Friday, January 20, 2012


A dear blogging brother, Paul Burleson, has recently published a comment arising from a conference where he taught on Paul’s first letter to the  Corinthians. In his comment he says,

Have you ever noticed that Paul NEVER mentions the Law of Moses in this letter we call 1st Corinthians? He's certainly having to deal with problems in the church that are grievous in nature such as drunkenness, arguing over who had been the greatest pastor, [ Paul, Peter, or Apollos] suing one another in courts of law and then there was that immoral situation they were not dealing with at all, and proud they were not as if it were a badge of honor that they were permissive.
In fact, the ONLY time Paul used the Law of Moses in his arguments for pure living was when he challenged the legalists who needed to be shown that even the law itself could not be kept in an effort to be holy. He NEVER used the law of Moses, even the ten commandments, as a standard to hold up for New Covenant behavior.”

That observation, in itself is extremely important, but he goes on to point out something very important for many today who forget that the genuine follower of Christ IS NOT FIGHTING AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, as he says,

 “ …………that Paul was willing to engage the culture of his day and wasn't angry toward it or did not rail against it as if it were some kind of witchcraft at work against the gospel. He recognized its weaknesses and its inability to speak to the deepest problems and need of the human race, namely dealing with the fallen and hopeless nature of the human condition, but had no real answers. The wisdom of God seen in the gospel does have answers, however. Paul thought so at least. I do too.

I hadn’t long read Paul’s thoughts when I came across this from Ed Trefezger’s blog, This Mystery, where he writes:
I’ve been fol­low­ing Tul­lian Tchividjian’s pas­sion­ate advo­cacy of the suf­fi­ciency of the gospel and the dis­cus­sions he’s had with oth­ers who want to drive peo­ple to law for sanc­ti­fi­ca­tion. Two peo­ple at our church have brought up Tchividjian’s lat­est book,Jesus + Noth­ing = Every­thing, so I thought it was about time I read it. This snip­pet is from a sec­tion of the book sub­ti­tled, “The Great­est Threat”:
The Bible makes it clear that the gospel’s pre­mier enemy is one we often call “legal­ism.” I like to call it per­for­man­cism. Still another way of view­ing it, espe­cially in its most com­mon man­i­fes­ta­tion in Chris­tians, is moral­ism. Strictly speak­ing, those three terms — legalism, performancism, and moral­ism — aren’t pre­cisely iden­ti­cal in what they refer to. But there’s so much over­lap and inter­con­nec­tion between them that we’ll basi­cally look at them here as one thing.
And what really is that one thing?
Well, it shows up when we fail to believe the gospel. It shows up when behav­ioral oblig­a­tions are divorced from gospel dec­la­ra­tions, when imper­a­tives are dis­con­nected from gospel indica­tives. Legal­ism hap­pens when what we need to do, not what Jesus has already done, becomes the end game.
Our per­for­man­cism leads to pride when we suc­ceed and to despair when we fail. But ulti­mately it leads to slav­ery either way, because it becomes all about us and what we must do to estab­lish our own iden­tity instead of rest­ing in Jesus and what he accom­plished to estab­lish it for us. In all its forms, this wrong focus is anti-gospel and there­fore enslaving.
Tchivid­jian, Tul­lian.Jesus + Noth­ing = Every­thing. Wheaton, IL: Cross­way, 2011. Print. (p. 45–46)”

How good it is to read the work of those who know that Jesus + Noth­ing = Every­thing, and, as a consequence, have no desire to drive people back to the prison from which Christ set them free!

By the way! If you want a good read, look at Ed's "Completed by the Spirit"!


Eric said...

Thanks John. I had been considering reading Tullian's book. Now I think I'll buy it.

Aussie John said...


Thanks for dropping by!The book? The title says it all!

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