Bonhoeffer defined “cheap grace” as “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.”

How do I interpret “cheap grace”?

I see it as manifested in the way we handle the most precious grace freely given to us by Jesus Christ through his atonement on the cross.

I see it in practice by the mundane, irreverent way we partake of the Lord’s supper—the handling of his body and blood,

I see it in the attitude of “everyone sins every day” so what’s the big deal.

I see it in ignoring God Almighty most every hour of the week but doing our “part” by worshiping one hour on Sunday.

Where is the attitude of selling all we have in order to buy the Pearl of great price?

For the last twenty years or so, the invitation in many churches is for everyone to close their eyes while the sinner is invited to lift his hand if he wants to be a Christian, with no other acknowledgement of salvation. The Bible teaches to believe in your heart, repent of your sins, and confess with your mouth and you will be saved. At the very least he should be invited to come forward for a welcome and greeting from the audience.

That’s sad. I believe many are deceived. Not only is he encouraged to be a “secret” Christian, he is also denied the community of believers who would help in his struggle to walk with Christ. We are commanded to “make disciples..” That is certainly not discipling the new Christian.

That kind of cheap grace, is not grace at all. The result will be as Jesus said in Matthew 7:23 “Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'”

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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  1. A timely post, Oneta. 🙂

  2. Oneta, I believe God used this post to confirm what He told me early this morning. A couple of days ago I realized a brother had lied to me. I was angry and hurt, and was trying to just forgive and avoid talking to him in the future. “Forgiveness without repentance” wasn’t working, though, and this morning I had a “duh” moment when the Lord brought back the process described in Matthew 18, where I need to confront him privately and hope he repents. I do not like confrontation, but it’s pretty clear in Scripture. I’m going to try to meet with him today.

  3. Frank Hubeny says:

    The concerns you raise remind me of David Pawson’s lectures on the “normal Christian birth”. I will have to listen to them again, because I have forgotten much of it. However, Bonhoeffer’s objection to forgiveness without repentance and baptism without church discipline seems close to what I remember Pawson saying. Pawson told a story of how he refused to baptize someone until that person repented of something and changed.

  4. you had me at Bonhoeffer 🙂

  5. Faye says:

    Great post. A brilliant reminder. The story of Bonhoeffer is in itself very inspirational.

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