Think About This:“Remind yourself that Jesus is loving, gracious, and patient toward you, just as He was with the twelve, who often failed to understand and respond properly to what He was teaching them. He will help you, just as He helped them. He will also use you, just as He used them.” – Thomas Tarrants
Can You Be This Without Being That?
Posted on August 30, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” – Luke 14:27 (NKJV)
I remember way back in my Heavy Metal days we had a word that we used to describe anyone that dared to wear the colors of metal but not live the metal lifestyle, we called them “Posers.” You could spot them a mile away and could hear it the way they spoke. However, when I look back upon it now I think a majority of us were posers, because to truly live that kinda lifestyle, you had to give up what you once were and adopt this new persona – that your soul was forged in the fires of hell and when you arose outta all that, you had this wonderful new color of chrome that gave you your heavy metal edge. As cool as that was to me in the days of my youth, and hindsight now being closer to 20/20, I really didn’t need all that to have my heavy metal edge.
Apparently, the same principle is found in Christianity. For those of us who gave up what we once were for the sake of following Jesus Christ were adopted, through the shedding of His blood and acceptance of His Salvation into the family of God. We’re not wearing a chrome studded leather jacket anymore but instead have been clothed in humility in order to do those good works that were assigned to us before the world had its first stone laid in its foundation. And as much as that sounds good, apparently Christianity also has its share of posers, however, you may not be able to spot them a mile away or hear it in their speech; but you’ll know them by their lack of fruit in their actions or saltiness in their speech.
On a recent Sunday morning, Pastor Jermey Sahl (Emmanuel Church, Egg Harbor City NJ) shared with us a question that was found in an article that was posted on the C.S. Lewis Institute website. Writer Thomas Tarrants asked, “Does Jesus Christ offer two acceptable standards for living the Christian life—a less demanding one for ‘ordinary Christians’ and an optional, more challenging version for those who commit themselves to be ‘disciples’?” Basically, the answer is that this confusion is more rooted in the failure to understand the meaning and the use of the Christian and disciple in the New Testament than it is figuring out which is the noun, and which is the adjective. This might be a good place to say “Berean”, but I’ll hold off for the moment.
“Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” – Luke 14:34-35
The word “Christian” emerged from the pagan city of Antioch and may have been used as a way of belittling those who were followers of Christ, “little Christs” I believe is the definition. Although, it may have actually come from those Gentile followers who wanted to distinguish themselves from the Jews. They left their old way of living and were neither Jewish nor heathen, so, as C.K. Barrett commented, “they had become a third race, Christian.” Either way, the order goes as such, a disciple of Christ is a Christian and you can’t be one without being the other, that simple. And there are some things that just come along with the position of a Christian Disciple.
The first thing to accept within yourself is that the disciple must be willing to suffer for the cause of Christ. Jesus is pretty clear in Luke 14:27, “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” The second thing is that everyone has the choice to follow Christ or self but the reality of that is both options costs life. This might be a good place to direct you to Romans 7:14-23, because if there was anything the apostle Paul knew was that following Jesus came with a cost, but it’s better than the alternative of being forged in the fires of hell and that’s a good thing, Amen?
And lastly, and probably the most punch-in-the-nose reality check is that a Christian who does not forsake all is as useless as tasteless salt. Pastor Jeremy is a farmer, and he knows what salts can do for growing good crops that produce good fruits. He was also pretty clear that unfertilized crops won’t yield anything that can be called good and all of it will end up in a trash eventually. Being a Christian isn’t something that you can just pull off in those times when it’s all good, it’s gotta be pulled off when it’s all bad too. We’re gonna be known by the fruit we produce, anything else is as useless as a poser with an empty saltshaker. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at email@example.com.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.” – Hebrews 8:1-2