I want to revisit a topic that I was reminded of this semester in my Modern Theologies class at Denver Seminary. Additionally, we are studying TRUTH vs. LIES in this Fall’s Sermon Series, so I thought this was appropriate for a Midweek focus. The Topic is GRACE.
THE TRUTH: Salvation costs us nothing, but it cost Jesus everything.
(John 3:16, Eph. 2:8-9)
THE LIE: I can go on with my life after receiving the gift of salvation.
(basically, I can live like I want).
This makes me wonder about the TRUE cost of grace...please read below about the fact that Discipleship Is Costly! Matthew 16:24-27
24Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27"For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.
Ephesians 2:8-9 lets us know that Salvation is a free gift. Discipleship, on the other hand according to Matthew 16:24-27, is not free. But know this, both salvation and discipleship require GRACE FROM THE LORD. See the following quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
“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.”
“Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. 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. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: 'Ye were bought at a price', and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.”
“...Grace is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him; it is grace because Jesus says: "My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
These quotes were all taken from Bonhoeffer’s The Cost Of Discipleship. How many of us truly look into the price that was paid for our souls? How often do we rest at the Lord’s feet and thank Him for what He has done for us?
If only we could take the focus off our own issues in life, and then allow this eternal perspective to permeate our days. Then, we could obediently practice the holiness that He calls us to (Matt. 5:8).
Lord, realign us today…amen.