random thoughts on spiritual cost

The Cost of Discipleship (Quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

“When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing if not an unending struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh.”

“Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘Ye were bought at a price’, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.”

“Not hero worship, but intimacy with Christ.”

“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

“It is only because He became like us that we can become like Him.”

“Fruit is always the miraculous, the created; it is never the result of willing, but always a growth. The fruit of the Spirit is a gift of God, and only He can produce it. They who bear it …know only the power of Him on whom their life depends”

“[Jesus] stands between us and God, and for that very reason he stands between us and all other men and things. He is the Mediator, not only between God and man, but between man and man, between man and reality. Since the whole world was created through him and unto him (John 1:3; 1st Cor. 8:6; Heb. 1:2), he is the sole Mediator in the world.”

“There is no way from one person to another. However loving and sympathetic we try to be…we cannot penetrate the incognito of the other man…Christ stands between us, and we can only get into touch with our neighbors through him. That is why intercession is the most promising way to reach our neighbors, and corporate prayer, offered in the name of Christ, the purest form of fellowship.”

“The messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time. They will be blamed for all the division which rend cities and homes. Jesus and his disciples will be condemned on all sides…The disciples will be sorely tempted to desert their Lord. But the end is also near, and they must hold on and persevere until it comes. Only he will be blessed who remains loyal to Jesus and his word until the end.”

“To be called to a life of extraordinary quality, to live up to it, and yet to be unconscious of it is indeed a narrow way. To confess and testify to the truth as it is in Jesus, and at the same time to love the enemies of that truth, his enemies and ours, and to love them with the infinite love of Jesus Christ, is indeed a narrow way. ..it is indeed an impossible way. But if we behold Jesus Christ going on before step by step, we shall not go astray.”

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.’ These men without possessions or power, these strangers on Earth, these sinners, these followers of Jesus, have in their life with him renounced their own dignity, for they are merciful.”

“So many people come to church with a genuine desire to hear what we have to say, yet they are always going back home with the uncomfortable feeling that we are making it too difficult for them to come to Jesus.”

“[God says] Discipleship is not limited to what you can comprehend.”

“True prayer is done in secret, but this does not rule out the fellowship of prayer altogether, ..True prayer does not depend either on the individual or the whole body of the faithful, but solely upon the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows our needs.”

“The community of the saints is not an “ideal” community consisting of perfect and sinless men and women, ..No, it is a community which proves that it is worthy of the gospel of forgiveness by constantly and sincerely proclaiming God’s forgiveness…Sanctification means driving out the world from the Church as well as separating the Church from the world. But the purpose of such discipline is not to establish a community of the perfect, but a community consisting of men who really live under the forgiving mercy of You.”

“Anything I cannot thank God for the sake of Christ, I may not thank God for at all; to do so would be sin. … We cannot rightly acknowledge the gifts of God unless we acknowledge the Mediator for whose sake alone they are given to us.”

“The earthly form of Christ is the form that died on the cross. The image of God is the image of Christ crucified. It is to this image that the life of the disciples must be conformed; in other words, they must be conformed to his death (Phil 3.10, Rom 6.4) The Christian life is a life of crucifixion (Gal 2.19) In baptism the form of Christ’s death is impressed upon his own. They are dead to the flesh and to sin, they are dead to the world, and the world is dead to them (Gal 6.14). Anybody living in the strength of Christ’s baptism lives in the strength of Christ’s death.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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