Monday, August 25, 2008

Counting the Cost

Luke 14:25-33 ESV
(25) Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them,
(26) "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
(27) Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
(28) For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
(29) Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
(30) saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'
(31) Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?
(32) And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
(33) So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

It pains me to see the weak and superficial faith of so many in the church. I know that I had a "faith" like that for a long time too. I think one of the reasons is the lack of teaching on this passage. We like to get people to "pray a prayer," "make a decision," or "walk an aisle." However, are these real conversion experiences?

The gospel is sometimes presented like receiving a free house. It is true that a forgiven mortgage is a great metaphor for what happened at the cross with the atoning death of Christ. However, what we sometimes fail to mention is that while we may get a free house, we also become slaves to the person who bought our mortgage.

Now the big difference is that slavery to Christ is a lot different than slavery to Citi Mortgage. Christ is a perfect Lord for our lives, so this is a good thing. However, I think that more needs to be said about this when we present the gospel. Otherwise we are guilty of a terrible bait and switch. It is no wonder that so many "lose their faith" if their faith never had roots to begin with.

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