Aug

17

2012

Tullian Tchividjian|9:26 am CT

The Good News

I love the way Sean Norris of South Side Anglican Church in Pittsburgh describes what the gospel is on their church website.

The “good news” of Christianity begins by describing the way things are. There is much beauty and joy in our lives, but there is also pain, loss, dissatisfaction, and trauma. We wish we didn’t war with each other, but we do. No one wants to become an addict, but we do. No one wants their marriage to end in divorce, but it happens. We are not as free as we think. We are unable to fix ourselves, our family, or our world. Are we left alone?

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:5).

The Gospel—literally the “good news”—is that God has descended into the depths of our failure, even into hell itself to rescue us. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). In Jesus, God himself took the consequences of our ignorance, our selfishness, our cowardice, and ultimately our rejection of him. Jesus alone reveals that God is not an angry judge but a loving father gathering his hurting children to himself to heal, to forgive, to redeem.

We are reconciled to God by faith through grace alone. As a result, we believe that the gospel is the same for all people, Christian and non alike. Only God’s grace unleashes freedom—the kind of freedom to accept, to forgive, to walk in love, to live boldly. “It is for freedom Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1). God’s forgiveness means that we are motivated by love instead of fear. The fruit of that freedom of the Gospel is a spontaneous, creative, and compassionate life.

We believe that the very thing that makes a Christian—namely, the Gospel—is the same thing that grows a Christian.

I’m grateful for Sean and his gospel witness. If you live anywhere near Pittsburgh, I recommend that you visit Sean’s young church plant.

12 Comments

  1. THE QUESTION `WHAT IS THAT GOOD?’ (Eccl)
    This is exactly what Koheleth pronounced (1:8). What is the eye for but for `seeing’? yet it is not satisfied thereby. If a man love silver will he not be satisfied with it? No. It is a weary business, this seeking satisfaction from a world marked with corruption. Ecclesiastes utters truth at every step. All his findings point in the same direction. Vanity is written over all by reason of death. THE good is the LIFE to come. Satisfaction cannot be found here. `I shall be SATISFIED when I awake with Thy likeness’ is as much the burden of Koheleth as of the Psalmist.
    In chapter 6:1,2 the writer reverts to a phase of experience already touched upon in 2:24-26.`There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men (or heavy upon men R.V.): A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease’. A book not in high esteem among the `orthodox’, but a book which being given by inspiration of God is not only `profitable’ but to those who have been granted the eye of faith, a book calculated to shed great light upon the tangled pathway of the believer, who, while `in this
    tabernacle’, must of necessity have continual contact with things `under the sun’, even though his hope and calling place him in Christ `far above all’. And this also was a conclusion in Tullian’s rendering. Jesus himself made it quite clear multiple times mentioning one of many seek not the things of this world. Eccl sets the standard and like Tullian and the writer of Eccl makes (it can’t be found) “Under The Sun” That is LIFE. But all to often we here and see what Tullian says here ” We wish we didn’t war with each other, but we do. No one wants to become an addict, but we do. No one wants their marriage to end in divorce, but it happens. Vanity all Vanity because of those many Christians still don’t get what Tullian taught and what the book of Eccl reveals. There may have been a lot of itching ears over that series but I don’t think many were scratched.

  2. Nevertheless Ecclesiastes is in advance of many of his self-appointed teachers. `Better is the sight of the eyes
    than the wandering of the desire (soul)’ (6:9) – for seek as he will and where he will man will never escape the curse
    of vanity except by Him Who is the true and living way. Both Ecclesiastes and Christ say `a living WAY’. `A living
    WAGE’ is a poor substitute if taken alone. `This also is vanity and vexation of spirit’.

  3. Finally, the apparent lack of equity that goes to make up the lives of men, the prosperity of the wicked and the suffering of the righteous, this further emphasizes the unsatisfactory nature of things and cries aloud for the `conclusion of the matter’, viz., a definite hereafter for the rectification of all that now is crooked. Who is there,taught by the Scriptures, that will say that Ecclesiastes is not soundly true? Members of the One Body, blessed with all spiritual blessings, will do well to meditate upon the teaching of this book, for what is the practical exhortation to us but the experimental teaching of Ecclesiastes in the doctrine of Paul? `If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth’ (Col. 3:1,2).That is the good news for modern man. Amen.

  4. Not so much pertaining to this post, but why is the Holy Spirit neglected as if He is a non-essential to grace? I appreciated Scotty Smith’s preaching last Sunday on Jude but again I felt that somehow the Holy Spirit’s importance in the believer’s life was neglected. Believers being sealed with the Holy Spirit have His presence in them always, yet it seems we spend more time unaware than aware of His presence. It seems that we miss out on that amazing oneness and unity with God that we have in the spirit which affects the way we live. That wondrous intimate personal relationship God desires to have with us through his Son Jesus Christ(The Word) by His Spirit. John 17:20-26, Romans 8:1-17

  5. Kathy,
    Your observations were not made alone . . . indeed the Holy Spirit is the much forgotten person in the current conversation about the Gospel and Sanctification.

    The pouring out of the Holy Spirit is one of the grandest promises in the OT concerning the New Covenant age . . . but as long as our theologians continue insisting on the existence of an over-arching, all-encompassing, and continuing “covenant of grace” formulation the Biblically defined New Covenant and its exclusive blessings (including the Holy Spirit) will continue to be obscured and minimized.

    See here for more: http://www.takeacopy.com/

  6. Pastor
    I can appreciate this Pastor, being part of the Anglican Communion and part of the Anglican branch of the reformation. And the Book of Common Prayer is a great resource. You would not need anything else save a bible to keep an orderly house of God.
    It may be that he has been listening to some of your sermons Pastor Tullian.

  7. “..We are reconciled to God by faith through grace alone” ?

    Isn’t it the other way round – we are saved by grace alone through faith alone?

    “..the gospel is the same for all people, Christian and non alike.”?

    I agree that the gospel is freely offered to all men. But it will save some (the elect) and condemn others (the reprobate) because they will not obey it. (2 Corinthians 2:16). So it’s not true to say that it’s the same for all people.

    The gospel is not primarily to “fix broken lives”, although this can indeed be a fruit of it. It is to reconcile us to God. The kingdom of God is “not of this world” and neither should our hope rest on our lives in this world.

  8. Was the word “sin” intentionally left out?

  9. Mitchell Hammonds

    I get we are reconciled to God… so “sin” would be inherent in the very notion of reconciliation.

  10. My dear friends..men are in love with their bodies and their ego is born out of that love and most of us spend a great time searching for that love.. we often think its like what we want for us and of course that love can be found in the outside,so in various ways we give attributes to the ”idea”of love…sometimes we say its in the holy,sacred,spirit etc without even understanding the real meaning of such words..and from these ‘outside’visions religions and anti religions are born..!most of us think..’I'am christian..I am muslim. I am buddhist and so on..how can you be truly honest and know it? the heart beats but we are not aware of it so spiritual evolution should follow the same path for..in the moment ‘you’ decide to be honest or religious or whatever the ego decides you trap yourself in mental conversations… with whom? the falself…peace must not be born out of war ..

  11. Jeremy, I think that’s a telling point (“was the word ‘sin’ intentionally left out”) and it’s one of the root causes why the Gospel Coalition is of no benefit to the souls of men – there’s no ownership of sin, no recognition of the vileness of our nature.
    The gospel is portrayed as something to fix our lives, not reconcile us to a holy God.

  12. [...] The Good News, Tullian Tchividjian [...]

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