Dietrich Bonhoeffer describes cheap grace as the deadly enemy of our Church, grace can be represented as something that we can have for free, no cost and little sacrifice. Many have fallen into the falsified superstition that grace is a cheap covering for sin, nothing much to do apart from accepting the prepaid grace. This perception of grace completely undermines the call to live out the word of God, we accept the grace and yet still continue to live in selfish sin, living the same life but under the umbrella of His great grace and nothing changes. This perception of grace lets the Christian rest in their worldliness without any regard of living by a higher standard than the world sets. This perception of grace results in the justification of sin, because “hey, there’s grace.” Cheap grace causes us to forget about the cross, forget about the ultimate sacrifice.
So instead, introducing costly grace, a grace that must be treasured, sought after and surrendered for. The picture of Christ on the cross is not cheap grace, that He gave His one and only Son – there’s nothing cheap about the grace displayed on the cross. It is not cheap because it is sacrifice, but it is grace because there’s nothing we could do to deserve it. A sacrifice that was costly for God, the One to whom all things belong, for certain this is nowhere within our price range. Easter reminds us of the cost of grace, it is a time to reflect upon the ultimate act of love and sacrifice, a time to rejoice in the wonder of our Saviour.
When we’re young it is perhaps so much easier to be captured by the supernatural, to believe in the mysterious and miraculous. Yet, as we get older, we may find it easier to justify and rationalise supernatural experiences, put them down to coincidence, drained of spiritual possibility. The truth is that the resurrection of Christ is a miracle that none of use should be getting used to or growing accustomed to. Once we lose the wonder of the Gospel, we’ve missed the point – it all has to come back to Christ.
In Matthew 16:24 Jesus says to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.” This is honouring His sacrifice, this is what remembering the death and resurrection of Christ at Easter should remind us of, the magnificence of our God. So, let me ask you this, are you following Jesus, or are you asking Jesus to follow you? When Jesus called his disciples, they were instructed to drop their nets, Jesus asking them to drop everything, their livelihoods, the things they depended on by night and spent time tending to by day. They had to leave it all behind. Their years of work, their ambitions, what they thought they should be doing. As long as you hold onto your net, it’s a limitation. We have to lay it down and leave it there, not looking back to romanticise your past and demise your present. Yes to God means yes to the unknown and yes to what you don’t understand. You can’t pick up God’s calling if you’re picking up a net. Let it go, leave it there, look to Him.
Beth Hawksworth – KICK Sports Coach and Mentor