In the course of the story formed life, week 4 has the most emphasis on personal response. Weeks one through three really challenge what you believe which does change your actions but week 4 is where there is a fork put in the road and the response of the individual is the main focus.
Week 1- We have established that God is the Creator and Lord of the universe
Week 2 – We learn that we have left and lost that and will not receive eternal life as a race
Week 3 – We learned that God followed through on his promises and brought one who can bring eternal life
Week 4- Lordship is about whether or not we are willing to accept God’s gift of salvation by submitting to the Lordship of Christ. Or to rephrase that, submitting to the Lordship of Christ is the sign that we have accepted salvation
There were quite a few things that influenced me pretty deeply about this week. One of the first ideas that was thrown out there was that if the Gospel has not influenced us on an emotional level there is a pretty good chance that we do not undertand or even believe the Gospel in it’s entirety. This idea really reasonated with me. I know that there are times when I am emotionally involved with the gospel, or at least have been in the past but i realize for the most part the gospel has been a very atherial knowledge based thing. The verses and ideas that we discussed in this week were, therefore, very threatening to someone in my position.
The main passages we looked at were Mark 10-22, Luke 9:57-62, Luke 14:25-33, Romans 10:9-10, and Matthew 7:21-23.
The majority of these passage revolve around Jesus sharing the Gospel with people in a way that makes them turn away and decide not to follow him. This makes for a pretty interesting thought experiment. The following was my thought process throughout the night:
1. In many cases Jesus seemed to make it really tough for people to follow him. He didn’t really throw out the “just accept me into your heart” line to much, especially in these passages.
2. this is a pretty different method than what is commonly used today. I can think of story after story where an alter call is given and people are told that if they raise their hands and mutter a few words and ask a few things they will be christians and inhereit eternal life.
3. It doesn’t seem like both of these methods can be right in practice or in their origin.
4. When I think about “sharing the gospel” now, I find myself thinking about a “gospel” that mimics much more the 2nd than the 1st.
5. The reason why I am communicating this “gospel” is because I probably believe it about others as well as myself.
6. Believing in the wrong gospel can be a pretty scary thing. We are told that many will come to him who performed miracles and he will say to them “I never knew you” and we are also to work out our salvation with “fear and trembling.” One interesting thought i was also presented with is the idea that we are not given any personal assurance, while on this earth, that we are in fact “saved.”
So, this thought process lead to some deep soul searching. There are many areas of my life that I feel i take sole ownership of. By definition they should have been transferred to christs mantel for ownership and by very definition I’m pretty sure that i can not say that i have surrendered to the Lordship of Christ. I went for a walk and found myself in the same park that I originally decided to move to KY for 9 weeks and decide to do the discipleship. I went through a process of prayer and surrender that was very difficult but very refreshing.
There are some other responses that I have had to this experience but i will post them in a different topic.