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Monday, July 23, 2012

The Cost of Discipleship Chapter 5

I'd never heard the term “collective salvation” until five years ago. Thanks to our president, I am now familiar. And yet collective salvation goes against the Bible.

“Every man is called separately, and must follow alone. But men are frightened of solitude, and they try to protect themselves from it by merging themselves in the society of their fellow-men in their material environment…But all this is only a cloak to protect them from having to make a decision.” 

Luke 14:26 NIV, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple.”

“Yet neither father nor mother, neither wife nor child, neither nationality nor tradition, can protect a man at the moment of his call. It is Christ’s will that he should be thus isolated, and that he should fix his eyes solely upon him…He wants to be centre, through him alone all things shall come to pass. He stands between us and God, and for that very reason he stands between us and all other men and things. He is the Mediator, not only between God and man, but between man and man, between man and reality.” 

When I think of Jesus as mediator, I usually think of Him as mediator between me and God- not me and others, me and this world.

And yet He is.

Though we desire to be part of the collective, it is individually we are called. It is individually we must respond. Though we live in communities, surrounded by many, part of multiple groups, we are individuals unable to overcome fundamental barriers that divide.

We can never truly know anyone- even our spouses. We know some better than others, but only Christ knows each of us individually. Only through Christ do we know how to love selflessly and unconditionally. He stands between us and others, helping form the Body of Christ, the Family of God.

Jesus is the Mediator unifying all our differences within the Body.

But how are we to live in the world and yet not love it? How are we to express the love of Christ and yet fulfill this scripture-  “hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple.”?

 God tells us:  We are not of this world, yet we live in this world -John 15:19.

We are to “Love not the World”- 1 John 2:15 but we also must remember “God so loved the world”- John 3:16

But how do we accomplish this? 

Jesus the Mediator!

Though we are to have no other loves above Him, He doesn’t want us to be alone in this world. 

Through His mediation, we can experience this world and our relationships on a whole new level! He is the one who unifies the Church, not man! He should be the center of all our relationships, Mediating. On our own we are bound to mess up the collective cohesiveness- the unity within the Body.

“He divides, but he also unites.”

 So regardless of the popularity of “collective salvation”, we are not saved collectively. Despite our desire to be part of a group, we must follow individually. And yet through this individuality we find ourselves- we find our family.
“Though we all have to enter upon discipleship alone, we do not remain alone. If we take him at his word and dare to become individuals, our reward is the fellowship of the Church.”
1.        Do you see “collective salvation” in our society, if so how?
2.       Do you find yourself afraid of the individual call?
3.       Do you hide in a group?

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