Liberate

Christ Is Deeper Still

ebbddb54aecf4e2b120664437a8887f0Normally, the outdoorsy image of choice for spiritual growth is mountain climbing. You know how it is: new Christian at the bottom of the mountain, mature Christian near the top. I want to take you a different way…so let’s go spelunking!

Spelunking is cave exploration, and it’s my suggestion for another way to think about spiritual growth. Instead of thinking of growth in Christ as a climb up a mountain, let’s think of it as a trip down into a cave. Where a mountain climbing expedition gets higher and higher (and as Christians we might be tempted to think, better and better–however we define “better”), a caving exploration goes deeper and deeper, exploring the undiscovered depths. Spiritual growth is not about climbing a mountain, getting better, and therefore needing Christ less and less. Spiritual growth is about discovering more and bigger caverns of need into which more and more of Christ’s grace can flow. We think spiritual growth is about height, when spiritual growth is about width. We think it’s about the heights we’ve attained when, in truth, it’s about the breadth of our need.

True growth as a Christian involves recognizing that there is always another cavern to explore. There’s always another crevasse of self-centeredness, or stalactite of jealousy. The light of Jesus shines into deeper and darker corners and proclaims, “Yes, I can save this too.” True growth as a Christian means realizing that all the climbing we need to do is down into the depths.

We hear, “For God so loved the world that we gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him may not perish but have eternal life,” and we think “Got it! Simple! What’s the next thing? What’s the deeper teaching? How do I start climbing the mountain of a life following Jesus?” The Bible answers, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation.” It is this milk, the simplicity of the Gospel message, that grows us into a deeper awareness of our desperation and therefore a deeper awareness of our deliverance. That’s Christian growth.

“There is no pit so deep, but Christ is deeper Still.”

13 Comments
  • Patrick Nsereko says:

    This is cómpletly new and requires a mind shift to my understanding of Spiritual growth . it does make alot of meaníng to me .Thanks for sharing.Looking forward to learn more from you.Anything abt spiritual fórmation will be helpful.Pastor Patrick from Uganda

  • Links I like says:

    […] Christ Is Deeper Still […]

  • Curious says:

    I guess the ordinary thing would be to begin by saying “thank you for this wonderful post, but…”

    Pastor Tullian, I agree with everything you say in this post and in most all of your posts for that matter. I’m happy I follow your blog. But because I agree with you, and because of your small incident with TGC, and because I am in a spiritual state of limbo, I write this note.

    Instead of a comment, I have a question. I would like to know why you are certain what you write (and believe) is correct. With all due respect, please don’t say it’s because you know you’re saved or a Christian or the Holy Spirit lives within and guides you, etc. and stop there. How do you know? Not just “because the Bible says so.” Something more. Please. If you would be so kind as to oblige this poor wandering soul, I’d be so grateful.

  • Good post, Tullian. Thumbs up!
    Although I have to I admit that I was confused at first because I thought I had clicked on Ray Ortlund’s blog when I read “Christ is Deeper Still”. However, of course, this is a quote of Corrie ten Boom. ;-)

    “There is no pit so deep, but Christ is deeper Still.”

  • Mandy Robinson says:

    Thank you for this post! What a cool thing bc I finished Corrie’s book The Hiding Place while in Ft Lauderdale at Liberate this year. The truth she writes of Jesus’ power in us was revolutionary in my thinking. Her life verse was Psalm 31:14-15 “But I trust in you, Oh Lord. I say ‘you are my God.’ My times are in your hand.” I love this… ALL our times… Not just some. He is really that big.

  • Vaclav Vasil says:

    Thanks Tullian! Very encouraging word for me today! Keep preaching the inexhaustible riches of Christ, brother!

  • Mike says:

    Thanx PT I believe it was Paul Zahl who wrote, Christs Gospel must be preached to the unevangelized regions in our selves, or something to that effect. I have also read it likened to a big oid house with many rooms, some that are locked and boarded tight. An evangelist, Christ Gospel stands at the door does not knock but tares off the boards an enters in this room, dark dusty and gray filled with shame and despair, the evangelist pulls the sheets off the furniture kicking up dust which flies all over the room then the evangelist throws open the windows and bright sun light, and fresh air poor in sucking the dust from the room and a view of sun drenched green valleys. A picture of Christ entering the dark secret “countries” of our life declaring “healing and forgiveness” . I know! “danger zone” we don’t go there as the reformed, “inner healing”, therapeutic deceptions and I agree to a certain extent but what is this stunning gospel of grace-Jesus if it isn’t “therapeutic” in a very real and organic way filled with hope assurance and joy. Mike

  • Steve Martin says:

    We are not partially believers…and yet remain partially unbelievers.

    We are fully unbelievers (sinners) and fully believers (holy and righteous).

    This is where the spiritual warfare comes in. We cannot live today, on yesterday’s faith.

    We need to constantly hear the law and the gospel…and constantly receive the sacrament of the altar…all throughout our lives. That external Word needs to do it’s work for us, from outside of ourselves, apart from anything that we do, say, feel, or think.

  • […] Christ is Deeper Still from Tullian Tchividjian. “The light of Jesus shines into deeper and darker corners and proclaims, “Yes, I can save this too.” True growth as a Christian means realizing that all the climbing we need to do is down into the depths.” […]

  • […] “Spiritual growth is not about climbing a mountain, getting better, and therefore needing Christ less and less. Spiritual growth is about discovering more and bigger caverns of need into which more and more of Christ’s grace can flow.” Tullian Tchividjian, from blog post titled: Christ Is Deeper Still […]

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