Years ago I read the book “The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I was reminded of this book in church on Sunday morning when our pastor spoke about people taking for granted what Jesus did for us on the cross. He spoke about people wanting salvation on their terms. They want the salvation without repentance, sacrifice, or a changed life.
Here’s what Bonhoeffer says "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."
Cheap grace is belief without obedience. It is hearing without doing. It is intellectual agreement without life changing commitment.
Cheap grace says that you don’t have to worry about purity or holiness. Jesus did everything for you and so you don’t have to do anything. This is far from the truth. Jesus died for us so that we could then live our lives for Him.
God’s grace enables is to have a relationship with Him. It is His grace that makes us a new creation. His grace makes us a child of God. Cheap grace can never do any of this.
Cheap grace has you trying to justify your behavior. Cheap grace will have you focusing on things in your life instead of God. Cheap grace does not require that you die to sin or to yourself.
Grace was not cheap to Jesus. It cost him his life. The sinless son of God was beaten and crucified for our sin. It cost Jesus his pride, security, friends, and his connection with the Father. Yet He lives to make intercession with the Father for us.
Jesus warned, however, "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).
Obedience is an expression of a right relationship with God. It's a relationship of love. Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). If one really knows and loves Christ, it's bound to show in their actions. When someone doesn’t live his life in obedience to God, there is ever reason to question whether that person is truly a Christian.
Paul taught, “"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:9-10).
Without question, we are saved by grace through faith alone in Jesus and what he did on the cross for us. However, a genuine conversion experience results in good works -- obedience to what God commands us to do.
Anything else is just cheap grace. And cheap grace is no grace at all.