Bonhoeffer on ‘Believing’: “Only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes”

HeWhoBelievesIsObedientBonhoeffer

Bonhoeffer summarized Luther’s view of the human situation (and his own) in Luther’s famous formula simul justus et peccator (both justified and a sinner). He realized that this dialectical reading of Paul was open to abuses, as evident in the Lutheran church of his day. Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship is an attempt to address these abuses by differentiating between “cheap grace”, the grace that Lutheranism has tended to preach based upon Luther’s doctrine of justification, and “costly grace”, the grace that demands obedience and true discipleship (CD 45-48). According to Bonhoeffer, the Reformation understanding of costly grace turned into cheap grace when “the justification of the sinner in the world degenerated into the justification of sin and the world” (CD 53). The true proclamation of justification, justification of the sinner, is the call to obedient, costly discipleship, not an invitation to passive assent to a doctrine. In fact, justification is costly obedience: “Only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes(CD 69). Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” – Jesus in Mt. 7:21

Related:

Who-Goes-To-Heaven Scriptures — Narrow is the Way | Who are the Children of God? — “There is therefore now *no condemnation* to those who are IN CHRIST Jesus, who don’t WALK according to the flesh, but ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT.”

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