T4A Main Session 2: Tullian Tchividjian

Tullian Tchividjian was up second at the Together for Adoption Conference. Tullian is the Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL. He spoke on “Surprised by Adoption.”

In Tullian’s session, he spent his time in Romans 7:7 – 8:4 and talked through the law and the gospel. He talked about our hearts and our motivation for obedience, particularly when it comes to adoption.

Here are some notes:

The Heart and What Motivates our Obedience

  • For most Christians, godliness is about what we do and don’t do. The problem with that is that Jesus turns that upside down in the sermon on the mount.
  • We are activist by nature.
  • Righteousness is not about what we do, but why we do it.
  • In our culture, when they think of Christianity, they think of some sort of moral issue (Christians are against _______) or about external righteousness (“Christians are people who do ______”). Very rarely will people describe Christianity as a matter of the heart, a matter of motivation.
  • The goodness of a deed can be destroyed by the motivation that inspires it.
  • If external obedience was what God wanted most, Jesus would’ve praised the Pharisees.
  • The scripture is divided into 2 parts: commandments and promises.
  • We can’t read law and gospel in the same way, both are good but both do very different things.
  • When law becomes our motivation, we obey out of fear and guilt.
What the Law Does
  • Paul says the law is a perfect reflection of God’s perfect character. He never says the law is bad.
  • God’s perfect law helps us to see our sin.
  • The problem isn’t God’s law, the problem is us. The sin inside of us is to blame.
  • Without God’s law, we think we are good.
  • The culprit is not the law, it’s sin. The law made him aware of his sin.
  • The law causes the battle inside of Paul.
  • The law can’t save us, it can’t grow us. Everyday the law shows up and crushes me.
  • We naively think that once God saves us, life will get easier. Romans 7 shows us the reality of what salvation is like and the war we have within us.
  • The law shows me what godliness is, but it cannot make me Godly. The law can’t change the human heart, it shows us how bad it is.
  • The law crushes our pride and self-righteousness.
  • Until you understand how wretched you are, you will never understand how great God’s grace is.
What the Gospel Does
  • For some reason, in the church, we feel like grace needs to be kept in check.
  • Christians think, “Too much grace leads to bad fruit, to licentiousness.” Crazy.
  • Desperate people love grace. Deceived people fear it.
  • We don’t have a problem believing that God gets me (justification) but we do have a problem believing that God keeps me in (sanctification).
  • At church, we get mostly law. We hear, “Do more, try harder.”
  • God relates to you based on Jesus’ feats for you.
  • The gospel is good news because it is not based on us but based on Jesus.
  • Our gauge for spiritual progress and growth is not what I am today versus 10 years ago.
  • The law constantly reminds us of how dependent we are on the gospel.
  • If you take away the fear and guilt of the law, what incentive do we have to do good?
  • Good things (the gospel, Jesus’ death on the cross & resurrection) happens to bad people (me and you).
  • We love God more when we realize he loves us even when we are a jerk.
  • When you realize you don’t have to do anything for Jesus, you will want to do everything for Jesus.
This session was such a great reminder and a good heart check for me personally.

One thought on “T4A Main Session 2: Tullian Tchividjian

  1. Pingback: My Notes from Together for Adoption Conference | My World

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