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.

Orig­i­nal post: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tullian/2011/05/24/too-good-to-be-true/