Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
How many times have you heard “Do as I say, not as I do”? It’s a pretty hypocritical saying and morally confusing. Today I’m thinking about my own integrity. Do I really do what I say I do, and what I say others should do? It’s always good to stop and take a look at my progress (or most often back-tracking)
If my identity is in Jesus, how am I measuring up to what a good ambassador should look like? I’m not talking about being “perfect” here, that’s not to come until later. I mean, in all my humanity, am I progressing as I should? Moving forward in maturity?
Meditate with me on the following passage. Paul wants us to clearly understand the distinction between the people we were before we knew Jesus and the people we are after. There is no reason to go back to how we used to live before because it isn’t what we learned from Jesus.
To my friends who aren’t Christians, when you see someone who is supposed to be Christian acting out in a dishonorable way, that is not Jesus’s way. That’s their own cheap grace masquerading as real grace.
Living as Children of Light
17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ.
21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:17-31 NLT (emphasis mine)