But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
After last weeks post, my mother said that grace was an, “amazing thing. She is absolutely right. think of it. This grace; this gift from God; this gift that cost us nothing and grants eternal life by faith; it is, in a word, amazing.
Last week we learned that cheap grace was grace devoid of Christ incarnate (living inside us). It is a selfish grace, a grace centered not on the sacrifice of Christ but on us and what we gain from that sacrafice. In essence, we who are guilty of the doctrine of cheap grace say, “God loves me, I can do what I please. After all I believe in Jesus.”
Costly grace is an understanding of the, “Cost,” of salvation. Understanding, as much as humanly possible, the sacrifice made by our Lord and what that sacrafice should stir up in us.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
The apostle Paul drives the point home. Upon accepting the gift of salvation our fleshly, worldly selves die. We are changed; living in this world by faith in Jesus Christ. So, the cost of God’s Grace is a changed life here on earth. A life that is lived for Christ and Christ alone; a life lead and focused on the will of God not man and his fleshly, flawed, sinful desires.
Jesus Himself tells us there is a cost to following Him.
Unpacking the words of Jesus shows us what costly grace is. When we live in humility (denying ourselves and our pride), die to ourselves (cross-reference Galatians 2:20) and then follow Jesus we exhibit costly grace.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said this of Costly Grace:
As Christians, we must decide to follow Christ on a daily basis. We must consciously make a choice; is Christ number one or not. If not then Jesus’ sacrifice is cheapened and, by contrast, the gift of salvation is brought into question. Romans 5:8 tells us we are saved by Grace through faith and James tells us that faith without works is dead.
In an effort to be clear, once a person has accepted the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, the deal is struck, it is done, that person is saved by the blood of Christ. I am not saying that anything must be done to earn the gift of salvation. It is a gift, bought and paid for at a price – the blood of our savior on the cross of Calvary. The point is, God’s grace (giving us what we don’t deserve) does in fact cost us something; our carnal lives.
[ Not carnality but Christ ] If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
As Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me..” What does God’s grace cost? It costs us our carnality, our pride, and our self alegance. We who have been saved are servants to the Lord Jesus. As Paul said:
[ Greeting ] Paul and Timothy, bond servants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
When I came to a saving faith in Christ, one of the first books I read was Bonhoeffer’s, The Cost of Discipleship. The book delineates the cost of following Christ, it contrasts true discipleship and simply knowing Jesus. I’m reminded that the demons knew Jesus (Luke 4:41). Knowing the truth does not set one free. It is what we do with the knowledge (do we believe it and allow it to change us from the inside out) that brings relationship and eternal life.
Until the Whole World Hears!