Jesus + Nothing = Everything

December 10, 2012

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I have recently finished reading Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian. He is the great grandson to Billy Graham, taking over as pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian from James Kennedy in the last few years. He also has recently published a book on suffering called Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free.

I don’t know if I have ever come across a book with as many notable quotables.

Rather than review the book, I have chosen to list a collection of my favorite quotes, sorted from 2 pages of notes I took:

Pg 37 “When it come to the Christian life, many of us understood the gospel as the thing that gets us in, while the thing that then keeps us in (we assume) is our own effort and performance. We recognize the gospel ignites the Christian life, but we often fail to see that it’s also the fuel to keep us going and growing as Christians.

Pg 46 “Our performancism (legalism, works) 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 own identity instead of resting in Jesus and what he accomplished to establish it for us.”

Pg 53  “We believe that if we do, do, do, for him he is obligated to do for us.”

Pg 97 – C.S. Lewis observed that what most distinguishes the gospel from legalism is that legalism says God will love us if we are good, while the gospel tells us God will make us good because he loves us.”

Pg 98 “But when it comes to our sanctification, suddenly we become legalists. In the matter of maturing to Christ-likeness and in continuing to please God and find favor with God and acceptance with God, we suppose its all about what we have to accomplish ourselves and all the rules nad standards and values we need to adhere to.”


Pg 101 “Contrary to what we would naturally conclude, the antidote to lawlessness isn’t more rules but a deeper grasp of God’s grace.”

Pg 120 “Because of the gospel we have nothing to prove or protect. We can stop pretending. The gospel frees us from trying to impress people, to prove ourselves to people, to make people think we are something that we are not.”

Pg 122 “Our natural tendency is to focus on ourselves – on our obedience (or lack thereof) and our performance (good or bad), on our holiness instead of Christ and His obedience…We all possess a natural proclivity to turn God’s good-news announcement that we’ve been set free into a narcissistic program of self-improvement.”

Pg 129 “ the only antidote to sin is the gospel…And since Christians remain sinners even after they are converted, the gospel must be the medicine a Christian takes everyday. We can think of it this way: since we never leave off sinning, we can never leave off the gospel.”

Pg 153 “It’s always the gospel of God’s free grace that should motivate our right doing; otherwise we’re nothing better than Pharisees, making sure we’re keeping all the rules, mainly because when we do, we feel better about ourselves.”

Pg 169 “I’m not saying the Christian life is effortless; the real question is Where are we focusing our effort? Are we working hard to perform? Or are we working hard to rest in Christ’s performance for us?”

Let the book speak for itself. As you can see, I highly recommend this book!

Which is your favorite?
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Jesus + Nothing = Everything

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God