“Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting to-day for costly grace”
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. Grace has a sweet sound to it. Its ever flowing river is ferocious to those who truly experience it, and only admired by those who can see it from a distance. For someone to truly understand what the grace of God has given them through His son Jesus Christ, he or she would have to respond in surrendering all that he or she has. Every day that they live, would have to be a right response to grace. Truly, the only right response to God’s grace, is a completely transformed heart bowing in obedience to Jesus and all that He says.
Sometimes our definitions of grace are cheap! “Grace says I am saved from the consequences of my sin, as long as I confess it once a week!” “Grace has saved me once and for all, so I can live however I want!” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his great work The Cost of Discipleship says that cheap grace “means justification of sin without the justification of the sinner.” He also says that “cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, and grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.” The Apostle says in Romans 6:1-2, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” Grace is costly!
You might be asking, “If grace is costly, then why is it called grace? Isn’t it freely given?” Well it is no doubt a gift, but it had to be purchased by someone! “You were bought with a price” according to 1 Corinthians 7:23. “It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life” says Bonhoeffer.
Doesn’t this costly grace have some profound implications? Jesus indeed was tortured, bloodied, crucified, and buried for you and me. The full wrath of God was poured out on his only son, of which none of us could do to someone we love that much. It cost God his son. Jesus rose again 3 days later, proving he is the Christ, and desires for us to come and follow Him. Because this is true, true life is found in Jesus, and the only right response, is to follow him daily. Are you merely hearing the sound of grace, or are you experiencing it fully? Can you honestly say, I once was lost, and now I am found?
“The Kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”