The Gospel-Driven Life #4: Don’t Jesus Do Something, Sit There

This week Dan  is guest blogging through The Gospel-Driven Life by Michael Horton. purchase from Amazon UK purchase from Amazon US

Chapter 5 – Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There

Most headlines come and go. However there is some news that totally transforms us. The good news of the gospel transforms. It transforms us, we don’t change ourselves. Hearing the gospel is like hearing the reading of’ a will telling you what you have inherited from someone else’s labours.’ (109)

It’s possible to retain our autonomy by adding Jesus to our life ‘as an accessory’ (116). Sometimes we find it difficult to see how death to ourselves can be applied in our safe western world where threat of death and persecution is not imminent. However, ‘All that is necessary is for us to cling to ourselves—the securities, aspirations, felt needs, and relationships that define us and that we have chosen for ourselves—rather than to God’s saving love in Christ and the identity for which he has chosen us.’ (115)

The gospel does not result in superficial happiness, but in repentance (‘change of mind’ – 118) and faith (to consider established God’s saving work – 121). Horton explains what faith is. It is ‘therefore not a generic optimism: a positive outlook on life. It is not even a general trust in God and his promises to care for us. Saving faith is not merely “believing in God for big things.” Saving faith is very specific: clinging to God’s saving mercy in Jesus Christ as he is given to us in the gospel. Faith produces the fruit of love and good works, but in the act of justification it simply hears and receives. There is no virtue in faith itself that justifies. Even the weakest faith clings to a strong Saviour.’ (122)

This faith is ‘provoked’ in us (123) by the announcement of the gospel, and the more we hear and understand it, the more our faith grows and strengthens. So tell people the good news! ‘In the old days, boys would stand on the sidewalk selling their newspapers, yelling, “Hear ye, hear ye!” That is what we are called to do, whether in the public assembly as ministers of the gospel, or in our informal witness to our neighbours and co-workers.’ (124-125)

Be sure to accurately reflect the news as wholly about Christ, not you (127-129).

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