The Church Has No Religious Purpose at All

What role have I left for religion?  None.  And I have left none because the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ leaves none.  Christianity is not a religion; it is the announcement of the end of religion.

Religion consists of all the things (believing, behaving, worshipping, sacrificing) the human race has ever thought it had to to do to get it right with God…Everything religion tried (and failed) to do has been perfectly done once and for all, by Jesus in his death and resurrection.  For Christians, therefore, the entire religion shop has been closed, boarded up, and forgotten.  The church is not in the religion business.  It never has been and it never will be, in spite of all the ecclesiastical turkeys through two thousand years who have acted as if religion was their stock and trade.  The church, instead, is in the Gospel-proclaiming business.  It is not here to bring the world the bad news that God will think kindly about us only after we have gone through certain creedal, liturgical and ethical wickets; it is here to bring the world the Good News that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.”  It is here, in short, for no religious purpose at all, only to announce the Gospel of free grace.

– Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 2635

Unbelief Is the Head of the Serpent

…only unbelief is called sin by Christ, as he says in John, chapter 16, “The Spirit will punish the world because of sin, because it does not believe in me.”  Furthermore, before good or bad works happen – which are the good or bad fruits of the heart – there has to be present in the heart either faith or unbelief, the root, sap and chief power of sin.  That is why, in the Scriptures, unbelief is called the head of the serpent and of the ancient dragon which the offspring of the woman, i.e. Christ, must crush, as was promised to Adam.

– Martin Luther

as quoted by  Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 2315

Martin Luther on Righteousness

[Martin] Luther asserted that our righteousness before God (coram Deo) is received and defined by faith.  Our righteousness before one another (coram mundo), on the other hand, is active and defined by service.  The passive righteousness of faith (vertical righteousness) is what makes us right before God – fully and finally.  The active righteousness of work (horizontal righteousness) serves the well-being of creation and culture by loving and serving our neighbors.

– Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 2270

The Law Reveals Sin but Cannot Remove It

The Law reveals sin but cannot remove it.  It prescribes righteousness but is powerless to produce it. The Law is important – it has no creative power, it cannot inspire.  It offers us nothing but condemnation and death.  The Law apart from the Gospel can only crush; it cannot cure.

– Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 2195

There Was More to Be Saved than Just the Left-Overs at This Dinner

Or perhaps we are just used to Jesus’s compassion for sinners.  Truth be told, in our day and age, it is not really the story of the immoral woman that is so shocking.  It is Christ’s interaction with Simon the Pharisee that gives us pause.  Indeed, there was more than one person at that diner in need of saving (Luke 7).

– Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 1992