Before we move on to the next grace of Bible study, let me ask you to think just a bit more about whether or not your study of God’s Word and your obedience to it is rooted in grace. Let’s ponder these words from Tullian Tchividjian about how far his understanding of it has come since beginning as a preacher:
“What I’ve learned since those days is that the Bible is not a record of the blessed good, but rather the blessed bad. The Bible is not a witness to the best people making it up to God; it’s a witness to God making it down to the worst people. The Bible is one long story of God meeting our rebellion with his rescue; our sin with his salvation; our failure with his favor; our guilt with his grace; our badness with his goodness.
So, if we read (or preach) the Bible asking first, “What would Jesus do?” instead of asking “What has Jesus done” we’ll miss the good news that alone can set us free. Evangelicals desperately need to recover the truth that the overwhelming focus of the Bible is not the work of the redeemed but the work of the Redeemer. This means that the Bible is not first a recipe book for Christian living, but a revelation book of Jesus who is the answer to our unchristian living.”
Do you see the Bible as more of God’s story or yours?
When I’m struggling to view it as anything more than a how-to manual for life-improvement, I like to revisit the story in John 8 where Jesus intervenes in the stoning of an adulterous woman as he’s put to the test by the scribes and Pharisees. His rescue comes in the form of challenging the crowd with, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her,” (John 8: 7) and every person backs off. I can’t imagine the drama, the scandal his authoritative words caused, but I love the sweet lifting of guilt as Jesus tells her He doesn’t condemn her and then urges her to walk in sinlessness.
It’s not lost on me the power found in the order of what he says to her. It’s not, “Don’t sin and then I won’t condemn you.” It’s “I don’t condemn you; now don’t sin.”
That is who our Savior is.
He sets us free from the condemnation of our sin, then He continues to free us from the power of that sin in our lives. He teaches us to walk in righteousness, and though our walk isn’t perfect, HE IS, and His righteousness lights us up to live for Him, to grow in putting away our sin. And we’ll definitely need the Bible’s help to know how to do that!
Tomorrow we’ll begin examining the next grace of Bible study, and it’s all about that loving guidance God provides for our walking in His righteousness.
If you’re just joining this 31 Days series, clicking the button above will take you to the introductory one where you’ll find links to the previous days missed.