Our theme for this month: “Understanding Salvation”
Our Bible verse for today: “What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply?” Romans 6:1 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Don’t live in cheap grace.”
In one of his songs the singer Jimmy Buffett has a lyric that has become famous over the years. It goes, “Oh there’s a fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning!” He’s referring to those who live like the devil all week long but then sing like a saint on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, we all know the type. In fact far too many Christians are the type.
In 1937 the great German theologian Dietrich Bonheoffer published one of the most important Christian books of that era. The title was “The Cost of Discipleship”. In that work Bonheoffer introduced us to the concept of “cheap grace.” He wrote:
“Cheap grace is preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession … Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ ….”
“Grace” is the undeserved blessings of God freely bestowed upon us by a loving and merciful God. Applied to salvation the grace of God is what saves us even though we don’t deserve to be saved. Salvation is the ultimate expression of God’s grace, and it is also by God’s grace that we remain saved no matter what. “Once saved always saved” is true only because of the grace of God.
But that truth often creates a problem, this is where “cheap grace” comes from. Cheap grace is what Paul was writing about in Romans chapter six. People can be tempted to conclude that since they are saved, and since they can never lose their salvation, they can live any way they want and still go to heaven. That’s a gross cheapening of grace and it’s the problem both Paul and Bonheoffer attempted to correct. It’s also an issue that we will address in our consideration of this second stage of the salvation process.
Now that you are saved, and since you can never lose your salvation, are you therefore free to just party hearty for the rest of your life? Does it really matter how you live?
The answer is “yes” it sure does, and we will now spend a few days exploring the issue of why it does matter so very much.