Capitulation to the Culture of Marketing is Not a Means of Grace

Invoking a by now faded ad from an Oldsmobile commercial, the president of a large confessional denomination recently said, “This is not your father’s denomination.”  So much for God’s promise to be the God of the fathers and their children after them.  For a faith that is passed along “from generation to generation,” capitulation to the culture of marketing is not a means of grace – the new creation breaking into the  old – but a means of surrender to this passing age.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 195

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Salvation and the Church are Not Actually Different Topics

The gospel is not about us an what we have done; rather it is the Good News for us.  The church is not simply the effect of the gospel, but is itself part of the Good News that is promised.  That’s why Paul, in his epistles said keeping up divisions between Jews and Gentile is tantamount to denying the gospel.  Salvation and the church are not actually different topics.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 191

We, as His Beneficiaries Follow in His Thanksgiving Parade

Because our representative head has already offered both the satisfying thank offering and guilt offering, taking his throne in consummated glory, we as his beneficiaries follow in his thanksgiving parade.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 185

He Abolished the First to Establish the Second

The sacrifices of the Old testament were of two types: guilt offerings and thank offering.  As the writer to the Hebrews points out, drawing on Psalm 40, God’s ultimate delight is not in guilt offerings, which reminded both him and the worshiper of their sin (Hebrews 10:5-7)

The writer points out that in saying this Christ “abolishes the first” – that is the guilt offering under the shadows of the law – “in order to establish the second” – that is, a fragrant life of thankful obedience.  “And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:8-10).

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 185

The Sheep are not “Self-Feeders”

The sheep are not “self-feeders” and the church does not simply provide resources for Christian activity.  Rather, through the ministry of Word and sacrament and the spiritual and physical care of elders and deacons, every part of the body is served and is enabled to serve the body as well as its neighbors in the world.  He has gifted ministers to do the work of ministry so that “we all” can become mature Christians,

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 184

To Whom Does Psalm 68 Point To?

Interestingly, the Jewish Targum interpreted Psalm 68 as referring to the ascension of Moses, who now gives the Law as a gift to the world.  But Paul interprets Psalm 68 in light of Christ’s ascension actually having occurred (Ephesians 4).  It is not the ascension of Moses, but of Christ, that Paul proclaims.  Even if Moses had ascended to heaven (as later Jewish tradition held), Christ has ascended “far above all the heavens” (v. 10) and his gift is not Torah but peace.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 181

It Is Essential for Preserving the Bond of Unity Already Secured by Christ’s Work

If the proclamation of the gospel creates this united body of liberated prisoners in the first place, then its faithful proclamation in the church is essential for preserving the bond of unity already secured by Christ’s saving work.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 180