If you eat your spinach, you will be healthy. If you study, you will get good grades. If you smile, people will like you.
Pastor Tullian Tchividjian points out that Christians often approach God in the same way. If … then.
Sure, we recognize that we have broken the Law of God, and that disqualifies us for eternity with God. That’s why we have Jesus, right? Jesus paid the penalty of my breaking the Law. Salvation. He paid the ultimate price for our sins. Thank you, Jesus.
Then, we go right back to what Tchividjian calls performancism. We acknowledge that we can’t get into heaven on our own, and Jesus paid that price, but there are treasures for us to earn, a smile from God to get, a cheer from the angels to spur, stars to reach.
The Gospel heralds a great reversal in which acceptance precedes achievement and mercy comes before merit.
We get caught up in our works and have not understood the greatness of the Law. Somehow, we revert back to works and legalism, performancism.
… a low view of law always produces legalism; a high view of law makes a person a seeker after grace. J. Gresham Machen
Preoccupation with our performance stifles our creativity, our energy, and our relationships. When we turn our focus on the grace of God, we naturally serve others with abandon.
This is very similar to the dynamic, we saw at work with the apostle Peter and with Zacchaeus, the same one we see with many of those that Jesus heals.
This is the freedom a Christian experiences when at the end of all that is possible, Jesus takes that person by the hand, lifts that person to her feet, breathes new health, new hope, new possibilities into her, and says “You are Mine, My child. Nothing is impossible for you through Me.”
Grace. Belovedness before loveliness.
Have you forgotten?
Read this book and bask in His One Way Love.
My prayer for you
Father, thank You for Pastor Tullian. Bless him, we pray. Empower us to understand the greatness of Your Law and our powerlessness to please You without Your great Grace. Show us our depravity and turn us away from performancism to Your inexhaustible grace.