Among the many Kingdom teachings of Jesus we find this jarring question: “why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I tell you?”
From the earliest of times the church has recognized that anyone can claim the name of Jesus, and make a pretense of calling themselves “Christian disciples,” but it is another matter altogether to share the heart of Christ and submit to his word. For though we are “saved by grace, through faith,” the nature of that faith is only truly revealed through one word: Obedience.
To believe in Christ–to have faith in him–is to commit to his way, to submit to his truth, and to receive life from him on his terms. Faith is selling out, wholeheartedly, to the word and will of Christ Jesus our Lord, and to accept him alone as the foundation of our life.
Anything short of such radical obedience will never bear Kingdom fruit; as 19th century author and theologian George McDonald once said, “If we cannot think of a single time in our life when we did a thing because Jesus said ‘do that’ or withheld our hand because Jesus said ‘don’t do that’, then we have every reason to believe we are no disciple of his at all.”
Claiming the name of Christ is not the same as taking up the cross and bearing it into the world. And yet, if we are careful to seek the will of Christ Jesus in every aspect of our lives–in small details and in heavy, consequential matters–then we find that the “burden” of bearing the cross is easy, and the yoke of Christ is light. Soon enough abundant fruit appears in our life, not because we seek the fruit, but because it pleases God to make us fruitful. In our daily obedience to Christ is the foundation for the Kingdom of God.
June 28, 2013