Bonhoeffer Part 2: The Call to Discipleship

The second chapter of “The Cost of Discipleship” is based on the verse “And as he passed by he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the place of toll, and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.” (Mark 2:14) He leaves, as Bonhoeffer states, a life of “relative security” for a life of “absolutely insecurity (that is, in truth,…the absolute security and safety of the fellowship of Jesus.)” We have received a similar call and must be willing to abandon all in bondage of Christ alone. This is not in any way legalistic because it does not hinge on any one command or any set of laws but on Christ alone because it is only him that matters.

Once we receive the call we must obey with reckless abandon. Additionally, faith and obedience must go hand in hand. They go hand and hand to such an extent that if you are having trouble believing, you should analyze whether there is an area in your life in which you have been disobeying. Or if it is becoming difficult to obey…you should look to see if there is something that you have been struggling to believe.

We should obey, Bonhoeffer states, even if it means breaking the laws of our country. This is especially noteworthy given Bonhoeffer’s situation. In order to obey God in his day he had to very blatantly break the laws of the Nazis by giving his first allegiance to Christ and the church rather than to his country and race. Bonhoeffer died because of this obedience. This should inspire us to obey while we sit comfortably in primarily suburban homes…not being asked to blatantly break laws on pain of death but merely to change how we live.

Obviously this can be very difficult and none of us ever fully succeeds in obedience…but I always have to remind myself that no one ever said it would be easy. We receive grace when we fall short which is so amazing but we should strive always to obey. How else will the world know what we live for?


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