Scripture Reading: Luke 14:25-33
And you cannot be my disciple if you do not carry your own cross and follow me. But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin the construction of a building without first getting estimates and then checking to see if there is enough money to pay the bills? (Lk 14:27-28 NLT)
What is the meaning of discipleship? Is there any correlation between becoming a disciple and salvation?
The word “disciple” is used 262 times in the New Testament. Greek Lexicons tell us that the word disciple means “one who shares a close and intimate relationship with a person.” In the passage listed above this relationship is with Jesus Christ.
There are those who would have us believe that there are level 1 and level 2 believers. They say we are called from level 1 entry believers into a level two discipleship. According to John MacArthur there is no such thing as level 1 and level 2 believers. Every Christian, from the point of salvation, is a disciple and a follower of Christ. Some are following more faithfully than others, but every true believer has committed himself or herself to follow Jesus Christ.
The very heart of evangelism found in the commission from the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:19 is to “go and make disciples of all nations…” and in Mark 16:15 it says, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.” These verses reveal that salvation and discipleship are bonded together into one act.
We are told in Luke 14:28, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.” John Strot wrote in his book Basic Christianity, “The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of half-built towers, the ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish.”
Those who fail to count the cost end up with a thin veneer of Christianity, but are not willing to endure the hard unpleasantness of life that often comes from following Jesus Christ.
Abraham counted the cost and left his home in Mesopotamia. Lot counted the cost and had to flee from Sodom and Gomorrah. Moses counted the cost and became a fugitive in the desert. Elijah counted the cost and fled in fear from the wrath of Jezebel. Daniel counted the cost and ended up in a lion’s den. Jesus counted the cost and gave up his life on the Cross of Calvary.
Have you counted the cost of discipleship?
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to be strong committed believers willing to suffer for your sake.