So when I went home for Christmas, my mom, dad and sister did their best to try to trick me into a conversation. They picked a hot topic that I would usually jump right on. Unfortunately for them, they underestimated my amazing level of “I don’t care about anything”. I just shut down and stared at the floor for the duration of their conversation. Their trick didn’t work.
It wasn’t until almost a week later that the topic hit me. I found an answer to a question that I didn’t know I was asking. What is missing from church? We all seek it… but very few churches seem to have it. What is it?
The usually answer that I had when I would ask that question was that I wanted to be part of a church that made a difference. However, thanks to Dietrich Bonheoffer, I have found the next clue in putting this mysterious puzzle together. What I find missing is “costly grace”.
It is easy to find cheap grace. It has been the latest trend in the American church. God’s grace does everything, they say, so everything can remain as it was before. It is the preaching of forgiveness without repentance. Communion without confession. Grace without discipleship. Grace without the cross. Grace without giving anything.
Sorry but we cannot enjoy the rewards of His grace if we are not actually following Christ.
Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye that causes him to stumble. Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.
See, what has cost God so much cannot become cheap to us.
Is it free? Yes. Can it be earned? Never. But does that make it cheap? God forbid.
But that is the message that has been coming from the American church. We hear that we just “accept Jesus into our hearts” and we will live happily ever after.
I can find grace in plenty of churches. But I don’t find costly grace.
But here is the thing. I don’t want anything to do with cheap grace because cheap grace has nothing to do with Christ. That grace that Jesus offers is quite costly.
But where He is, there I shall be also.
P.S. 75% of this was directly quotes or paraphrased from Dietrich Bonheoffer…