Do We Underestimate Christ's Words?

Count the Cost, Faith involves sacrifice, Jesus told us to count the cost
In seminary I was assigned a presentation on the "Lordship Salvation" debate. This controversy produced several books in the 1990s and started a debate that continues today.
  • One side says salvation is 100% grace with no requirements, not even repentance. 
  • The other side says salvation is 100% grace but certain changes will/must follow true conversion.
Side #1 doesn't have a Biblical leg to stand on, and I think some proponents of side #2 are a bit rigid in their expectations. 

But this debate raises an important question:  Have we made people think that becoming a Christian is anything less than an all-encompassing life commitment?

In Luke 14, Jesus says "count the cost... those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples."

Do you think we underestimate these words of Christ? Why not leave a comment and share your insights.
*v.28 NLT, v. 33 NIV 

If you'd like to explore this question a few more minutes, check out my Bite Size Bible Study HERE. It includes all of the Scriptures and can be done on your computer or iphone or easily downloaded.


  1. This is something that I wrestle with daily. Since I tend toward "rule keeping", I appear to others as if I forget about or limit grace. Which, in my heart, is not so. But if it is 100% grace without a transformed life, then grace has no effect, which, in my understanding, is not grace at all. Grace that empowers us to live righteously is what we have been given. Not so-called-grace that enables us to live according to the flesh. Just a few thoughts from someone who wants to know the power of His rising.

    1. Thanks for sharing your insights, Joanne. From my observations, we typically tend toward rule keeping or cheap grace. Very few of us get it right without constantly seeking the Lord.I don't think it's as hard as we make it, but our fallen human nature has difficulty grasping it.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. I studied both sides of that debate years ago too ... Personally, I came to the conclusion that I would take Jesus' words at face value (considering the Hebrew context at times). My marching orders come from Him. In fact, I recently was moved to study "just the words of Jesus," which I've never done before ... and I even got a words-of-Jesus app for my iPhone! The way I see it, God's grace and the empowering of the Holy Spirit enable me to obey Him and live in righteousness.

  3. I have realized that I tended to take no responsibility in the need to transform and grow in my faith when I believed that salvation was 100% grace. As I am studying the Hebraic perspective, it makes the Bible make more sense and even "counting the cost" more relevant. My heart is being transformed to want to follow the instructions of God because I do not feel like I am being forced into a set of rules. My perspective has changed and my desire is to be pleasing to Him. I am criticized (for lack of a better word) by Christians for putting myself in bondage or being legalistic. All I am trying to do is follow what the Bible says. I am fully aware that my salvation is based on grace, but my obedience is demonstrated by what I do. I would rather err on the side of doing what the Bible says and be wrong than to follow man's theology and hope for the best.

  4. One of my readers wrote these comments to me in an email because she was unable to leave a comment. I told her I would be glad to post them. Gail

    Gail, Scripture should always be handles with care, and the lordship-salvation controversy is no exception:
    1) Though you say there is no Scripture to support the free grace position, please do not forget John 3:16 – it indicates that belief is the only condition for salvation (eternal life).
    2) The key to understanding John 3:16 is its immediate context, John 3:14-15, which refers to Numbers 21:4-9 (no lordship commitment –just look at the uplifted Christ and live!)
    3) The larger context of John 3:16 is the Gospel of John, which is the only book of the Bible expressly written to evangelize (see John 20:31), yet John never once uses the verb “repent” in his Gospel
    (and the apostle John obviously knew of the word because he used it in Revelation 2:5; 2:16; etc.)
    4) On your blog you equate discipleship with salvation – thought both are commanded they are not identical;
    for example, we know form Scripture that Lot was a spiritual loser (not a true disciple), yet it is clear from 2nd Peter2:6-8 that he was saved (perhaps he is the perfect example of 1st Corinthians 3:15).
    5) Bottom line: salvation is a truly free gift –it is not a deal where we receive eternal life in exchange
    for promising to serve the Lord, -- though we should in gratitude..

    Your Friend,

  5. "By their fruits you will know them." Follow God's will for our lives, keeping his commandments, being a disciple are an expression of our commitment to HIM - not the road to salvation. James 2 tells us that a faith without works is dead. We can't have one without the other. God knows out hearts and when it comes down to it - He knows if we are sincere or if we are making excuses. Great post!


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