Cheap Grace

Occasionally I see people level the phrase “cheap grace” at Evangelcal Christians. As if to impune that we don’t know what grace is or that we wish only to accept some cheapened form of it.

It makes me think, is there any such thing as expensive grace? What exactly is the right price for grace? I think any one who thinks that any kind of price tag can be put in front of the word grace really doesn’t get it.

Grace is by definition a free gift. It can’t be cheap, it can’t be expensive and it can’t be reasonably priced (religiously or secularly). It is free no matter what you think you’ve done to deserve it or think someone else has not done to deserve it. You can’t earn or deserve grace. If you could, we wouldn’t be talking about grace, we’d be apealing to God for justice because that’s what you get when you get fairly paid.

Now if you want to say that some people have a shallow view of santification, I’d get on the bus with you. But as long as you are saying that people have a cheap view of grace, I’m going to expect you to start telling me that my view of circles is not square enough and that my concept of black is not at all white like it should be.

5 thoughts on “Cheap Grace

  1. Yeah. Criticizing grace for being free is like criticizing water for being wet. As for being cheap, I’d say ask Jesus how cheap it was.

  2. Grace: One way of looking at it is that Christ paid highly for it, on our behalf.
    The term “cheap grace” usually refers to the teaching that you can be saved By the grace of God, and through the work of Jesus, without accepting Him as your Master. You can just continue on as before, cheapening the idea of grace. In the words of John MacArthur, ” Jesus never sanctioned any form of cheap grace. He was not offering eternal life as an add-on to a life cluttered with unconfessed sin. It is inconceivable that He would pour someone a drink of living water without challenging and altering that individual’s sinful lifestyle. He came to save people from their sin, not to confer immortality on people in bondage to wickedness.”

  3. I think Gene’s got it. We accept the gift of Grace through making a covenant with God. It is a matter of commitment. If we have no commitment to the expectations Jesus spoke of, we simply refuse the gift.

  4. I know some ministers to Mormons who hate hearing that phrase, but I use it as an opportunity to show that I am preaching the same gospel that Paul preached. In Romans 6:15 Paul says, “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!”

    If I have to answer the same objection Paul did, it must mean that I have preached the same message he preached. I’m in good company!

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