“I would like to buy about three dollars’ worth of gospel, please. Not too much—just enough to make me happy, but not so much that I get addicted. I don’t want so much gospel that I learn to really hate covetousness and lust. I certainly don’t want so much that I start to love my enemies, cherish self-denial, and contemplate missionary service in some alien culture. I want ecstasy, not repentance; I want transcendence, not transformation. I would like to be cherished by some nice, forgiving, broad-minded people, but I myself don’t want to love those from different races—especially if they smell. I would like enough gospel to make my family secure and my children well behaved, but not so much that I find my ambitions redirected or my giving too greatly enlarged. I would like about three dollars’ worth of gospel, please.”
Those are the opening words of D.A. Carson’s excellent book, Basics for Believers. Powerful, aren’t they?
Jesus commissioned His disciples in Matthew 28:18–20, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Familiar verses but don’t miss the fact that: 1) Jesus has “all authority”; 2) Jesus exercises that authority over “all nations”; 3) Jesus expects obedience to “everything I have commanded you.” Jesus’ reach is complete–if you are His disciple then you are His disciple in all of life.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ does not come in $3 dollar installments. Jesus calls us to repent and believe—to change our direction entirely and place our trust in Him totally. While it may take us a lifetime to properly live under Jesus’ all-encompassing authority, the expectation stands nonetheless.
Paul understood that Jesus had complete jurisdiction over him, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
If we are going to be disciples of the Lord Jesus, then we need to surrender to His authority in every area of our lives. We are sanctified, or set apart for the Lord, entirely.
At Resurrection Church (the church our team has recently planted) we emphasize Discipleship in All of Life along these lines: “Jesus is King over all of us not just a piece of our heart, part of our resources or one time in our calendar! All of us bow to all He says!”