The Holy Spirit Creates the Faith to Embrace Christ

Through this gospel, the Holy Spirit creates the faith to embrace Christ with all of his benefits.  We are delivered from condemnation and are made part of the new creation in Christ.  Filled with grateful hearts, we look for ways to glorify God and to love and serve our neighbors.  We are eager to grow.  Fueled by gratitude, we look for opportunities to glorify God and to love and serve others.  Yet it is easy to take the gospel for granted.  Then we find ourselves running out that high-octane fuel, running out of gas in the middle of the busy highway of myriad calls to get in the fast lane.  In the zeal created by the gospel itself, we can leave the gospel behind as we gravitate toward various calls to “something more.”

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page124-125

We Are to be a Light Set Upon a Hill

Because Christ is Lord, there is a church in exile, receiving everything from heaven, and on earth witnessing to, loving and serving their neighbors.  For a new reformation in the church and renewed witness in the world, we need not only to re-arm ourselves with drama and the doctrine, but  allow the greatest story ever told to shape us into a cross-cultural community – a light set upon a hill.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 264

The Church is not to Adapt Christ to Men but Men to Christ

Let us, in Heaven’s name, drag out the Divine Drama from under the dreadful accumulation of slipshod thinking and trashy sentiment heaped upon it, and set it on an open stage to startle the world into some sort of vigorous reaction.  If the pious are the first to be shocked, so much the worse for the pious – others will pass into the Kingdom of Heaven before them.  If all men are offended because of Christ, let them be offended; but where is the sense of their being offended at something that is not Christ and is nothing like Him?  We do Him singularly little honor by watering down His Personality till it could not offend a fly.  Surely it is not the business of the Church to adapt Christ to men, but to adapt men to Christ.

It  is the dogma that is the drama – not beautiful phrases, nor comforting sentiments, nor vague aspirations to loving-kindness and moral uplift,nor the promise of something nice after death – but the terrifying assertion that the same God who made the world lived in the world and passed through the grave and gate of death.  Show that to the heathen, and they may not believe it; but at least they may realize that here is something that one might be glad to believe.

– Dorothy Sayers

as quoted by Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 252-253

It Is the Same Spirit Who Engenders Within Us the Longing Cry for Christ’s Return

Christ’s bodily absence in this time between his two advents is neither unproductive nor indefinite.  He is right now doing something in heaven that is more important than anything that the church could conceive or do by its own clever machinations.  And he has sent his Spirit to communicate the riches of his reign to a world in bondage to sin and death.  It is that same Spirit who engenders within us the longing cry for Christ’s return.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 257

Like a Cross Worn Around the Neck, Christ has Become an Accessory

Like a cross that is worn around one’s neck, Christ has become an accessory.  Rather than being commanded at gunpoint to deny Christ, we are led by the devil into the wilderness of consumerism, shopping for identities.  Far from being harried and harassed, we are shown the kingdoms of this world that can be ours if we will only turn away from Golgotha.  We don’t have to become atheists.  We do not even have to renounce Jesus Christ.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 115