Living in the Grace-Gratitude Economy – M. Horton

Yet the good news is that God provides the sacrifice for guilt. …God wasn’t bound in any way to do this. It’s a sheer act of mercy on his part. The whole sacrificial system of the Old Testament pointed forward to the moment when God the Son, in our flesh, would bear the curse for our sin and bring an end to all sacrifices.

Now we live in a grace economy, not a debt economy. At last we are free to be thankful, to offer ourselves as ‘living sacrifices’ of praise rather than dead sacrifices of guilt. We’re on the receiving end of everything. We’re not building a kingdom, but receiving one. We’re not appeasing God, but receiving the gift of righteousness in his Son.

As recipient of this covenantal exchange between the Father and the incarnate Son, the church lives in an economy of gratitude rather than either sacrifice or an as extension of Christ’s atoning work. We are passive receivers of the gift of salvation, but we are thereby rendered active worshipers in a life of thanksgiving that is exhibited chiefly in loving service to our neighbor.

Especially when we gather for corporate worship, we are reminded again that beneath all of the contracts we have conducted throughout the week, reality is fundamentally ordered by God’s covenantal faithfulness. God speaks and we respond with thanksgiving. Here the logic of the market (debt) is disrupted by the doxological logic of grace (gift).

ordinary-MHorton-2014Taken from chapter ten, “Stop Dreaming and Love Your Neighbor,” of Michael Horton’s Or-di-nar-y: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World (Zondervan, 2014), pp.195-96.