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!'”