Serving Jesus through discipleship

Sonny on Grace

In my last email at the start of it all I asked 2 questions:

What is Grace?

In this email I hope to answer that question.  But in asking that question I am finding it is more complicated than / not as simple as I had hoped for.   I will explain.

In Wikipedia it seems they give a good all-around perceptive of what grace is.   It seems our ancestors have made it so complicated.   I have provided a like to Wikipedia for your reading enjoyment.

Over the years I have collected sayings of what graces is:

  • Grace is getting what we don’t deserve while Mercy is not getting what we deserve.
  • Grace means that there is nothing we can do to make God love us less.Grace also means there is nothing we can do to make God loves us more.
  • God’s unmerited favor.

In Romans 6.20 it says

Now the Law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more

In Romans 11.6 it speaks of Grace and what grace is not:

But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

In 1 Corinthians 1.4 says – Grace come through Jesus

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given to you in Christ Jesus

In 2 Corinthians 6.1 – that we can receive grace in vain.   Rather it encourages us NOT to receive grace in vain.

Working together with Him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the Grace of God in vain.

Cheap Grace

  • Means sold on the market – The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin and the consolation of religion
  • Grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system
  • The justification of sin without the justification of the sinner.
  • No contrition is required – still less any real desire to be delivered from sin.
  • Is not obedience to the commandments of Jesus Christ
  • Is Grace we bestow on ourselves.
  • Is the preaching of forgiveness without the requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, Absolution without personal confession.
  • Is grace without discipleship
  • Grace without the cross
  • Grace without Jesus Christ

Costly Grace

  • Is the treasure hidden in the field
  • Is the pearl of great price
  • Is the kingly rule of Christ
  • The call of Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.
  • Is the gospel which must be sought again and again
  • The Gift that must be asked for
  • The door at which must be knock
  • Grace is costly because it calls us to follow – it is grace because it call us to follow Jesus Christ
  • It is costly because it costa a man his life – it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.
  • It is costly because it condemns sin – grace because it justifies the sinner
  • Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life as His Son and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.
  • Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon His Son too dear of a price to pay for our life, but delivered Him up for us.
  • Grace is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him – it is grace because Jesus says “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

What is Grace?

After reading and re-reading chapter one especially towards the end of the chapter I realized that Bonhoeffer is writing from the perspective of being a Lutheran.   I therefore think it is necessary to read the article mention above from Wikipedia concerning Grace to understanding Bonhoeffer presentation.

What is Grace?   I agree with you Larry let’s keep simple

What is Grace?

It is God showing us with His unmerited favor.

What does unmerited favor mean?   I take this to mean John 3:16!   That God loved us before we were even able to Love God.  That God has such compassion for us that He sent Jesus to this world to live and die for us while we were still His enemies.

I think of Hosea where God showed His love through this man by having him marry a prostitute so that she would break his heart, again and again and yet he remarries her once again.   We are that prostitute!

If what Philip Yancey wrote is true:

Grace means that there is nothing we can do to make God love us more.

Grace also means that there is nothing we can do to make God love us less.

Seeing that Grace is God’s unmerited favor – how can we cheapen it or make it more costly?  How can we prove to God we are worth saving?

Grace is God’s unmerited favor – that is God’s decision, that is on God’s part, that is on God’s side of our relationship with Him – there is nothing we can do to influence it one way or the other.   God decided to love us while we hated, beat, crucified, killed and continued to doubt that He ever existed.  Cheap vs Costly.  It cost God everything, how can it be anything else but costly.  We cannot cheapen it one bit by how we live after all it is God’s unmerited favor towards us.

Ephesians 4:1 – 3 says:

​ I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Maybe what Bonhoeffer is talking about is this “walk in a manner worthy of the calling” Cheapening it or making it more Costly but surely we can’t earn or change what God is doing on His part that is Him showing us His unmerited favor.



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