Think About This: “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.”—Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The “C’s” in Grace – Part 2
Posted on October 6, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:8-9 (ESV)
I am hoping that you have read my previous Freedom Fighter concerning some thoughts on the common grace that YHVH has bestowed upon the creation. I also would like to continue to share what Dietrich Bonhoeffer had written in his book “The Cost of Discipleship” concerning his thoughts on grace. It really took me a-back when I read his two “C’s” of grace. But his accusations are as right now as they were then. It blows me away that no matter how much our gracious Father blesses His creation, we seem to have the uncanny ability to tarnish the very precious metals He tries to refine us to be.
Bonhoeffer wrote this about what he calls “Cheap Grace”. “Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjack’s wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices.” Granted this is harsh but it has it’s element of truth. “The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap?” I ain’t finished quoting this idea of cheap grace yet…get ready for this…
“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.” Can a brother get an AMEN and say OUCH in the same sentence? But there is a better grace Bonhoeffer wrote about, it’s called “Costly Grace”. “Costly grace is the Gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which man must knock.”
“Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it man will 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 causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ which the disciple leaves his nets and follows Him.” When I read these words I get a deep sense of conviction that I, in my everyday routine, cheapen the very grace I cry out to receive. I complain that my job isn’t what it should be, I expect my family to tolerate my times of frustration with making ends meet, I say unkind things to people who should be hearing words of encouragement and yet I find it easy to blame it all on a fallen world that refuses to accept God’s grace and praise Him for His mercy. Who do I think I am?
If there is a book to buy and read over the approaching summer it should be this book “The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In the very evil of Hitler’s war machine this Pastor of humility found that God’s grace was sufficient enough for him. Bonhoeffer was hung for the sake of The Cross, naked but yet prayerful. The Nazi Regime fell not too much long after that. And here we are decades later having the same struggles with grace that Christians did back then. What wretched people we are…who can save us from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at email@example.com.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.” – Hebrews 10:11-12