Monday, August 6, 2012

Thoughts from “Cheap Law” by Tullian Tchividjian via John Dink

Read the full blog HERE and then HERE.

Pastor Tullian has again found a way to invigorate my heart with confidence in Christ by proclaiming the hardness of the Law in order to magnify the freedom and tenderness of God in the Gospel of Christ.

The blog proclaims that making the Law less does not make Grace abound.  Grace abounds only inasmuch as there is something for which grace can apply.  If the Law is less demanding, God less holy, and the standards more forgiving than the Law; the Cross is made into foolishness and sinners need not have faith or grace to earn God’s favor (for lower standards are often the penchant of the proud).

“…the proper response to the charge of ‘cheap grace’ is not to make grace expensive by adding a thousand qualifications and footnotes, but rather to declare that grace is free!”

Our default in warring against “cheap grace” is to make it either cheaper or more expensive when by the grace of God it is only available for FREE.  No cost.  Not a little or a lot, but free.

There is so much I could pull from this blog that I could repost in its entirety.  Please do yourself the favor of reading the whole post as desire inspires.

“…there are some who seek to escape their need for grace and deceive us by lowering the cost of God’s righteousness. They preach a ‘cheap law’ that sells indulgences to those who pay with the appearance of sanctification.”

What a brilliant way of stating the dilemma.  The old religion of self-righteousness is alive and well.  I know it rears its ugly head in me and my soul is forever indebted to the grace of Christ in revealing to me daily my need for Him to save me and empower me to do God’s will (to believe in Him).

“Lowering the bar lets the Old Adam peek into the Promised Land. It allows the flesh to survive by rebelling in a form of external piety. And – it’s a perfect hiding place for the Old Being. We don’t think to rebuke such a moral, well-mannered creature. But cheap law offers mercy in the wrong place. It offers mercy to those who are offended by the gift. It creates a people of great zeal, but they lack knowledge concerning the question “What Would Jesus Do?” Here is the costly answer: Jesus would do it all perfectly. And that’s game over for you. The Father is not grooming you to be a replacement for his Beloved Son. He is announcing that there is blessing for those who take shelter in his Beloved Son. Cheap law tells us that we’ve fallen, but there’s good news, you can get back up again. Therein lies the great heresy of cheap law: it is a false gospel. And it cheapens – no –it nullifies grace.”

"Grace to the humble. Law to the proud."

Grace so free it is unbelievable to those not blessed by faith from God.
Law so unforgiving and so heavy that it is unbearable by any and all.

It is a standard put into practice by Jesus and exhibited by the Father throughout Scripture.  As preachers and teachers, we must be faithful to the Word of God in allowing it to break the will as violently as it ought and to heal the break as sufficiently as it is empowered.

“…when we make sacrifices regarding God’s law, we create something that is not strong enough to stop the mouths of self-sanctifying little sovereigns. It simply teaches us to exchange true godliness for a pursuit of godness.”

This parting shot is a great summary of the Gospel of God in Christ and the power of His life, death, and resurrection.  It makes much of Jesus and it makes my heart delight in my Savior.

“Cheap law will never quiet the self-righteous being because it invites him to keep haggling over what he can do apart from Jesus. And that is why law must be costly. It must always get to the heart of the matter. It’s not only murder that deserves death, but hate. It’s not only adultery that condemns, but lust. Not only theft, but coveting. It’s not only what is done with your hands that is judged, but what is done in your heart. And so – it should be clear –this is not “let’s make a deal.” The deals have been cut. The law of Moses is more than you can afford. The Son that God did not spare is priceless. The grace Jesus gives is free. That’s all there is. But cheap law keeps us searching for something to leverage against our poverty. Only costly law will bring that search to an end. It empties our pockets and opens our hands – revealing this: unless the religious expert becomes a beggar, he will not be given the kingdom. Costly law closes in on us and puts this prayer in our mouth: 'Be merciful to me, a sinner.'"

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