Friday, January 23, 2009

CHEAP Grace v. COSTLY Grace


A few weeks ago I began reading my second book written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  Those of you who do not know his story, I would ask you to do some research.  I would not do it justice if I tried to tell you who he was and what he did, but when I think of him I think of the great "cloud of witnesses."  

I hope to make a few posts on the profound things I read in this most recent book I'm reading, THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP.  

He begins the book speaking of "cheap grace" v. "costly grace."  He writes:
"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.
Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has.  It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods.  It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which calls him to stumble, it is the call of Jesus Christ at which his disciple leaves his nets and follows him."
Have you been shown grace, been born again, and adopted into the family of God?  If so, what is the grace costing you?  He goes on to say:
"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."
And the Word of God says:
"For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:8-10)
I would ask you to consider how discipleship is used as a means of grace -- that God would use to equip us to walk in the good works that God has beforehand prepared for us... understanding that we in fact were "created in Christ Jesus."  Makes one think of "the new man," does it not?

More later, LORD willing.  Till then, may the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all.  Amen.

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