Cheap Salvation

THIS SALVATION THING IS NOT ANTISEPTIC.  CHRIST on the Cross was sticky with blood oozing out of his hands, his feet, thorns crushed down on his brow. He was almost to the point of abject despondency when he said, “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?” But when he said, “It is finished,” eternal salvation took place!

Oswald Chambers wrote (My Utmost for His Highest, November 20), “Forgiveness, which is so easy for us to accept, cost the agony of the cross.”

“In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. How rich is God’s grace, ….”‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭(ncv)

God hates the evil in us and the gruesome estimate of his hatred is Calvary – the Cross!  Anything less, Bonhoeffer calls “cheap grace.”  ERIC METAXAS, Author of BONHOEFFER, Timothy J. Keller describes in his foreword to the book how Bonhoeffer describes the decline of Germany, and what part the church, or Churches, played in Hitler coming to power.

He writes: “How could the ‘church of Luther’, that great teacher of the gospel, have ever come to such a place?”

The Churches in Germany had become formalistic, lame, having become so broad minded as to lose “costly grace.” They wound up possessing very little, something Bonhoeffer calls “cheap grace.”  Keller writes: “That meant going to church and hearing that God just loves and forgives everyone, so it doesn’t really matter much how you live.”  (xv)

This is not too different from what we see in today’s American Churches.  Our  Churches of today are running headlong into that cheap grace of which Bonhoeffer speaks.  When was the last time you heard a sermon about the Blood of Christ, or rugged salvation, or the old rugged cross, or heaven, Hell or Satan?  Or about holiness? No, today’s Church services are more like a Rock concert or a speech by your public college professor, with one hand in his left pants pocket, speeching how God (maybe) is so loving that all you need do is smile, think positive thoughts and you’ll be  healthy, wealthy & wise.

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WHY?

ISN’T IT  INTERESTING THAT IN EVERY BOOK OF THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT the Apostle Paul wrote, with the exception of Hebrews (he may have not written Hebrews), thirteen (13) in all, for his introduction he uses the words GRACE and  PEACE! Is there a subliminal message there?

The definition of GRACE is:  “a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior:”  Synonyms are: forgiveness, charity, mercifulness, lenity, leniency, reprieve.  An allowance of time after a debt or bill has become payable granted to the debtor before suit can be brought against him or her or a penalty applied. Cessation of or freedom from any strife or dissension, freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession, etc.; tranquillity; serenity, a state of tranquillity.”

In Theology GRACE may mean “the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. The influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.”

The definition of PEACE is: God’s plan for your life is PEACE!  It is “a state of mutual harmony.  The end of hostilities.  a cessation from strife and dissention.”  If you don’t have it, you may justifiably ask why.  It was understandable for Jesus to cry “with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which is, being interpreted, ‘My God, my God, WHY have you  forsaken me?’” (Mark 15:34 (kjv))

Jesus paid the penalty with his justifying Blood for our sin. SALVATION (1) TOOK PLACE AND (2) WAS TAKING PLACE!

Paul was the guy named Saul who went through the countryside murdering Christians.  The Lord saw fit to knock him off his horse, blinding him in order to give him GRACE and PEACE.  No wonder Paul spoke profusely of the GRACE and PEACE that Jesus gives!

“To all that be in Rome, … Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Romans 1:7 KJV

To those in Corinth he wrote: “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”   1 Corinthians 1:3 KJV

“Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”   2 Corinthians 1:2

And to those in Galatia: “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,”  Galatians 1:3 KJV

Ephesus: “Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Ephesians 1:2 KJV

Philippi: “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Philippians 1:2 KJV

“ … Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Colossians 1:2 KJV

“ … Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Thessalonians 1:1 KJV

“Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”             2 Thessalonians 1:2 KJV

“Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.”  1 Timothy 1:2

“To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”   2 Timothy 1:2

“To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.”  Titus 1:4 KJV

“Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Philemon 1:3 KJV

THEREFORE, THE GREAT GOD OF HEAVEN PLANNED FOR US TO HAVE GRACE AND PEACE THROUGH HIS JUSTIFYING BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST.