If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9


Through God’s grace we receive forgiveness for our sins. It’s a comfort to know that. But we should realize that it’s not as simple as some make it out to be. One thing I have concluded from my Christian walk and from reading what others have said, is that grace is not cheap.

I will draw from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship (1937), a classic centered on the Sermon on the Mount. He was an influential theologian though he died young – hanged by the Nazis at the age of 39.

The Cost of Discipleship opens with this bold statement: “Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace.”

Following are some excerpts from Bonhoeffer’s book:

“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.”

Believing in cheap grace means that we could arrogantly live the way we want because we think we’re forgiven. When we commit a serious wrong, we might believe we had already repented and no more was required.

“Cheap grace is not the kind of forgiveness of sin which frees us from the toils of sin. Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves.”

“Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.”

“Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it cost a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner.”

Quoting Stephen Wellum in his article, If all my sins are forgiven, why must I continue to repent?  “Believers must continue to pray daily for forgiveness in the confidence of justified and adopted children approaching a heavenly Father who has declared them just in Jesus Christ.” (https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/)

As we live our lives and unfortunately sin, we need to return to God in repentance and faith and seek his forgiveness. This benefits us greatly. Each time we confess our sins, we are reawakened to what Christ has done for us. We are reassured of our salvation.