It is for freedom you have been set free…
I still struggle with some of the things that were part of the old life. When I fail I confess and receive the forgiveness that has been freely given, but many times the remnants like the bad taste left in your mouth after experiencing something unpleasant lingers.
Cheap grace. I first heard this term in connection with Dietrich Bonehoeffer. Cheap grace, Bonhoeffer says, is to hear the gospel preached as follows: “Of course you have sinned, but now everything is forgiven, so you can stay as you are and enjoy the consolations of forgiveness.” The main defect of such a proclamation is that it contains no demand for discipleship. In contrast to cheap grace, costly grace confronts us is a gracious call to follow Jesus. It comes as a word of forgiveness to the broken spirit and the contrite of heart. It is costly because it compels a man to submit to the Yoke of Christ and follow Him.”
As I considered the truth of this proclamation, I could not help but think ” have I been guilty of reducing this precious gift of grace to a safety net as I continue to live my life as I please?”
The truth is grace,and forgiveness although completely necessary are not the objective in the life of any disciple, any follower of Christ. The objective is freedom. Freedom from the old ways, the old life, the old thoughts. Freedom that we begin to enjoy here and now, a taste of what we will enjoy for eternity. Freedom that is mine and yours through the powerful love of Jesus Christ. The following is an excerpt from my daily devotional “Strange Kingdom-Mediatations on the Cross” by Ken Costa. It is my prayer it will encourage you as you refocus on the work and power of the Cross. That you would not settle for cheap grace, but instead powerful amazing Grace that will transform your life
Many of us feel trapped by what the Bible calls strongholds, an unusual word to describe patterns of behaviour and cycles of thought that seem to have us in their grip. We find ourselves obsessed by gaining status or possessions or power; or we feel permanently mean-spirited, insecure, and jealous, unable to rejoice at a friend’s success; or we know that we are addicted to pornography or even to work.
Even as Christians, we can continue to live bound up by these things, behaving as though Christianity is not good news. Are you constantly battling with anxiety, worry, lust, anger, a lack of hope, or despondency? Do these patterns of behaviour make you feel as though you have no control over your life? If you answered yes to one or all of these questions, then you need to come back to the reality of that freedom purchased for you at the cross.
The power of the Spirit flows from the cross, frees us from the chains of sin and death, and unlocks our prison door. The power of the Spirit is unleashed with astonishing force through the apparent folly of the cross. The prayer that rises from my heart is this: may you come to know for the first time or in a new way, in surpassing and abundant measure, the freedom that is yours in the powerful love of Jesus Christ crucified. Amen