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FORSAKING ALL FOR CHRIST..pdf

FORSAKING ALL FOR CHRIST..pdf

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY PHILIP STAFFORD MOXOM

Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he
cannot be my disciple. — Luke xiv. 33.
BY PHILIP STAFFORD MOXOM

Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he
cannot be my disciple. — Luke xiv. 33.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 14, 2013
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FORSAKIG ALL FOR CHRIST. BY PHILIP STAFFORD MOXOM Religion 's all or nothing : it 's no mere smile O' contentment, sigh of aspiration, sir — o quality o' the finelier-tempered clay- Like its whiteness or its lightness ; rather stuff O' the very stuff, life of life and self of self. Robert Browning. FORSAKIG ALL FOR CHRIST. Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. — Luke xiv. 33. WHAT did Jesus mean by this saying? We who have avowed ourselves, or secretly consider ourselves, Christians are in the habit of calling him Teacher and Lord. It is a fair ques- tion whether even we have clearly recognized and radically accepted a tithe of all that is involved in the supreme Teachership and Lordship which, in words at least, we so promptly ascribe to him. It is a startling experience, — to be brought suddenly face to face with some of Christ's sayings. I wonder how many of us are willing to pull our- selves up with a strong hand and compel our minds to consider honestly and unflinchingly the words of our Teacher until we see exactly what he taught and what his teaching involves with respect, not only to our habitual conduct, but also to our ruling motives and dispositions and purposes. The world is busy in getting and using for pur- poses of multiform gratification the things to
 
which its needs or its tastes give value, and we 204 ^f^^ Religion of Hope. are part of the world. Whatever may have been the dominant idea of the Christian in the past, to-day and here the average Christian is both in the world and of the world. That is, the solidarity of society is stronger than the theological division of men into " saints " and " sinners." If love of art, devotion to politics, interest in inventions, and f^ager pursuit of economic prosperity are marks of '• worldliness," then the church is worldly, and external differences between Christian and non- Christian, or rather, between church member and non-church member, are often hard to find. That there are differences, very wide and deep, between the really Christian man and the really un-Christian man, there can be no doubt; but the superficial marks of difference between the nomi- nally Christian and the nominally un-Christian man often are not discernible to the ordinary eye. Christians are no longer a " peculiar people." This fact I cannot now consider at length ; though I must say that, if clearly understood, it is not necessarily an evidence of retrogression. o one who understands the real character and ten- dencies of modern society will hazard the opinion that it is degenerating, that social conditions are less favorable to virtue now than they were in the past, or that essential Christianity has lost anything of its virility and force. But I mention the fact in order to call your attention sharply to this thought: that we who are avowed disciples of
 
Forsaking All for Christ. 205 Jesus Christ are bound, now as never before, to know just what Jesus Christ teaches, and now as never before are bound to look our own hfe squarely in the face under the light of what Jesus Christ teaches. The consciousness that we are in the world, and, in a very large sense of the world, gives a fresh poignancy to such sayings of Jesus as this : " Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." Before we take up the study of these words in their relation to our daily life, let us pause for a moment to consider two preliminary thoughts. (i) The first is the importance of construing par- ticular sayings of Jesus in the light of his entire teaching. Many moral precepts, like many state- ments of truth, are conditional. Each is, to some extent, dependent on other precepts. Take, for example, the commandment which has a primary place in Christian teaching: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." This must be inter- preted by those revelations of God which disclose his essential lovableness. o command could compel or justify love of a moral monster. It is the exhibition of the divine nature which Jesus gives us that makes the command so authoritative. The command is not simply an edict: it is an appeal to what is highest in us, because God is set forth in his Son as the One absolutely good. The command, " Thou shalt love thy neighbor as 2o6 The Religion of Hope, thyself," also must be interpreted by those reve-

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