Cheap Grace

A German pastor gave his life in opposition to what he called "Cheap Grace." This 1-minute devotion explains that cheap grace is a problem in the modern church. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #Grace

Seventy-five years ago, Dietrich Bonhoeffer coined the phrase "cheap grace": grace without repentance and discipleship, without the cross, and without Jesus.

Cheap grace is embraced by many in our modern churches who: 
1. Stress forgiveness while neglecting repentance and obedience. 
2. Focus selfishly on health and wealth.
3. Remain silent about the holocaust of abortion and the evils of sexual immorality and materialism.

Bonhoeffer said, "Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has…” (See Matthew 13:44).

Because of his outspoken opposition to the slaughter of Jews, Bonhoeffer was imprisoned and executed by the Nazis.  

During this time, most people in German churches remained silent or supported Hitler. That is one reason the evil of Nazism lasted as long as it did.

Let's refuse to remain silent, dear Christians! Grace cost Christ His life. Let's give Him ours.

I encourage you to check out the Wisdom for
 Life Devotional. It contains 100 one-minute devotions to challenge, encourage, instruct, and inspire your love for God's Word. To find out more see 10 Reasons Why You'll Love Wisdom for LifeI also encourage you to sign up for a free subscription to Bible Love Notes and get a free e-booklet offering quiet time encouragement. Find out more HERE.
A German pastor gave his life in opposition to what he called "Cheap Grace." This 1-minute devotion explains that cheap grace is a problem in the modern church. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #Grace

Bible Love Notes


  1. That's a very thought-provoking quote!

  2. Hi Gail - it is so true what you say. We are so blase and free with God's grace. It is humbling and amazing and undeserved and life giving and life saving...
    Thank you for the reminder my friend
    God bless

  3. Hi Gail,
    I love that book! We reviewed it on our blog ( a month or two ago. Bonhoeffer's focus on the real obedience is so challenging. Thanks for bring this great idea and wonderful book back into the forefront!

  4. So interesting that you posted this today, Gail. Peter had a man drop by his office yesterday who was all about Zane Hodge's position on grace. We scratch our heads at people who call Jesus their Savior but not their Lord. Whether we accept it or not He is Lord of all. Thank you for your thoughtful posts. I often share them.

    1. I don't know if you remember, Vicki, but I was assigned a report on Zane Hodge's theology when I was in seminary. And you are so doesn't make sense at all in light of the principles in Scripture.
      Thanks for your encouragement.

  5. God says, "If you love me keep my commandments."

  6. The true meaning of repentance is “to change your mind” NOT “turning for your sins, it is impossible for anybody to stop sinning period. Salvation is simple living for Him is the hard part. In the Bible (Exod 32:14) God repented and we all know that He is perfect without sin or blemish, so this should put up some red flags on the whole repenting of your sin or feeling sorry for sinning. Yes we are supposed to repent and believe, which means changing your mind of the world’s way “living a sin less life, trying not to sin”. You have to look to the FINISHED WORK OF THE CROSS, His sacrifice was a perfect payment the debt was paid in full. If you have to live a certain way to get to heaven IT’S WORKS FOR SALVATION. Wake up people question everything.

    1. Hey Ryan,

      No one said that repentance means to completely stop sinning. Using that as an argument isn't honest.

      If I understand you correctly, you’re saying that a changed mind doesn’t have to result in changed actions? Then it’s not really a changed mind. You don’t say, “I’ve change my mind about who I should vote for, but I’m still going to vote from someone else.” If you say that, you haven't genuinely changed your mind.

      Thayer's Greek Lexicon explains the New Testament word for repentance this way: "especially the change of mind of those who have begun to abhor their errors and misdeeds, and have determined to enter upon a better course of life, so that it embraces both a recognition of sin and sorrow for it and hearty amendment, the tokens and effects of which are good deeds..."

      In Romans 6:1-2, Paul explained the repentance is “dying to sin”:
      “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

      Red flags should definitely go up when someone uses your argument that God repented in the same way we are called to repent. The Hebrew word used in Exodus 32:14 is "nacham" meaning "to be sorry, console oneself." It is not repentance from sin.

      You have pretty accurately explained cheap grace theology in your comment, and perhaps the best indicator is your claim that obedience is a "work" when it’s actually the only response possible for someone who genuinely loves Jesus. But don't take my word for it. Take Christ's Word for it:

      John 14:21: Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him."

      John 14:23: Jesus replied, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him.

      John 15:10: If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and remain in His love.

      This message is echoed throughout Scripture. Do you want to know if you genuinely love Jesus? These passages explain how you can know that:

      1 John 2:3: By this we can be sure that we have come to know Him: if we keep His commandments.
      1 John 5:3: For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome,
      2 John 1:6: And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the very commandment you have heard from the beginning, that you must walk in love.

      The kind of changed minds that qualify as repentance always result in changed lives:

      Romans 12:1-2: be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
      Philippians 2:12-13: continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

      1 John 3:2-6: Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 3 And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure. 4 Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. 5 And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. 6 Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.

      Can a repentant Christian fall into sin? Of course!
      Can a repentant Christian live in sin? No!

      I'm sorry you believe as you do, but I thank you for providing an excellent explanation of cheap grace theology so that people can wake up and question everything that contradicts Scripture.