I enjoy reading Tullian Tchividjian’s blog because of his unwavering commitment to the Gospel — not just in our justification but in our sanctification. Many in the “reformed camp” can focus too strongly on our own wretchedness and on law-based behavior modification in sanctification, while instead we should be relying on the finished work of Christ and growing in grace by beholding Christ. That sort of flesh-based attempt at sanctification leads to despair and a losing battle against sin — rather than the joy and victory we’re called to have — as I am arguing in my current series, Completed by the Spirit.
Today, Tchividjian writes about his new sermon series entitled “Pictures of Grace:”
What the Pharisee, the prostitute, and all of us need to remember every day is that Christ offers forgiveness full and free from both our self-righteous goodness and our unrighteous badness. This is the hardest thing for us to believe as Christians. We think it’s a mark of spiritual maturity to hang onto our guilt and shame. We’ve sickly concluded that the worse we feel, the better we actually are.
A friend refers to that feeling of guilt and shame as “Protestant penance.” Christ’s forgiveness removes that shame. Understanding that grows us in the knowledge and likeness of Him.