Are We Counting the Cost?
By: Chelsey DeMatteis
But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishments that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
In the book “In His Image” by Jen Wilkin, there is a chapter all about grace and the cost for us to receive this ultimate gift. Since becoming a Christian, I have wrestled with the words to describe how passionately I feel about God’s grace and why we must look at it as something sacred. It shouldn't be something we just pull out of a deck of cards to lay on the table, it’s not a word we should throw around or allow to be watered down by the world. God’s grace, which came from Jesus dying on the cross is what gave us the gift of eternal life. By His grace, we are saved (Ephesians 2:8-9). By His wounds, we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).
I want you to sit prayerfully with this quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which was quoted by Jen Wilkin in her book. It gave me the clarity I’ve always had from God’s Word but finally put it in a way I could explain it to someone else.
“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.
Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.
Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ.
It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.
It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner.
Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘ye were bought at a price,’ and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.”
The grace we receive calls us to count the cost. It calls us to know the whole truth about Jesus and why He had to come. He died in our place so that we could have the gift of eternal life, that we could be filled with the Holy Spirit, He died so we could have a relationship with the One who created us. This is something so unlike anything else. Grace is something we certainly don’t deserve. Our sin sent Jesus to the cross but God so loved the world He gave up His one and only son, for us. (John 3:16)
The next time you’re in a season of needing grace, which honestly is all of our seasons, join me in the daily pursuit of asking The Lord to help me count the cost of His grace. To help me see that there was a price for my freedom in Christ. I never want to end up at a place in my life where the thought of the cross doesn’t cause me to pause. So maybe you're asking, how do I ensure I don’t get to that place?
We keep our mind on the cross and filled with HIs Word. We fix our eyes on Jesus and the grace that His life has given us. We can’t unknow the truth, but we can certainly let it become dull. The grace of God is a gift that shouldn’t lesser in value over time but should grow in significance as a reminder of why we need Him and how faithful He is.
You can find more from Chelsey on her website, https://www.chelseydematteis.com/.
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