Contrary to what some Christians would have you believe, the biggest problem facing the church today is not ‘cheap grace’ but ‘cheap law’—the idea that God accepts anything less than the perfect righteousness of Jesus. (Tullian Tchividjian)
Cheap grace? There’s no such thing. I understand why Tullian uses the term, but we can’t cheapen grace. Grace is expensive. It is the cost of a life…Jesus’. It is the cost of his existence, the effort, sacrifices, struggles, betrayals. It was costly for him and priceless for us. Cheap law? Again, it’s expensive because it is Jesus’ personhood. He came to fulfill the law. What we cheapen at times is our effort. God extends grace. God loves us. God works in us and prepares us. But we excuse so much, and that’s how we cheapen his grace and law/justice.
We say “I am who I am,” but do we lean into and pursue who God wants us to become? Or do we get too stubborn? “If God has me here, it must be where he wants me. If God made me, he must like me how I am, so why would I change?” Yes, we need to find peace in who we are, but we also embrace the discipline, obedience, and growth of faith. What about contentment and joy? Of course, but embracing those characteristics that abide in our lives aren’t based on keeping our circumstances a certain way. We continually strive, not for the same reasons of achievement and accumulation the world would guide us toward, but in a direction toward—especially with—God. We can simultaneously embrace the contentment and joy God gives us while constantly asking God to keep us in check and guide us in the timing and direction he knows we’re eventually heading—the possibilities he knows.
We cheapen grace and law when we cheapen God, when we make him into someone he is not or minimize what he’s done and continues to do, not only in our lives but in all of life. When we cheapen God, we don’t get a good deal. We just see less of the goodness of God.