“Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”
We live in a day and age not unlike the day and age when Pastor Bonhoeffer penned these words. It is a day and age where “cheap grace” is promoted profaning Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. Cheap forgiveness. Cheap grace. With no demands made on the sinner. And nowhere is this more prevalent than in discussions surrounding adultery.
I do not encourage offering cheap grace. Bonhoeffer is correct in stating this as a problem in discipleship. Adultery reveals character flaws in the cheater. By offering cheap grace–grace without repentance and discipleship–we never address the underlying problems in the cheater that led to this wicked fruit, adultery. This is not godly nor is it honoring to Christ’s Cross.
The writer of Hebrews states it this way:
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? – Hebrews 10:26-29, ESV
Any approach to adultery that does not address it as solely the fruit of an adulterous heart is ultimately going to fail. Any approach that does not view ongoing adultery in a professing Christian as profaning “the blood of the covenant” is not taking the sin as seriously as God takes it. Adultery is no minor problem.
Yes, grace is available to all.
However, we are all called to repentance as well.
Let’s not promote cheap grace.
And let’s not be party to profaning Christ’s blood.