We bought new phones over the weekend. Our contract was up, there was a deal, my phone had quit taking photos, Keith’s had quit holding a charge; it was time to upgrade.
Keith and I are very careful with our money (mostly). When we set out to buy something, especially something important, like a phone, we are willing to spend a little more for a solid piece of equipment than shelling out cash over and over again for cheap pieces of junk.
Our phones weren’t cheap. In fact, they weren’t quite as inexpensive as we had hoped, but there was a deal, we had some sort of promotion…I’m sure you know how it goes. So we spent a little more than we anticipated, but since our last set of phones lasted three years, we fully expect these to last at least that long, if not longer.
While we were in the phone store, I began to contemplate how modern Christianity is treated by so many people like cell phone these days: disposable. And cheap.
“Oh, you sinned again? That’s okay! Jesus died for you, He forgives you, that’s okay! Don’t worry about it! It’s no big deal. Just try harder next time.”
I really wish you could hear my tone of voice with that. There’s no remorse, no holiness, no guilt – just this idolization of brokenness and elevation of “you sin, I sin, we all sin, and hey that’s okay.”
Or worse: we tell people that they can continue in their sin precisely because Jesus died for them. We tell them that it’s okay to sin – sin is the reason Jesus died. They’re forgiven if they believe, so they can continually be broken and sinful without any effort toward becoming less broken and less sinful.
We have cheapened grace, offered it up like candy at a parade, throwing at people passing by, giving them a false idea of what it means to truly follow Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.
How that must smack in the face of Jesus’ brutal death on the cross.
Grace isn’t cheap.
Grace is incredibly costly.
You see, grace doesn’t mean we get to keep on living however we want and humble-brag about how broken we are (that’s pride and idolatry, by the way). Grace doesn’t mean we get to keep living in sexual sin and rearrange the Scriptures to fit our modernized view of life instead of rearranging our lives to fit Scripture. Grace doesn’t mean we get to pick and choose which of God’s commands we want to follow whenever it is convenient for us. Grace doesn’t mean simply believing that Jesus died on the cross and that’s it.
Grace does mean that we live how God wants us to live: with zero sense of self-worth, and only a sense of Christ-worth within us. Grace does mean that we live striving for holiness: a life without sin. A life realizing that every Word contained within Scripture was inspired by God, and is important and must be dealt with seriously. A life without sin – without any sin via the process of sanctification.
Grace does mean that although we realize the gift of Jesus is free to us, to anyone who wants it, it was incredibly, horribly costly to God: the brutal execution of Jesus on a cross – His body literally ripped to shreds, His head pierced and bleeding, His lungs burning with exhaustion, His heart breaking in as many ways as one can imagine.
Grace is not cheap. Modern Christianity has got to stop making it appear as though it is. Grace does not give you permission to continue in your patterns and habits of sin. Grace commands that you stop, turn 180 degrees, and run toward Jesus, away from everything that is unholy, away from everything that is NOT HIM.
I’m so tired of the cheap grace offered in churches today, sung about on the radio, taught by the popular false teachers. Cheap grace that will not sustain women as culture continues to shift and tries to drown them. Cheap grace that changes positions as often as super models change outfits. Cheap grace that encourages people to love themselves and the world, in direct contrast to the teachings of Scripture. Cheap grace that is nothing more than pride disguised as humility.
Grace is not cheap. It cost Jesus everything, and if you truly believe in Him, it will cost you, too. It should cost you everything, and if it costs you nothing, you’re doing it wrong.