Grace + Faith = salvation = justification = sanctification = God works.
For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God,Not of works, lest any man should boast.For we are his workmanship, CREATED in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
Whenever I hear this phrase (cheap grace) being used by works orientated Christians, I immediately know they have no real understanding of the word GRACE. Here is a really good explanation.
“We have to be on our guard against the supposition that grace is an abstract quality; it is an active personal principle, showing itself in our dealings with those by whom we are surrounded. … In the great proportion of passages in which the word grace is found in the New Testament, it signifies the unmerited operation of God in the heart of man, effected through the agency of the Holy Spirit. We have gradually come to speak of grace as an inherent quality in man, just as we talk of gifts; whereas it is in reality the communication of Divine goodness by the inworking of the Spirit, and through the medium of Him who is ‘full of grace and truth.’” — Robert Girdlestone, Synonyms of the Old Testament (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1871), p. 179.
In effect what people are really saying by this expression(cheap grace) is that the Grace of God is not complete in itself to save and keep us from sin so what I must do is I got to work to achieve godliness. How absolutely offensive that is to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ! Let me show you why!
First of all let us define the word cheap to bring my argument into proper perspective
1. a. Relatively low in cost; inexpensive or comparatively inexpensive.
b. Charging low prices, a cheap restaurant.
2. a. Obtainable at a low rate of interest. Used especially of money.
b. Devalued, as in buying power: cheap dollars.
3. Achieved with little effort a cheap victory cheap laughs.
4. Of or considered of small value in wartime, when life was cheap.
5. Of poor quality, inferior a cheap toy.
6. Worthy of no respect vulgar or contemptible a cheap gangster
7. Stingy; miserly
The grace of God was given at a great price and is not cheap! It cost him everything! Why do we even think for one moment that we could earn so great salvation in our own efforts or need to offer up our works to keep so great salvation either!
All our works, according to scripture, are as filthy rags in his sight no matter how well meaning. Let us examine this text.
I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised othersTwo men went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted
Do you see what attitude is received by the Lord?…The one who puts no confidence in his flesh….the one who admits failure…..the one who trusts in Christ’s righteousness alone!
Is grace cheap?….No, brethren it cost Jesus Christ everything and it is a free gift which produces faith, justifies, sanctifies and keeps the Christian until that day when we stand before him dressed in his wonderful robe of Righteousness and not our own filthy rags. !!
The Bible says that a true born again Christian has been created by God to perform good works. When we fail in our self efforts (and God lets us do that at times), it is to make us more dependent on him. Flesh always wants to be in control and that will be until we get glorified bodies. No one will ever be perfect or able to keep all the law in its entirety. The Bible says that God has created us to good works, in other words good works are a natural inclination created in the heart of the born again person, however, good works in and of themselves do not save. It is the blood covenant that saves, justifies and sanctifies.
Each of us has been created for a specific purpose and God will work out our salvation in us according to his good pleasure as scriptures affirm. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, lost all ability to perform any spiritual good so as a natural man, being in enmity from God’s goodness, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself. Fallen man is a total sinner without any good, but when man is born again by the Holy Spirit he then is able to perform that which is good and well pleasing to God because he has been given a new nature, God’s nature. If any man does not have God’s Spirit then he cannot do what is well pleasing to God because he has a sin nature.
So one then is either saved or he is not. There is no in between. A born again man who has God living in him has been imputed (accredited with) Christ’s righteousness not his own BUT this born again man will live a life that pleases God because he was created by the Holy Spirit to do just that!
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10