So I have been reading this book titled Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjan. It is absolutely amazing. He dives into this formula “Jesus + Nothing = Everything.” Now this a rather simple concept. But it goes so much deeper than any of us could possibly imagine.
I am going to attempt to break it down into the readers’ digest version. In the book Tullian goes through the formula first backwards(everything, nothing, and Jesus), then forwards(Jesus, nothing, and everything). He shares with us what everything means to us. He points out how we innately want everything. We as humans are never content. Our bodies yearn for more ll the time. This is because we were CREATED for more. We were created for everything. We were given dominion over all the earth (everything). We were created for Heaven where we will have everything. There will be no more pain, sorrow, regret, heartache, tears and we will have everything we have wanted.
He then breaks down the “nothing” part of the formula. He points out our fatal flaw as Christians and as humans. Our fatal flaw is that we try to add to Jesus We don’t see that He sufficient. We are searching for more and we don’t realize that Jesus is it. He’s al we need. Tullian uses the example The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, where we see Screwtape is discussing his strategies against Christians (in Screwtape’s words) “to keep them in a state of mind I call ‘Christianity And.'” Wow. It’s just that simple. A simple 3-letter word we a thousand times a day, “And.” We take Christianity and we add something. To some people this may look like, “Christianity and Self-affirmation” or “Christianity and Social Justice” or “Christianity and Science” or whatever your “and” is. The root of this “and” problem is our flawed view of Grace. We foolishly think that we can add something to Grace so we can get what we want. We think we need to do our part to earn grace. Jesus did our part so now we need to do ours. Or we think, “Okay, yeah I don’t need to earn grace, but I do need to work to keep it.” This is our fatal flaw. We keep searching for something and trying to put the responsibility on us. That is the opposite of grace.
Next Tullian breaks down the “Jesus” part of the formula. He explains how Jesus is everything we could ever want or imagine and more! He describes who Jesus is. He is the Lord of all creation, He is the Lord of Hosts, The King of Kings, ,The Lord of Lords, The Creator of the universe, The Great I AM, The beginning and the end, He goes before, He is final call, He is preeminent, He is the image of the unseen God, Firstborn of all creation, He created all things, all things are bound together by Him and through Him, The fullness of God dwells within Him,. And now because He is all these things everything on earth has been reconciled through Him and His death on the cross. Now we who were enemies of Him can be called children of God and we are welcomed into his very near presence. This is Jesus, This is Grace. This is The Gospel.
Next Tullian goes back to the “nothing’ part of the formula. He describes how depraved and wick we are. How we have absolutely nothing offer Jesus. Therefor, we are in need of a Savior. We are in need of Grace. There is nothing that we can do to earn or keep grace. We are taken completely out of the driver’s seat. Grace puts Jesus is full control. Unfortunately, we has humans hate that. We as humans hate true grace. Let that sink for a minute. We, as Tullian explained before, always want more and we want to do it ourselves. We are prideful and we want more and we think we need to be the ones to get this. We put our fate in our own hands. Yet if we could step back look, we would see how stupid that is. We are finite creators trying to earn something that’s infinite. The math doesn’t add up. We need someone who IS infinite to grant us what we truly desire. That someone is Jesus.
Finally, in the last part of the book, Tullian finishes with the “everything” part of the formula. In this part we see that if we could truly let go and give Jesus full control He will give us everything. If we let His desires become our desires He will grant us those desires. We will see Heaven come down on Earth. If we live our lives in the light of the grace we have been given, we will see change in our lives. We will see the impact it has on this world. So my final challenge to you is this: Make JESUS the focus of your life, know that He is EVERYTHING and He needs NOTHING. There is NOTHING you can do or add to JESUS because is already EVERYTHING. Live in the light of the Grace of JESUS add NOTHING and enjoy EVERYTHING.