What is “Cheap Grace” as stated in Bonhoeffer’s book The Cost Of Discipleship?
The Bible says that ‘every good and perfect thing [we have] comes from God’s good hand (James 1:17 ).
So in Christianity, grace (God’s unearned or unmerited goodness, kindness, or ‘favor’ to people/you/me) is “free.” Meaning, we don’t have to ‘earn’ it.
But it’s easy to confuse things that are “free” with being “cheap.” When we consider something ‘cheap’ we don’t honor or value it properly. This is precisely what Dietrich Bonhoeffer was speaking about in “The Cost of Discipleship. ”
As a Nazi war camp victim and ultimate martyr, he learned how valuable God’s love and grace truly are, because it cost him his life… just like God’s grace to people in providing salvation (freedom from the power and penalty of disobedience to God) cost Jesus His life. Bonhoeffer was lamenting and warning us that we must beware of gladly accepting God’s unspeakable and extravagant kindness, especially through the unearned and unmerited gift of salvation in Christ, then treating it without the honor it deserves, because though it is “free,” it is not cheap.
God’s love and goodness to people is something received “by grace through faith, and not of works” (Ephesians 2:8-9 ), and it was bought at a great price.
So what is the “cost of discipleship?” Bonhoeffer said that God’s grace cost Jesus His life, and it will cost us our lives. According to Bonhoeffer, “When Christ calls a man [person}, he bids him ‘come and die.'”
This, our very lives, is the Cost of Discipleship.
Also see: Acts 9:1-16 below
Acts 9:1-16 New International Version (NIV)
9 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
New International Version (NIV): Used by Permission
 Bible Gateway passage: James 1:17 – New International Version
 The Cost of Discipleship: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: 9780684815008: Amazon.com: Books
 Bible Gateway passage: Ephesians 2:8-9 – New International Version