The Glorious Impossibility

Tullian Tchividjian recently finished a wonderful series of messages on the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5, Matthew 6, Matthew 7), which I thought were good enough to warrant a comment from the humble likes of me. They are available via podcast here: iTunes, and on the new site. The White Horse Inn guys had also done a shorter series through the sermon on the mount which may have inspired him; I’m glad he decided to go through it himself as well. Everyone would do well to download these sermons and listen through them.

It is exciting to listen to someone with Tullian’s passion for the gospel and for grace work through this famous and I think misunderstood passage of scripture. I think the message that comes through is that you have two choices. You can either think that when He says that when he came to fulfill the law, not abolish it, He means He came to satisfy the law’s vengeance upon our sins, or you can believe that He means that the law is binding on us individually independent of His satisfaction of its demands. In other words, you can think the beatitudes, with their declaration of blessing on us despite our poorness of spirit and hunger for and lack of righteousness, are the way to righteousness. On the other hand, you can think that getting slapped around and never looking and never being angry and being perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect is the way. Clearly the way of grace says blessing is a gift on the undeserving poor and unrighteous and starving for repentance, while the law is a very rigid harsh and true measure that leads us certainly to our need for grace.

This is a great resource to reinforce our understanding of the scriptural basis for grace in the gospels. Get hold of it and give it a listen!

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One Comment

  1. Nobody comes along and says that justification is not by grace. They just say that our “sanctification” is caused by our cooperation They also say (or leave it implied) that Jesus died for everybody but that it doesn’t work unless the Spirit causes you to add works to your faith.

    But if Jesus died for everybody, then it is that death PLUS you being changed so that you both believe and work, and if the difference of the new covenant is “sanctification”, then the promise is not about Christ alone or His death alone.

    If “sanctification” is not about the one offering of the one body of Christ in death for the elect, then “sanctification” gets changed to being about your being changed (so that grace is not cheap and Jesus is King).

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