Me DOING or Me NOT DOING is still all about ME

Tullian Tchividjian has an excellent blog post on the one-way love of God here:

Many times in our discussions about law vs. works and whether or not we should fruit check and the relationship between justification and sanctification and all of that, perhaps we miss this very point. The MAIN THING about grace is this one-way love!

If we obsess about how much we do or don’t depend on ourselves for our personal sanctification, how much even that we are theologians of the cross as opposed to theologians of glory, how much we do or don’t score-keep, it still ends up being ME DOING or even NOT DOING stuff, me catching some subtle point of theology better than I did before or – (gasp!) – better than others do.

This one way love, our identity as the pearl the great merchant wanted, is the real basis of it all. We are greatly loved, scandalously cherished. It is from a very great passion, a great desire, for US, that He died. When He died He was dreaming of us, His bride, with joy. I am that one He so loved. This is my sanctification – I live as one very greatly loved. I don’t know why He is so obsessed, and I don’t have to know. I believe it is true, and that makes a very very huge difference.

Posted in Scandalous Grace.


  1. Jesus loves me, this I know…and it’s all I needed to be sure of to get me where I am today. Everythiing else I’ve learned has been built on the foundation of His great love for me. My recovery from sexual abuse and the peace that I enjoy today all comes from Jesus’s great love for me. I don’t understand it. But I bask in it.

    Thanks for taking the time to teach this class. This is the very message that people need to hear now. Who doesn’t need to know about forgiveness and love. Who doesn’t need to know that Jesus’s blood was enough. The ransom has been paid. It is finished. I am free to respond to this great love. Praise God.

    • Kim, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to see your joy in this message! I don’t know why anyone ever balks at grace. It just seems too good to be true. But it is true, it is the only lasting truth. Thanks for encouraging me so much!

  2. One way grace, justification by faith alone and imputed righteousness are the fundamental realities that give a basis for real intimacy with God is possible and this way also sanctification. It’s great to read stuff like Tullian’s and yours. Thanks Jim.

    May I link you this Youtube playlist of Biola professor John Coe’s amazing Spiritual Formation classes:

    Learning about the nature of spiritual growth you start to see how absolutely indispensable these basic truths of God’s grace are.

  3. Hey Jim,

    I just found this and read it for the first time. I was thinking of a friend where these things are concerned and it’s actually one of those “biggies”, i.e. sexual sin. I just don’t know how to tell her “you’re continually making it about you”. Every time she talks this way I cringe and I’ve tried to explain it but most times it seems to fall on deaf ears. Then I sent her an article by Phillip Yancey one time and that seemed to help. She said something like that’s an interesting pkkerspective. The problem is she wants to see blessings and miracles but it’s like she trying to deserve them. Actually I know where she’s coming from because I’ve been there thinking for example that if I tithed I’d see blessings but I knew even though I did it that I wasn’t paying for it. So in my mind I did it because I was supposed to but I still hoped to see the blessing. I just didn’t know God was ready to bless me before i put a single cent in the offering bucket. Anyway she’s struggling because she isn’t seeing more blessings and thinks that not having sex among other things is key to it. I know I don’t have to tell you I’m not advising her to do anything one way or the other but I guess I should put that in for anyone else who reads this. I just wish I knew what to tell her. It’s actually a struggle for me too because I have to keep believing in the love of God despite hearing these things as much as I do from her and others. So maybe you wrote this for me. I was going to email you about it but I happened to find this first.

    Thanks for the post.

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