Cheap Grace is Not Enough – by Eliezer Gonzalez
- Christian Evidences
- Christian Living
- Dr Eliezer Gonzalez
Dec 29, 2015 1778
I have been at times accused of preaching cheap grace by people who have been offended that I have preached the matchless, unquenchable love of Christ for sinners. From what I can discern, these are people who prefer to hear preaching that includes a good dose of what we must do so that God will accept us, show us his favour, and save us.
In the emphasis that this kind of teaching gives to obedience as the basis and condition of salvation, many people find a comforting assurance that somehow there is a contribution to their salvation that they can make that is within their sphere of control. But this is a delusion.
I am all for obedience. How could I not be for it, when Christ and Scripture refer to it over and over again as the fruit of Divine love and of the Spirit-filled person who has been renewed in Christ? But I am not for obedience as some kind of trade-off against the grace of God.
Here are the words of a theologian who knew something of sacrifice for the principles of the Kingdom of God:
Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘Ye were bought at a price’, 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 a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God. – Dietrich Bonhoffer
So what is the gospel of cheap grace? It is any gospel that says that your salvation cost the Son of God less than an infinite price, because there is something that you can do to contribute towards it.
This is more than more than the gospel of cheap grace; it is the gospel of trash grace.
I hold to a Gospel of the costly grace of God, a grace that is so far above my reckoning and ability to perform as the heavens are from the heart, as the heart of God is above my heart, and as the Cross is above the very best of my own unattainable aspirations.
This is a grace that is wild and free, passionate and infinite in its love for the lost. This is a grace that is so far outside of my control that when I am gripped by it, I cannot help but let its winds of love flow through me, to bless and uplift all those who accept it through faith.
There is no other way, because I am helpless and lost in sin, in and of myself.. Unless I throw myself entirely upon God’s mercy, there is no hope for me.
Cheap grace is not enough for me. The only one that can save me is the grace that’s free.
– Eliezer Gonzalez