|What is Grace?|
These are the thoughts that occurred to me after reading the life story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his book “The Cost of Discipleship.” He was one of the few Christians in Germany during the World War II who had the courage to oppose Nazis evil power and help the persecuted Jews. Because of this, he was arrested and put into a concentration camp. Near the end of the World War II, he was hanged by the Nazis as a traitor. He died calmly, without any fear, but with a complete trust in God. In his life-time, he authored several books, the most famous of which is “The Cost of Discipleship.” Here he combated the cheap grace that was embraced by the mainstream German church. He wrote:
True Grace is a totally different realitymuch more solemn, much more serious, much more costly. It is when we stand in front of God as a sinner, like a war criminal standing in front of the military court with no place to hide; it is when we are completely guilty and hopelessly ruined; it is when there is nothing we can do to clean ourselves from our guilt, nothing we can offer to reverse the consequence of our sin, and nothing within us that can restore ourselves back to innocence; it is when we are facing eternal death, with a wretched soul; it is when we desperately cast ourselves upon Gods mercythen God gives us a choice, an alternative of life, a way to renew us so that we can be pardoned and forgiven. This pardon is justified by Gods own sacrifice through the death of his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. This provision of forgiveness comes from His infinite love and mercy towards us. This way of life is to follow Jesus Christ. This is the true meaning of Grace.
When we clearly see our sin and this reality; when we respond to His love and mercy with our whole heart; when we love Him and submit to Him without reservation; when we put on His yoke daily with joy; when we cast away our old self to be buried so that His new life can grow within us; when we surrender our whole being unto His willwe accept His Grace.
But when we decide not to do so, instead when we love the world more than His kingdom; when we love our self-righteousness more than His divine Words; when we love our flesh more then His Commandment; when we love our earthly life more than His Holy Spiritwe are rejecting His sovereign Grace.
Dear friends, if you want to embrace a cheap grace, you can do so at your own risk. If you want to believe in the costly Grace, then start to seek His truth, and be ready to take up His cross daily to follow Him.
Copyright © 2001 by Come To Christ, All Rights Reserved
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