Costly grace is the hidden treasure in the field, for the sake of which people go and sell with joy everything they have. It is the costly pearl for whose price the merchant sells all that he has; it is Christ's sovereignty, for the sake of which you tear out an eye if it causes you to stumble. It is the call of Jesus Christ which causes a disciple to leave his nets and follow him.
Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which has to be asked for, the door at which one has to knock.
It is costly, because it calls to discipleship; it is grace, because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly, because it costs people their lives; it is grace, because it thereby makes them live. It is costly, because it condemns sin; it is grace, because it justifies the sinner. Above all, grace is costly, because it was costly to God, because it cost God the life of God's Son․"you were bought with a price"․and because nothing can be cheap to us which is costly to God. Above all, it is grace because the life of God's Son was not too costly for God to give in order to make us live...
Grace is costly, because it forces people under the yoke of following Jesus Christ; it is grace when Jesus says, "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:30).
For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:20
Questions to Ponder
If costly grace means that God wants things from us as well as for us, what might those things be?
What is the difference between following Jesus Christ (costly grace) and simply believing things about Jesus Christ (cheap grace)?
What does it mean to say grace is costly "because it costs people their lives"?
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually. Psalm 105:3-4
Have you experienced costly grace? If so, what did it feel like? If not, what do you imagine it might feel like?
What would it mean for you to "leave [your] nets and follow him"?
Pray for the church and for all Christians, that they may proclaim and practice costly grace.
Prayer for Today
Thank you, O God, for the costly grace you have offered me freely and which has made me a disciple of Jesus.
40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.