Saturday, November 18, 2017

Bonhoeffer: no belief without obedience

Saturday, November 18, 2017
    “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
    “Come,” he said.
    Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
    But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
    Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.
    “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
    —Matthew 14:28-31 (NIV)
    But when once Christ has called him, Peter has no alternative—he must leave the ship and come to Him. In the end, the first step of obedience proves to be an act of faith in the word of Christ. But we should completely misunderstand the nature of grace if we were to suppose that there was no need to take the first step, because faith was already there. Against that, we must boldly assert that the step of obedience must be taken before faith can be possible. Unless he obeys, a man cannot believe.
    ... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), The Cost of Discipleship, Simon and Schuster, 1959, p. 66 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 14:28-31; Mark 1:16-18; Luke 17:6; 2 Cor. 9:13; 2 John 1:6
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I hear Your call. Grant me faith to follow you.
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