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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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CHEAP GRACE

Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

Cheap grace allows the church to flirt with the world’s value system. It is the evidence of untransformed hearts and minds. This love of the world is not from God and blinds them to the love of God. (1 John 2:15-17 ESV) This is why Paul writes:

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2 ESV)

A separation from worldliness, however, is not complete without the pursuit of righteousness. Jesus said:

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)

Too many in the church want the simple forgiveness of Jesus: not submission to His lordship; not the tears of sincere repentance; not the discipline of discipleship; nor the confession of sins; and certainly not the yoke of the cross. Most want a brand of Christianity-lite which makes few demands upon their personal lives. There is, however, a great gulf between cheap grace and the Christianity of Jesus Christ. Jesus said:

Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? (Luke 6:46)

True grace is transformative. Repentance transforms into obedience. Confession transforms into a lifelong pursuit of righteousness. The grace of God confronts us with the call to follow Jesus and live like Him.

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