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Cheap Grace and False Security

by Bob Wilkin

Recently I received the following letter:

Dear Mr. Wilkin,
The true Christian doesn't cease to believe in Christ.

Which is worse, not being sure of salvation and being saved or being sure and not being saved?

Cheap grace is false security.


That represents the thinking of many today. The Free Grace position is labeled as promoting cheap grace and false security. The need is seen to speak of true as opposed to false believers. Faith in Christ is viewed as being something which couldn't possibly diminish or cease.

I agree that it is worse to think you're saved when you're not than to have doubts when you actually are saved. However, those are not the only options.

It is possible to be sure you are saved and be right! That is the best of all three options!

Jesus said that whoever believes in Him has everlasting life (John 3:16). He didn't say we would get it if we persevered in a life of obedience and faithfulness. He said we obtain eternal life at the moment we believe. I am trusting in Christ alone to save me. Therefore, I am absolutely sure that I am saved. He does not lie.

Grace isn't cheap. The Lord Jesus paid for our salvation with His very blood. There is nothing cheap about the price He paid. The fact that the recipient of grace pays nothing for salvation doesn't change that fact. Grace is free, not cheap, for the recipient and costly, not cheap, for the Giver.

If the recipient of grace has to pay any price, cheap or expensive, then grace is not grace and salvation is not a gift.

The fact that it is possible for believers to cease to believe in the clear Gospel is plainly taught in the New Testament. In Luke 8:13 Jesus said that the ones on the rocky soil "believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away." In Galatians 1:6 Paul lamented: "I am amazed that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel." And, in Hebrews 3:6 and 10:23 and 35 believers are exhorted to hold fast and not cast away their confidence, their faith in Christ.

It is a tragic teaching of many today that says that the faith of Christians is indestructible. That gives people a false sense of security regarding their faith. Unless we cultivate our faith by means of prayer, fellowship, Bible study, witnessing, and a life of wholehearted daily obedience, doubts and unorthodoxy will surely grow. Did not even John the Baptist come to the place of doubt when, after having identified Jesus as the Messiah, he sent to Him and asked if He actually was the Messiah (Luke 7:19-22)?

I pray that people like R. E. will keep reading the GES News and will continue to pray about and study this issue diligently. Please join with me regularly in praying that the GES News touches the lives of many believers each month. In addition, please pray that people will come to faith in Christ each month through reading the GES News.

Bob Wilkin is the Executive Director of Grace Evangelical Society.

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