The Gospel Man ministry held another “Grace and Men Conference” this past weekend at Perimeter Church in Atlanta. The two speakers were Scotty Smith and Tullian Tchividjian. Although I cannot do them justice for the content that they presented and the enthusiasm with which they presented it, I do want to give a summary of their teaching. The audio should be available soon. When it is, I’ll let you know and give you are hearty “imperative” that you must go and listen. 😉
This first post (there is just too much good stuff to cover in one post!) is primarly a summary of Tullian’s first message on Jesus + Nothing = Everything, based on Luke 4:18-19.
NOTE 1: It is this last point that emphasizes that justifying grace must not be disconnected from sanctifying grace. Theologically, they should be distinguished, but never separated, since it is faith in the justifying work of Jesus (John 15:4-5 / abiding in Jesus as my righteousness) that fills us with the Spirit and enables us to produce his fruit (Galatians 3:1-5; 5:16ff). This is why preaching and teaching on justification is so crucial, not just for positional righeousness, but for progressive righteousness (sanctification) and is why folks talk about “preaching the gospel to yourself every day.” In other words, it is the nature of grace to sanctify.
NOTE 2: When we speak of grace and gospel, we mean the substance of the person and work of Jesus, who died for our sin (as a legal substitute, not merely as a moral example). Grace requres law. It requires bad news (my total failure to fulfill the law) in order to have good news (grace=forgiveness, imputed righteousness, eternal love in adoption). So, to speak of grace and gospel is to speak of the person of Jesus and the benefits we receive from him through faith in his finished, redemptive, reconciling work on the cross.