Community Group Lesson: The Cost of Grace

Path of LifeOur communities will gather in today and discuss costly grace. Bonhoeffer described it as:

  • “The treasure hidden in the field for the sake of it a person will gladly go and sell all he has.”
  • “The kingly rule of Christ, for which a person will pluck out the eye that causes him to stumble.”
  • “The Gospel. For which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door which a person must knock.”

The last bullet point is where I want to leave a few thoughts and hopefully our communities will consider these thoughts and go in their own direction. If you are a Hold To Truth follower and not a member of MBC we would love you to post your thoughts too.

Scripture is pretty clear that God’s direction and commandments are not suggestions. I do not think God is using his commandments as a reverse psychology. “I know they won’t obey fully but if I command it they may mature to at least be a little better than they were.” That does not sound like someone who created us.

I think the bullet point and allusion to Matthew 7:7-8 and elsewhere made a fundamental point of emphasis for us. Persistence is possible now where justification has occurred. A fallen humanity does not seek after God because they do not understand Him. Now it is possible for us to seek after Him.

Grace costs because someone had to pay to give us something we do not deserve. Our response to that cost in gratitude, or grateful obedience determines our current understanding of that grace. But let me point back to the bullet point again: keep knocking, keep asking, keep seeking. In the course of human events we find shades of our life where we realize that the Gospel has shed light on things that were dark. Those become areas where you have to begin to knock.

It may be a person who comes along this journey to help you realize that your contribution to the body matters; you cannot go and hide. Or it may be that a situation occurs where the thinking “just the way things are” is really your disobedience and you will have to adjust how you go to work every day. There are numerous possibilities but the result is the same. That particular area becomes a place to knock and know God. The key questions must be asked:

– What is God saying?

– What am I going to do about it?

If you have too much stuff in your hands you cannot knock. It is difficult to knock on trusting God to supply your needs if you keep supplying your needs. It is difficult to know Jesus is Emmanuel if you always have stuff filling a void. It is difficult to seek the gospel as sufficient for life if you are too busy trying to get your life. Knocking requires freed hands. Knowing God requires a freed mind and freed heart. Obedience is the means to emptying the vessel. Gratitude is the vehicle. When we are growing we learn to say “There are no feet I will not wash.” Over time He teaches us the extent of types of feet we get to wash. Every moment is a different lesson of the same kind. Jesus paid a hefty premium to free us to empty hand and hearts. Grace is what has been granted for our benefit.

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