“the gospel is something that can only be proclaimed, because it’s about someone else”

Excerpts from an interview with Michael Horton on his new book, The Gospel Commission: Recovering God’s Strategy for Making Disciples: What are some problems you see with people identifying their ministry as “incarnational”? By “incarnational” a lot of people mean that, like Jesus, we should identify with our neighbors in humility, rather than stand aloof. But it often is attended today by a lot of loose language about “doing the gospel” and “being the gospel,” of our work of partnering with God in the redemption and reconciliation of the world, and so forth—“Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary use words,” as the oft-quoted saying attributed to Francis of Assisi goes. The problem is that this confuses us with Jesus, the redeemed with the Redeemer, the ambassadors with the King. In Philippians 2, we are called to imitate the humility of Christ, revealed in his descent from glory in order to save the lost. However, everything else in that passage

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United with Christ

“What a wondrous thing it is that even though Jesus Christ has been exalted to the throne of God, absent from us in the flesh, we may nevertheless now be united to him in a manner far more intimate than the fellowship enjoyed by the disciples with Jesus during his earthly ministry. Having united himself to us in our flesh, in our sins, in our suffering and death, he now unites us to himself in his new-creation life by his Spirit.” — Michael Horton The Christian Faith (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Zondervan, 2011), 587 (HT: Of First Importance)