Master of our Fate and Captain of our Soul, Really?

Ambition is an empty pursuit, because none of us is truly the master of our fate and the captain of our soul.  We cannot live up to our own Facebook profile or the expectations that have been placed on us by others.  When we do try to disengage ourselves from the ties that bind, the whole body suffers.  As we have seen above, especially from Paul’s exhortations, ambition is bound up with rivalry,  factions, jealousy, envy and even fits of rage.  When we are ambitious, each of us campaigns for the office of emperor.  In the process, we’re tearing Christ’s body, our homes, our workplaces, and our society to pieces.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 93

It Is Far Simpler to be Dead to God and Live for Oneself

Christians should be some of the most conflicted people in the world.  It is far simpler to be dead to God and to live for oneself.  But Christians must struggle against their selfish ambition because they are alive to Christ Jesus, and the indwelling Spirit turns on the lights to enable them to see their sin.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page  92

The Clearest Indication that We Have Idolized Ourselves

Yet at its heart sin is the eclipse of thankfulness toward God (Romans 1:21).  Why thankfulness?  Because rather than seeing ourselves as self-creators who choose our own identity and purpose, the biblical worldview tells us that we are on the receiving end of our existence.  We are beholden to someone else.  Our life is a gift from God, not our own achievement.  And our ingratitude is the clearest expression that we have idolized ourselves.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 89

Our Love…When Unhinged from its Proper Object…

Unhinged from its proper object – God’s glory and our neighbor’s good – our love becomes self-focused; our holy passions become vicious, driving us away from God’s approaching steps and away from each other.  We’re not living in the real world, the creation that God called into being and sustains by the word of his power; but in a make-believe world.  We are living as though God and our neighbors were made for us.  In other words, we are living unnatural lives – living as if we were or could become someone other than the true image of God, created to love God and each other.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 88

How the First Adam and the Second Adam are Radically Different

Where the first Adam sought to break free of his created rank and ascend to the throne of God, the last Adam – who is God in his very nature – left his throne and descended to our misery (Philippians 2:6-10)

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 88

The Means of Grace in Clear and Unmistakable Terms

Jesus Christ officially instituted the means of grace in clear and unmistakable terms: preaching the gospel, baptizing and discipline – that is, teaching people to observe everything he commanded (Matthew 28:19-20).  In other words, it is what the reformed confessions define as the “three marks of the church”: no more, no fewer.  There is no bait-and-switch.  You don’t start with “what the people want” in order to get them to “what they need”.  The same means of grace that bring them in keep them in.  We are passive recipients of Christ with all of his benefits, but this makes us active in everyday ways as we live with and love others.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 85