The Bigness of the Gospel
The notion of “easy believism” predominantly has a negative connotation. Its common usage is from those who wish to squash the idea that faith alone is necessary for salvation. Or by those who deem the burgeoning message of free grace as a threat to their moralistic systems of discipleship, spiritual growth, and mentoring. While most won’t admit this publicly, their functional theology says that while the gospel of Christ gets you “in,” it’s the obedience of man that “keeps” him in. Meaning, that while you’re saved by grace initially, you’re sustained by works continually. Most won’t concede this publicly, but that’s a true summary of their lives. It’s all do, do do, with not even a hint of rest, faith, or belief in a work that is finished, completed, already accomplished by the death and resurrection of Another.
You see, I throw out the idea of easy believism being a bad thing precisely because the gospel is that big, that comprehensive, that complete, that free!
Because of Christ’s finished work, Christians already possess the approval, the love, the security, the freedom, the meaning, the purpose, the protection, the new beginning, the cleansing, the forgiveness, the righteousness, and the rescue we intensely long for and, in fact, look for in a thousand things smaller than Jesus every day — things transient, things incapable of delivering the goods. The gospel is the only thing big enough to satisfy our deepest, eternal longings — both now and forever. (Tchividjian, 77)
Everything you could ever want or think you need is found in the gospel of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross. There’s nothing else left to accomplish; there’s nothing else that needs finding or figuring out. It’s done, and “he has done it.” (Ps. 22:31) What we look for in infinitely smaller things is found in the infinitude of God’s grace. All insecurities are blanched, all fears are quelled, all hopes are confirmed — all is found in the good news of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection for you. (1 Cor. 15:3–4) The gospel’s not just your ticket into heaven, it’s not just fire insurance that guarantees you won’t be burned (pun intended). The gospel is everything to everyone for all time. It’s big enough for your sin, and my sin, and all the sins of the whole race of man, past, present, and future.
- Tullian Tchividjian, Jesus + Nothing = Everything (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011).