THE ENERGY OF COMMITMENT IN THE SPEECH-ACT OF THE CHURCH
The moment you confessed that Jesus is your Savior and Lord, God has placed you in a covenant-relationship with His Son. You became part of the spiritual body of believers which is called the Church the body of Christ. Thus, having submitted to the Lordship of Jesus, you are no longer the master of your life. As a Christian, you live your life for Jesus not because you are forced to do it, but because your love for Christ motivates you to do so. St. Paul said, “The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
The love of Christ then is the foundation and motivation of Christian commitment. Hence, in everything that we say and do (speech-act), we want to glorify the Savior who died for us.
The love of Christ then is the foundation and motivation of Christian commitment. Hence, in everything that we say and do (speech-act), we want to glorify the Savior who died for us. We want the world to see that our commitment to Jesus is the driving inspiration of our lives. In fact, this is the kind of attitude that the Church needs in her evangelistic testimony to the world. If the speech-act of the Church is saturated by the Person, words, and work of her Lord and Savior, the world will see, hear, and feel through us the reality of the risen Christ. Perhaps, this is the reason why St. Paul calls the Church as the body of Christ. For although Christ is not yet physically present on earth, through the Church he can be heard and felt in the world. However, we know by experience that not all people who professed Jesus as their Lord and Savior truly committed their lives to him. Even at the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, there were those who followed him for the sake of curiosity and material benefits instead of commitment (Jn. 6:26). Hence, the question arises among them, saying, what does it mean to follow Jesus?
The principles of our speech-act either in the context of evangelism and discipleship should reflect the descriptions of Jesus’ teaching here.
The staggering characteristics of true commitment to Jesus are described for us in Luke 14:26-27. Jesus said,
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”
That’s the fundamental characteristic of true commitment. The principles of our speech-act either in the context of evangelism and discipleship should reflect the descriptions of Jesus’ teaching here. But essentially, the energy of Christian commitment here roots from love. It is love for Christ that drives us to persevere and to sacrifice all things in order to experience and achieve the beauty, joy, and power of knowing our Lord and Savior. This is exactly what St. Paul meant when he exemplified the speech-act of Christian commitment in Phil. 3:7-8,
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
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