Jesus + Nothing = Everything

The above is the thought provoking title of a book written by Pastor Tullian Tchividjian.  In case you are not familiar with Pastor Tullian, he is the grandson of Billy Graham.  He is also the Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church … formerly led by Dr. James Kennedy.

jesusnothing

I especially found this title interesting as I used to share a post on Xanga titled ‘Jesus Math’ every year that shares some similarities with the subject matter of this book.  Follow the hyperlink if you are interested in reading the ‘Jesus Math’ post.

Pastor Tullian has offered some pretty interesting thoughts from time to time in this book.  Here is one I especially liked:

“The Spirit’s continuing subjective work in me consists of his constant, daily driving me back to Christ’s completed objective work for me.”

Being the good Berean, I like to set out and see how Scripture confirms such a thought.

First off, it is the work of the Spirit NOT the flesh that gives life to me and to you …

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.  John 6:63 (ESV)

Second, it is a daily process … a daily renewing process …

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12:2 (ESV)

The question this renewal raises is ‘Who can discern what is the will of God?’  The answer is the Holy Spirit.

And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  Romans 8:27 (ESV)

Therefore, a daily renewal that brings a believer to the point of being able to discern what is the will of God is indeed the work of the Holy Spirit.

Titus confirms that the work of daily renewal is the work of the Holy Spirit …

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit … Titus 3:4-5

And this passage from Ephesians seems to define what that daily renewal process under the leadership of the Holy Spirit looks like …

But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught IN him, as the truth is IN Jesus,  to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,  and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,  and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.  Ephesians 4:20-24 (ESV)

A brief recap on that passage and what the Holy Spirit id doing IN you …

  • You must be taught the truth by the Holy Spirit … the truth which is IN Jesus
  • You must put off your old self according to your former manner of life
  • You must be renewed in the spirit of your mind
  • You must put on the new self … created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness

Of course in all these things we are talking …

“The Spirit’s continuing subjective work in me consists of his constant, daily driving me back to Christ’s completed objective work for me.”

I’m comfortable that summation is validated by Scripture.

How about you?

Bernie

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About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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