Based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Growing in Grace is a blog by Pastor Matthew Molesky. His posts explore the Bible, theology, ecclesiology, culture, books, family, and life.

Counting the Cost

From Jesus:

25 A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.

27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. 

28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost.

For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ 

31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away.

33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own. 

34 “Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? 35 Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away.

Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!” 

(Luke 14:25-35, New Living Translation)

From J.C. Ryle:

It costs something to be a true Christian. Let that never be forgotten. To be a mere nominal Christian [my note: which is to say, a non-Christian] and go to church is cheap and easy work. But to hear Christ's voice and follow Christ and believe in Christ and confess Christ requires much self-denial. It will cost us our sins and our self-righteousness and our ease and our worldliness.
All must be given up.
We must fight an enemy who comes against us with thousands of followers. We must build a tower in troublesome times. Our Lord Jesus Christ wants us to completely understand this. He tells us to count the cost.
Our Lord spoke as he did to prevent men from following him lightly and inconsiderately, from mere excitement, men who in time of temptation would fall away. He knew that nothing does such harm to religion as backsliding, and that nothing causes backsliding like enlisting disciples without telling them what discipleship will involve.


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Passing the Test