With Chapter 5, we move into part 2 of The Ordinary Hero. Having encountered “the pardon of the cross” in part 1, we now move on to consider “the practice of the cross”. With Jesus’ description of discipleship in Matthew 16:24-25 still bouncing around in my mind and heart, I’m really looking forward to hearing Tim unpack what discipleship actually looks like in this part of the book.
Tim picks five “S” words to summarise what it means to take up your cross daily: sacrifice, submission, self-denial, service and suffering. I was particularly struck by some things that were said about suffering. Tim pointed out from 1 Peter that that on the cross Jesus suffered for doing good so that we don’t have to suffer for doing evil. But having aligned ourselves with Jesus there is a double consequence:
- we will avoid suffering for our evil deeds
- we will experience suffering for our good deeds – just as Jesus did
In a world that hates the truth of the gospel, following Jesus will mean doing good and suffering as a result. But there’s great comfort and encouragement in knowing that the end result will be the glory of God.
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us
1 Peter 2:12
For a bit of further reflection on following Jesus and “the way of the cross”, check out the following blog post over at the gospel coalition…
1 Peter 3:13-17
13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.