Summary: A challenge to keep a pure mind in a sinful world.
(defined and adapted from Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
a). Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace.
b). Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian "conception" of God.
c). Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything they say, and so everything can remain as it was before. "All for sin could not atone." Well, then, let the Christian live like the rest of the world, let him model himself on the world’s standards in every sphere of life, and not presumptuously aspire to live a different life under grace from his old life under sin. d). Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession.
e). Cheap grace is ultimately belief without obedience, hearing without doing, intellectual assent without life commitment.
f). Cheap grace says you don’t have to be concerned about purity, holiness, and obedience—Jesus already did all that so that you don’t have to. Absolutely not! He did all that, empowered by the Holy Spirit, so that His life could live again through us. God’s grace has everything to do with our position in Him, our relationship with Him, our salvation in and through Him, our standing before Him, and our identity as new creations in Him.
g). Cheap grace operates not in those things, but in the deceitful workings of a person’s behavior. Cheap grace can never accomplish what God’s grace can. Cheap grace allows you to justify your behavior; God’s grace justifies your person.
h). Cheap grace will center its focus and attention on the "things" of God, and not God Himself. It will focus on "behavior" instead of relationship. It concentrates on a "life-style" instead of a life of obedience. The grace we bestow on ourselves is ultimately self-centered no matter how "Godly" it may appear. So when someone says that grace is just a license to sin, that is correct assessment of cheap grace.
i). Cheap grace is grace that does not require death, that is death to the flesh and the self-life.
This is the problem facing the Ephesians and the problem facing the church today. Let me quote from Bonhoeffer again: “Cheap grace says you don’t have to be concerned about purity, holiness, and obedience…” but the Bible makes it clear that God’’s will for us is a life of purity. How can we do this? Let’s look at the passage before us and see what Paul says is the Pathway to Purity.
“Pathway to Purity”
Ephesians 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: