Even the Christian Needs God’s Law Applied to Their Life Completely, Consistently and Continually

Q. “Since no one in this life can obey the Ten Commandments perfectly, why does God want them preached so pointedly?”

A.:  First, so that the longer we live the more we may come to know our sinfulness and the more eagerly look to Christ for forgiveness of sins and righteousness.  Second, so that we may never stop striving and never stop praying to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit, to be renewed more and more after God’s image until after this life we reach our goal: perfection.”

– Heidelberg Catechism

Even in the Christian life we need this first use of the law to drive us out of ourselves to cling to our Savior.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 43-44

What Is Your Only Comfort in Life and in Death?

Q.  What is your only comfort in life and in death?

A.   That I am not my own, but belong, body and soul in life and death – to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.  He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.  He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven;  In fact, all things must work together for my salvation.  Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.

Heidelberg Catechism

as quoted by Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 41

Saving Faith is not the Enemy of Good Works

The Spirit creates faith through the gospel and saving faith bears the fruit of love and good works.  We are united to Christ for justification and renewal.  There must be distinguished, but never separated.  Saving faith is not the enemy of good works, but their only possible source.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 40

Material, Moral, or Spiritual Self-Sufficiency Is Deadly

What Jesus is saying is that every excuse for refusing the master’s invitation (Luke 14:15-24) – even the pursuit of religious “excellence” – will make you an outsider to his kingdom.  Your religious excellence will not earn you a place at God’s table.  Your own efforts will never merit you a seat of honor.  The invitation is not Christ plus anything, but Christ alone. Material, moral, or spiritual self-sufficiency is deadly, and it has everlasting consequences.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 37

For Some, None of This Makes Sense

It’s only by dying to ourselves that we truly find life.  When we finally let go of our lives we find real life in Christ.  Those of you who have experienced this understand what Jesus is saying.  For some of the fans, none of this makes sense (I Corinthians 1:18).

– Idleman, Kyle; Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus; Zondervan; copyright 2011; Grand Rapids, MI; Kindle Edition; page 170

That’s What a Follower is Committing to

Jesus makes it clear that following him means taking up your cross and dying to yourself.  That’s what a follower is committing to.  I can only imagine the awkward tension as Jesus lays out this expectation for his followers.  Unfortunately, many churches today have decided that this message is too uncomfortable and the cross is too offensive.  As a result, there are many fans who call themselves followers, but they’re not carrying a cross.

– Idleman, Kyle; Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus; Zondervan; copyright 2011; Grand Rapids, MI; Kindle Edition; page 162