Count the Cost

We were bought at a high price (1 Cor 6:20; 7:23). And now as Christ followers, we do not belong to ourselves (1 Cor 6:19). We deny ourselves (Mt 16:24) and we die to ourselves (Jn 3:3-6) making no provision for the flesh (Rom 13:14). We have no rights over ourselves as if we were autonomous beings in control of our lives, demanding this and that. Our rights as newly created beings are God’s rights. We are entitled to nothing of ourselves but we are entitled to everything that belongs to Christ, His inheritance. When we understand that we have been predestined and obtain a godly inheritance (see Eph 1:11), we are free to live the paradoxical life we were created to enjoy as slaves to righteousness. The fallacy is in believing that there’s a tertium quid or an intermediary option when it comes to personal identity.

Do not be fooled as the world touts its righteous acts of self-grandeur and self-importance apart from God. We are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness (see Rom 6:16). Admittedly, there is something unsettling upon hearing that. It offends our self-perpetuated dignity. We as intelligent and rational although carnal creatures cannot conceive of relinquishing control to anyone and thus being God’s slaves is out of the question.

We desire autonomy and crave independence. We hunger for self-government and thirst for freedom. But what if true freedom is enslavement to righteousness? What if our true identity were purchased at the highest price possible? which is the ransom for all the riches in heaven, the exchange of our original sin and unrighteousness for Christ’s perfection and righteousness.

The other fallacy is to believe that we do not have a voice since we have been bought at a price. Yes, it’s true, we do not have rights to ourselves, our bodies as if self-harm were an option, and we do not have rights to our minds as if we could get away with thinking immoral thoughts.

However, that does not mean that we are voiceless. We are free to express our thoughts and feelings, especially as they relate to the sufferings and injustices of this world. Paradoxically, self-expression is a balm to soothe our souls as we suffer self-denial, and persecution for Christ is an empowering ointment to our intrepid spirits. Our voices, individually and collectively, humanize us. They serve as thorns in the flesh of injustice and as splinters in the minds of our persecutors.

Our voices that rap on God’s chamber door become all the more sweet in those painful and perplexing moments when we use them as a self-sacrifice to overcome evil with good (see Rom 12:21) as we speak truth in love (Eph 4:15) and love those who speak untruth about us (Mt 5:44; Lk 6:27).

Surrender all to Christ and live for Him alone, and the stench of entitlement will perfume the daily sacrifices we make in the Spirit to the flesh that fails to go quietly into the night. The flesh rages against the Spirit and the Spirit the flesh like potions of animosity. Be a voice with no rights. Deny yourself. Make no provision for the flesh. Count the cost of discipleship.

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Chester Delagneau


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