Adapted Excerpt from Radical Discipleship: What is Christian Discipleship?

The focus of our gaze must be upward and forward, not backward or around us. There must be a longing in our hearts for the beautiful city of God, combined with a holy indifference to the things of this world that we always will all inevitably leave behind us. Even the good things in our lives should not be allowed to own us. There must be a readiness in the twinkling of an eye to trade this mortality for immortality and the corruptible for that which is incorruptible (1 Cor. 15:51–52).  

In contemporary popular Christianity, many church members are nominal Christians. They are ignorant of the faith’s biblical foundations, the history of the church, and the content of classical Christian theology. They promote a popular brand of Christianity that makes no strict demands on its followers. The mood of the times is that the “self” and its tenacious pursuit of acceptance and comfort must be pampered at all costs.

Perhaps such people give formal assent to the church’s historic creeds and catechisms. However, practically, neither the Holy Scriptures nor these documents inform their personal decisions, vocational commitments, moral convictions, and worldview. If they are not officially atheists, they are not far from it.

The radical departure of our generation from the truth in favor of an anemic Christianity must be answered with a radical return to orthodoxy and orthopraxy. The God of the Bible affirms His holy purity by revealing that He is light, with no darkness in Him at all (1 John 1:5). Every regenerate and forgiven believer is summoned to practice a holiness that will testify to their identification with God’s holiness, even though their holiness is imperfectly expressed. Because God is holy, God’s people must also be holy (Lev. 11:44).

In the New Testament, the apostle Peter quotes this passage from Leviticus, giving us a clear picture of the rationale for a return to a more radicalized Christianity (see 1 Peter 1:13–16). He points out that we must be radical for Christ in separating ourselves from this world and imitating God, knowing that our time here on earth is short and this world is not our home.

Anticipating the Future

Peter writes, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13). The central thought in this verse is expressed in the command, “hope to the end.” We are called to wait for the Lord in joyful anticipation of the completion of the good work He has begun within us (Phil. 1:6). This hope is strong, wholehearted, and unwavering in its expectancy and desire.

The focus of our gaze must always be upward and forward, not backward or around us.

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