Bonhoeffer is endlessly challenging. This is my fourth reading of his book, The Cost of Discipleship and again my spirit reels from his analysis and perspective on what he calls “cheap grace.”
“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. An intellectual assent to that idea is held to be of itself sufficient to secure remission of sins. … In such a Church the world finds a cheap covering for its sins; no contrition is required, still less any real desire to be delivered from sin. Cheap grace therefore amounts to a denial of the living Word of God, in fact, a denial of the Incarnation of the Word of God.” (p. 43)
A ‘gospel’ that doesn’t talk about sin is not the gospel at all. Yep, Bonhoeffer nails it.
Oh God, find us faithful. Keep us from pandering to the culture’s desire to hear what they want to hear and to instead preach the gospel that your kingdom has come near, your reign has begun and all men and women, everywhere are commended by you through your Church, to repent of sin and believe the gospel. Oh God, make us goodnews proclaimers, filled with joy that your glory would cover the earth like the water covers the sea. Make us bold. Help us to pick up our cross and follow you everyday. Amen.