I can’t really say how I was led to this, maybe all the turmoil and hate that has pervaded our nation and world has led me to the importance of Christ and his mission in our lives. We must learn to forgive and seek and understand the grace of God.
Can we put a price on forgiveness and grace as promised by Christ? This won’t be the first time I will ask this question. The following was written by German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Cheap grace is the grace which amounts to the justification of sin without the justification of the repentant sinner who departs from sin and from whom sin departs. Cheap grace is not the the type of forgiveness of sin which frees us from the toils of sin. Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church disciple, communion without confession, absolution without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
From a book written by Kevin DeYoung regarding a totally different subject, I found these questions and answer which seem to fit well here. “Are we to believe that God’s love is conditional? Is there is common grace that all people enjoy and then a saving grace which only the redeemed experience? The answer to that question is no.”
Ok, now I ask that question again. Is God’s love conditional? Lets change that wording a little and ask could it be dependent upon and if yes, dependent on what? Let’s go to scripture, starting with Colossians 1:21-23
21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.
23 But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.
Take a moment to look a little deeper at these verses.The aim of reconciliation is holiness. Jesus died so that we might be reconciled and present ourselves to God consecrated and blameless. The fact that God loves us does not allow us to do whatever we want. It is our burden to be worthy of that love. Here being the first cost of forgiveness and grace. This love and reconciliation requires that we stand firm in the faith, holding to the hope of the gospel. Good times, bad times…….stand firm in the faith. This being the second item of the cost.
Continuing on….. Jude 1: 21-24
21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.
22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.
24 Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.
Much is said in these verses but the one overriding lesson here is that to walk with God is to walk in safety….and if your still counting this is # 3. God will keep us safe. We know we can go to God in complete joy, all our fears laid aside because the God of sternness is now known to us as God the loving father.
14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
Even when we suffer it is our Christian duty to be at peace with all men, even those who might be the cause of our suffering. We cannot live a holy life if we are not at peace with those around us. For a true Christian there can be no holiness without peace. The scripture plainly states “for those who are not holy will not see the Lord” Here is #4. The price for this holiness is our willingness to summit to others and live a life at peace with the world around us.
13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
The best comment to Matthew24:13 would be the two scriptures below.
1 Peter 1:9New Living Translation (NLT)
9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
Romans 2:7New Living Translation (NLT)
7 He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers.
So we allow that these scriptures will be #5, after the price and cost we have the assurance of salvation.
It costs nothing to receive the forgiveness and grace of God, we simply have to ask………….and in return Repent of our sins, “keep on doing good” and “trust him”.
Join me next week here in the pew……God Bless
Other References: Bible Gateway,William Barclay,Matthew Henry