Bonhoeffer talked about “cheap grace.” Cheap grace is what offers much but requires little. If we’re not careful, we may be guilty of offering a low-calorie approach to discipleship. It may taste great, but eventually it’s also less filling.
In 1 Peter 3:21, the writer addresses this matter by using a very interesting word: pledge. Here’s what he writes:
“… and this water [Noah and the flood] symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
When you give your life to Jesus, you are pledging a good conscience toward God. A pledge goes beyond a good intention or even a promise. Peter uses a word that was also used to describe what a Roman soldier did when he joined the Roman army. He pledged to follow the orders of his commander, even if it would cost him his life. He did not agree to obey only those orders that were convenient or easy. He pledged to obey all orders.
As Christ-followers, we do the same. Surrendering to God means giving him control of our lives. As I heard Rick Warren say one time, we may voluntarily agree to join the family, but once we’re saved, we’re added to an army. And in this army, there are no volunteers.
Have you taken the pledge?