It is surely right, then, that the worshipers should come away from this worship,not only with a Gospel message for the individual, but with a strong sense of having been made a member again of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, with a new awareness of being joined once more to the joyful believing and committed company to the whole Church in heaven and upon earth in whose fellowship they happily unite in the Lord’s prayer. If the transformation of life is a reality within the service of the Word through the presence of the risen Lord, how much more in the service of the Word and Sacrament.
– H. H. William Cant
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 203
All of the weapons mentioned in Ephesians 6 that the Spirit has placed at our disposal in this warfare focus on the delivery of the gospel to the ends of the earth, to our neighbors in their unbelief, and to believers in their constant struggle to hold fast to their confession. A church that drops its armor and weapons — namely, the gospel as ti comes to the world in Word and sacraments — is Satan’s goal in this interim between Christ’s two advents.
Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 178
All that is necessary for us to become unwitting Pelagians is less preaching and teaching of the law and the gospel – downplaying the means of grace (Word and sacrament) in favor of our means of transforming ourselves and our world.
– Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 244
We do not simply remember Christ or rededicate ourselves to Christ in this meal [the Lord’s Supper]; rather, Christ gives himself to us as the Bread of Life. Beyond our powers to comprehend, the Spirit communicates Christ to us through these creaturely means of preaching and sacraments so that the ascended Head will not be without His body (I Corinthians 10:17)
– Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 219
Instead of being concerned that our spiritual leaders faithfully interpret Scripture and are sent by Christ through the official ordination of His church, we are more concerned that they exude vulnerability, authenticity, and the familiar spontaneity that tells us that they have a personal relationship with Jesus. Everything perceived as external to the self – the church, the gospel, the Word and sacraments, the world, and even God – must either be marginalized or, in more radical versions, rejected as that which would alienate the soul from its immediacy to the divine.
– Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 169
We believe the sacraments are not so much dispensers of grace but instead are a means of communing with God as the Word is spoken and made visible. Rather than “means of grace”, we adopt the traditional language that the sacraments are “occasions” ordained by Christ for his church when saving and sanctifying knowledge of the gracious Redeemer is presented to people.
– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 113
A true church is one characterized by:
- Regenerated church membership (I Corinthians 14:22-25)
- Qualified leadership (Acts 2:42; 4:35-5:2; 6:1-6; 8:14; 14:23)
- Preaching and worship (Acts 2:42)
- Rightly administered sacraments
- Spirit Unity
- The Great Commandment to love
- The Great Commission to evangelize and make disciples
– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 38-39