Grace is God’s most important gift to man other than life that is. Grace is freely given but was so costly to God to give. The first taste of Grace was when God gave His own beloved son to die for the sins of the world. Jesus did not deserve to die upon the cross that day so many years ago. He was sinless. Yet honoring His Father’s wishes He was tortured and then made to die upon the cross like the thief beside Him. Three days later God raised Him to a resurrected life and Jesus sits at His right side even today. The whole reason that Jesus was tortured the way He was is that He alone bore all the sins from each of us that day. He was God’s gift to us, in a sense Jesus was grace poured out on us all.
Many theologians have discussed exactly what grace entailed. Does it cover our sins if we continue to sin? Does it continue to cover our sins if we are not repentant for those sins? How do we show Grace to others? This paper is going to discuss Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Costly Grace and John Wesley’s Means of Grace and how to apply their theology to everyday life in the present era.
Bonhoeffer says that there are two types of grace. There is cheap grace and costly grace. He says that cheap grace is the enemy of the Church. (Bonhoeffer 43). This is the grace most people think is God’s grace. It is grace that does not cost us anything. It means we do not have to repent for our sins. It means we do not have to ask for forgiveness not from God and certainly not from each other.
Christians today think that the debt was paid with Christ and there is nothing left that they need do. Christ calls for us to pick up our cross and follow him. He promises that He will be with us for the adventures that this life will bring but not that the trip will be smooth or easy.
God has made us with free will. We are human born into sin and prone to failure. We fail Christ daily. But today’s Christian believes that it really does not matter what we do we are covered by the blood of Christ and the grace that it bought. We have a tendency to think of grace as “a doctrine, a principle, a system.” (Bonhoeffer 43). We think that it alone is sufficient in the remission of our sins (Bonhoeffer 43) Cheap grace reduces it to nothing actually. Free grace should be the concept. Free to us and we are free to do as we please. This is not what God has meant for the remission of our sins.
If we go the cheap grace route we are in rebellion. We are ignoring the Word of God. We are telling Him the gift of Jesus that He gave us so lovingly did not really matter. When someone gives you a gift that is so precious to just trample it in the mud. That is what it seems like to the Christian writing this.
Because it cost God such a high price grace is not free. To receive the fullness of God’s sumptuous grace Bonhoeffer intones that we should be willing to honor God. We Christians should be willing and wanting to strive to please Him. We should go to Him and beg forgiveness when we do...