In a previous lesson we discovered that nothing comes without strings, that there is a purpose for everything, including the grace of God.  This past week we reviewed the cost of grace, coming to the realization that we must not fall into the trap of relying on “cheap grace”, that is, a grace that is considered to be low in quality or inexpensive in nature.  If we would understand the true cost of God’s grace, perhaps we will be more diligent in seeking Him and therefore subsequently rewarded by Him (Heb 11:6).

The cost of grace can be broken down into two major divisions, the cost to God and the cost to man.  In order to offer His grace to us, God first paid in giving us His Son.  The way some respond to God’s gift, one would wonder if God doesn’t cry out in anguish “Don’t you care that I have given up my Son for you!”  Let me ask you, do you care?

 The gift of grace cost Jesus His home in heaven.  Philippians 2:6ff tells us that Jesus didn’t see equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking on the form of a bondservant.  In John 6:38, Jesus is recorded as having said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.  Imagine that!   Jesus willingly left the very place we are hoping to go!  He did this so He could make it possible for us to go!  Even if we can’t understand it, we can associate with the cost of giving His life for us.  Is grace cheap?  It certainly cost God a great deal! 

What does it cost us, if anything?  I submit to you that while we cannot earn or pay for grace, we are called to pay a cost for having received it.  If we will not do this we jeopardize the relationship Jesus wants with us.  Consider what Jesus told His followers… “Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but he who does the will of my Father… depart from me, I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:21, 24)  Jesus tells his followers if they desire to follow Him they must deny themselves.  Simply put, it costs us the prerogative of seeking our own desires before all others.  Paul describes the cost paid by a disciple as having been crucified “with Christ” in Galatians 2:20.  To be crucified with Christ is to be vicariously punished with Him, allowing His life to be ours, no longer living our own lives but His.  Another cost is self-sacrifice.  Paul says, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, {which is} your spiritual service of worship.” (Romans 12:1)  Friends, not paying these costs are to reduce the value of God’s grace, in effect telling Him it’s not worth it.  The high cost of God’s grace demonstrates His great love leading us to ‘love Him because He first loved us’.

Copyright © 2010, Nolan P. Rutter — Derived from “Sufficient Grace, Jim O’Connor”

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