“I have been writing this volume while residing in Germany for a teaching trip. I am humbled by penning these 95 theses in the same country as Martin Luther did many years ago. I submit these to the evangelical church of our day and pray that God would allow anything of truth in these pages to bend and change men’s hearts back to God.” – Greg Gordon –
It is useless for large companies of believers to spend long hours begging God to send revival. Unless we intend to reform we may as well not pray. Unless praying men have the insight and faith to amend their whole way of life to conform to the New Testament pattern there can be no true revival. – A.W. Tozer
I am currently reviewing and commenting on 95 theses to the modern evangelical church “revised”! by Greg Gordon. The following discusses discipleship and its cost.
We take lightly the cost of discipleship laid out by Jesus Christ and consider following Him a sort of jovial thing rather then it truly costing us our actual entire lives.
Luke 14:33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
Luke 14:26-27 If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Matthew 8:19-20 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go. 20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.
I can attest that this is not discussed much in church. And, when it is discussed, I rarely hear exactly what it means. Thankfully, I have stumbled across some books, lately, that help fill that gap in my teaching.
Long story short, many people feel that they have Jesus in their lives, and will enter heaven, because they made a confessional prayer of sorts at some point in their lives. Yet, Jesus does not teach this kind of salvation message at any time. Instead, we see verses like the ones above, stating that we must lay everything down if we follow him. Jesus said, Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Add that to various other teachings in the Bible, and one can see that to become a Christian (and receive eternal life) entails much more than repeating a few words with emotion.
We do not believe in ‘salvation by works.’ Rather, the faith and repentance required for salvation bears certain fruit, including wanting to give all to the LORD and Savior who gave His all for us! Those who truly believe want to lay down their lives and follow Him wherever He may lead because He first loved us.
For anyone, this can be a difficult task. That is where discipleship comes in. Jesus, the Spirit, elders, etc., can disciple us as long as our heart is in the right place. Initially, rebellious in sin, we run free, wild and with no direction, like mustang horses. Yet, when we submit in loving obedience to the master, He tames our heart and our passions, and we become a force with control and direction…a sight to behold! Discipleship plays a pivotal role in that process.
Yet, somehow, it is all but ignore in most churches. The body suffers greatly, as a result.
By His Grace,