25 January, 2011

thoughts on grace

I love church. I hadn't been to our church in Wilmington for about 5 weeks or so and I missed it. I love standing and worshipping with fellow believers. It overcomes me and I feel like part of something huge and yet at times I feel like the only one there. I love to sing and I love being part of a fellowship. On Sunday our pastor spoke on grace. This seems to be a popular discussion at church and with good reason -- grace is an important tenet in Christian doctrine. However, after reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship a few years ago, I always get sidetracked in discussions about grace. 

"Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our church."

 Woah. I had never thought of a "bad form" of grace. Grace is good, right? As I read more I was compelled to think about grace at a cost. Grace was not cheap. We should not debase what Christ did on the cross. Grace was costly. 

"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... Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ... Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son." 

I've seen those who live life how they please because they know that "God will forgive them." They've been taught the same scripture and heard the same verses and they walked out thinking: "I've got a free pass because God loves me." I don't want to live that way, but I know that I do. I may not say it or think it, but I am imperfect and because of that I fail. I lie, I cheat, I'm jealous -- I am a sinner. But I want to live in costly grace. I want to follow Christ because, after hearing what he did for me, there is no other choice but to follow. I want to treat grace as the precious gift that it is and not take it for granted. 

"Costly grace is the gospel that must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock."

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