Dietrich Bonhoeffer is most quoted, it seems, for his emphasis on “costly” versus “cheap” grace, and it is certainly refreshing to consider it once again.
“Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life,” (Cost of Discipleship, 45).
Reflecting on this distinction and the implications arising from it over the past several weeks has challenged me drastically. The Gospel must be sought. I do not leave the Gospel, that Jesus alone is savior, and it isn’t simply for my conversion. It is past in that He has saved me. It is present because He is saving me. It is future because He will save me. It must be sought daily, for pardon needs to be had at the foot of the cross, daily. It must be sought daily, because the power which enlivens my being to mortify and kill sin is the power arising from the Gospel, namely the gift of the Spirit, who unifies me with Christ. His death on the cross was my death to sin, and His resurrected life is the power and newness i possess presently. And it is this reality that God calls me to contemplate and practice, daily (Romans 6). It must be sought daily, because the beauty and riches of Christ are indeed the beauty and riches that will tear me away from the perceived beauty of my own sin. Christ becomes my chief motivation for living, fighting, and persevering. It must be sought daily.
This, grace, however, this Christ, that forgives freely, adopts, justifies, and regenerates, also demands something of me. To accept this grace is to forfeit my life. When man accepts the grace of God he forfeits his life, gives it up, says, “I do not lay claim to my life anymore. It is yours, God, to do what you will.” Which means that i no more watch t.v in the same way, search the web the same way, talk to my wife the same way, use my time the same way, talk about others the same way, read the same way, or relate to my neighbor the same way. For everything must be seen in its relation to the God-man from Bethlehem. Can we see things that way today? Can we pause in every circumstance, ponder the Son of God and the grace we have received, and then continue the action in relation to Him? For what it costs, Grace is worth it. For the man who knows he has no hope and no goodness but for Christ, he will willingly offer all.
Let us live lives for Him, a radical obedience, because what we gain in Him is far superior to what we lose.