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Pastor Andrew Webb | Fayetteville, North Carolina
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Providence ARP Church
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Fayetteville, NC 28301-3320
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223 Early St.
Fayetteville, NC 28311
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The Difference Between Cheap and Costly Grace
THURSDAY, JULY 07, 2011
Posted by: Providence ARP Church | more..
28,740+ views | 1,930+ clicks
BLOG ON: SERMON Choose Whom You Will Serve
Providence ARP Church
Pastor Andrew Webb
Your faith, as Gordon Keddie put it, “is a great theory until it costs you something.” The German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoffer, wrote a book about the cost of following Christ called “The Cost of Discipleship.” Bonhoffer was writing at a time when the German church had been horribly corrupted by liberalism and then Nazism. At the point at which he was writing, most German church members simply had the name Christian, hardly anybody confessed Christ, and there was hardly any real belief or any true following of Christ. Bonhoffer called this costless, unbelieving Christianity where simply by being a member you assumed you were going to heaven “Cheap Grace”:

“That is what we mean by cheap grace, the grace which amounts to the justification of sin without the justification of the repentant sinner who departs from sin and from whom sin departs. Cheap grace is not the kind of forgiveness of sin which frees us from the toils of sin. Cheap grace is the grace we bestow upon ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism, without church discipline, Communion, without confession, absolution, without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate."

He then contrasted it with real, believing, discipleship which is always Costly:

"Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him. 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 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…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…”

Confessing Christ is Costly, but it is an essential part of the only faith that saves, believing in Jesus is only part of what it means to be a disciple, the other part is confessing Him OPENLY : Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

So how do we do that - How do we confess our faith in Christ?

It is not enough to say “I have my own very private faith” or "when nobody is around I listen to CCM and visit Christian sites on the internet." To Confess Christ is to do so openly, and as we go through the following points I want you to ask yourself, “have I done this?” at each point.

We confess Christ:

  • By joining a believing Confessing church
  • By being Baptized
  • By making a “good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
  • By Coming to the Lord’s Supper: As you do that you are publicly proclaiming your belief in the atoning death, resurrection, and future return of the Lord Jesus Christ: 1 Cor. 11:26 “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.”
  • Through Evangelism and apologetics: 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
  • Through the Fellowship of the saints: Persecution inevitably leads some to want to stay away from public worship and the other assembled activities of the church - Heb. 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Secret Faith will not do. It is sinful and spiritually dangerous. A true faith cannot remain secret forever. Either secrecy kills the discipleship or discipleship kills the secrecy. And it is impossible to serve both world and Jesus, no man can serve two masters. And as James put it in James 4:4:

“Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

Category:  Discipleship

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