Understanding the Cost of Being a Follower of Christ
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24).
One thing that I firmly believe and always share with others is that salvation is a free gift of God and is accomplished on our part only by trusting in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. But there’s a difference between accepting the free gift of grace and what I call ‘easy believe-ism’.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great Christian leader who stood against Hitler in Nazi Germany, wrote, “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” And I think Bonhoeffer was exactly right! Jesus himself said that following him would require for each of his followers to “deny himself and take up his cross and follow” him.
What the Church needs today is the challenge of the cross. And if you’re going to follow Jesus, there’s a decision to make and there’s a charge to keep. It’s not an easy road to follow Jesus Christ. It’s a road of commitment, conviction, and many times, death.
To truly know Jesus Christ is to give all that you have to him; to exchange all that you are for all that he is. That’s salvation and that’s what it means to be a follower of Jesus!
The saving grace of Jesus Christ is free, but God calls us to much more than salvation. He calls us to live our lives for Christ each day.