What does it cost to be a Christian?

Posted: February 17, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life

“What does it cost to be a Christian? I grant freely that it costs little to be a mere outward Christian. A man has only got to attend a place of worship twice on Sunday, and to be tolerably moral during the week, and he has gone as far as thousands around him ever go in religion. All this is cheap and easy work – it entails no self-denial or self-sacrifice. If this is saving Christianity and will take us to Heaven when we die–we must alter the description of the way of life, and write, “Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to Heaven!” But it does cost something to be a real Christian, according to the standard of the Bible.

There are enemies to be overcome, battles to be fought, sacrifices to be made, an Egypt to be forsaken, a wilderness to be passed through, a cross to be carried, a race to be run. Conversion is not putting a man in a soft armchair, and taking him pleasantly to Heaven. It is the beginning of a mighty conflict, in which it costs much to win the victory. Hence arises the unspeakable importance of “counting the cost.” True Christianity will cost a man his self-righteousness, his sins, his love of ease, and the favor of the world. A religion which costs nothing –is worth nothing! A cheap, easy Christianity, without a cross, will prove in the end a useless Christianity, without a crown!”

– J. C. Ryle

  1. nannykim says:

    Sounds like Bonhoeffer on the subject of cheap grace!

  2. susanshanks says:

    AMEN! Another great post. THERE IS NO “FREE LUNCH”! Sitting in church for one’s life doesn’t make him/her a Christian any more than sitting in my garage will make me a car! Free grace – yes! But when that grace is accepted, “I have been crucified with Christ – nevertheless I live – not me, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2: 20) Grace is a gift, but walking out the Christian life costs us our life. Then we realize what our life is really worth – and what Christ really offers…all I can say is “Thank you (a million times) Jesus for your awesome offer to pay my sin debt and cause me to live with You FOREVER!”

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