Q&A: Our Cross, His Cross?

Our Cross, His Cross?

Question

In Luke 14:33, It talks about the cost of discipleship. If we believe God's call is effectual, and those who He calls will come: Why does it follow with 'consider the cross' before you follow Christ. What I mean is, what is there to consider , we will indeed have to "live as Christ"

Answer

While indeed our call is effectual, the call to consider Christ is multi-faceted. While not in any particular order I shall make a brief comment on a few of these facets.

First, the call, challenge, and command to consider the Cross gets rid of some false professors. These pretenders are like the "rich young man" of Matthew 19:20-22 who when challenged to be perfect "went away sad, because he had great wealth."

Second, this call asks us to search ourselves. If we truly seek and look into our own lives we will realize that we really are much more like Peter (who denied Christ) and not like Paul. This reveals our state of depravity and our need (continuous need) of grace and mercy, without which one may not be saved or continue to walk the Christian life.

Third, it does reveal the total commitment of our call to Christ. God has called none of his to be merely nominal Christians. God saves the whole person and He expects devotion from the whole person. He is the MASTER of our bodies, wills, emotions, spirits, etc. Trail and tribulation is SURE to come our way, and these words of encouragement remind of who we are and to Whom we belong and how He paid the total price for us. Thus, God calls us to do some GREAT things in trying times, which will take total commitment, total trust, total reliance upon Him and Him alone. Maybe a short story will assist:

There was a man who was a police detective. He was at the top of his field. He had more medals and citations for bravery than General MacArthur. He resigned from law enforcement to enter the ministry. Being ordained, he preached the Word bravely, but suffered tremendously under deacons and other pastors who set out to deceive him and others and to destroy his ministry. He finally became very ill and today has limited use of his arms and legs. To type a simple letter or e-mail can take him hours because of the overwhelming pain. Now when he became a Christian he did not realize this was going to be his desert his call from God. He expected a career in the ministry. One of preaching and helping others. However, he remembers the Cross of Christ and realizes that Christ has called him to total commitment in his present state (2 Cor. 6:3-10).
Thus, Christ's call, challenge, and command become very, very personal. It is both redemptive and motivational. It gives life and demands our lives. It gives faith and demands faith. May we love Him as He loves us.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).