By grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. If you’ve been a Christian for longer than a minute or two, you have likely heard these words. They are meant to articulate how we get to spend eternity with God. We don’t earn our way into heaven, but rather Christ paid the price of our admission.
But we often read more into this phrase than makes sense. It is one thing to simply believe that Jesus bought my ticket into eternity future and another thing to follow Him in the present. Many of us live as part-time Christians. We show up on Sunday and act like we’re loyal to Christ, but on Monday morning, we pull a Benedict Arnold on Him. In other words, we believe but we don’t follow.
We need to remember that Jesus was given all authority in heaven and on earth and that He is looking to transfer that authority to Christians for the making of disciples—followers—who can act as His emissaries until His return at the end of the age. In other words, it’s going to take more than mere believers to usher in God’s kingdom. It’s going to take sold-out ambassadors of Christ.
The best way I know to demonstrate this idea is in the words of that old hymn,
I Have decided to Follow Jesus,
No turning back, no turning back.
That’s the difference between salvation and commitment.
That’s the difference between believing and following.
That’s the difference between declaring and doing.
That’s the difference between showing up and submitting.
Christ wants more than just your faith. He wants every part of you, body, mind and soul. That starts with nothing short of surrender. Only then will you experience the real authority of Christ on earth.