Being a believer for over 30 years, I have read innumerable books which are related to discipleship and spiritual growth. I would count this as one of the most important; as borne out by the overall importance given to this 20th century classic.
Speaking as a man who truly lived out his faith under the worst of circumstances, Dietrich Bonhoeffer does so with a mantle of authority. The bulk of The Cost of Discipleship is devoted to reclaiming the rightful authority of the Sermon on the Mount, and by extension, the teaching of the Gospels, in the life of the believer.
Throughout Christianity today, the Sermon on the Mount is often presented in a certain context; that is, that it was given under the dispensation of the Old Testament prior to the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The purpose was not so much to instruct Christian living, but in its extremity to reveal the utter hopelessness to live it out, and hence to point the sinner to the cross of Christ to receive forgiveness in Him. While this is partially true, Bonhoeffer's argument is that believers are no less bound to take the Sermon on the Mount and the Gospels to heart to live them out every moment of every day to the greatest extent possible.
Bonhoeffer distinguishes between easy grace and costly grace--easy grace being the belief that, because Christ has paid for our sins on the cross, which He has, that the believer need no longer be overly concerned with conforming His life to the hard sayings of Jesus in the Gospels; on the contrary, costly grace, by virtue of our understanding of what it cost Christ, should motivate us even further to go further in Christ and to live out.a life which is worthy of what has been given to us.
I would particularly recommend this to believers who have been in the faith for a while; for whom perhaps the Sermon on the Mount and the New Testament teachings of Jesus in the Gospel have perhaps become "old hat." Such believers will be challenged afresh to measure their lives and fruit against the standard of Christ.
- Paperback: 316 pages
- Publisher: Touchstone Books; Touchstone edition (1 September 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684815001
- ISBN-13: 978-0684815008
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.4 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 295 g
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)