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Thursday, February 04 2021

The cost of following Christ has never changed. However, many hesitate at the idea of dying to self and being raised from baptism to a new life. How can Christians help others to overcome the hesitation to give one’s life to Christ?


1. Continue to share the gospel to help others to realize the love of God in Jesus’s sacrifice for them. Jesus paid the debt of death for sins. He ransomed the faithful with His blood (1 Peter 1:18–19). Christ declared, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45 ESV). Christ demonstrated His love for all by overcoming death and sin (Romans 5:8).


2. Emphasize that one’s life must be lost to be saved. Many are reserved about giving oneself a living sacrifice, and that lives behind the resistance to baptism (Romans 12:1). Christ declared, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it” (Luke 9:23–24). By accepting this verse that dying to oneself is essential to salvation, then one will be more willing to accept the teaching of new life from baptism (Romans 6:4–5; Colossians 2:12–13). Furthermore, the apostle Paul taught the truth of Jesus Christ that believers “put off the old self” of the former manner of life and be renewed in the mind “to put on the new self” (Ephesians 4:21–24).


3. Encourage them to count the cost. Counting the cost may cause some to back away, but counting the cost is essential for a complete commitment to avoid falling away. Jesus taught, “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” (Luke 14:27–30).


4. Focus on the peace of following Christ to overcome anxiety. Jesus revealed, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 10:28–30). Christ lightens the burdens of life so that every fearful possibility and worst-case scenario are no longer threats. For the faithful, God gives us peace beyond understanding (Philippians 4:4–7).


5. Teach the hope of eternal life. God blesses the faithful now and in the age to come (Mark 10:29–31). Jesus proclaimed, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:40). Paul revealed that Jesus Christ “will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Philippians 3:20–21).


6. Warn about the coming judgment as Jesus did (Matthew 7:13–14, 21–23; 13:36–50; John 12:48). Jesus taught, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). The apostles revealed, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10; cf. Acts 17:31; 1 Peter 4:17).


7. Pray for those whom you encourage. God desires that Christians pray for all people because God desires that all be saved (1 Timothy 2:1–4; cf. Romans 10:1). Therefore, "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving" (Colossians 4:2).

Posted by: Scott J Shifferd AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email