Puritan Board Senior
How would you describe/define cheap grace? I found myself using the term in conversation but struggled to come up with a pithy/concise definition
How would you describe/define cheap grace?
Currently preaching through James with his emphasis on "bearing fruit in keeping with repentance".I listened to a definition of social justice by D Prager.
A court has to make a judgment in a court case between a poor man and a rich man. If it decides against the poor man the fine will have a major impact on his life, if it decides against the rich man he will barely notice. Therefore you should decide against the rich man!
Pithy, brief and understandable.
For "cheap grace" I think of "the prayer" that folks are led through at mass evangelism crusades when they come forward. It is not even their prayer but given to them. After repeating it that are told they are saved, they go to heaven and avoid hell. Bish bash bosh - your saved! It is almost like an automated carwash, you park on the ramp and it drags you through the car wash. I have an image in my head of a carwash adapted to become the savomatic with the shampoo spray adapted to perform baptism!
Like “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom,” or perhaps, “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”?For "cheap grace" I think of "the prayer" that folks are led through at mass evangelism crusades when they come forward. It is not even their prayer but given to them. After repeating it that are told they are saved, they go to heaven and avoid hell. Bish bash bosh - your saved!
I had never considered this before, but it is a significant thought. When most folks use the term "cheap grace," they typically are criticizing it because they believe such "grace" is too easy, as if the correct alternative to "cheap" grace is "costly" grace. While I can understand and appreciate this criticism, the real antidote to "cheap" grace is not "costly" grace but free grace. And, as you rightly say, free grace is transformative and effectual. While "cheap grace" should be opposed, I wonder if much opposition to "cheap grace" actually ends up being fundamentally legal.“Cheap grace” for me is a misnomer, completely misunderstanding what grace is.
Andres, discussion boards are difficult for me as people cannot see or hear a person speak, with that said I speak kindly even questioning myself. Is it really so that GOD expects something? We know that a great change takes place and a regenerated soul has an ongoing desire to do the will of God and also prayer becomes his very breath barring a declension which takes place time to time.Cheap grace is the idea that God expects nothing from a person after they "make a profession" for Christ. The Scriptures call us to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Phil 2:12). Also, "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." (Matt 16:24-25).
Bonhoeffer "the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance" brief pithy and accurate
The opposition of "cheap grace" should always be tempered by Rom 11: "6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace."While "cheap grace" should be opposed, I wonder if much opposition to "cheap grace" actually ends up being fundamentally legal.
Make sure you read Fisher with Boston's notes afterward. Ferguson's book is excellent to wet the whistle, but it doesn't compare to the Marrow.We've been going through The Whole Christ by Sinclair Ferguson during Adult Sunday School. It's a good historical and theological work discussing how The Marrow Man controversy teaches us about the Gospel and the distortions that accrue as we consider the work of Christ.
My problem is that the term "Cheap Grace" typically comes from those who don't understand grace and think that the solution to antinomianism is a reminder that God takes His Law seriously. Christianity is seen as a balancing act between understanding what grace does and what demands it places on the believer. The proper belief is seen as balancing between not being too legalistic and not thinking that the Law grounds our standing with God.
The distortion occurs because grace and the Gospel are seen apart from union with Christ. The Biblical paradigm is not that we consider salvation as things God has done and that we would simply apprehend them and trust in them and receive the benefits. Rather, when we understand that salvation is, at root, being transported from being "in Adam/flesh/sin" to "in Christ/life/Spirit".
ALL Evangelical graces flow from our union with Christ. We are made, by the Spirit's work, partakers of Christ because He purchased our faith. When united to Him we partake of justificaiton, adoption, sanctification, and (eventually) glorification. There is no "theological idea" that is apart from Christ and His Mediatorial work. Our repentance, faith, good works are all evangelical graces that flow from our union with the Mediator.
Thus, the solution to "cheap grace" is not to be serious about the Law but to completely reorient one's thinking that you are either in Christ or you are not. If you are in Christ then you are a new creation. The entire life of a believer is in Him and there is no contemplation or action of a believer outside of Christ or outside of grace (which is what is provided in Him).
Both the antinomian and the neonomian see God's Law is essentially a bunch of demands from a God waiting on us to fulfill conditions. The grace of the Gospel sees the Law as the words of a loving Father to His children. Eve, in Garden, was convinced by the Serpent that God's Law was stingy and that the fence she had placed to protect her from the command was unwise. She became an antinomian when she determined that the only way to be free was to disobey what was essentially stingy. Missing in all of it was her disposition toward God and why He had commanded them to begin with.
I read Fisher's book with Boston's notes years ago. I only mentioned Ferguson's book to note that we are currently studying that book.Make sure you read Fisher with Boston's notes afterward. Ferguson's book is excellent to wet the whistle, but it doesn't compare to the Marrow.