Monday, August 1, 2011

Cheap Grace

It has been said that this current age is the Age of Grace. This is the time after the cross that God extends His hands of Grace, through the blood of His Son, to a dying world. All they have to do is believe, accept the sacrifice Jesus made on their behalf and their sins are forgiven and they are going to Heaven!

While I agree with all of the above, I think we could also classify this current culture as the culture of Cheap Grace. What do I mean by cheap grace? Grace that costs you nothing.

But isn't that the point of grace, that's it's free?  Yes, grace is given freely but after you receive that grace, it costs you something to keep it. It costs God His only beloved Son to give that grace to you. Are we so arrogant and unappreciative to believe that nothing is required of us but to accept it?

I know this is going to rub some people the wrong way and I know that most Christians have been taught that all you have to do is accept God's grace, which is to believe in Jesus, say a prayer of repentence, and you're in, but if you take Scripture as a whole, it says so much more than that.

I was reading in Luke 14 the other day and these passages jumped out at me.

If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.  And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:25-17

Jesus then goes on to say that you wouldn't start contruction on a building or go to war with another country unless you first sat down and counted the cost to make sure you could finish the building or win the war. So, why do we jump on the salvation wagon without considering whether we are willing to pay the price?

So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:33

When was the last time you heard an altar call that listed the high cost of following Jesus before asking people to make a decision. Yet, shouldn't we do that? Wouldn't it be the right thing to do?  Have you ever signed a contract you hadn't read through thoroughly? Of course not! Yet, we do this all the time in our churches. And what do we get? A bunch of people who have no idea what they are getting into. They just want the rewards. They want to be forgiven and go to heaven.  But are they really willing to pay the price? Often times not and we see so many drifting away, leaving the church, angry at God. They wanted cheap grace. But God isn't into cheap grace. He hands it out freely, but it's not cheap.

At the end of Luke 9 Jesus was also talking about the price for following Him. Several people had asked to follow Him but they weren't willing to give up certain things. At the end, Jesus said:
Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God

Do you get the sense God wants total devotion and complete commitment? He wants us to put Him first and follow Him unconditionally. I can show you a thousand verses that say that very thing. Then why do so many in His church make His grace so cheap? Being a follower of Christ will cost you. It will be worth it! But it will cost.   No, I'm not talking about works because we can't earn our way into Heaven or into God's grace. I'm talking about a condition of your heart.  Is He the most important thing in your life?  Does He occupy your thoughts? Are you desperate to be with Him, read His word? 

Are you willing to do whatever God asks of you? No matter what.

How can we not give Him our all after what He's done for us?  


  1. Mon Aug 1,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Trusting that you have 'arrived safely' after a lengthy amount of flying time ! Bet you're so happy to be there !!!!!!!!!
    Thank-you for today's post -- "Grace is free, but not cheap". Amen and Amen to that !!!
    I have thought about the things you've mentioned today, for years now ... wondering 'why' Churches (in general), make it sound "so easy", and like a "piece-of-cake" to -- accept Jesus as Saviour, be forgiven of your sins, and, you're "in-like-flint". And then, "voila" ... you're 'home-free' !!! Many today, are looking for -- rewards, benefits, a free hand-out, an easy-no-hassle lifestyle, and certainly no committment or responsibility involved.
    It is not easy being a Christian ... it is daily committment, growing in and learning about our Lord, reading His Word ... and SO MUCH MORE. And a major factor -- "trusting Him" ... when things don't turn out or go the way 'we think' they should. It is NOT just a 'free ride'. Salvation is a 'free gift from God' ... but it will cost you "everything" to remain faithful in it, and, to Him !
    Not surprised that one Bible verse says: 'When the Lord returns, will He find 'any' faithful among us'.
    He is the most important One in my life ... He is the "only" One worthy. He is the "only" One I can trust !!! Do I read His Word daily, as faithfully as I should .... no, I don't. I greatly have to improve in that area. But yes, I am desperate to be with Him. And as my prayer is always ... "Your Will be done, oh Lord" ... I 'hope' that I would be willing to do whatever He asks of me. As I've said before ... I 'still' have a long way to go !
    Free grace ... NOT cheap ...
    But there is NO place I'd rather be ... than in His arms, and, in His Will ... and I sure hope and trust, that I will be found 'among the faithful', when He returns ! He knows the hearts that are true to Him ... He will be the final Judge.
    Thanks for a great post.
    And now .... back to your re-union -- just have a most wonderful time, MaryLu ... enjoy !
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. Wow, great post! I've had all the "If you want to be my disciple..." verses highlighted in my Bible for a while now because I know they're so important, but even though I had the balance somewhat figured out in my head, I've never been able to really put it into words to explain to other people. :-P So, this post is very helpful to me, especially since I know a few people who are very much in the "I accepted Jesus, so now I can do anything I want and still get into heaven" mentality.

    HEY EVERYONE - I just launched a new blog that works just like a small-group Bible study. We're starting by going verse-by-verse through the book of Galatians. If you'd like to check it out, the link is Hope to see you there! :-)

  3. Yes, indeed. Grace is priceless, not cheap. :)
    This makes me think of this analogy. What good does it say that you believe in something and not be willing to do anything about.

    i.e. I believe that eating fruits and veggies is healthy for me and are a must for a good diet.

    If I then only eat fatty foods and ice cream, what does it tell you that I truly believe?

    Good points.

  4. Great post MaryLu.
    We believers have become too complacent, that we forget how important it is to teach the younger generations about grace. So many churches are so wrapped up in 'filling the pews' that they forget the real reason why they are here.
    Thanks for sharing.
    I pray that you are safe and having a great time. *hugs*

  5. Is it okay for it to be hard to give up some of the things?

  6. Anonymous: Don't beat yourself up; everyone has a hard time giving things up. What you need to do is take it before God. He will give you the strength to give up anything that doesn't fit into His plan for you. I will be praying for you. *hugs*

  7. What a profound message. It really makes a person think about why they are doing something! Thank you

  8. Anonymous, Paul says it this way:

    For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.
    Romans 7:15

    Yes, it will be VERY Hard to give up some things. Until we stand before Jesus with perfect bodies, we will continue to fight and wrestle with our sinful nature.


  9. Amen Sheri!