[forthright] Cheap Grace

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2007 15:15:05 -0300
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross


Cheap Grace
by Stan Mitchell

"Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our church. We
are fighting today for costly grace." So said
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German preacher in the late

   Cheap grace means grace sold in the market
   ... the consolations of religion are
   thrown away at cut prices. Grace is
   represented as the church's inexhaustible
   treasury, from which she showers blessings
   ... Grace without price, grace without
   cost. Because ... everything has been
   paid, everything can be had for nothing.
          --The Cost of Discipleship, page 45

"Cheap grace." This is an oxymoron, a
contradiction in terms, although sometimes we
treat it as if the phrase was redundant. We are so
presumptuous about the blood of Christ and his
suffering on the cross. We glibly accept it, then
make statements like, "It doesn't matter what
God's word says, God's grace will forgive us!"

Understand this: grace forgives human frailties;
it does not forgive open rebellion.

A concept of cheap grace does three harmful things
to the Christian. First, it encourages a loose
attitude towards God's holy commands. Second, it
diminishes the enormity of Christ's death on the
cross, and third, it weakens our desire to become
Christ's disciples, committed and determined to
never turn back from serving God.

The gift of grace was free, but the payment for
our sin was historically high, by "the precious
blood of Christ" (1 Peter 1:19). The value of a
gift lies not in the cost to the receiver, but to
the redeemer!

"Shall we go on sinning so that grace may
increase? By no means!" (Romans 6:1).

By the way, Bonhoeffer knew what he was talking
about when he spoke of sacrifice and discipleship.
He was put in a Nazi concentration camp for
refusing to toe the party line, and was executed
in 1945.

Grace is not cheap, and neither is discipleship.

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