“What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” – Romans 9:14-16 (ESV)
(Authors Note: Written over the Memorial Day Weekend, this part one of two reminds me why I need to stay within Gods Word so I can appreciate the grace provided to me from Christ’s work on The Cross. I remember finishing Bonhoeffer’s “The Cost of Discipleship” and feeling convicted that all I had were “cheap-jack wares” when it came to God’s grace. To this day I will find myself paging through this classic and seeing, through Bonhoeffers writing, that it still isn’t good to cheapen God’s grace in my life.)
Sometimes in the daily-ness of my mere life I seem to forget God’s grace on my life. At times I’ll wrestle with what Jesus said in Matthew 5 when He said that “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” I just want the sun and rain for the good and just. Let the evil and the unjust cry out to whatever god they serve for their own sun and rain. After all, why should their poor choices interfere with my daily routine? But then why should YHVH take any of my suggestions…I have been known to fail the Cross in my selfish daily routine.
So with that said…
One of the C’s in grace is the common grace that is bestowed upon us all. It has been said that there are two Bibles available to us. There is God’s Word (the written Bible) and then there is God’s Works (the creation we live in). In God’s Works all are bless with the rain, sun, air, grass…well you get the idea, these are the physical ones. We get the intellectual ones like the i-Pod, GMC Sierra pick-up trucks (my personal favorite), antibiotics and other inventions. Some people aren’t really evil, some people can create and some people do good things for social causes. I have to keep in mind that the people behind these, though not saved, have been allowed by The Creator to do what they do.
Common grace is God demonstrating His long-suffering and patience towards all of mankind. He continual blesses in this way so that when the Day of Judgment comes, He will be able to stand just in front of those who rejected Him for it will be made clear to them that they are without excuse. I wonder if this is what would keep Dietrich Bonhoeffer at peace within himself as Hitler’s Nazi’s held him captive. If you’re not familiar with him, Google him and you will find a 20th century martyr whose life should have lead us into a more spiritual and responsible millennium. Sadly there are a few of us who know of this theologian, writer, musician, Pastor and author of poetry and fiction.
In his book “The Cost of Discipleship”, Bonhoeffer also had some C’s of his own when it comes to God’s grace and how we need to look at it. He argued that as Christianity spread, the Church became secularized, that there was an accommodating the demands of obedience to Christ to the requirements of a fallen world. This way as the world was becoming Christianized, God’s grace would become its common property. The problem becomes that the Gospel gets cheapened and living a true Christ like life gets lost in formulas and rituals. Basically saying grace could be sold literally for monetary gain.
I will be sharing what Bonhoeffer called “cheap grace” and “costly grace in my next Freedom Fighter. It is powerful stuff indeed. But to warm us to it let us consider what Max Lucado challenged us with by way of questions. “What if God’s only gift to you were His grace? Would you be content? You beg Him to save the life of your child. You plead with Him to keep your business afloat. You implore Him to remove the cancer from your body. What if His answer is, “My grace is enough.” Would you be content?” Hmmm….
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.