Today I want to review chapter 10 of Jon Walker‘s recent book, Costly Grace. It is a contemporary view of German pastor, theologian and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer‘s well-known work, The Cost of Discipleship.

Chapter 10 is called “Becoming Like Jesus in Purity.”  The subject of purity is just as relevant today in the twenty-first century as it was in Germany back in the 1930’s.  Bonhoeffer wrote:

To follow Jesus means self-renunciation and absolute adherence to him, and therefore a will dominated by lust can never be allowed to what it likes.

Walker stated the objective of Jesus based on Matthew 5:27-32:

To teach the disciples that lust is impure because it is unbelief, and therefore it is to be shunned.

To state it bluntly, momentary lust is like selling our birthright for a bowl of soup.  Even worse, it forfeiting eternity in heaven when momentarily pleasures are more important.  A life of lust forfeits much, including looking out for the interests of others.  Also, according to Walker, “lust reveals we are distant from Jesus.”

Bonhoeffer was aware that it was impossible not to look at women, yet when our gaze is upon him, then we can look upon women (or men) with purity.  Purity is a condition of the heart and thus, begins in the heart.  The demands of Jesus are not unreasonable:

Jesus knows you’re fighting against natural instincts and he’s not insensitive to your plight.  He was human; he struggled with the same temptations you do.  Is he telling you to get tough and defeat the lust issue on your own?

Many people, including Christians, struggle with lust.  If we fight the battle in our own strength, we will lose every time.  That is why Jesus wants us to depend upon his grace.  The power of the risen Lord will help fight the battle.

Jesus wants to replace your instinct with the Holy Spirit so that, instead of being a slave to impulse, you are free to make pure choices when it comes to lust and sex.  Through the Holy Spirit, you have the power of the divine nature working inside you. You access that power through faith–believing the Spirit is there and at work to help you overcome the sin of lust.

When tempted, we can believe Jesus or believe lust has what is best for us.  When we see the New Testament clearly teaches that Christian discipleship includes our entire bodies (Romans 12:1; Galatians 5:25-26; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; 7-8).

This short chapter was clear in its theme: our bodies are to be used for immorality.  Rather, we are to serve the Lord with them (1 Corinthians 6:13).

Will we possess Fallen Thinking?

Since my spirit is where Christ dwells, what happens in my body doesn’t really matter!

Or Kingdom Thinking?

Anything that morally or spiritually traps–that causes me to fall into sin or to stay in sin–should be eliminated quickly and totally!