Responsible Love Requires Costly Grace

Responsible Love Requires Costly Grace February 28, 2006

Responsible Love Requires Costly Grace

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

(Romans 6:1-4 NKJV)

Grace is not grace f we continue to choose to respond irresponsibly.

Dietrich Bonhöffer opens up his book The Cost of Discipleship with these words: “Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace”

Cheap grace is a promise of God’s blessings without any appreciation of the cost. As Bonhoeffer puts it,

Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.

Cheap grace is a grace that says I can change without a process. I can easily obtain what I want in life from God. This cheapens the value of God’s love for you.

God does not love you just because of who you are. Instead, God is very responsible with His love. To show His love to you, it cost God something. It cost God His Son. Why was it responsible for God to give up His Son to help us? Because the cost was so great, the love was so much, that the responsibility that God would have to show to prove His love would have to enough to match the amount of freedom we would receive.

With much responsible love from God, came much freedom to live an abundant life. So are we given the freedom to sin more because we have so much grace in our lives now in Jesus Christ?

Bonhöffer would call this a cheapening of God’s grace. I would say it turns God’s love and His acts to prove that love a waste of effort on His part. Therefore, grace demands that we learn to be responsible in our love with other people.

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