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George W. S. Trow

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Wonder was the grace of the country.

 
George W. S. Trow

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Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting to-day for costly grace. Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks’ wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church’s inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap?

 
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
 

Grace is everywhere as an active orientation of all created reality toward God, though God does not owe it to any creature to give it this special orientation. Grace does not happen in isolated instances here and there in an otherwise profane and graceless world. It is legitimate, of course, to speak of grace-events which occur at discrete points in space and time. But then what we are really talking about is the existential and historical acceptance of this grace by human freedom. … Grace itself … is everywhere and always, even though a human being's freedom can sinfully say no to it, just as a human being's freedoms can protest against humankind itself. This immanence of grace in the conscious world always and everywhere does not take away the gratuity of grace, because God's immediacy out of self-giving love is not something anyone can claim as his or her due. The immanence of grace always and everywhere does not make salvation history cease to be history, because history is the acceptance of grace by the historical freedom of human beings and the history of spirit coming ever more to itself in grace.

 
Karl Rahner
 

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev'd;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ'd!

 
John Newton
 

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 costs 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.

 
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
 

And therefore you must know that you can forfeit the grace and help of God by your willful sinning or negligence, though you cannot, without grace, turn to God. If you will not do what you can, it is just with God to deny you that grace by which you might do more.

 
Richard Baxter
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