Mike Carson

Theologian Dietrich Bohnoffer coined the term “Cheap Grace.”

“Grace sold on the market like cheapjacks' wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices… 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.”

The juxtaposition of cheap grace, of course, is “costly grace.”

Bohnoffer shares: “Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will 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.”

When we say we are looking for a miracle, a blessing or a victory, we must put in some work for it. While God’s grace is free to all and there is nothing we can do to obtain it, we still must actively seek it. We must never take God’s grace for granted. Grace is free, but not cheap.

Solomon comments concerning our seriousness for whatever in life: “As he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7 RSV)

“Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7-8 RSV)

Indeed, we receive by faith, not through works.

“But some will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show my faith.” (James 2:18)

Ask for God’s love, forgiveness, mercy, grace and favor, not because we are good, but because God is good.

Claim the victory in God through Jesus Christ, believing God’s word and acting on it. Want to be victorious in life? Believe “With God, all things are possible.”

Walk in victory, no matter what is going on in life because God can work it out.

There can be no victory while living in a state of defeat, so walk in victory. Even when faced with tests and trials, a victorious mindset will rise above any challenge.

God tells us as God told Joshua: “I have given into your hand Jericho.” (Joshua 6:2)

What Jericho has God promised us only if we be strong and have faith? God’s grace is free, not cheap.

Peace with justice, be blessed real, real good, attend worship, and families matter.

Dr. Carson serves as Pastor for Saint Paul A.M.E. Church, Indianapolis, Indiana. He is the founder of “Refreshing” A Ministry for Pastors, Ministers, and Laity Needing Restoration, Refreshing, and Healing. A Personal & Professional Development Ministry.

He may be reached by e-mail at carsonvision@acd.net


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