The Difficulty of Grace
How are we to deal with the challenges we face when confronted with the reality of grace?
Grace does not give us license to live ‘business as usual’
Cheap Grace is the deadly enemy of our church. It is grace without price: grace without cost!… Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine … an intellectual assent … Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner … 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. (Part I, Chapter 1)
Bonhoeffer’s idea of ‘cheap grace’ is flourishing in our churches, on our campuses, in our homes, and we don’t even see it for what it is. Salvation is sold as fire insurance, Jesus is reduced to correct propositional formulas and worship is all about us and the way we like it no matter how many times we sing, ‘it’s all about you, Jesus’. Cheap grace sells us a comfortable Jesus to whom we sing affectionate valentines. Cheap grace substitutes the fear of the Lord for a fear of the world. Cheap grace hides our light under wonderfully pious lampshades, and cheap grace renders the salt of the earth as just so much tasteless landfill.