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Cheap Grace


"Cheap Grace" is a term denoting a theological concept that is quite prevalent in the world of Christianity today. "Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian 'conception' of God. An intellectual assent to that idea is held to be in of its self sufficient to secure remission of sins. Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate." Conversely, "'costly grace’ is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that the has (Mat 13:44). It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods (Mat 13:45-46). It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out his eye which causes him to stumble (Mat 5:29-30); it is the call of Jesus (Mark 1:15)." ​"Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. The only man who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ. Such a man knows that the call to discipleship is a gift of grace, and that the call is inseparable from the grace. But those who try to use this grace as a dispensation from following Christ are simply deceiving themselves." Day 1. How did you come to know grace? Gal 1:6-9 How did you come to know of God's grace? Was your understanding of God's grace "cheap" or "costly"? How can you tell? Day 2. 1 Cr 15:10; Rom 6:1-2 What effect has God's grace had on you? Day 3. How do you keep the balance in your daily life of the idea of "costly" grace? Do you ever put the "cart before the horse" (discipleship for grace instead of discipleship because of grace)? What would this look like? Day 4. Do you know anyone else who might have received the gospel of "cheap grace"? Do you desire to help teach them "the way of The Lord more adequately" (cf. Acts 18:26)? Why or why not? Day 5. "Happy are they who, knowing that grace, can live in the world without being of it, who, by following Jesus Christ, are so assured of their heavenly citizenship that they are truly free to live their lives in this world. Happy are they who know that discipleship simply means the life which springs from grace, and that grace simply means discipleship. Happy are they who have become Christians in this sense of the word. For them the word of grace has proved a fount of mercy." Excerpts from "The Cost Of Discipleship" Dietrich Bonheoffer

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