The Cost of Commitment

KEY VERSE: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” —II Timothy 2:3


WHAT PRICE AM I willing to pay for the sake of following Jesus Christ and the Gospel? The Apostle Paul’s illustration in the Bible, which represents the Christian as a soldier, answers this question and gives us depth of understanding. It may seem difficult for some to compare the service of Christ with that of a good soldier, but both were informed at the very beginning that it would be necessary to fight a good fight. The Christian was invited to enlist in the army to battle against Satan, sin, and the powers of darkness as found in the world and the flesh. He should have full confidence that ultimately faith will have its victory. The Christian soldier will find that the greatest opposition can arise in his own character because he has tendencies toward sin as a member of the fallen human race. In Ephesians 2:3, Paul says we all fulfill “the desires of the flesh and of the mind,” and are by nature “the children of wrath.” The soldier of the cross was also told that he must suffer, laying down his life as Jesus, his forerunner, laid down his life.

It has been said, “A true soldier does not debate his cause. He is rightly supposed to have settled upon its justice and righteousness before he enlisted to serve it. Thereafter he avouches it and defies contradiction of it. He is ready to spend all and be all spent in its defense.” Jesus said, in a different illustration, “Which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” (Luke 14:28) He continues: “Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”—vs. 33

To be a disciple of Christ signifies much more. Our Lord’s words are explicit in defining the terms of discipleship to be nothing less than a full, complete consecration. It must be a consecration to daily crossbearing and of following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Paul clearly expresses the terms as the presenting of our bodies as “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your [our] reasonable service.” (Rom. 12:1) No one failing to do this is recognized by the Lord as his disciple, or enjoys the privileges of that relationship. Further, only those who do this intelligently are accepted by him. His reasoning on the subject shows that the Lord would not have anyone take upon himself the responsibilities of this relationship without due deliberation and forethought.

A commentary on our text says, “There is an ineffable joy in being on the right side, in knowing that beyond the field of blood and the valley of shadows is an abundant entrance into the joys and peace of the triumphant King of kings. For that hope, none should shrink from the hardness of battle, none quail before the rage of the enemy, and none tremble before the certainty of hunger, thirst, nakedness, wounds, or death.”

The final honor to which God has invited these is the honor of sharing his great kingdom with his Son. This implies a change to the spirit nature of all who have become soldiers of the cross, followers of the Lamb, for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. These are called upon to forego the rights and privileges of the present time, their lives bearing testimony to the world of the glory of God, and meanwhile calling others to walk in the same path.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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