There is a message coming out of churches today that God’s Grace is all that matters. There are a lot of reasons for this message, but none are scriptural. In fact, for all the buzz about new revelation and understanding of the Bible, the truth is, it is not even new. Paul confronted this idea in his letters. He warned them that claiming salvation was not enough. They needed to live right. (Gal 5:18-21, Eph 4:17-19, 1 Co 9:27, 2 Co 12:21)
Jude was also very straight-forward, “some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives.” (Jude 1:4)
During the rise of the Nazi party in Germany, the renowned theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, passionately wrote of his concern that the church was adopting what he called, cheap grace, “Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is 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.”
In light of all this, it appears to me that if we are to believe the modern cheap grace message, we must conclude one of the following:
1. The church has been teaching error for over two-thousand years and our generation finally got it right.
2. God has changed. (See my article: “Has God Changed?”)
If we believe that God has changed, then we must ask ourselves, “Can a God that changes ever be known well enough to establish a firm foundation for faith?” Furthermore, we must ask, “Can the Bible be trusted in light of declarations that God does not change?” (Mal 3:6, Heb 13:8)
If we do not believe that either of the above premises are true, then it seems we must reject the idea of cheap grace and return to the precepts of the early church Fathers – and indeed centuries of godly theologians. I believe that any other conclusion is simply Non sequitur.
What do you think?