But This is to Deny the Gospel

Instead of following the example of John the Baptist, who pointed away from himself to “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29), we offer our own lives and transformations as the good news.  But this is to deny the gospel and therefore to cut off the power of true godliness and neighbor love at its root.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 156

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More Than Heroes, We Need a…

Of course, we need people to look up to, especially in an age of acute ambition – which is another good reason to have older saints, mentoring the younger.  More than heroes, though, we need a Savior.  Then we also need ordinary people around us who exemplify godly qualities and take the time to invest in our lives.  Paul even called his young apprentices and churches to follow his example.  Yet the characteristics he mentions are his undistracted focus on the gospel, humility, love for all the saints and contentment (II Thessalonions 3:9)

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 154-155

So What Does It Mean to be Content with God’s Provision?

So what does it mean to be content with God’s provision?  It means that when you and I are safely hidden with Christ in God through faith in his gospel, we are opened up to the others around us – first fellow saints, and then our other neighbors.  Instead of being threats, they are fellow guests of God at his table.  No longer competitors for commodities in a world of scare resources, they are cosharers with us in the circulation of gifts that flows outward from its source without running out.  After all, that source is the triune God: from the father, in the Son, by the Spirit.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page135

Stop Adding to the Gospel and Become Content

My thesis in this book is that we must turn from the frantic search for “something more” to “something more sustainable.”  We need to stop adding something more of ourselves to the gospel.  We need to be content with the gospel as God’s power for salvation.  We also need to be content with his ordinary means of grace that, over time, yield a harvest of plenty for everyone to enjoy.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page125

Our Problem is a Basic Discontent with the Word of God

The gospel keeps our eyes fixed on Christ, while the law tells us how to run the race.  But our tendency is always to add our own doctrines to the gospel and our own commands and expectations to God’s revealed Word.  No longer content with the gospel and the commands of Scripture, we begin to look for something more.  All the problems that I have described up to this point – and many others besides – result from a basic discontent with God’s Word.

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

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

What the Gospel is Not

The power of our activism, campaigns, movements and strategies cannot forgive sins or raise the dead.  “The gospel…is the power of God for salvation,” and, with Paul we have no reason to be ashamed of it (Romans 1:16).  That is why phrases like “living the gospel,” “being the gospel,” and “being partners with Jesus in his redemption of the world” are dangerous distortions of the biblical message of good news.  The gospel is not about what we have done or are called to do, but the announcement of G0d’s saving work in Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 4:5).

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 39