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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Theology Tuesday: The Call and the Answer

And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.
-The Gospel of St. Mark, Chapter 2, Verse 14

The call goes forth, and we receive it. What do we do? Clearly, the call from Jesus to us is to be answered in the same fashion as the apostles. What were their answers when Jesus called?

"And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
Mark 1:18 (KJV)"
Peter and Andrew

"And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
Matt 4:22 (KJV)"
James and John

"Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
John 1:45 (KJV)

And of course, Matthew (Levi) in the first verse.

Were any of them responding with a prayer? A confession of faith? No. The response was immediate obedience to Christ's call.

Contrast these men with those in the ninth chapter of Luke:

57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. 59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. 61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:57-62 (KJV)

These men heard the call. Some even proclaimed faith. However, none obeyed, so none had faith.

There is no faith without obedience. There is no salvation without boldly proclaiming the Lord. There is no other way to a relationship with God except through a life-changing, noticable change of direction from against God to with him - a change that only happens through Christ.

Teresa is doing a series on grace. This is certain - grace absent obedience is cheap grace, so cheap that it is worth nothing. I don't expect her to broach obedience, so I thought it might be a good subject for us.

5 Comments:

  • Hi Hammer,

    I have long thought that “follow me” are the two most significant words in the Bible. However, the words, “anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” may be more descriptive of what is actually required of a disciple.

    It seems to me like there are a whole bunch of people in and out of Church who are following each other instead of taking up their cross, going it alone, and following our Savior.

    By Blogger David M. Smith, at 8/17/2005 01:05:00 PM  

  • Well put, David. Those who are Christians indeed are far less then those who think they are. "Take up your cross" is a hard truth to sell. It is easier to preach fluffy sermons than the whole truth. Unfortunately, no one wants to hear that one only becomes free by accepting the truth and becoming a disciple - which starts with taking up the cross and following, and continues daily with the same.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 8/17/2005 04:31:00 PM  

  • That was VERY well said, Hammer. Beleive it or not, that has always been 1st for my husband and I, but it is second to the now "main thing". It is VERY funny to me that, AS you posted this(looking at date), my husband and I were having conversation concerning this while we were driving. Particularly Matthew's conversion. The discussion was (in short), "So what made them follow so quickly"? Thinking how I would see it if I "was there" in that situation is, they looked at Him and felt the presence of God. He did not preach at them or anything else, they just knew to do it. When the Spirit of God comes to us, that is what happens. This is why preaching at someone or rambling off a bunch of scripture or whatever is not going to "save" someone--it MUST be the Spirit of God coming to them. I could ramble on forever--sorry if I don't make sense.

    By Blogger Teresa, at 8/19/2005 04:15:00 PM  

  • Oh, Hammer, I noticed here and on my site that you have no pic.

    By Blogger Teresa, at 8/19/2005 04:16:00 PM  

  • It makes all the sense in the world, Teresa. Thanks!

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 8/22/2005 01:21:00 PM  

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