Friday, July 18, 2008

Have you been justified by grace?

I have been spending some time in Bonhoeffer’s “The Cost of Discipleship”. Of course, this book is a must read.

The problems with the doctrine of “cheap grace” are a significant theme in his book and it is clear that this twisted doctrine has been running rampant for quite a while. Bonhoeffer wrote about it in the 1930’s and unfortunately, it is even more prevalent today.
“Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian “conception” of God. An intellectual assent to that idea is held to be of itself sufficient to secure remission of sins”… it degrades grace to “the justification of sin rather than the justification of the sinner.” - Bonhoeffer
Do you hold this view of grace? Does your church hold this view? If you listen to much Christian radio, watch Christian television, or read many of the popular Christian books on shelves today, then you have definitely received your fill of the cheap grace message. If you are comfortable with sin in your life, then you probably have swallowed "hook line and sinker" the doctrine of cheap grace.
"The word of cheap grace has been the ruin of more Christians than any commandment of works." – Bonhoeffer
Jesus makes it clear that His disciple will leave everything to follow Him. God’s grace will drive a true disciple of Christ to obedience. In fact, God’s powerful grace properly understood and applied will be the fuel that empowers a disciple of Christ to live his life set apart for his Lord.
“The only man who has the right to say 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 grace. But those who try to use this grace as a dispensation from following Christ are simply deceiving themselves.” - Bonhoeffer

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