Resurrection Sunday (Easter) is just behind us but the importance of Jesus’ resurrection to the life of a Christian continues.
Resurrection Sunday (Easter) is just behind us but the importance of Jesus’ resurrection to the life of a Christian continues. Jesus’ death and resurrection and His call for us to take up our cross and follow Him remind us that we need to ask ourselves questions like “Are we willing to sin less”? “Are we willing to live life differently”? After all, Jesus has called us to “put off the old self” and “put on the new self” through the power of the Holy Spirit working in us to transform us through Jesus’ resurrection power. Paul challenges us in Romans 6:11 “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin alive to God in Christ Jesus”. Yes, we receive our salvation through grace alone and faith alone. Yet, we have been created to serve Jesus and others and do works of service for others. These works do not merit special grace to us, but like some in the early New Testament church we also need to be reminded that our salvation came at great cost to Jesus. His death and resurrection have given us the opportunity to live a new life alive in the Holy Spirit, alive to Jesus, and dead to sin for His glory. Since Jesus died we too can become dead to sin, allow the freedom of Jesus to set us free from sinful habits, and alive to Jesus. Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book Cost of Discipleship reminds us of one the dangers of what he calls “cheap grace”. Bonhoeffer said “Grace alone does everything, they say, and so everything can remain as it was before”. Paul agreed wholeheartedly with Bonhoeffer in Romans 6:1 when he says “What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means”! Rather Bonhoeffer says this about costly grace: “Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs us our life, and it is grace because it gives us the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of God’s Son” ‘you were bought at a price’, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us”. Let us continue to follow Jesus even if it means dying to self, because He has the power to resurrect us and make us fully alive in God!
Ed Kvaale serves as pastor of Bowman Assembly of God Church.