that his love and cleansing are meant to supply, our failures will handcuff us to yesterday’s sins, and we won’t have faith or courage to fight against them, or the love for God that’s meant to empower this war. If we fail to remember our justification, redemption, and reconciliation, we’ll struggle in our sanctification.

I guess you could say that Christian growth does not happen first by behaving better, but believing better–believing in bigger, deeper, brighter ways what Christ has already secured for sinners. (full article here)

Again and again we see in the New Testament that sanctification is obtained by reaccessing what we’ve already been given from what has already been accomplished by the work of Christ.