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


The Commission and Constitution of the Church

Both words of Jesus are part of the same gospel.  They must be understood together.  The Great Commission of Matthew 28 requires the order Christ appointed for his church in the Constitution of Matthew 16.  On the other hand, the Constitution of the church as a missionary purpose.

– Edmund Clowney, The Church: Contours in Christian Theology, copyright 1988, page 161