Seventy years ago April 9, 1945, Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was put to death by the Nazis. Today he is remembered by Christians as a martyr. Bonhoeffer is well known for his book, The Cost of Discipleship. Like so many of those Christians who were put to death by the Nazis, Bonhoeffer's witness seems especially relevant for Christians today.
Ron Belgau has a fine essay on Bonhoeffer and offers a famous quote from the Lutheran pastor-theologian on "cheap grace":
In The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer wrote, “Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ living and incarnate.” On the other hand, “Costly grace,” Bonhoeffer says, “is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake the man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ for which the disciple leaves his nets and follows Him.” - Ron Belgau
Ron Belgau concludes his essay with the following hope-filled reflection:
Dietrich Bonhoeffer—pastor, theologian, friend, martyr—offers us encouragement that even in the most difficult circumstances, grace can strengthen a flawed, sometimes uncertain human being to take up his cross and remain with Christ, even to the end. And, we may hope that, having suffered with his Lord, he has been purified of all imperfection and raised with Him to enjoy a “life together” beyond all his earthly imagination. - Ron Belgau
I like that.