“Confronting the Error of Hyper-Grace” – a response to Michael Brown

In a recent CharismaNews article, Dr. Michael Brown confronts what he calls the “dangerous error” of the hyper-grace movement. He describes the foundational doctrines of this movement as follows; (1) we have been made righteous by the blood of Jesus, (2) all our sins have been forgiven, (3) the Holy Spirit never convicts believers of sin, and (4) we need never repent for nor confess our sins.

Although I would qualify the last point, Dr. Brown has done a fair job summarizing the gospel that we in the grace movement proclaim. (Some movement – it’s 2000 years old!) Those who are united with Christ are just as holy and righteous as he is (1 Cor 1:30); God dealt with our sins once and for all on the cross (Heb 10:12); and consequently the Holy Spirit remembers our sins no more (Heb 10:17).

As for repentance and confession, the Bible tells us that these words mean different things to different people. Repentance in the old covenant meant turning from sin but repentance in the new means turning to God. As the Pharisees showed, you can turn from sin until you’re dizzy but it won’t make you righteous. However, you cannot turn to God without leaving your old life behind.

ImperfectionsSimilarly, confession under the old covenant meant reviewing one’s sins, but confession in the new means agreeing with God. It’s a subtle difference with profound consequences. Reviewing your sins in the vain hope of earning forgiveness or fellowship will ultimately leave you guilty and sin-conscious. This sort of confessing-to-be-forgiven is a faithless work of the flesh. In contrast, healthy confession will always leave you focused on Jesus and his finished work.

Where Dr. Brown takes issue with the grace movement is in the claim that “when God looks at us, he loves what he sees.” Dr. Brown provides examples from scripture that seem to challenge this idea. Did Jesus love what he saw in the Revelation churches? Did Paul love what he saw in the Galatians? Obviously not for Jesus and Paul both rebuked what they saw.

The punch-line of Dr. Brown’s message is that we must purify ourselves from everything that contaminates. He concludes by describing self-purification and the pursuit of holiness as our “beautiful, lofty calling.”

There is a way that seems right to man…

I would argue that Dr. Brown’s conclusion leads to exactly the same sort of self-reliance that caused Jesus to get nauseous over the Laodiceans. It promotes the same sort of performance-based Christianity that caused the Ephesians to forget their first love and the Galatians to fall from grace.

Dr. Brown’s concerns regarding sin’s destructiveness are on the money. But the gospel Jesus revealed and Paul preached is first and foremost a declaration of God’s love. The gospel is the unqualified announcement that God loves us and will do whatever it takes to get us back, even if it means dying on a cross.

Dr. Brown surely knows this for the word “love” appears 13 times in his short article. But where Dr. Brown and many Christians get confused, is what we must do in response. Evidently, Dr. Brown thinks we must turn from sin. (The word “sin” appears 14 times in his article.) But this is old-covenant thinking. It is selling the love of God for the price of a little old fashioned repentance. It is not the gospel of unmerited grace.

One of the most stunning claims in the Bible comes from Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” If God loved us while we were still sinners, he surely loves us now. We don’t repent and confess or do anything to merit God’s love but because we are loved. The love of God is the foundation of all we are and do.

This is why Jesus rebuked the Ephesians – not because they weren’t loving God enough, but because they had left their primary love. Like many Christians today they had got so caught up doing things for God that they forgot to do the most important thing of all, which is to receive and remain in their Father’s love.

“Remember the height from which you have fallen,” said Jesus. “Repent, and do what you did at first.” What had they done at first? Well what did you do when you first came to Christ? You probably did nothing other than receive his love. “Do that,” says Jesus. “Stay in the high place of my love and you won’t fall back into the old ways of trying to earn what I have freely given you.”

Dr. Brown asks an important question: “Does God always love what he sees when he looks at his people?” According to him, the answer is no. God doesn’t like what he sees when he looks at us. Our sins grieve him. But here’s the thing: we are not our sins.

The most important question

Defining people in terms of their behavior is old-covenant thinking. It is not how God relates to us. Children are defined by their parents. In his article Dr. Brown asks no less than 20 questions but he never asks the most important question of all: Who’s your Daddy? This is the question Jesus came to answer.

Want to know what your heavenly Father is like? Look to Jesus. Jesus is exactly like his Father (John 10:30). This is why we are told again and again to fix our eyes on Jesus.

And this is why I have a problem with any message that distracts us from Christ, even a religious message that frets over sin. You simply cannot focus on yourself and Jesus at the same time. You cannot attend to your shortcomings and behold his glorious perfections simultaneously. It’s one or the other. It’s you or him. Who are you going to trust?

Our calling is not to try and purify ourselves in the vain hope we might become pleasing and acceptable to God. Trust me – your best efforts will never be good enough.

Rather, our beautiful and lofty calling is to, “Be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Eph 5:1).  We don’t imitate God to become his children, but because we are his children, and dearly-loved.


*Special note: For those looking for a more detailed response to Dr. Brown’s scriptural examples, check out the articles I have written on Jesus’ warnings to the churches in Ephesus, Sardis, and Laodicea. I have also written on what it means to be friends of the world and I have a forthcoming post on what it means to fall from grace. If you’re having trouble reconciling what I wrote above with what you have been taught, it will greatly help if you first understand what makes the new covenant new.

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Comments

  1. I really am baffled by this ongoing debate. If one simply reads the new testament without bias, it is clear that Jesus was calling for a disciple making movement where lifestyles change. Our basis for relationship with God is grace. It is grace that grants us repentance and it is grace that loves us to much to leave us as we are. Our job is to co-operate with God’s grace so that His virtue may be put on display in us, both in freedom from vice and from presence of love.

    • Well said, that’s it exactly. We have to embrace the work God wants to do in us. We do not do the work, but we have to get out of our own way and let Him shape us.

      • “Get out of the way” … really? If God, whom I cannot love without the grace that he gives me to do so, can save me single-handedly and pluck me from the depths of depravity decides “Well, now I showed him a bit of what I can do, I’ll stand back and wait to finish the job until he ‘gets out of my way’ ” then I must say that I’m not sure if this is the same God I worship – my God causes dead things to live, creates something from nothing, and descended from his heavenly pedestal and put on human flesh in order to accomplish redemption for all, only after allowing humanity ages and ages of trial-and-error with our own hopeless attempts at righteousness.

    • My thoughts precisely.

      • My thoughts as well. If we let sin reign in our mortal bodies we remain slaves to sin. Romans 6:12-19

      • rjbarnett says:

        Judge a tree by its fruit…. Judge the hyped-doctrine by its fruit. I see many relieved Believers, but where is the power?

      • WOW! Like ur coment Brian. Some comments are here is great. Nice to know there are Believers who think right and thinking right will make a Beleiver live more right.

    • Those who truly Love God will allow themselves to be transformed they will desirer and pursue it; But many are not interesting in being transformed into the image of Christ;(the Spotless Lamb) They like the Pharisee wash the outside of the cup…Jesus called them whitted seplacurs. Many choose to worship at the aulter of their own opinon and desires; they live self serving lifes and rarely visit the Bibles, only repeating something they were spoon feed by some Preacher on TV. Paul says “when you should have been teaching others you are still babes still sucking on the milk of the Word” Let us visit this Hyper-Grace message though a marriage relationship seeing Christ calls us His bride…any body ever see a Bride wareing and old dirty Wedding Dress, saying “oh its okay He love me no matter what I look like” ?? Might want to look at 5 wise and 5 foolish virgins to get a clearer view. God loves us without a doulb but do we truly love Him.

  2. Awesome commentary Paul! I guess people who believe like us are considered heretics….and I’m OK with that!!!

  3. Thank you so much Paul. My heart explodes with thankfulness and the beauty of grace, as I read the full Gospel wisdom of your posts. I think Jesus must see these posts and His eyes must well up with tears as He says “that’s my boy!”. His life pours out through you and strengthens and encourages us so much. :). I love being built up in the revelation of His grace. Thank you again!

  4. Brilliant article. This indeed is the gospel. It’s only as we live conscious of the ever near presence of Jesus that we can be transformed. As soon as Moses left the mountain of presence the commands which seemed easy to live by became law. The devil is a one trick pony with many believers. That is, Condemn them in the hope that this will force people in their own mind to remove themselves from fathers unconditional love and acceptance. Once outside His presence we are left alone to,fulfill the law in the hope of earning our way back in.

    Thanks again for a great response

    Andrew
    Hopecity church Melbourne Australia

    • I see Satan, doing an additional trick, using the grace-less teacher to make believers way to *sin conscious* and steal away their joy and trust in Jesus. Both sides agree believers should not totally ignore sin.

    • Thank u Durable, could not put it better myself. Man makes the word of God so complicated. Christ made it simple. “By grace are ye saved through grace; and that not of urselves: It is the gift of God: Not of works least any man should boast, Ephesians 28:-9

      Christ became sin for us, (that is what the Holy Ghost told me to my face as clear as day when I yearned to be soooooo perfect I was so sin conscious and kept asking forgiveness every time. Our minds should be on Christ as much as possible and our only work is to believe on him, our only fight is the good fight of faith and our only wrestle is to enter into his rest, AMEN and AMEN!!!

  5. Excellent!

    I saw the video version of Dr. Brown’s misplaced concerns, “Hyper-Grace – The Great Deception of the 21st Century” (http://vimeo.com/59298991), a few days ago.

    It’s unfortunate that some insist on mixing Law with Grace, making Christ of no effect (Galatians 5:2-4).

    I contend for the Gospel of Grace in the arena of the Hebrew Roots Movement, and Dr. Brown has a few articles that bring some balance to issues such as the Sacred Name doctrine and the celebrating of vs. the mandatory observance of the Feasts of Israel. It is indeed disappointing to see him make such a public statement against the sufficiency of the completed Work of Christ and what that, in walking out the realities of our lives in faith, really means.

    The whole concept of ‘Hyper-Grace’ being a bad thing is silly anyway! The lengths to which God chose to go in Grace for us (to the death) is pretty ‘hyper’, is it not?! Anyone who has a problem with that has a problem with the Gospel itself – whether or not they realize it =o/.

    In the last few months God has brought several ‘Grace’ teachers/resources to light that have confirmed things He’s been teaching me as I’ve examined the issues of Law and Grace pretty intensively over the past five years. I’ve come across your site a few times in the past, but only recently have taken some time to really read through some of your stuff. So glad that I have . . . good stuff =o)!

    Grace and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ,
    -JGIG

    • JGIG…Certainly glad to finally see you here!

    • +1 glad to see you here too bro :)

    • JGIG,

      1. Conditional securists aren’t mixing law and grace. Abiding in Christ through faith does not come from the law of Moses; faith in Christ and the law are contrasted repeatedly throughout the NT. For the record, I’m also drawing the distinction for folks who are in the Hebrew Roots movement.

      2. “Hyper-grace” refers not to the depths of God’s mercy in sending His Son, but the idea that God’s grace somehow extends to His excusing unrepentant faithlessness, when the NT is abundantly clear that He does not.

      • Abiding is indeed key. Fruit is not produced by the striving of the branch; we don’t see grapevines or fruit trees or corn or bean stalks straining to produce fruit – if they are connected to the root (in our case THE Root), fruit HAPPENS.

        What do you suppose the condition of the branches that God grafts into The Root is? Are all healthy and free of disease and flaws? In the natural, only the clean, healthy branches are chosen to graft into a tree/plant. But contrary to nature (see Romans 11), our God allows for all who are willing to come in faith and receive the forgiveness and life that is offered through Christ, and for those who are in Him, there is NO condemnation (Romans 8). They are grafted in by faith, not by performance. And He is patient as He heals and grows them to fruitfulness.

        We have seven children. Some are compliant; some more strong willed; one or two are just flat-out stubborn (it’s a good thing God makes them cute, ha!). We do not cast out the more difficult child. Are there consequences for certain behaviors? Absolutely.

        Our hearts are for them to succeed. Withdrawing ourselves from them when they fail will not build up and equip them to grow and flourish; only providing a steadfast atmosphere of love, acceptance, and teaching (discipline) will equip them, even in the midst of their failures.

        And God is FAR better at parenting than we humans!

      • JGIG,

        Yes, fruit comes by abiding in the Vine, though “abide/remain” in John 15 is an imperative -while it’s only through Christ that we bear good fruit, He places the onus of abiding upon the branches.

        The condition for being grafted in is faith, and there is indeed no condemnation for those in Him, the operative words being “in Him.” Both NT grafting analogies warn against being cut off for not remaining (John 15:6, Rom 11:22), that is, subsequent rejection of faith in Christ. Where sin comes in is that willful and unrepentant sin can harden one against Jesus and the gospel.

        “…but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb 3:13)

  6. Dr Brown is amazing. It saddens me that he hasn’t seen the gospel of grace with clarity yet. I pray that he does. This is an excellent article.

    • Alexander, what it is that you think I don’t see? I assume you read my article fairly and perhaps have read my book on grace-driven holiness, Go and Sin No More. I truly appreciate your kind words and would love to know what it is that you think I don’t see. Thanks!

      • Dr Brown makes total sense to me. Jesus Christ is my righteousness but that does not mean that I can live carelessly.

      • Beryl, no one in the grace camp is suggesting that. It’s a total myth. It’s like saying mothers should be shot because they occasionally give birth to Hitlers and Stalins. Well forgive me, but I happen to like mothers.

        As strange as it may seem, those who preach grace are the ONLY ONES equipping the saints to go and sin no more. Read some of the comments on this site and you will find 100s of testimonies of liberated saints who have overcome sin one way or another. The law preachers and works-preachers make a great show of suppressing sin but after 4+ decades of watching I’ve yet to meet a single one who has had any lasting success. My experience is backed up by scripture. The Israelites had 14 centuries to turn out one sin-free person, pleasing and acceptable to God, and they failed too.

        There is nothing within man that can save him, sanctify him, or make him righteous. Everything we need has to come from above. This is obvious once you see it.

      • *Banging head against the wall*
        Paul Ellis NEVER advocates that it’s okay for us to live carelessly. I have noticed a common theme here in that those who are supportive of Dr. Brown have almost no understanding of what Paul Ellis is actually saying.

  7. Vic Cameron says:

    Spot on as ever!

  8. Yes, thank you Paul. I saw the article and thought, “here we go again!”~~ They just don’t get it and it is so very sad that believers seem to want to focus on the very thing that God says He forgets and does not count against us…sin. Praying that the body of believers do “get this” and be truly free in Christ!

  9. I think I know where Dr. Brown is coming from. Sin can not be allowed to have its way with us. Therefore we must be vigilant and keep our eyes on it. But in the NC we can keep our eyes on Jesus trusting him to keep his eyes on any sin needing attention. The temptation is to not trust Jesus to do this for us. This makes us filled up with sin conscious anxiety. Sin is addressed by us whenever Jesus brings one to our attention. It is still a roller-coaster ride of sinning more or less but Jesus has it worked out. He is ok with our sin if we will attend to it when he brings it up. Attending to sin is not getting hyper-vigilant but is paying attention by prayer, study and meditation on how Jesus is leading us into greener pastures. He is especially ok with our trusting him to handle this very important part of our relationship to God. I don’t expect to ever quit sinning completely and I also don’t expect to be its slave. Once again God proves everything is possible with him.

  10. Paul, a friend of mine sent me this link. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my article, but from your response, it appears you actually missed some of the point of what I wrote (or else unintentionally misrepresented it), and it also appears your main argument is not with my article but with the Word (since I ended by quoting 2 Cor 7:1!). I am a Jesus-centered, grace-loving, Son of the Father, and it is based on that that I write and preach. But since we seem to have these serious differences, I’d love to invite you to join me on my radio show to discuss these differences in an edifying, Jesus-glorifying way. Let me know if you’d like to do it! Also, I do take issue with some of your biblical definitions here — for example, your distinction between OT repentance and NT repentance — but that’s something we could discuss on the air. Again, thanks for taking the time to respond to my article, and I do wish you God’s grace! (If this is the second comment of mine that appears, it’s only because the initial one didn’t go through at first.)

    • Michael,
      Thanks for taking the time to respond to my response (!) and for your kind invitation to dialogue. However, as I live on the opposite side of the world, a radio appearance might be difficult. However, I would be more than happy to dialogue with you privately. In fact, I would prefer this.

      I don’t normally unpackage scripture in these comment threads but since this is your first visit, I’ll bend my own rules. Regarding 2 Cor 7:1, I would draw your attention to the first five words: “Since we have these promises…” Paul is referring to the promises made by God (2 Cor 1:20), some of which I summarize here. This is the key point. Miss God’s many guarantees of his love and affection and you may think you have to strive to obtain what you already possess.

      The Corinthians, like many Christians, had an identity problem. Their sin was a symptom of their confused identity. Paul deals with their sin by reminding them of who they are in Christ. He reminds them they are already sanctified, already righteous (1 Cor 1:2,30). It is impossible for the unholy to make themselves holy and the unrighteous to make themselves righteous. So when Paul says “be holy” he is saying, be “who you are,” just as you might say to a grown son, “Be a man.”

      So no, I have no argument with the word. But I do have a problem with people using it to threaten God’s kids. I consider the implied suggestion that God won’t love us unless we first get ourselves sin-free to be akin to child abuse. We don’t withhold our love from our children when they sin. So why do we think we are more loving and more gracious than our heavenly Father?

      Michael, I had not heard of you two days ago – you probably hadn’t heard of me two hours ago – but I have no doubt you are a wonderful person. I may not care for your message of mixture, but be assured I think the very best of you. So does your Father.

      • Paul, that was a beautiful, accurate, and caring response. Agree 100% with the line about child abuse…..also know that for the most part “they don’t know what they are doing”. Most, just don’t get it.

      • Paul, actually, I just heard of you a couple of days ago when of your followers (I mean this in a positive sense) recommended your Ten Words book, which I immediately downloaded and began reading with interesting, agreeing with so much — yes, so much!! — and yet finding a serious mixture as well (yes, just as you find a mixture in my article)!

        I don’t normally get involved in other people’s blogs (especially because of time constraints), but since you bent one of your rules, I’ll engage here as well — not to debate you, but to help advance understanding (although I don’t expect you and I will continue to do this at length).

        1) With regard to 2 Cor 7:1, Paul is certainly not referring back to the promises of the first chapter, as you claim. Instead, he was referring to the promises of the immediately preceding verses (this is really not in doubt), where Paul wrote, “For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor 6:16-18) That’s why I referred to this as our beautiful lofty calling. We are sons and daughters of God! How then should we live? Strangely, you took this as a call to self-purification and a threat!

        2) In your response, you quote Eph 5:1 as the way to go, calling us to be imitators of God as dearly loved children. Yes! Absolutely! That is the foundation for everything we do. But what then follows from Paul is very specific, having to do with our conduct? How should we live as imitators of God, as dearly loved children? Paul gives the answer: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them.” (Eph 5:1-7) In all candor, Paul — and I mean no insult here — you might as well as accuse Paul of having a mixture in his writing and of using threats!

        3) You wrote, “I consider the implied suggestion that God won’t love us unless we first get ourselves sin-free to be akin to child abuse. We don’t withhold our love from our children when they sin. So why do we think we are more loving and more gracious than our heavenly Father?” But Paul, that is the OPPOSITE of what I wrote in my article, where I explicitly stated that God loves us — yes! — but He doesn’t always love what He sees. Why because our conduct does matter (as the entire NT tells us), and sometimes we, His beloved children, can grieve and disappoint Him. Does He still love us? Of course He does, and I live in that assurance 24/7. Does He love what I do? Not always — surely, you must believe that God does love it when people reject His grace in His name ,right? — and that’s where His love calls me back to obedience.

        Peter wrote these words, and I embrace every one of them and don’t feel the need to explain any of them away. I truly hope you do as well! “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1 Pet 1:14-19)

        My surmise, dear brother, is that you perceived me to a certain person and read my article in that light, but in doing so you actually misread me and thus misjudged me. So, perhaps as we read each other’s materials, should we have the time and inclination to do so, we’ll see where we agree and where we disagree more clearly.

        There’s much more to say, but this is your blog, time is precious, and I don’t want to get into a debate with you here. Should we want to communicate more, you have my email through this blog. Otherwise, I’ll leave you to have the last word but will try to read your response (should you write one) when you can.

        I wish you God’s abundant grace!

      • Thanks Michael,
        I’m impressed you’re still here and I appreciate your civility. Contrary to your surmising, you are only reinforcing my original perception that you are a decent bloke. I apologize if I said anything in the post to cast a shadow on your character. I try to be careful in terms of distinguishing people from their ideas. However, if you feel there is something in my post that is unfounded and not based on what you wrote, I’d be happy to change it. This sort of discussion should never get personal.

        I won’t respond to your points above as I’m not wearing the proper attire for a game of scriptural tennis. It’s not a particularly fun game anyway. [And for others reading this, note that I will from now on be strictly enforcing the 250 word limit on future comments. Michael gets a free pass this once because I picked holes in his article.]

        Michael, I’m pleased you’re reading my book although you are the first I’m aware of to claim it contains mixture (of all things). Usually people who don’t like it say it’s unbalanced, that I’ve left things out. (Apart from the Bible I have never read a book that didn’t leave things out.) Anyway, you’ve read my book on grace; I would love to yours, namely your forthcoming book. If you’re open to sending me a draft, my email address is here. Grace and peace to you.

      • I appreciate Dr. Brown taking the time to respond in a gracious manner. I see where there may be some misunderstanding. Paul Ellis does not advocate that our behavior doesn’t matter. He has in several articles explained how sin is still dangerous, and that our behavior does indeed matter. His point is that we do not have it within ourselves to be what we ought to be, and that it is only by God’s work within us and our belief in that work that we are empowered to live rightly. We may still stumble from time to time, but God continues to embrace us. Sons of disobedience refers to those who are in unbelief living an unregenerate life. That’s why the Apostle Paul says do not become partners with them. He refers to them as saints, and he says those immoral behaviors should not exist among saints. They do not stop being saints if they stumble, but their identity may be questioned if they persist in such behavior, which is why they need to live upright lives. Of course God (just like any good parent) doesn’t want to see His children engage in destructive behavior, but He also doesn’t turn His back on them when they stumble. The child can choose to reject what is right, but then that child was never truly engaged in the first place.

      • Paul, sorry for breaking the 250 word rule! :) My Hyper-grace book still has a ways to go before completion, but I will absolutely send you a copy of the draft ASAP. I want to accurately and fairly represent that which I (and others) have labeled “hyper-grace.” As for finding a mixture in your book — yes, I’ll be glad to write to you privately about that as soon as I finish reading it. And thanks for your graciousness towards me as an individual. I didn’t feel you judged me as a person in your response but rather you misjudged what I wrote, hence misrepresenting it. When I have a moment, I’ll look at your post more carefully and see if there’s anything to bring to your attention privately. But be assured that I am not in the least bit troubled with someone differing with me in public — it happens to me every day — and if I am to write articles like this, I fully expect the brothers and sisters I differ with to respond clearly. Again, I wish you God’s grace! (I don’t plan to respond to others here, but they connect with me via AskDrBrown at Facebook if they like.)

      • Autumn Smith says:

        Thank you for providing balance within the body of Christ. Thank you for pointing sheep to Jesus. :)

        I pray you take a minute to regard my thoughts. I have never posted like this before on the internet. Paul and Peter disagreed. Calvin and CS Lewis disagreed. In many cases there was clearly not someone who was “right,” rather instances in which men had incomplete knowledge, and a particular call within the body of Christ. To disagree and not fully understand is the reality of our human minds that still “see through a glass darkly.” I Cor. 13:12. This has been the story of Christ followers since the beginning. “…each one of you says, ‘I follow Paul,’ or ‘I follow Cephas,’ or ‘I follow Christ.’ Is Christ divided?… .” i Cor 1:12-13. In all this the Holy Spirit is the one who “leads us and guides us into all truth.:” John 16:13.

        After reading your articles and posts, I recognize that you are both godly men seeking to honor Jesus. Both right, and proclaiming within your call, but speaking from two sides of the same coin. Maybe you disagree with that statement, but I see the camps of the various divisive issues within the church as generally being impossible to truly reconcile in human terms and understanding. Predestination or free will? Once saved always saved, or can I lose my salvation? And in terms of the grace debate, do we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling? Or is it God who is at work in us, both to will and to work for his good pleasure? Phil. 2:12-13. I find that to camp on either side of this debate is problematic. Both sides can be “proved.”…

        We are called to proclaim Him and not become bogged down in meaningless divisions; we are to point to Jesus not doctrine. To debate can remove us from the particular proclamation of the Gospel we are called to. We can become distracted and less effective for the Kingdom. I am not sure where you two are on this, but felt the desire to convey this to you as your sister.

    • kookie3Ellen Jones says:

      I love opening up the discussion of grace / law / or both!? After 40 YEARS of earning my righteousness I am really FREE by God’s grace. I am giddy happy! Life hasn’t changed all that much, stuff happens but nothing can touch the joy, peace and presence of ‘all of God’ overwhelming me. I know Dr. Brown that you mean well, that you make grand high brow arguments but dear sir, your argument is spilling out of a very old and dry wineskin. You see the test is if a child can understand. Dr. Brown can your child understand your gospel?

      • What an incredibly judgmental post. Did you mean to do that? Where is the grace? We have spiritual sons and daughters thriving around the world, bearing much fruit in great joy, preaching Jesus and setting the captives free. On what basis do you call it a “very old and dry wineskin”? Wow! As for a child understanding the message I preach, of course they do. (My grandkids understand it quite well.) God loves us so much that He sent His Son to die our sins, and through Jesus, we are forgiven and free and now we love God and live for God with our all hearts. Pretty simple!

      • Dear Dr.Brown, Did i just get a response to a comment from THE DR. MICHAEL BROWN? Little ol’ me in Alpena, Michigan. Geez I’m impressed. Thank you. My reference to the old wineskin seems to have hit a nerve :). Sensitive are we :-) Well you know the reference well, Jesus talking to Pharisees and explaining the NEW covenant. Jesus loves us all and we are all covered by His love, even the present day Pharisees. This isn’t a personal word to you but it is a word to a specific message that includes “our responsibility”. Our altar of sacrifice. That message hurts people. Maybe not so much you and the thousands of wonderful people around the world that embrace love. But what about the one’s who don’t? I sat in church for years believing I was saved by grace but the rest was up to me. I got the obey message but the love of God had strings attached. I used to be intimidated by ‘men of God” who spoke down to pew sitters. I actually grew up in a loving home. It was the church that scowled at me and told me to buck up. Now I realize this is a microcosm experience certainly not applicable to everyone. But the VAST MAJORITY of women I meet in prayer groups are having major identity crisis’s. Talk about judging, they judge themselves unworthy and accept the blame for everything from their husbands wife beating to the failure of their kids to do well in school. They take on the sins of the world. They are bent over low by the weight of guilt and shame they carry. Where did they get this idea? Who instructed them to examine themselves over and over and over again? When are they free to breathe again? When does Jesus ever replace the heavy load with His light one? So a group of us share the message of grace, which of course the women can hardly believe is true for them. Still they want to believe and before long a light bulb goes on,they start asking questions. Where is there room for serious questions to be asked in church? Mostly we are lectured via a monologue, no one asks if we believe it or have a thought about it. The women begin asking real questions like: am I really TOTALLY FORGIVEN? They ask, you mean Jesus REALLY LIVES IN ME? What about my secret sins, what about the unforgivable sin, what about my old man, was Jesus really enough? My answer to them is yes, he is enough, fall back into Him. It is finished. He already settled the sin problem. When they receive grace they receive love and they begin by smiling.
        I have a wonderful, well educated family, lots of grand kids and they all know Jesus. What a blessing. I am a school teacher by trade. I love Jesus, but am more impressed with His love for me. I am extremely thankful for men like Paul Ellis and the hundreds of other young men and women who are sharing this message of grace, freedom really for the body of Christ. Catholics – Brennan Manning, Andrew Farley, Presbyterians -Steve Brown, Baptists – good ol’ Max Lucado, Charismatics – Andrew Womack, are all coming under the influence of HYPER GRACE. hahaha love the term! I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. gal. 2:21
        I thank God for you Mr. Mike, Jesus thinks you’re swell and so do I. I welcome your comments, as you can probably tell! Have a wonderful day. Grandma sue

      • Oh grandma Sue, I just have to say I loved reading your comments, such resonance from Grandma Jan

      • AntiPharisee says:

        Question to Dr. Michael Brown. You said that “We have spiritual sons and daughters thriving around the world”. So does it makes you their “Spiritual Father”?

      • Sue Ellen, your misuse of the parable of the wineskins shows a misunderstanding of the New Covenant. Dr. Brown isn’t teaching the Old Covenant; perseverance is an inseparable part of the New. “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” -was not statement made by Moses.

    • Michael Brown: Shame on you! You have no love for LGBT people. You condemn a whole section of society all because you have no clue as to God’s true nature!

      It’s people like you who make me ashamed to use the word “Christian”!

      • Tom, I don’t know MB’s views towards LGBT people but judging by your harsh words they are not uplifting views. But even if he has spoken critical and unloving words of condemnation, is shaming him going to fix things? There have been strong, condemning words flying in all directions in these past few days. Why don’t we, who profess to know grace better than others, be the first to send a different message? I admit, it’s not easy and I’ve gotten carried away myself in my silly little battles. I’m just trying to encourage you to consider other options, as you would encourage me. I know you to be a man who has been abundantly filled with the love of God. Shaming people is not your thing. Peace.

      • Michael Brown makes me ashamed to be Christian too. When, as Tom says, a whole section of humanity is condemned, without true knowledge of who they are, then the condemner is actually guilty of spreading lies.

        This is not a silly battle, Paul. Lives are at stake. Perhaps it’s not as virulent in New Zealand as it is in the US. The feeling I get is that it is not as bad there. But here, you have no idea the damage these ‘ministries’ like Brown’s have on people.

        It’s no exaggeration that lives are, and have been, at stake. Suicides, mainly. But violence also against gay people.

        Yes, shameful, for a man of God to perpetrate this bilge.

      • I did not mean to imply it was a silly battle. I meant I have had a few battles this past weekend and some of those battles were silly. My apologies to Tom if it came across differently. I do understand the awful treatment dished out to the LGBT community by some in the church. There is no question that those who shame or inflict violence on any group are far from God’s love and grace.

        You know I don’t condone homosexuality, but I love my gay brothers and lesbian sisters and I will defend them against those who seek their harm. And yes, I understand lives are at stake and that this is a huge issue in America. In fact, I actually thought I was helping with my earlier comment. Maybe I am naive but I don’t see how an eye-for-an-eye shaming approach can solve anything.

        That said, this should not be construed as an invitation to educate Paul or attack Michael Brown. This is not the time or place so I trust all reading this will respect my decision not to publish further comments on this thread on the subject of MB’s views towards the LGBT community. His views or our responses are not going to be the subject of debate on E2R.

      • Hey Sue Ellen, in my response to where did the women get the idea from in the way they view themselves unworthy, unfit or un whatever, it comes from the world who still sees women as lesser and more from the church. Listen to any man that preaches about relationships, probably over 89% puts the whole responsiblitiy on women to hold the family together and for sins to leave their home. So female beleivers who are not that versed in the WORD, will take it as gospel but trust me honey, that is not gospel, some is even from the pit of hell. Making women responsible for the whole earth ills is OUT OF ORDER. Christ, is our redemption and it is that “all together lovley Saviour that should be put in the centre of the marriage as head. But we must pray for these preachers, those they annoy me like hell cuz people listen to them and Christ still loves them but they are doing female Believers a great disservice and they are obviously afraid so they become control crazy. Its up to women to not tolerate such preaching and go by what Christ says and not man, AMEN!!!

  11. I remember those ‘hyper-holiness’ days. Dr. Brown came to the church we were going to and helped drive it even more towards ‘work-work-work-work for God’. It took me several years to get free from that religious junk, crying out for God to make me holy. It was a relief to find out that he already did! :)

    • (not dogging on him exclusively; we had other leaders who helped make things worse. I was quite literally going crazy for years. Glad to be free now!)

      • I’m so sorry to hear that, Stephen. Obviously, what was missing was the Jesus-encounter for you (and I’m not faulting you in any way). The goal of our meetings was for God’s people to turn to Him afresh, and out of that encounter with Jesus, they, like Paul, would want to run their races to the full, giving their lives for the gospel and souls — with great joy. Again, I’m truly sorry that wasn’t your experience, but it was the experience for multiplied millions touched through the powerful wave of revival that we enjoyed at that time.

  12. Paul, I completely agree with your perspective and believe that you are in harmony with the Word and represent it accurately. The analogy you use about parenting is what helps me with this topic every time. It is what God used to draw me to Himself when I was playing the prodigal. The example of my own parents continuing to love and encourage me when I was not deserving of their love is what turned the light bulb on. I was reading a book called Bondage Breaker by Neal Anderson, and he made a similar comparison. I began laughing and crying at the same time because the Holy Spirit gave me a quick nudge in the gut and spoke to my heart, “If your parents are that way, how much more am I that way? You simply have to believe and receive.” It has been a journey to be sure, one with pitfalls even since then, but He keeps drawing me closer to Him and continues to work out the reality of who He has made me to be. 2 Corinthians 7:1 does not mean that “we” purify ourselves. Believe me, I tried that route, and I failed miserably time and again. It means that through our reception of the promises (right believing, aka by faith), we will be purified through the finished work of the cross, and it is a process of God being outside of time, working inside of time to bring us into alignment with that which He has already arranged and is being faithful to complete.

  13. I get concerned when fellow believers compartmentalize the true Gospel (grace) as a “movement”, or a “camp”, or a “message”. The Gospel is the grace of our Lord and Saviour. There is no other Gospel.

  14. I love what you do and I agree with what you say here. However, it has stirred me to question whether we should make one concession concerning our behavior. The child of law, although still a son, was cast from the house of blessing that the child of grace (Isaac) enjoyed. The main behavior that we see being “rebuked” in the New Testament is – adding to the completed work of Jesus. Should a point be made that our behavior in that regard is important? Thank you.

    Blessings!

    • Charles Indonesia says:

      I thought the one that casted away was son of flesh (it was Sarah’s will to have a son thru her servant), when Isaac is son of covenant, the God’s promise. IMO.

  15. This is another excellent article written by Dr. Paul Ellis! The apostle Paul talked about “the immeasurable riches of (God’s) grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7 ESV). It’s so good to have a growing revelation of God’s grace towards us in Christ Jesus! Thank you, Paul Ellis.

  16. Thank you – Paul and Brown. What matter most for God’s child now beside Faith in Jesus is LOVE and I am glad to see that in both your lives.

  17. the struggle is no longer sin or with sin. but to make sure “we do not work for what God has finished already”
    even those who are under grace cannot but say “yes we are righteous, and therefore we will do righteous work”. there is always this propensity to “make sure to hate evil” and to “make sure to do good”. both are work.

    but the gospel states that God justifies the ungodly apart from works. period. :) good points Paul!

  18. I wonder if some of the problem of (mis)understanding the grace teachings comes from, well, not having hard sins to ‘purify’ ones self from. Seemingly minor things like being too sharp with your spouse or finding yourself chasing material things a little too often. It isn’t too hard to think that by good character, perseverance and toughing it out that you can win, get right and look good for God. I call it prettying yourself up for God. Some of us who died under the clean-up-your-act teachings had big scary sins to battle that would not go down no matter how hard we tried, prayed or wanted not to. Ever felt like God was looking down at you for being so dirty and naughty and then staying away from Him because your filth was just too awful to bring into His presence? Yet all the while not having one ounce of strength within yourself to stop that soul staining sin.
    Hebrews 9:24-26 & 10:10 &14 were life savers for me. not only was all of my sin covered in the heavenly temple one time, Jesus blood also sanctified me one time forever. Colossians 2:14 says that everything that made me guilty before the law was erased at the cross with His blood.
    Can I explain everything? Do I even have an perfect answer to every detraction? No! But my life has never been the same since. That sin that defeated me far more often than I defeated it dropped on it’s own in combination with whispers from the Holy Spirit in my ear. does it still show up sometimes? yes but weaker and much easier to evict than before.
    My Father has brought me into His house and now lives within me. The perfect, pure, holy God does not live in filthy temples. It is impossible. East from West, won’t remember, self righteousness as filthy rags, no condemnation because we are Christ’s.

  19. Please explain apostasy as in Heb.6 “It is impossible for those ..” and Heb.10 “They trample underfoot the blood..”

  20. I’ve been reading Dr Brown’s materials since i had a run-in with Rabbi Tovia Singer more than a decade ago on my university campus in Texas – I very much appreciate Dr Brown because his material helped to see me through a very dark time when i was questioning the fundamentals of my beliefs – fundamentals that were really weak because I had taken a lot of them for granted while growing up in a christian family. I have a lot of respect for Dr Brown for clearing a lot of that up.

    I’ve started reading this blog since last year, when i was looking for information on Joseph Prince – I live in Singapore – and I was very blessed by Dr Ellis’ own exhortations and concise way of explaining the Good News. They helped me to answer some of the questions that I had been struggling with after attending Joseph Prince’s church, and also i found that his way of structuring his explanation via a text-only medium to be very elegant – its not an easy thing to do especially on subjects that can be seen as ‘radical’.

    Personally, i feel that a ‘debate’ (or discussion) over the internet has the potential to lead to misunderstandings due to the lack of non-verbal cues like tone of voice or body language. I’ve been in a number of online ‘discussions’ and seen first-hand what happens. I’m especially concerned because Dr Brown and Dr Ellis are two individuals whose work have greatly influenced me and blessed me time and time again.

    Having said that, if you two ever have a pow-wow and come to a harmonious conclusion – I’d love to hear about it!

    • Samuel, you are right about online debates. They usually degenerate into something ugly. Even among friends there is often a downward spiral. There’s actually research that has been done to show the inevitability of this. I think it’s based on something called reduced social cues theory or something.

      The best way to have these discussions is face to face, in a cosy cafe with a glass or cup of something tasty nearby. And pie.

      • I actually am also of the opinion that critiquing someone’s theology based on a book that he published a few years ago tends to run into similar issues as well.

        A published book is not the sum of someone’s theology, nor is it a complete reflection of what he may believe – it is merely a medium with which to convey a particular idea (or set of ideas) and as such has limitations inherent. I’ve seen Christians (some rather well-known) call the character of authors into question because of what they published years ago without even hearing the author personally.

        You can’t know someone based on a book they published, and some even have influences from editors etc due to the publishing process.

      • If you’re looking for an example of an editor changing the meaning of an author’s words, I can think of no better example than my beloved NIV! Take Colossians for instance. At the end of chapter 1 Paul explains the utter uselessness of prescribing rules for holy living. So what did the NIV editors write at the top of chapter 2? “Rules for holy living”! I kid you not. Get an NIV and see for yourself. Paul must be spinning in his grave.

  21. Good word Paul… the message that destroys….is the message that promotes our efforts to holiness …. the message that sets us free…. His unconditional love for all..

    • Michael Cobb says:

      Bad word, Paul. The New Testament is full of rules/commands for holy living. Under the NIV heading of which you speak, the apostle tells the church to set their minds on things above, put to death whatever belongs to the earthly nature, put away malice, slander, etc.

      What are these–rules for UNHOLY living?

      • No, my point is they exhortations, rather than rules or regulations. The many exhortations of the New Testament are often interpreted as laws by the law-minded.

      • Setting your mind on things above and putting to death things of the earthly nature does not come by YOUR self-effort. The way that you do those things is by agreeing with God and receiving what He already did on your behalf. Any effort on your part is redundant and insufficient. Setting your mind on things above means you receive Jesus efforts on your behalf. He put to death your earthly nature at the cross, and your new nature came through His resurrection. The Word says exactly that, we have been crucified with Christ, not I but Christ lives in me. It is only through embracing this that you will find freedom. Surely you would not claim that you have ceased from committing any sinful act ever again? If you do indeed admit you still screw up, surely you wouldn’t claim that you’re only accepted so long as you have recently confessed your latest sinful behavior? Every time I got in trouble with my parents, my relationship with them was not severed until I made it right with them. However, yes there was damage done, both to them and to me, but the relationship grew through that and is stronger now because it didn’t break from the damage done.

      • “Love one another” is a New Testament commandment, not a suggestion.

  22. Great article Paul! Written with a kind spirit and some loving teeth! Something tells me Dr. Brown is going to regret writing his book “Hyper-Grace” one day! Perhaps you should write one called “Hypo-Grace”? Grace that’s not quite grace!

    • Bless you, Ryan! I appreciate your concern but I do what I do and write what I write out of a profound, passionate love for God and out of the overflow of that love for His people. Perhaps one day you’ll regret your comment here! (Just being playful with you here.) I’ve enjoyed God’s grace for 41 years since the Lord saved me as a heroin-shooting teenager in 1971, and it is because I love His grace so much I’m jealous for its purity.

      • Ha ha. That’s great Dr Brown. I believe that you are a good man. I don’t blame you for being concerned about some of the fruit coming out of the “hyper-grace” camp. I would put myself in that camp but I do see some troubling things myself that don’t represent true grace. It’s unfortunate though if we all get painted with the same brush. Can I ask you be fair in your book to those who are preaching “hyper-grace” and seeing amazing fruitfulness in their ministries, churches and friends lives. We are also very passionate and sincere and jealous over the Gospel’s purity. I’m a “hyper-grace” person and in that I hate sin, believe it’s destructive and distracting and believe true grace enables us to overcome. I believe in the local church and God’s divine order and purpose for the Church. I believe that there’s a grace revolution taking place that truly honors the local church and leaders and unfortunately at the same time a grace rebellion taking place that dishonors local church, divine order and misrepresents true grace. Every revolution has a fringe fanatic.

        But please know there are a lot of amazing pastors and people out there who are not rebels, who dearly love Jesus, who hate sin, who want to see the nations discipled and all flowing from what you call “hyper-grace”. Please don’t put us in the same category as the rebels. I’ve written a book you may hate called Extra Virgin Grace. But I hope it gives you an honoring perspective on what some of us “hyper grace” people believe.

        I’m about to release another book called “After the Revolution” that addresses some of the unhelpful cultures developing within grace camps and what must happen after a revolution in order to see the church build on the foundation of grace and move into administrational theology rather than just camp around foundational theology. I’d be happy to send it to you to get your perspective but I think you’ll like it, especially coming from a “Hyper-gracer”. Much love and grace.

        PS I know Paul Ellis personally and he is a man of great honor, love, passion for Jesus, purity, divine order, integrity and character. His hyper grace belief hasn’t made him a threat, it’s made him an amazing blessing to the body of Christ.

      • Ryan makes a point that I wish to echo, for the benefit of those outside looking in. This might not be obvious to others but we who preach grace hate sin and its consequences just as much as you do. We have all witnessed the devastation sin brings to marriages and families. It’s just that we don’t feel the cure to sinning is to tell people to just “Stop it!” The old covenant shows the utter futility of that approach.

        Here’s an analogy. God hates divorce yet he says little about it. Instead he talks about the blessings of fellowship and intimacy. Divorce is clearly hurtful. (I’m not attacking divorced people. God loves you and so do I!) If you fear divorce in your marriage, the worst thing you can do is badger your spouse about the evils of divorce and give him or her rules forbidding divorce. Your rules will inflame the very thing you hope to avoid. How much better to simply love your spouse?

        That’s how God is with us. He hates sin but his response is not to badger us with threats but to shower us with love. People who’ve seen Jesus – who have been apprehended by his amazing love – don’t want to sin. It’s the furthest thing on their mind. And when they do sin they don’t run and hide behind a mask, they are actually more transparent than those who preach confess-to-be-forgiven. The issue here is not “those guys don’t treat sin seriously enough.” But how can we help people grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus (2 Pet 3:18)? I may not have all the answers but one thing I’m sure of – preaching law won’t help you grow in grace!

      • ROMANS 7

  23. Michael Brown visited my church too and I was blessed by what he shared. I have read a couple of his books and listened to his awesome series on Divine Healing. I know Michael Brown has a heart to see Christians walk in truth and love. When it comes to understanding grace, I think he gets it wrong and teaches a mixture (that is what is really dangerous). I love that both Paul and Michael are so gracious in their responses and are open to dialogue. I hope the Michael Brown will take time to read some of Paul’s writings. In his video on Hyper-grace, he quotes some “grace people” that give weak and uninformed answers to his questions. He will find solid biblical answers on this site. Let’s pray that this dialogue would bless both of them and cause greater unity!

    • Greg, thanks for the kind words, and yes, I’m reading Paul’s new Ten Words book as well as all the grace books I can get my hands on. (If you have to read my chapters on Grace and on the dangers of legalism in my Go and Sin No More book, you might be surprised.) I read these books and ask God to teach me what I need to learn from these brothers and show me any blind spots I have re: His grace (He is my witness), and the more I read, the more I say, “Amen! That’s wonderful! That’s why this helps so many people!”, and then I read something else and say, “Oh no! Very wrong! A dangerous mixture! That’s why this is hurting so many people.”

      And please remember that the reason I’m not “naming names” is because I’m jealous for unity in the midst of our differences. God bless!

      • Dr Brown, I’ve been reading your stuff since close to 15 years ago? (I think). I very much appreciate you being so faithful in your ministry, and its very encouraging to know that even after so many years, you still maintain a humble spirit and are so willing to re-examine any possible ‘blind-spots’.

        by the way – when I clicked on your name, i got linked to a site titled ‘ICN Coupons’ – is that intended?

      • Samuel — not sure what happened! My website is http://www.askdrbrown.org. Thanks for the kind words!

    • very good idea, I’ll keep praying for both men.

  24. Excellent post! I couldn’t wait to get home to share it!!!

  25. When it comes to “sin” I remember hearing this mentioned before and as a matter of fact the daily teaching today from Joseph Prince mentioned it again. The term “sin” used in the New Testament is used so much more as a noun and not as a verb. I can’t remember which specific chapter where the term “sin” was used like 28 times as a noun and only 2 times as a verb.
    Reading the term “sin” as a noun rather than a verb can make a whole difference in ones understanding. There is an entirely different meaning to “sin nature” vs committing sin.

    • I think there may be some difference between the terms Sin, Transgression and Iniquity – which tend to be mentioned separately, giving some indication that they don’t really mean the same thing.

      Unfortunately I don’t have the Hebrew/Greek-fu to know much of the difference, though i wish someone more learned could explain it. I have a feeling that the English doesn’t translate it very well, even between the OT and NT.

  26. Paul, love your writing and teaching! Dr. Michael Brown should prayfully read Acts 5:38-39 before he publishes his book where he claims he will “call out” by name the “Hyper-Grace” teachers. Pride goes before a fall. Keep up the go

    • James, could there be presumption in your post? Careful, dear brother! :) Also, it’s because I see some terrible fruit coming from the hyper-grace teaching that I’m writing the book — and the Lord laid it on my heart to write. But it will be a life-giving, grace-exalting, fair book. You should welcome it rather than issue a baseless warning.

      • Dr. Brown, you have a legitimate concern that some misuse the gospel of grace as an excuse to continue in sin. However, our response to that should not be to back off of grace or water in down. The Bible assures us that if we are under grace, sin will not have dominion over us (Rom 6:14). Therefore, using grace as an excuse to sin indicates a misunderstanding of grace. The cure to reign over sin is an abundance of grace (Rom 5:17). Do you believe, Sir, that your deliverance was by your own efforts? Those who need deliverance (all of us) need an abundance of grace. :)

  27. Keep up the good work Paul. God is with you. Grace and peace be multiplied to you and your family through Jesus our Lord!

  28. Judy Davis says:

    I don’t have time to read all the previous responses so I may be redundant here, but it seems to me the issue here of which Dr. Brown is talking about, is Paul’s warning to the church not to use grace as a license to sin.

  29. Please read: Philippians 2:12-13; Romans 6:1-2,12-19; Hebrews 12:14-17; 1st Corinthians 9:24-27

    Grace is not a ‘license’ to sin. 1st John tells us that those who continue to ‘practice’ sin have neither seen God, nor known Him. We are saved by the Grace of God, combined with our faith. Paul likens the Christian walk to a ‘race’. We have OUR part to play in working out our salvation to overcome and obtain the heavenly prize. Those who deliberately ‘ignore’ the part we play in working out our own salvation are simply not preaching the WHOLE counsel of the word of God, but are, I believe, teaching a ‘soft’ gospel that encourages those who are weak to continue sinning, believing the Grace of God covers their continued sins. They are serving up a continue platter of ‘dessert goodies’ but not providing the peas, carrots, and meat and potatoes of the Gospel.

    Respectfully,

    Andy Metz

    • Andy, it’s a race that begins at the finish line. It is a mistake to read the many exhortations of the New Testament and conclude from them that Jesus’ saving work is in some way insufficient. Hebrews calls it a perfect work. Add anything to perfection and you ruin it. The “whole counsel of God” comes up a lot but it’s just another way of saying “do everything in the Bible” or “try and live under both the old and new covenants.” Do that and you’ll end up lukewarm, with the benefits of neither law nor grace.

      The gospel of grace is not a soft gospel. It is the only gospel. No other gospel empowers men and women to stop sinning. Those who preach works such as turn from sin or confession and self-purification may appear to have success in terms of getting weepy Christians responding to altar calls, but trust me, all that message does is drive sin underground. Read the hundreds of testimonies scattered around this website and you will find again and again the same theme: “I wasn’t free from sin until I encountered God’s radical grace.”

      There is no Plan B.

      • Paul,

        From where do you import the notion that the race “begins at the finish line”? That’s not even hinted at, and is completely foreign to scripture.

        “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us….” (Heb 12:1)

        I’ve run a few races in my lifetime, and can tell you quite confidently that any “race” that doesn’t actually require running likewise doesn’t require endurance.

      • I got it out of a special book we grace-preachers have called Extra-Biblical Heresies to Confuse the Saints. I’m not supposed to tell people about it.

        Are you serious? Here’s a hint: what were the last words of Jesus on the cross?

        There are 2 groups of people on this thread. Those who agree “it is finished” and those who say, “No, it’s not finished Jesus. You’re wrong. And so are you Peter, Paul, James, Jude and John. The work of saving and sanctifying me continues on! Jesus got us started – thank God for that – but he is not the Finisher at all. Jesus was wrong about that and many other things. Jesus needs my help.”

      • I am a little confused. I am pro-grace. It was J. Prince’s teachings that liberated me from being under the law. However, I still think confession has it’s part.

        I will give you an example. I had a massive disagreement with my teenage daughter. We were so angry at each other. But it wasn’t until I confessed to her what I was going through at the time and that my actions were wrong toward her, did we reconcile. Only then, was she able to open up to me and share with me what was going on in her heart at the time. So I would think, this also applies to our relationship with God.

        Confession wipes the slate clean and brings out what is going on under the surface. As in 1 John 1:9 Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed.

        Can you give my your take on this? I am a first time poster.

      • Actually that scripture is in James. As I say in the post above, confession can be a healthy thing – as you have experienced. When we bring issues into the light, we set ourselves up for relational healing and that is the heart of what James is getting at. My problem with confession is when it is done with the mindset that “God won’t forgive me unless I list my sins and feel remorseful about them.” That is a grace-killing lie straight out of the old covenant. The Bible declares we were forgiven on account of Jesus. We don’t confess to get forgiven, but because we are forgiven. Indeed, that is literally what confession means – it means to agree with what God says is true.

        Thanks for your comment Renai!

      • just to add and ask if you agree,if we hold back forgiveness the enemy can have a field day,and he has to much room to move already. —–mattew 18 on forgiveness, Paul your opinion?

    • Andy, I don’t think you are familiar with Paul Ellis position on this subject. I have been reading his stuff for years, and he never advocates grace as a license to sin or says in any way shape or form that it is okay to continue in sinful behavior. He in fact advocates a need for right living, but he simply says we are powerless in ourselves to do that. We have to agree with God about what He has done for us and receive that gift, and identify ourselves with it. Only then will our lives begin to reflect the finished work of the cross.

  30. Dr. Brown maybe they dont see what you see. Dont feed kids with adults food. They need grow up in faith first. God bless you.

  31. I have read and studied for days Dr. Browns article “Hyper Grace” also this article by Dr. Paul Ellis. To get to the root of all the controversy I am seeing its over “inputed righteousness” vs “non imputed righteousness.”

    In other words when we are saved God imputed Christ righteousness to us and He sees Christ in us. Vs. non imputed righteousness which in this belief I am cleansed by the blood of Jesus but God does not impute Christ righteousness to me. Therefore when God sees me He does not see His Son. He sees me as righteous but not the righteousness of Christ. Both these views will cause a vast difference on the way scripture is interpreted.

    What do you think Dr. Brown & Dr. Ellis do you agree with this? Also anybody else want to comment on this?

  32. I have to say I agree with Michael Brown, not the writer of this article. The two types of REPENTANCE (Old Testament vs New Testament) is never once supported my the original text in any form or fashion, whether Hebrew or Greek. Thus…the belief in such a doctrine already creates a false truth on which the straw man is built. Jesus addressed this head on, saying “If you love me, keep my commandments.” This article and those who believe this doctrine as presented switch the debate. As Brown..and I…state…we are ONLY saved by GRACE. But OBEDIENCE is what must be present AFTER salvation, not FOR salvation. Based on this definition of GRACE as presented by this writer, we could actually take every other aspect out of salvation. What do I mean? The Bible says “If we CONFESS our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” But…by the standard of this article, we can even negate the need for CONFESSION…because this writer says there can be NOTHING added to grace. Yet…as I just quoted the Word of God, the Bible says CONFESSION must happen in order to RECEIVE forgiveness. Yes…I am seeing what Michael Brown sees: Hyper-Grace.

    • Ron, evidently you didn’t read the linked posts on repentance. No matter, here’s the short version:

      – “Repent, then, and turn to God” (Acts 3:19)
      – “I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.” (Acts 20:21)
      – “I preached that they should repent and turn to God” (Acts 26:20)

      I am sure you are already familiar with the many old covenant exhortations to turn from sin. But do you know how many times the phrase “repent and turn to God” appears before the cross? Zero. So, yes, turning to God in repentance is very much a new covenant idea. You don’t need to read Hebrew or Greek to see it. English will do.

      BTW, it’s not Old Testament vs New Testament but old covenant vs new covenant. There is a difference.

      I mean no disrespect, but your message of maintaining salvation through religious works – whether turning from sins or confessing them – insults the spirit of grace and tramples underfoot the blood that sanctifies you. It is exactly this sort of preaching that has put the church under bondage and condemnation. It is exactly this sort of preaching that, perversely, inflames sin (Rms 7:8).

      You are adept at quoting the written word, but it’s all just lifeless words unless you filter what you read through the Living Word. Jesus is the best translation of the Bible. Don’t read your Bible to find instructions for living. Read it to see Jesus.

      I have written elsewhere on 1 John 1:9.

      • If i turn TO God…then I could not have been facing Him. And no matter the symantics, that means I was facing SOMETHING. If I turn TO one thing, then I am turning AWAY from whatever I was previously facing. There are no word games here…and we all know this is a reality. Let’s say I am facing my front door. If I turn TO my back door, I must turn AWAY from my FRONT door. Again…you cannot change reality (truth) with word play which may deceive some, but is seen for what it is here. Any thought that the Christian walk does not involve CONFESSION and REPENTANCE (both dealing with sin, as we admit our sin, turning AWAY from sin and turning TO Christ) and OBEDIENCE is simply false doctrine. I have provided references earlier. Here is the truth: Jesus is called the BRIDEGROOM and we..the Church…are called the Bride. And there IS an expectation of FAITHFULNESS in a marriage…or ADULTERY is the sinful outcome. An disobedient Bride (unfaithful) is a HARLOT Church.

      • Sheesh Ron, I’d hate to be your wife. Is she perfect? Is she sinless? Do you give her the harlot speech every time she makes a mistake? Do you demand she confess and repent for everything she does wrong? If you do, you’re a husband just like the law – demanding and condemning (Romans 7). If you don’t, then you’re implying that you are a better husband than Jesus is.

      • Further, you have misrepresented Scripture as you say that in the NT shows only a TURNING TO God, etc. Since you desire no long Scripture quoting (odd…the Word of God is the authority here) I will note one: 1 Thess 1:9 “For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God FROM IDOLS (emphasis added) to serve the living and true God.” NKJV Paul notes both turning TO GOD and FROM SIN. I have found MANY similar passages in the Old AND New Testaments…in the Old AND New Covenants. You may be sincere…but your statement was sincerely WRONG when you made that claim (OT only said it was ONLY the OT that said “turn from sin” and that the NT ONLY says “turn to God.” That is simply NOT true. And 1 Thess 1:9 is but ONE passage of proof. I pray you will let this post and proof remain. God bless.

      • Ron, as I said in the post above, whenever you turn to God you inevitably turn from your old ways. 1 Thes 1:9 says exactly that. There aren’t two turnings – do that and you’ll end up facing the way you started!

      • You are a phony, Paul. You prove it every time you delete certain comments. We do not have here a difference of opinion here…we have a wolf protecting his sheep costume. You may hide it from the rest, but I see through the facade.

      • I routinely delete any comment written in disregard of E2R’s comment policy. I suppose it’s your first-amendment right to play the devil and accuse and call me names, but if you think that glorifies God, well, that’s your call. Personally I think it shows just how far you are from God’s love and grace. And since your sort of support is an embarrassment to Dr. Brown’s position, I suspect he would rather you didn’t speak either.

        For the benefit of those who have not read the comment policy, long comments (250+ words), as well as comments that make personal attacks, cut and paste scripture, or generally have nothing to do with the post being discussed, are deleted unread.

  33. I can’t wait to read the book Michael! I don’t understand how someone can think that we can do whatever we want too and be great with God. We can lie, cheat, and steal unrepentantly and call ourselves Christians? It has nothing to do with working for grace. It has everything to do with living righteously like the Bible tells us over and over. Thank you Michael for always teaching with compassion and love.

    • For 2000 years people who don’t get grace have assumed grace is a license to sin. Matthew, you are merely the latest of many generations of such people. If you are trusting in your own resolve to avoid sin, and if you think that your fleshly success impresses God in any way, you are terribly misguided.

      Sin has a power no flesh can resist. As soon as you think you are being successful in one area, BAM! you’ll get hit with pride in another. Why do you think there are laws in the Bible? They are not there to help you overcome sin but to help sin overcome you (Rom 7:8). The sooner you give up, the sooner you’ll realize your need for God’s supernatural grace. His grace is the ONLY thing that can empower us to say no to sin (1 Tim 2:12).

      • Ronald Pacatang says:

        Brother Paul, can i post these quotes of your’s here on my facebook’s wall…so blessed with this and i cant resist to share it. thanks! Grace abound

      • Share away, Ronald. The good news is for sharing.

      • Hi Paul! I believe I understand Grace in the fullest meaning. I trust in God to avoid sin not my own resolve. When I have impure thoughts, or get tempted I pray and God takes those things from me. I then feel empowered by his spirit. I ask for forgiveness and then turn from my sins. I believe Christ did a finished, perfect work for me on the cross. I do not think I am impressing God at all, just being obedient to his word. You say Sin has a power no flesh can resist but Jesus came in the flesh and did just that. I’m not comparing any of us to Jesus. The sin in my life is gets put out like a flame every time I call on God. I do agree with the last part of your post! God’s Grace does empower me to say no to sin.

      • Matthew, you have hit on the secret to successful living – trusting God! Yes, Jesus is the only one of us who resisted sin 100%. When I mentioned flesh, I was referring to yours and mine. When we walk after our flesh, even when we succeed we fail. But when we walk in the spirit, by which I mean lean on God, we can’t go wrong.

  34. Michael Cobb says:

    Probably, the most glaring biblical problem with the author’s thinking is one that Michael brought up in his article: The Lord’s Prayer contains a petition for forgiveness. If we are forgiven without asking, why did Jesus tell us to ask?

    Some in the hyper-grace camp think of the prayer Jesus taught as being an Old Covenant one, but it is included in gospels that were written decades after the fact. (Why include it if it has been obsolete for so long?) It is one of the commands of Jesus that we are to obey and to pass on to others (Matthew 28:20), and that is why the gospel writers recorded it.

    • So you’re saying, Michael, that God doesn’t live by his own laws. He expects us to forgive first, but he won’t forgive first?! So by your understanding, God is a law-breaker. I have written on the Lord’s prayer here. If that post doesn’t clarify things, this picture should help. You may also want to check out my posts on the commands of Jesus.

      • Paul, by your logic, God would be breaking His law by not forgiving people who don’t believe.

      • Precisely.

      • I thought you said on this thread that you weren’t teaching universal salvation. But if God forgives those who reject Christ through unbelief, then how is that no universalism?

      • Rejection of grace (i.e., Jesus) is the one thing that cannot be forgiven because grace is the only thing that saves.

      • Maybe you’re not following my train of thought here: You stated, “He expects us to forgive first, but he won’t forgive first?! So by your understanding, God is a law-breaker.”

        I’m saying that by that logic, God not forgiving people who don’t believe (i.e. refuse to believe in Christ at all, reject grace, etc) would make God a lawbreaker. Is that a little clearer?

      • Now I understand what you are saying. You’re trying to hoist me on my own petard. The problem with this is that when Jesus preach law-based forgiveness, he was preaching a real law. You actually have to do it if you choose to trust in your law-keeping performance. I mocked your preference for law over grace because those who make this choice have to accept that God does not follow this law. Why do I say this? Because he loved us while we were sinners and he dealt with all our sins at the cross before we had forgiven anyone.

        So if you choose to follow this law – which I don’t; I choose to live under grace – you automatically get swallowed up in a vortex of self-contradictory logic. Namely, you are trusting that God will honor a law he himself does not keep. Jesus, who is known as Grace, is greater than the law and brilliantly preached the law in such a way to frustrate those who would attempt to live by it.

      • 1. Jesus never taught law-based forgiveness, His teachings are all still valid.
        2. I live under grace, not the law, and would appreciate your not making false insinuations to the contrary. If you wish to maintain your accusation, then it’s upon you to explain why I oppose the Hebrew roots movement’s claims that Christians are to keep Mosaic law.
        3. Your mocking is rather nonsensical: while no man apart from Christ is perfect, God is perfectly Holy and does abide by His own law (even though His position therein is different). So far you’ve asserted that God doesn’t keep it, but have tendered no clear or logical explanation as to what exactly He’s breaking.
        4. God did deal with our sins at the cross in a provisional sense, but we were not individually forgiven until we believed.
        5. Scripturally, where do you see Jesus identified with grace?

      • 1. (a) Mt 6:14-15 is a law. As people often remind me, the commands of Jesus are not suggestions. (b) Yes, indeed. If you choose to live under law, make sure it’s the law Jesus preached and not some watered-down churchified version that tolerates less than 100% sinless perfection. If you choose to live by the law, you are obligated to live by all of it.
        2. I made no insinuation. I said “If you choose to live under law…” I don’t anything about your choices although I surmise from your defense of the law that you are a fan.
        3. Read what I wrote again then.
        4. You say provisional; Hebrews says “once for all.” I’ll go with Hebrews. There is no such thing as partial forgiveness. The gospel is true whether you believe it or not. Of course, you won’t personally benefit from it unless you believe it, but God does not need your permission to forgive you.
        5. Really? How about John 1:17 and Tit 2:11 for starters.

    • If Jesus’teachings are all still valid and applicable, why do so many believers still have both hands and eyes?

  35. The question is NEVER Christ’s love for us…it is our love for Christ. Jesus loves EVERYONE who has ever lived. That includes Pontius Pilate, Judas, Hitler, me, you…every sinner and saint! That is why Jesus said “If you love me….” Jesus Himself was denoting that it is NOT those He loves who have eternal life in Him…because He loves EVERYONE. So…He places the emphasis on those who love Him in return…and then says that it is those who OBEY Him who TRULY love Him. Again…”If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

    • I assure you, Ron, no one here is preaching universal salvation. Michael’s original article pertained to Christians. (Sinners generally aren’t so concerned about sin.) Same with my response. And yes, it really is all about his love for us. It was his love for us that took him to the cross, not our love for him.

      Paul never prayed that the Ephesians would love more and love harder but that they would know his love which passes understanding. Evidently they didn’t get the message which is why Jesus subsequently rebuked them for leaving their first love. I’m sure they got the message that time!

  36. Marianne Badenhorst says:

    Good one Paul! Thanks a lot!

  37. This discussion sounds a lot like the tired old debate about the differences between justification and sanctification…

  38. Christopher says:

    I think it is a very healthy discussion here, between Dr Brown and Paul. Dr Brown reminds me of my dad with his concerns about hyper-grace, but we do have a problem with people who use the grace gospel as a license to live in sin – we call them libertines, but for most of us, we die daily that Christ may have the preeminence over our lives and living in His grace means that we don’t become concious of our sins anymore because He has cleansed us. I think Dr Brown’s concern is not new. Romans 6:1,2 shows us that Paul the apostle was challenged in the same way and he gave a very good answer. We have died to sin.
    I have been a Christian for some 26 years and I have a ‘before’ and ‘after’ view of my life, and the ‘before’ wasn’t pretty. Being consciously aware of my sins and repenting and confessing my sins everyday left me stumped and an ineffective Christian. I sinned more in that lifestyle and shied away from God more than I embraced him. Living life under law also sin
    The so called hyper-grace changed my life. The fruit of the Spirit is evident in my life and I know that I am on the right path. Now I serve the Lord with more fervour and passion.

    I believe, since Dr Brown is writing a book on hyper-grace, that it is not by mistake that Paul and Dr Brown made contact here, as we see above, so that Dr Brown may write a balanced book. His book should be appropriately aimed at libertines.

  39. James Aldridge says:

    Wonderful dialogue. I am reminded of the children of Israel who were in bondage to slavery, unable to save themselves. God sends a deliverer, who called the people to place their faith in the blood of the lamb for salvation, and were given a law. In much the same way, we were in bondage to sin, God sent his Son to deliver us through faith in his blood and we were given the Law of Christ to follow as New Covenant believers. :)

  40. I agree with everything that you say in this article about grace Paul and yet I see the need for Michael Brown and others who preach on sin. As much as I like Joseph Prince, he is certainly not the only man of God out there preaching what God is saying to them. God simply says different things to different people for different reasons. Let us be careful that we are not condemning other servants of God who have a different purpose. I see two well meaning brothers both pointing the finger at one another and saying, “Your ministry is dangerous!” and I think you are both possibly wrong in that aspect.

    • Looks like we have ourselves a Mexican stand-off. Better put those fingers down before someone gets hurt.

      If they ever make a movie of this, I hope Tarantino directs. And I hope Michael Brown is played by Steve Buscemi! Haha!

      • Man, after all that work I wished I would have copied what I wrote so I could at least paste it in smaller segments, lol. You erased all the important stuff where I actually addressed your question.

      • Yeah, cutting and pasting long quotes into segments won’t get you paste the censors either. If you have a lot to say, I sincerely suggest you write a blog. Sorry if this offends, but long term E2R readers have made it clear to me what they like and don’t like on these threads and long comments they no likey.

      • I obviously said that wrong. I meant at different times in response to different posts, not pasting three or for 250 word segments together. You obviously have a lot to read and I should have kept it at the word limit to begin with. But your subject and question and the fact that you are posting long dialogues with Brown beckon longer responses from people than little sound bites. Why not paste what I said about the benefit of the schoolmaster? I love all I have seen of your writing so far. Do you address this anywhere or do you see it simply as obsolete?
        If I go through and count the words of the other comments it seems evident that you are picking and choosing what you want to post rather than following any strict guideline.

      • Yes, that’s a good idea to respond to individual posts as relevant. Sorry, I deleted those chopped paragraphs. I gave Michael license to break the word limit rule because, well you know, I picked on his article. It seemed the decent thing to give him a chance to respond.

      • HAHA!! Could you imagine Tarantino doing a movie about the old and new covenants and the war that would ensue over the centuries! LOL!

  41. Its great to see some of the best of brothers in Christ, our Lord Jesus must be enjoying the thoughts passing through our hearts with zeal for God, striving for pure knowledge. I believe that Holy Spirit is our teacher and preacher, as we come across any message as the only message he wishes to convey is Jesus. He has finished it and its perfect, we just proclaim what is already done.

    The difficult part for me was when it was told that (by one of my dear brother and a grace preacher in my church in Bangalore) we should not correct an error as I thought many are in error as they do not know the real nature of Love that is born in them. I am still learning, thanks be to God for His perfect work in us, He started it, He’ll bring it to pass.

  42. Guys, from now on I will only publish comments on this thread that advance the conversation in some meaningful way. So if you want to write to remind me of the Lord’s prayer, read this post and comment there (not here).

    If you wish to remind me of 1 John 1:9, read this post, this post, and this post, and comment under those as you see fit.

    And if you have been blessed by my ministry or Michael Brown’s, God bless you for wanting to encourage us, but let’s not turn this into a popularity poll. Let’s stick to the issue at hand which I summarize as follows: Is the hyper-grace movement based on a dangerous error? Dr. Brown says yes. Dr. Ellis says no. What do you say?

    Oh, and any comment that >250 words will be deleted unread. Sorry, but I’m tired of trimming. Please keep it short and sweet, just as you would if tweeting or writing to a newspaper.

  43. Paul…you are believing in a COUNTERFEIT GRACE…and I dare say you probably LOVE the “ministry” of Joseph Prince. You may be sincere…but you are sincerely wrong. God bless.

    • You need not guess about my enthusiasm for Joseph Prince. If you enter his name in the search box at the top of this site you will find several articles revealing my enthusiastic endorsement for the man’s message of grace.

  44. Thanks Paul for your response to all the objections. To all those who are reading this; let me tell you that I was brought up in a Bible Believing Plymouth Brethren Church in Malaysia. I am a first generation Christian and was taught to Love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. And that I do – I even go into full time ministry for almost 12 years after graduating with an accountancy major. I move on to be one of the main elder of my local church until I discovered the so call ‘hyper-grace’. It was introduced to me by a very good friend 3 years back. We grew up in church but he became very nominal until his life was transformed when his mind was renewed by Grace Radically.
    Well I was against what he shared but promised to study into this Grace teachings. That I did and I was surprised by what I learned. The revelation of what it means to live totally in the New Covenant and having faith only in the Finished Works of Jesus is mind blowing. In short I was called a ‘heretic’ when I began to share my discovery in church.
    All these years I tried and worked hard to Love God with my all – obey the so call great commandment. Deep inside I know I failed but I just put on a ‘mask’ most of the time. Now I understand what it means to obey Jesus New Commandment – It is not about me loving God but God loving me – Not Giving me what I deserve and Giving to me what I do not deserve – This do not make me run to sin more but this Renew my mind to want to Love more!!!
    Shalom!

  45. Jonathan Marsden says:

    Hi Paul and Michael. I just want to commend you both for holding this debate with grace. Even though your difference is significant, you have not allowed it to become a barrier to presenting your ideas in a reasoned and substantive manner.
    In all – if I was not a Christian – reading these opinions for the first time, I would conclude that you both love Christ dearly – and I hope I would be challenged.
    I am reminded of the old analogy about two aliens visiting earth for the first time. They each saw an elephant – one stood at the back, the other at the side of the animal.
    On returning to their planet they each described the same animal as they saw it. This started a debate in their society about whether an elephant is round, with two legs placed close together, with a strange waggling tail, or huge and slab sided, with two legs placed far apart, with a tail at both ends and an enormous ear. Without wanting to enter the debate – which I am truly not qualified to do – maybe their is some truth in both arguments. I love Paul’s recommendation – if scripture doesn’t seem to make sense study it through the eyes of Jesus’s character!

    • IMO Regarding grace & law, Paul’s & Dr. Michaels take are *mutually exclusive*. I also appreciate their conversational demeanor for toward the other for (whatever is the opposite of rude)

  46. I love you Micheal. I myself feel the hand of the Master leading me the address this issue in the future which in many ways I dread. Knowing the offence and misunderstanding that will result from it. Be bold. He is with you. Be as a sheep. GOD Knows. Truth is in your mouth. Do know allow misunderstanding by others to taint your heart are conscousness. He is your cause. He is your justifier and you only need answer to him.

  47. I’ll take the “abundance of Grace so I can reign in life” for free Alex.

  48. The core issue is two-fold.
    First is that most “flavors” of grace theology seem to miss the point that there are different kinds of salvation in the NT. The three major themes being: 1) We are saved from the “Penalty” of sin (hell) as a free gift through the finished work of Jesus alone. 2) We are then saved from the “Power” of sin in this life, through the willing joyful obedience that HE has given us via grace. 3) We will be saved from the “Presence” of sin altogether One Day, when HE sets up the Eternal Kingdom.
    So, yeah there is nothing we ever have to do – ever – for 1, 2, or 3 above! From this though, we see that, the old covenant is still in effect (God does not break promises). However, this old covenant is NOT (and never was) to save us from the penalty of sin – but as an additional gift of blessing through obedience to His calling on our lives and the saving of us from “ourselves” in this life (#2 above). This #2 item is the impetus that drives us to desire to actually live and be like Jesus… And He is the One who helps us do this through His Spirit within us. The new and eternal covenant given at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, when we are consummated with Him as His bride (#3 above) will simply be a realization of the holiness we reckon true today.

  49. The confession and repentance we need to do, is to confess that we were (personally as part of the race of Adam) born in Sin (sin nature) and that we need to be reborn through and into Righteousness, so Righteousness and not Sin will be our nature. It’s even more intense than committing acts of sin, it’s deeper than that – we need an entire new nature, heart and spirit. The Law was the system to God until Christ. Since Christ, the Law is no longer the system to God, but faith in Christ is the Way to God. It’s either faith in Christ or obedience to the Law, not both.
    We are not made perfect by the flesh and those who see Jesus as their one and only Savior and Righteousness, do not want to sin… let alone treat His Grace as a licence to sin. This perspective is the one that liberates us, or that opens our understanding to the victory Jesus has won FOR US.

  50. Eugene Pangan says:

    Grace& Peace to all, It is my first time to check out your Blog Mr Paul and I am blessed by the comments knowing that We are not alone, being branded as heretics and leading to separation from your local church, I too by His Grace, freed from the usual do’s & dont’s of the church, In His Grace have tasted and see the Glorious ways of God, in saving me and loving me, I speak more revelations of His Grace on your life share it to all of us..

  51. Although I don’t deny that some of dr browns thoughts would concern me, of which I won’t go into (time) I do agree that its great 2 people from very different views points can discuss whilst being respectful to each other, which is often what is missing. What I have noticed with grace teaching is that there is a high number of people (me included) who have been under the works mentality, come past this, had an revelation of grace and have completely come away from the works/performance (if that’s the right word) mentality..and found such freedom…(not as a licence to sin) to live out their Christianity. I wonder if the same could be said but the other way round? .??

  52. Gracious teaching Paul!. Everything we Christians have is a gift of pure grace.The more I have realized who we are in Christ in the continuous unfolding of His love, plans and purposes, the greater the incentive to walk in the leading of the Holy Spirit. Following the Holy Spirit leads to purification and transformation which is never attained through self empowered effort…..

  53. I am of the impression that many who are alarmed at the prospect of Antinomianism (‘cheap’ Grace) are overlooking that fact that most ‘Grace Preachers’ are NOT telling their congregation that they can continue sinning. On the contrary, I have personally heard otherwise – and many times at that.

    On the whole, I have seen more good come out of Grace preaching than bad – though i know that this view is subjective. My guess is that it tends to be more impactful to those who come from a religious background and who are tired of hearing messages about how everything they do is bad and they need to repent about everything. It brings a sense of freedom to hear a message of Grace and that God loves them and doesn’t condemn them even though they’ve made a mistake. It makes you want to love Jesus more and try not to make mistakes – it is a response of love to a message of Love.

  54. At the end of the day, i hope we can all have a giggle about our differences of doctrine in heaven, because we are all time wasting. It is belief in him and knowing him that means we are saved, and if we continue to remain in him we all have nothing to worry about. Time is short, the rapture is near, we should be mobilising all law and grace believers together and preach the gospel and love the lost, and forget our differences, i am getting a bit tired of im right you are wrong nonsense and we can easily ignore the signs of the times and its importance

  55. Wow I really enjoyed this article. I’ve been looking forward for a discussion like this from ‘hyper-grace’ camp and other camp (I don’t know what to call that group). :) I am proud to say that I belong to hyper-grace.:) Hyper means abounds so I guess the name is appropriate because the Scripture says, “Grace super-abounds!”

  56. It is simple. It is finished. Can you hear the relief here? I prayed for 30 years to be truly free as I understood my gospel to make me. I knew I was free the day I agreed with Jesus that his death on the cross was for my salvation. Then I listened to hours & years of teaching from the most wonderful men who helped me to “understand” my status as a Christian and its responsibilities. Well, after 30 years of weariness and trying hard I fell in with a group of amazing grace revelers here in a sleepy little coastal town and God exploded in my life. We hadn’t heard about Joseph Prince or Paul Ellis or Michael Brown but we had heard about the most magnificent man who ever lived, and not only that but we party with him every single day. We gaze at his splendour and glory. Oh yes, and we take his life with us everywhere we go and share it and people catch the ball of hope we throw them. Sin, oh yes you wanted to talk about sin? Wow, sorry but I don’t have the time now. I’m retired but the Holy Spirit has opened so many doors of wonderful work for him I’ve never been so busy sharing the love. Sin!!!!!! Come on, you can’t look at Jesus and thin of sin. Impossible.

  57. I was just wondering if Jesus was on earth today and he met me, what would be his first concern? Would he say some lofty things about theology? Or would he just be interested in me as a person? Would he first want to just show me love? Or would he want to insist on “grace” vs “holiness”?

    I think the issue is that we leave the most important things – love, mercy and justice…and we chase after vain theology. I pray God helps us to see the most important things especially around us, and give us the heart to reach out.

    • agree kene we worry too much about theology, and instead we should start to love each other more in the body of christ, (we never are going to agree on all things0 andwe should be fighting the principlities and powers and not each other

  58. Jerry Nendel says:

    When Ryan Rufus taught in his book Extra Virgin Grace that mixing the old and the new causes dullness of hearing, it explains so much. No one is exempt, even a great preacher like Michael Brown. They are still partaking from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Gospel message is so simple. Because of Jesus’s work we are God’s children and have an inheritance. In the end our pedigree will carry the day. We will end up acting like who we truly are.

  59. Matthew 7″21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ ” So just read your bible and do the will of the Father (follow Torah).Its clear that believing in Jesus,but not obeying His commandment is being a hypocrite christian.The true christian is the one who not only believes in Jesus,but obeys His commandments,wich is the true sighn,that he indeed believed in Christ.The Law keeps person of God to be righteous(normal),but not justified from his sins.What Paul meant about working salvation,is that people where trying to erase there sins by there works,but bible clearly says that only the blood of Christ can work salvation for us.Salvation from what,from Gods commandments?Ofcourse not,but from sins.So Gods commandments are still as reliable and required as it was in the times of old testament,but the blood of christ is what restores us back to God.And not only does Jesus forgive our sins,but He impowers us to OBEY His commandments.Jesus leads us to Law,and the Law leads us to Jesus.Jesus without the Law,and the Law without Jesus would mean death for us.Because if you say Jesus,but in every moment of your life be “darkness” to this world,how can the light of Jesus shine through you?But if His light does not shine through you then that would mean,that He wasnt in you from the beginning…So the law is like our food,but not the medicine from our deseases.

    • read galatians 2:16, 3:11 & 5:4…just for starters…
      ;)

    • oh and Jesus is our food… He is the bread of life! when He was born, He was even laid in a manger…a place to put food in for “the sheep” :)

    • John Senior says:

      vahagn … “So the law is like our food,but not the medicine from our deseases.”

      So, are you saying the Apostle Paul was wrong when, in 2 Corinthians 3 he declares that the foundation of the Law – explicitly the 10 commandments – are the ministry of Death and Condemnation. He also declares in Romans 8 that we are no longer subject to (meaning we don’t need to obey / follow) the Law of Sin and Death (which is described clearly in Romans 7 as being the Law). If there is no Law, then Sin is not imputed.

      I do NOT want to eat food that causes me death, so I won’t even touch the Law with a 10 foot pole. I would much rather live and be subject to the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.

      I find both Romans and Hebrews emphatic in the assertion that we, as believers, are no longer subject to or under the Law – ALL of it. We are DEAD to it.

    • the key point then is to know christ, not create a list of accomplishments for ourselves

  60. I so appreciate the respect and humility that was shown by Drs Ellis and Brown in their discussion.
    My one thought is that we can either be SON focussed it SIN focussed. The work on the cross is a finished one. Our sins have been removed, forgotten, cancelled and buried with Him and we ARE in this world as He IS.
    Seated at the right hand of the Father. If we constantly focus on our sin we will magnify its effects as it will be our focus. If we look at His Face and reflect on His Glory IN us, wont that be the produce displayed in our lives? It’s not about Paul, Dr Brown, Joseph Prince or John Crowder, it’s about JESUS in US!
    Thanks for your patience!

  61. Phillip Waite says:

    I am dead to sin. I have a righteousness conscience. I feel free. Free from sin. That’s hyper grace. Thank you Jesus.

  62. I’ve written and re-written my response to all of this and I keep deleting it because I am lacking the cordiality of Paul & Michael. I grew up in legalism. I went to a legalistic college. I have lived the life of thanking and praising God for my salvation while working myself ragged to live the life expected of me. While from the pulpit and in my head, I was just doing what a Christian is supposed to do, my heart was troubled as to why it took so much to be “right with God”. Later when I asked questions and pointed out errors in what God says His love is versus what my older and “wiser” authorities said it was (of course based on the Bible and what they needed it to say to support their views), I became in their eyes “backslidden”…

    You know, serving God is great. Doing good works for Him is great. Doing it all with the realization that it is not required for a deeper love from Him or expected to maintain or prove our salvation, is truly understanding Jesus’ finished work and enjoying the freedom of being completely loved. When you have lived both sides and you’ve traveled the road of attempting worthiness, then come to understand true grace, nobody can convince you any differently. I see the difference. I feel the difference. I have been willing to view the new testament through the lens of Jesus and His finished work. Before, I viewed it through the eyes of legalism and was able to make it say what I needed it to say to support my legalistic views. I feel His love now in a way I never did before because of my pride in thinking I was making myself more desirable in His eyes. There’s nothing I did nor will ever do to make it any stronger. I have no “yeah, buts” Neither does grace. It is simple and difficult for our human minds to grasp, but it is truth.

    • Sallyann, thanks for sharing your excellent story. Unfortunately it exceeded the 250-word limit and I had to trim it. Do you know we have a page called Grace stories where you can tell your own story with no word limit? That would be an excellent place for you to put yours. Thanks again for taking the time.

      • I agree; that was an excellent story and I for one would love to read it in it’s entirety. Well written and heartfelt. Please consider submitting on that other page!

  63. This is truly a class act. Both Paul and Michael are carrying themselves in professional, Christ-honouring ways, and I’m glad to be part of this conversation.

    As a pastor since the mid-nineties, I likely would have preached and followed Dr. Brown’s teachings for many years, even though I had never heard of him until today. And I got tired. I left pastoring. I couldn’t live up to what I was preaching myself.I re-emerged a couple of years ago, and stumbled upon Paul’s message of grace. And I feel born again, again. I feel my message is so much healthier, and I struggle with sin less now. Kind of what Romans 6 says, actually. My whole emphasis is not on my flawed performance, but on Christ’s perfect performance.

    Anyone who thinks grace encourages sin does not understand biblical grace. Period. Read what Paul said in his article, “Is Grace a Licence to Sin?” And his “Open Letter to Hot-Blooded Young Men” is an amazing explanation of grace and sin.

    • Dear Pat Cook, Thank you for your testimony and confession of “not being able to do what you preached”. How refreshing! Please help me…I want to be a part of a local church in my small town, however since my Radical conversion last May, from works to trusting, I find it’s agony to sit under law preaching demanding me back to works to be holy. What is a girl to do? Pray for the pastor? Talk with him? (seems risky) Just leave? What do you suggest? Can you share anything that helped lead you to the Truth?

      • Gina,
        I also have the same experience 2 years back. I left that church even when I was there for over 10 years. I lost a lot of friends because they think I am now ‘something else’. Here what I did: 1. I talked to the Pastor and his wife. 2. I talked to the assistant pastor. Sadly, they would not listen. I ended up being part of the sermon. :( I realized that it was hard to share to someone when they are not ready. It was really painful. I do not wish that for anybody.

        So here is my unsolicited advice. Pray for your pastor. You may share to him (in love) some of the revelations that you have. You can lead your own Bible sharing group (don’t folks from your church). If we have the same Holy Spirit they will eventually see Grace.

  64. I would have to strongly side with Dr. Brown here. The rhetoric about “unmerited grace” etc is fundamentally confused, as it conflates merits with conditions. Continued faith no more “merits” eternal life than initial faith does. The idea that being in Christ makes us unconditionally righteous is quickly derailed by the Bible itself, which very clearly specifies that there are things that a saint could do that would cause them to fall to the point of perdition.

  65. I think the divide here is on the approach to sin that each “camp” takes to the issue of sin. One thinks the key is in a very intentional focus on not sinning. We go about building fences by seeking accountability partners and/or posting scripture verses to remind us not to sin, etc.. Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t get to the root of the problem and doesn’t really give us victory over whatever the issue is. A fence just keeps things out…or in and while a fence may keep me from committing a particular sin, it doesn’t change my desire to commit that sin. Given the chance, we’d just do it again when the fence wasn’t around. All in all, this approach is an old covenant approach, which, as the Bible says, actually leads to more sin. The other problem is that it relies on self effort, rather than Christ’s power. This approach not only doesn’t change the heart, but actually leads to more and different sins as we try to figure out ways around the fence.

    The other camp says (and I would argue that Jesus, himself confirmed) that under the new covenant, the only real way to have victory over sin is by being Christ focused, and relying completely on him, the only one who has had complete victory over sin, to do the work in us.

    • So good Kevin! And yet people under law after reading this would still accuse us of preaching a license of sin?

  66. when God looks at us He loves what He sees… because He sees us as we truly are- perfectly cleansed and made righteous in His Beloved Son! we cant always see in ourselves what He sees, but trusting His perspective enables us to be who He says we are…
    Abram didn’t see himself as a father of many nations… but God did- and even changed his name to Abraham… reminding him when anyone called his name. Gideon didn’t see himself as a mighty warrior… but God did- and led him to the place where he became one.

    our sinful and faithless actions do grieve God… but that doesn’t change the way He sees us. when my kids make wrong choices, it grieves me, but it doesn’t change the way i see them… its the opposite actually- its because i see them not choosing to be who i know they really are that breaks my heart- and i’m enabled to have compassion for them and love them regardless of their actions…
    God knows us better than we know ourselves… He sees our ending from our beginning… it’s His perspective that’s the true reality… we’re limited by an earthly perspective- and yet, we have the mind of Christ which enables us to understand things the way God sees them… the question is, do you want to believe God’s perspective or not?

    i’m sure Mary never saw herself as the mother of the Messiah… but God did- and she believed Him. ;)

  67. In 2009 the Lord delivered me from a pornography addiction by opening up to me Rom. 6 & 7, showing me I was living under the law and trusting in my own ability to overcome sin. I haven’t fallen into the stuff since. I encountered so much power that it blew away the notion that “the finished work is so basic and obvious it couldn’t be the source of my struggle–after all, I totally agree with it!” In truth, I wasn’t truly resting in it. Praise God for His grace.

    This experience caused me to step back, reexamine and be open.

    That said, I haven’t been able to agree with *everything* I hear from the mouthpieces for Christ’s grace. Here are two main things:

    1) God doesn’t convict of sin.
    2) God is only pleased with what He sees.

    Hebrews 12 says that God rebukes and chastises those He loves, the context being discipline. A rebuke is verbal. Chastisement is disciplinary action. This is the New Covenant.

    Can’t it be that rebukes and disciplines from God post-new birth have nothing to do with justification, but are simply parental and relational?

    Isn’t it a sign of wholeness for a child to be able to hear a rebuke from a parent and still feel loved?

    To me, such things don’t need to comprimise our trust that we accepted and loved apart from works–saved through faith in Christ alone.

    Aren’t we rebuked and chastised *because* we are loved?

  68. Wow, the fact that there are so many comments here reveals that this is a huge issue. I can’t help but jump in. As someone who thought I understood the word and taught the word for years, I can honestly say that I thought I knew grace but had a serious mixture. I have been liberated by the pure gospel (which is synonymous with grace according to Paul in Galatians 1). It has felt as if I have been born again again. I have in no way seen sin as “less of a big deal”. I have just seen grace and love as a much bigger deal than before.

    I ask an honest question: why did the apostles and Jesus give far more warnings to those preaching hyper-legalism than to those preaching a “hyper-grace”? (Dr. Brown, I’m not accusing you of preaching hyper-legalism). Furthermore, was not Paul accussed of preaching hyper-grace? (see Romans 3:8, 5:20-6:2)

  69. Carol beard says:

    Paul I will tell you simply what Jesus says about people who misinterpret scripture: “The reason you go astray is because you are both ignorant of both the Old Testament and the power of God”. Mr. Brown is 100% right and even though you use many words…you have not proven your case. You keep slipping in your own definitions of the meanings of the scriptures you use. The Word is clear…
    1. “If you love Me, you will obey My commands”. What would be the point if no matter what we do, all God sees is Jesus?
    2. “Be holy, for I am holy”. The “Be” word here is an action word. It does not say, ‘because I’m holy, you are holy.’
    3. “Those who persevere till the end shall be saved.” Why say this? Why continue to persevere if what you say is true Paul?
    4. In the book of Revelation, why would the churches have the potential of suffering punishment if it is as you say? Yes when Jesus said; “It is finished”, He was talking about doing what God had put Him on the earth to do. To die for the sins of man so that we may now have a clean slate to start over with the power of the Holy Spirit and the “empowerment grace, to quit sinning. Paul what you miss, is the quit sinning part. You are very much in error about this.
    5. Why would Jesus say; “Now quit sinning or something worse will happen to you.”?
    Why did He say; “Go and sin no more.”? He didn’t say ‘Go and sin less, I got the rest.’ Hey that rhymed haha.

    Unfortunately, I am a victim of this false gospel that Paul (the writer of this article) teaches. Because of this false teaching I have 4 brothers and a father who all claim to be Christians who are in the middle of fornication with women they are not married to. In fact they live with them out of wedlock. They all say the same things Paul does. This is their defense for their sin! They always say; “God is a God of love”. All He sees is Jesus in me. So deceived :( as you are Paul, I say sadly. And you will have to pay the price for this false doctrine you preach. God has already judged it in His Word. He warned us about teachers who preach this message.

    Please people study your bibles like your lives depended on it (which it does), asking the Holy Spirit to lead you in all truth. I don’t even take my word for it. Remember God will always love you, and He will still be loving you as you burn in hell for an eternity…because you did not turn from your sins and turn to God, which we all agree can only be done by the power of the Holy Spirit, but it must be done! THIS WAS THE MESSAGE JESUS PREACHED!

    Sorry so blunt, got no more time to play around. “How long will you waver between two opinions”. Write the book Michael.

    • I don’t believe ever reading Dr Ellis saying it was ok to continue sinning because “all God sees is Jesus in me”. If he did, please indicate which of his posts mentioned this.

      Selective hearing is not the fault of the preacher, whether he preaches Grace or Law.

    • Carol, I freely agree there are some who so misunderstand grace that they take it as a license for sin and I am sorry that you are personally suffering as a result. I am sure you will also agree that there are many who use God’s law as stones for inflicting harm on others too. Both grace and law have been horribly abused throughout the ages as the Bible well illustrates.

      With regards to the abuse of grace, the Corinthians come to mind. Some of them went crazy with grace even to the point of reprehensible sexual sin. Did Paul respond by changing his message? No. He preached grace more than ever – read Corinthians and you will see a clear pattern of establishing identity (it starts in the second verse of 1 Corinthians) before addressing behavior (in the middle chapters). A law-preacher would just focus on the behavior. He would seek change through external behavior modification using carrots and sticks. He would probably see short term success depending on the effectiveness of his carrots and sticks but ultimately there would be no lasting change since the heart has been left untouched.

      Your brothers’ behavior changes nothing about the goodness of God. He really does love them. Don’t take my word for them – see Romans 5:8. Am I saying God is happy with their sin? Of course not! They are grieving the Holy Spirit! They are destroying their marriages! They don’t know the first thing about grace. If I was to speak to them I would not validate their awful behavior. Who would do such a thing? But neither would I change the gospel. The correct response to abuse is not non-use but proper use. If you want to know what I would say to them, read this.

    • I agree. We choose to wear the armour to fight the fight of faith we are at war.

    • “Be holy, for I am holy” How to do this? Can you tell me? Can you be holy by doing right? If you can please tell me the formula.

  70. joe vasquez says:

    I’m in the middle of this works -vs- grace (flesh vs Spirit) partition in my personal life and I’ve listened, I’ve read, I’ve meditated and have heard from both sides in regards to “holy living” and “walking uprightly” with my ending up in frustration a large part of the time. Until yesterday when I came across Paul the Apostle’s letter to the Galatians, in the second chapter describing to the church his admonition of Peter he states that “…I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel…”(Galatians 2:14) He goes on to give a clear distinction between what is “walking uprightly in truth” and what is not. I encourage the reading of the entire chapter. If there is anyone who can measure out a man’s worth according to his deeds it’s Paul, in this regard he states, “if any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh. I more,…”(Phil.3:4) Then he goes on to list his “works” from lineage to position to education to zeal “blameless”. The sum of all these things? Paul testifies, “as dung”. Why? That he may when Christ and be found in Him not having his own righteousness, but that which is through the faith of Christ. (Philippians 3) I encourage the reading of this ch. as well. I believe as you read the chapter’s mentioned you too will recieve the relief I did. As Paul, I say,”…BUT BY THE GRACE of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain” (1 Co. 15:10) Thank you for allowing me to share.

  71. I had to step back a minute and think about this.I think its important to see that we are spiritually bankrupt without the holy spirit, and how we get from point A,to point B will always be a floating question where does are part come in? I will say this in the last few years it has been very important to me to know how saved I was,because without being secure in the depth of Gods grace,theres always that nagging question were will I screw up……like I said before, when I wasnt sure on this.One day the Lord said to me {JUMP UP HERE TO ME,and I said, jump,I can hardly walk,and he said WHILE I GUESS I WILL HAVE TO COME DOWN TO YOU.

  72. To some degree, it seems we would rather proclaim “error” than accept paradox.

  73. Paul – you are such a great man of grace and truth… like someone else I know.

    Thanks for taking the time to write this :)

  74. Rich Focarile says:

    It is the love of God that brings us to repentance. Every time we judge our righteousness by being good we look right into the face of THE LAW. Grace and the Law are like oil and water. When you shake it all seems to mix but when it settles you see they haven’t. Bless you for taking the time to give the message that the Holy Spirit is ringing out in these last days

    • Rich…the Bible says it is the KNOWLEDGE of TRUTH which brings us to repentance…not love. Yes…Jesus loves us and died for us. But the Bible says “For you shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” If I am stopped by a cop and he says “Did you know your tail light is out?” and I say “No…I didn’t.”…then it takes TRUTH (my tail light is out) to bring me to the knowledge of my situation. I cannot see the tail light as I drive..but the officer could. That is how we are as sinners. We cannot see that we have a sin problem until the Holy Spirit reveals it to us (conviction). We need the TRUTH revealed to us….as God calls us to Him through Jesus. Jesus loves everyone…but that love does not ewuate to salvation. He will (and does) love those who reject Him and also those who receive Him…EQUALLY. We need REVEALED TRUTH to be able to CHOOSE God. Remember: He said “Choose ye this day whom you will serve.” I must be given the choices which then ALLOWS me to choose.

  75. Paul and Michael. Such a healthy conversation you had here. Grace filtered. :)

  76. The issues brought up in this post are very significant to me. My life has been racially changed by grace. I came into Christianity as a top-notched student who could ‘play the game’ and I ended up turning it into pure religious ritual. Meaningless. I would pray because I thought I had to or attend church because it looked good. But it was never enough for me to feel accepted. Shame controlled my walk with God.

    Then I started reading the bible. I was intrigued when Paul tells us we have peace with God in Romans. Where was my peace? Or in Galatians when he asks them what happened to their joy? Where was my joy? It’s all about the fruit. I can’t find peace and joy and the likes when I think I have to perform. I’ve try to do this all my life to win people’s approval. God’s love has to be different. The Psalmists seem to think so to. His love is better than life!

    Since grace entered my life, I can now say I have a relationship with Christ, not a religion. I have more peace and joy, as He teaches me to rest. We really can’t enjoy His fruit until we rest. I read somewhere about how branches don’t work to produce fruit. They ‘rest’ in the tree and the fruit comes natural. Now I’m sold out to God’s will for my life. All because of grace.

    I believe that people are intimidated by hyper-grace because it requires real faith – clinging to Him to finish the work instead of relying on themselves.

  77. DEAR LORD WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN IN TO ?

  78. Carol, I highly recommend you look into the Scriptures you quoted. Here are some things to think about. I must say to be careful not to assume someone is 100% right and the other wrong but to take a balanced look at scripture.

    1. Why do we love Jesus? Because He first loved us. This love empowers obedience. I work for my boss, but that won’t make me love my boss. I love Jesus and love the privillege of serving Him.
    2. Eph 4:24 says our new man was created in holiness, righteousness, and truth. We can now be holy in our actions because God made us holy.
    3. The greek word for saved here is used for many things in scripture besides saved from hell. Why would Paul the Apostle say we are saved by grace through faith and not we are saved by perseverance?
    4. In Revelation, he who overcomes is the one who holds faith in Christ according to one of John’s other books (see 1John 5:4,5).
    5. This comes from John 5. If you read this scripture, you will see that Jesus first says “See, you ARE healed…” then the quit sinning part. There is a very good argument that the sin in question was unbelief.

    I’m very sorry that people in your life use grace as an excuse to sin, but I would say that these people don’t know the grace of God because of what Titus 2 says: Grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness. You are absolutely right that we are to stop sinning in action, but only Christ can change the nature of a man.

    • Thank you John for such a gently reply to hurting Carol. The panic of the “obedience/law-keeper” side is due to behavior changes they SEE in former (holy looking)christians. When a christian gets revelation of Radical Grace and true identity (I AM Righteous-because of Christ) acts of sin cannot change WHO I AM. That believer begins to understand their identity and what the cross truly provided. One may “suddenly” appear to start sinning where they previously didn’t. What we didn’t realize was religion didn’t really address the heart desires. New believers are taught to cut out all that “defiles” to be holy. What happens is behavior modification when I am around “holy” people. I fear their judgement or disapproval. Behavior modification hinders true transformation. When Radical Grace exploded in my life last year, I quit modifying my behavior. Guilt had held my behavior in check, but didn’t change lustful desires. An outsider peering into my life,could easily “accuse” me of more sinning since hyper-grace. Only the knowledge of unconditional acceptance and love will transform me and any sinful habits. These desire weren’t new, they were just hidden/suppressed before. Now, I can freely admit,my need for Christ’s work in me, not self effort and behavior modification, but REAL transformation of my desires.

      • Sure Gina. We are on the same page as far as the behavior mod equaling holiness stuff. All of the do-it-yourself righteousness stems from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Just because we write the name ‘Jesus’ on a piece of its fruit, it does not make it less deadly.

    • I think there are two things that are important to keep in mind when discussing anything pertaining to the Bible…well, I’m sure there are many more, but these come to mind immediately. First, we need to consider (between each individual and God) what is the purpose of the Bible is in our relationship with him and with each other? What of listening to the Spirit as he speaks and leads? Do we even hear him; do we even listen for him anymore, or do we just go out in search of a Bible verse to support what we believe? I don’t think the Bible was given to us to argue and debate over. All in all, this debate has been pretty respectful, but I still see a lot of “the Bible says this” and verses thrown about by both sides; but my heart tells me that this isn’t what the Bible was given to us for. It must grieve God to see us fighting over the Bible like wild dogs over a piece of meat. Before you respond; stop and listen to what the Spirit says. We’re too quick to quote and don’t spend enough time listening.

      If one still feels the need to debate; the second thing to consider is context and intent. So much of what is tossed about in discussion…debate…argument (even this one) could be avoided if people understood the broader narrative of the Bible. A person can make the Bible say anything they want it to. Clearly, since people on both sides of this debate are quoting specific verses that seem to successfully support their case. Many, though, don’t have a good understanding of the broader narrative and historical context of the verses they use. I’m not being critical of any one person, or side; just challenging people to consider whether they even know what they’re talking about before the lift a text out to prove their point. You may have a good argument, but is winning the argument even the point? What is the Spirit saying to you? Are you even listening?

  79. (bump)

    Anyone have thoughts about my Hebrews 12 comment above? Rebukes and chastisements from God are a sign of sonship and done by Him with the intention of love.

    So while I’m a huge fan of the new Life that comes from living under grace and not the Law, I wonder if it is going to far to say that rebukes (or conviction from the Spirit, or whatever you want to call it) are unbiblical, or put your justification and sonship into question somehow. Don’t they confirm it?

    Or am I missing something in that people here do believe God rebukes and chastises His beloved children?

    Thoughts?

    • Hi Dustin, I have thoughts but (a) I’m swamped with comments this morning and (b) half the people asking questions on this thread aren’t looking for answers but stones with which to clobber people with, so I’m a bit averse to getting drawn in to things. Hopefully someone else will respond.

      • Fair enough. :) One of my biggest desires as grace has become a central focus in the church is discussion from love instead of anger and judgmentalism. That said, it’s a difficult subject because so much hangs on it, so I understand the passion. God, give us grace to come to a true knowledge of Your Son, in His name. Amen!

    • Dustin I found this from JP: If Jesus has paid for our punishment, why does God still chasten us?

      When reading about the Lord’s chastening in Hebrews 12, it is important to understand that the book of Hebrews was written in Greek, and “chastening” is the Greek word paideuō, which means “to train children, to cause one to learn, or to be instructed or taught”. Hence, the Lord’s chastening is to be seen in the context of our heavenly Father teaching or disciplining His children.

      Now, we know we have a good heavenly Father who loves us very much (John 3:16). Jesus Himself shows how good our heavenly Father is when He asked in Matthew 7:11, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” So, if earthly fathers do not teach or discipline their children with sickness, disease and poverty, then all the more, our heavenly Father will never teach us by punishing us with bad things.

      So how does God chasten, or train, His children? Hebrews 12:9–10 (KJV) explains, “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.”

      These two verses make a comparison between “fathers of our flesh”, or our earthly fathers, and “Father of spirits”, our heavenly Father. “Fathers of our flesh” discipline our flesh, while “Father of spirits” disciplines us in our spirits, through His word. This means that as you read the Bible, or as you listen to God’s Word being preached, you are being trained, being taught by the Lord.

      The writer of Hebrews goes on to say that when God disciplines us, we know that we are sons, not illegitimate, that we are loved, and that we will live and profit (Hebrews 12:8–10). Chastening of the Lord, then, does not refer to God causing accidents or illness to happen to us, for if God disciplines you with death, sickness and disease, how will you “live” and where is the “profit”?

      • Felix,

        Thanks for the response. :) Yea, I’m not into the idea that God harms us. I’m more concerned about the idea that He doesn’t rebuke/convict/point out wrong things in us at all. I agree that it is fatherly without a tone of condemnation or “putting down”.

        Maybe it’s an issue of semantics with Joseph Prince because though he says the Spirit does not convict of sin, he opens his book “Destined to Reign” with God rebuking him for mixing law and grace in preaching. I think Pastor Prince has a powerful revelation on power over sin, but I’m not sure why he says the Spirit doesn’t convict people of sin, unless it’s just semantics for him.

        Does the Spirit, ever, in a fatherly, non-condemning way point out a lack of Christlikeness in us without at all encouraging us to earn something by trying to overcome it?

        It seems so. It seem that Hebrews 12 says that that is a sign of sonship and being loved. A son is disciplined, and there is a basis for it: something they did that wasn’t right.

        Thoughts?

      • dustin, my experience has been that the Spirit reminds me of who i am in Christ…. he doesnt point out what i did wrong, but His reminder causes me to realize that my action didnt line up with who i am… He didnt convict me of doing wrong – i convicted myself. most kids seem to remember a lesson when they are the ones who come up with the answer ;)

      • Jennie, thanks for the thoughts. :)

        While it’s true that a child can often remember right and wrong it seems to be because in the past the parent pointed it out either before or after they did it wrong. Moreover Hebrews 12 says God rebukes (verbal) every son He receives, from love, discipline being a sign of acceptance. Thoughts?

      • you are right…we learned what was right and wrong from the law… who USED to be our schoolmaster… but now we live by faith (gal 3:24-25)

        i think its a matter of discovering what discipline actually is… and without going into greek word meanings, we can still look into the bible for a great description. Jesus taught His… DISCIPLes! clearly, He rebuked them at times…without condemning them. i really think looking at the way Jesus trained, taught and rebuked His disciples is the best example we have for the way God disciplines us… because if we have seen Him – we have seen the Father! (john 14:9) and we are His “discipline-iples” too! :D

      • Jennie, thanks. :)

        Even Joseph Prince (who I think has a powerful revelation about freedom from sin) was corrected by the Lord at the beginning of his book “Destined to Reign” for mixing law with grace. Prince’s sin didn’t occur to him. God showed it to him.

        My point is that saying flat out that God would never use His voice to correct us on the basis of sin, or wrong doing or missing the mark isn’t faithful to scripture or experience. But I do think many people have been burned by a religious spirit who condemns and guilts. And that is false.

        I like Joseph Prince and living under grace has changed me DRAMATICALLY. But saying that God never corrects us I think confuses people and turns people away who might otherwise receive. And that hurts and concerns me–because God lovingly correcting us is so clearly in scripture that saying He doesn’t may make someone seem not credible.

        Thoughts?

      • i dont think JP says God doesn’t correct us… he says the Holy Spirit doesn’t convict believers of sin. if the new covenant promise says “their sins and their lawless deeds i will remember no more” (heb 8:12), then that means that the Holy Spirit doesn’t re-member -or “re-connect” – your sins to you either! your sins where dis-connected from you when Jesus took them. He went into death with them and rose up without them… so where did they go? Jesus took the punishment for our conviction – the verdict was guilty… and our perfectly Just God doesn’t convict us of sins that were already paid for…
        ;)

      • Jennie, thank you for taking time to respond :)

        Amen! The Lord’s correction is not about convicting us of legal guilt before Him. He has forgotten our sins forever.

        A lot of people, however, use the phrase “convict of sin” in a very positive sense. They are thinking of fatherly correction like you speak of, not legal accusation that implies or states legal rejection and disowning a child, which brings me to my purpose and concerns in my comments:

        1) When people who need revelation of grace hear grace teachers say “God does not convict of sin” they hear them say, “God doesn’t ever correct, guide or teach us when we are in error.” And so they may unnecessarily write grace preachers off as erroneous when they deseprately need the revelation they have.

        2) Also, when people with concern about grace teaching state “Saying God doesn’t convict of sin is error,” people in the grace camp can be quick to charge them with “They are mixing law and grace!” when in truth it’s a confusion of the defintion of terms, and so an unncessary schism occurs.

        Does this make sense? It’s very common in disagreements for people to be in conflict because they misunderstood what someone said. That’s why it’s good to be slow to anger, slow to judge.

        I see an unnecessary battle line that is happening because of confusion over terms and it hurts my heart because people are in desperate need of grace.

      • yes, i understand what you are saying. ;)
        believers who are just now hearing about unmixed grace will probably have a hard time understanding that there is a difference between correction and conviction… until they have a personal revelation that they were completely and perfectly forgiven of their entire lifetime of sins through Christ’s complete, perfect and finished work on the cross… that legally, it would be unjust for God to convict them of things that He already passed judgement on in Jesus… the ultimate expression of God’s love for the world!
        in grace – no longer being under the law – we understand the blessed necessity of living in and by the Spirit… even being able to comprehend the gospel of Grace itself is His working in us! and so we must also trust that the Spirit – Who is also in our brothers and sisters – will reveal the Truth to them. :) living by faith is so opposite of how the world understands and defines things, so we should be compassionate, understanding and patient – because we lived that way once too. :)

      • Thanks for the conversation Jennie. God richly bless you with more and more revelation of His grace! You are a blessing.

      • aww… and the same to you too brother!
        thanks for for helping me as well! ;)

    • Hi Dustin, you might want to check out this article from a friend of mine. It has helped me a whole lot with the topic of discipline.

    • As a mom I think I can explain, a little anyway. I have two ways to let my kids I disapprove of their behavior and would like them to stop or change it. One is to come down like a hammer, yell and tell them they are lousy kids for acting like that.(not nice or fun) That is like the modern Christian’s view of God’s rebuke.
      The other way is to say in my best shocked voice “Why are you doing that? I don’t think your sister feels very loved right now. You are normally so nice this isn’t like you at all.” One style gets the kid to look upward and want to live up to the encouragement. The other view just causes stinkin’ thinking about himself and his behavior and twists their view of the person rebuking.
      I have experienced the encouraging rebuke as a mental nudge “You don’t have to be like this any more.” It works so much better than the overwhelming guilt I used to lay on myself when I caught myself in the same old sin, again.
      I guess some of us automatically think of spankings, yelling and harsh disapproval when we think of parental chastisement. I’m not there yet but you can get your point across without being harsh.
      So how does this all fit into God doesn’t see our sin thing? The Holy Spirit is in us right now going through whatever sin we are committing with us and while our sin is covered by Jesus blood He is fully capable of reminding us in the present that our behavior doesn’t match up with that of the King’s children.
      Don’t know if that made any sense.

      • Colleen, thanks :) I think you are suggesting the spirit behind it is the issue. I totally agree. I think what a lot of people call conviction is demonic accusation and thus can’t build up.

    • John Senior says:

      Dustin,
      There is a problem with the current translations of Hebrews 12, especially the verses (v 5-6) that say that God will chastise us and scourge us.
      v5 and you have forgotten the exhortation that speaks fully to you as with sons,
      ‘My son, be not despising chastening of the Lord, nor be faint, being reproved by Him,
      v6 for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and He scourges every son whom He receives.

      This taken from Proverbs 3:11-12, which reads “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction, for whom the Lord loves he corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights”.

      In the Greek NT the word translated “scourge” is elsewhere used to describe what the soldiers did to Jesus when they flogged Him. Do you really think God would do that to His children – I call this child abuse. The word “paideuo” (from which we get “pediatrician”) used in Hebrews 12:5 and translated as “chastise” should be translated “child training” (Young’s G3809 “to train up a child”).

      Somehow, the original Hebrew has been mangled when translated to the Greek and reused in Hebrews 12. The Septuagint (Greek) version of the Old Testament makes Proverbs 3:11-12 look like the verses in Hebrews 12. It would appear that there is a strong case for stating that the writer of the letter to the Hebrews wrote the original in Hebrew (no surprise!) and a scribe used the Septuagint to translate verse 5-6, leading to the appearance of the expression “and He scourges every son whom He receives”, rather than the correct text “as a father the son in whom he delights”, being found in Hebrews 12.6

      • Thanks for the thoughts. I’m focusing on the rebuke part though. I’m not trying to suggest God disciplines with sicknesses etc.

        I’m really questioning the teaching that the Spirit never convicts of sin because Hebrews 12 clearly says that God rebuking is done from love and a sign you are a son (for what son has no discipline?)

        I may be wrong but I feel some get the sense that a rebuke from God puts into question justification and sonship. Hebrews 12 clearly states it’s a sign of sonship.

        Thoughts?

    • Can you please provide us with a verse that says that the Holy Spirit convicts those in Christ of sin? I was recently challenged (by something I read) and realized that the conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit is confined to those NOT in Christ (the world). The Holy Spirit convicts those in Christ of their righteousness in Him! (See John 16:8-11, in context to see who/how the Holy Spirit convicts.)

      • Hi JGIG and Dustin, I have just written a post entitled Conviction vs Correction that was inspired by your absolutely valid concerns Dustin, about the “unnecessary schism”. I need some time to polish it but I hope to post it later in the week.

      • Paul, glad to hear it and looking forward to reading it :)

        JGIG – I don’t think God reminds us of our sins in the legal sense. But He does correct us as a loving Father, which some people call “conviction of sin” and so confusion can result over terms and varied definitions.

  80. IF GOD WANTS ALL THE GLORY THEN LET HIM DO ALL THE WORK IN US.

  81. Oh boy…it’s really hard to let go of all the righteousness that makes you feel more “worthy” of grace and the comfort and qualifications that make you a thriving Christian testimony. You can make the Bible say what you want it to say, but you can’t change true grace. Who you were to God the day you accepted Him and who you are today are the same. All of the good works between are irrelevant to his love and approval. Nobody is saying “Sin all ya want! God loves ya! Go for it! Partay!!!!!” The ones who have experienced real grace in their life are excited and at peace and want to share with the challengers the wonder they can experience in God’s love. If you want to exhaust yourself on a journey to right-with-Godness, go for it. The good works done by those who understand grace means nothing to them but a means of praise and adoration, not duty. The ones doing nothing for God are no more or less loved. Don’t redefine your definition of grace because of what we say. You’re smart enough to study. Do it with no preconceived notions, then enjoy what He shows you. Do you feel the need to “clean it up” for God to hear your prayers? If so, you might need to re-evaluate.

  82. Wow! Paul we wanted all to know about your blog but not like this.Reading the replies I can see the many misconceptions people have about “Hyper Grace”

  83. Dr Brown,
    I’m sure you are a scholar unlike me. Neither am I a good debater. But I can tell u my experience. I have long struggled with multiple sins. I disliked grace preachers because I thought if I listened to them I might continue in sin freely without feeling bad. I wanted the “guilt” to keep me in line. Whenever I messed up i would listen to a hyper holiness preacher – my favorite was David Wilkerson so I could feel bad and miserable and come back to God. There is so much I can say about my vicious cycle of sin, ‘repentance’, sin, ‘repentance’. One day I told God with a broken heart and tears flowing down that I quit trying to live this hard Christian life. Then a scripture that I’ve memorized & confessed many times came to my mind – “For sin shall not have dominion over you because you are under grace and not under law”. I felt led by God to go to Andrew Wommack’s website (I wouldn’t have listened to this guy back in the day) and read his commentary on Rom 6. That was the start of my habits breaking free without any effort. I focused for the next few months only listening to God’s unconditional love and grace. Today I’m free from much of the destructive habits. I’m still renewing my mind and let God expose me to the reality of who I am in Christ and His love for me.

    • Regardless of your subjective experience, the objective truth of scripture is that one cannot be saved if he rejects faith in Christ, therefore hyper-grace’s message of unconditional righteousness is in error.

      • Like many who attack the grace camp, you are attacking a fiction. No one here is preaching unconditional or universal righteousness. Righteousness is a gift to be received by faith (Rom 1:17, 5:17). You folks who gleefully stamp “ERROR” over claims no one is making may want to consider using that stamp on your own prejudices and ignorance.

      • At some point, experience does come into play. If the main fruit we’re seeing is failure and frustration, there’s an issue with the tree (I know from experience :) ). You pointed out earlier “love one another” is a New Testament commandment. Are you seeing a lot of success in that area? The “hyper grace” truth that is shared here is referred to in the Bible as an abundance of grace (Rom 5:17). Receiving that abundance of grace happens to be the only way we are capable of demonstrating Christ-like love. Eating from the tree of right and wrong only produces symptoms of death. Jesus is the only way to life. He IS enough and we experience that when we put our trust in Him rather than our knowledge of Him.

      • J.C. Thibodaux, those preachers that I listen to haven’t said that. In fact they would agree with you on the importance of faith. Most of these preachers would be considered ‘hyper-grace’ by many on those who have yet to understand the riches of God’s grace. All I can say is I’ve tried mixture. it doesn’t work. I’ve tried pure grace (without buts, ifs) and it worked for me.

      • Paul, I was implying unconditional righteousness for those who have believed in the past, not strictly unconditional. As with your treatment of scripture, you’ve taken my statement out of context.

        Jim M, the issue with the tree is more likely a legalistic spirit, not conditional security. Oversimplification often leads to faulty conclusions. Yes, I love other Christians; what kind of question is that? “Abundant grace” isn’t a concept of grace that promotes unbiblical ideas. And no, we show Christ’s love by demonstrating agape love to others, not just receiving grace. I’m not sure what you mean by the idea of trusting knowledge. Are you confusing me for a Gnostic?

        myjourneytobecomingacpa, God Himself gives the “ifs,” it would be unwise to ignore Him.

      • JC, please realize this not about trying to win an argument with you, but I would like for you to see the other side of this. Most people here are trying to say, “please listen, I’ve been on both sides of this and this side really works”. On the grace side I’ve found that it’s not all about me (my ability to obey commands or my perfect knowledge of what is right and wrong), but all about Jesus. The focus shifts from all I must do, to receiving all He has done for me (yes, it’s that simple). He came and fulfilled all of the law because He is the only One who could (doesn’t that give Him all the glory?). The issue of sin no longer exists, because He doesn’t even remember (what sin?). How can He point out what He doesn’t remember (Heb 8:12, 10:17)? It is finished means He completed the work and He’s really good at what He does. All of this is not a license to sin, but the only way to defeat it. My love for Him and love for others can only exist until I have received His Agape love for me (1 John 4:19). Which is a love that loves regardless of the response of the other; an unconditional love. Do you hold yourself to that standard of loving others, but argue that God does not love in that way? 

      • Paul, I’ve read on and discussed this issue for years. I already understand your side of the issue quite well.

        The issue of sin does still exist. If it didn’t, then the rest of the NT would have been silent on it where Christians are concerned. It clearly is not (1 John 2:1, 1 Cor 10:13-14, 2 Tim 2:22, and many others). If what you’re saying is true, then such statements should not appear.

        Besides the passages listed above, there is plenty of emphasis on our following God as well (2 Peter 1:5-8, 2 Cor 13:5, Titus 2:1-8, 1 Cor 16:13-14). It’s not just one big homily of “God did it all, so relax.”

        “It is finished” means that the offering for people’s sin has been made, and the way to God is now opened. It doesn’t imply that there’s no race left to run, and no end left to endure to.

        I hold that God loves all men, even the wicked, but cannot and will not forgive their sins without abiding faith in Christ. It is only by being in Christ that we can forgive, and only by being in Christ that we receive forgiveness. God does not forgive unconditionally: the basis of our forgiving is that God has forgiven us, we are debtors to God; but God doesn’t require forgiveness, and owes forgiveness to no one.

      • J.C. Thibodaux wrote, “Regardless of your subjective experience, the objective truth of scripture is that one cannot be saved if he rejects faith in Christ, therefore hyper-grace’s message of unconditional righteousness is in error.”

        Testimonies that point to the Truths of the Gospel are not ‘subjective experiences’, they testify to the Truths in the Scriptures. And the second part of your statement sets up a strawman. ‘Hyper-Grace’, or more accurately, the Gospel (Good News) of Grace clearly involves the faith of the believer.

        My background is in Aviation (customer service side, not technical side), but I know a lot of aircraft mechanics =o). Here’s the thing: Aircraft mechanics are very familiar with the Law of Gravity. But what they build and maintain is the means to overcome the Law of Gravity, resulting in Flight. Is their focus on the Law of Gravity or on the Law of Aerodynamics? Likewise, Grace overcomes Law and sin much like the Law of Aerodynamics overcomes the Law of Gravity. As long as you abide by faith in the aircraft, >>>which operates based on the Law of Aerodynamics<<<, the Law of Gravity is of no concern.

      • Haha, that was me, not Paul. ;) You’re right, it’s not at all silent on sin because people have such a hard time believing the Good News is that good. Could you please explain what God meant when He said “I will remember your sins no more”.

        Your statement “God did it all, so relax” is a pretty good summary of God’s description of His New Covenant in Hebrews 10:16, 17.

        Grace is so much more than a topic, grace is the very nature of our God. If we miss it on grace, we miss who God really is. When I see Jesus, I see grace.

        You may have the last word. God bless you! :)

      • Jim, sorry for the mix-up. No, the scriptures don’t warn us to flee sin and pursue holiness just because we have a hard time believing the gospel. Why would the Bible discourage us from believing the gospel and foster error?

        God doesn’t hold sins against those who are in Christ, the catch is that one has to remain in Christ. An overly simplistic “do-nothing” view of the gospel can only work if one ignores major portions of the NT. Whether you and Luther like it or not, faith without works is still dead.

    • JGIG,

      I’m experienced enough to know that “second conversion” style testimonies are often rooted in error and emotionalism. The problem with hyper-grace is that, objectively speaking, it’s not the truth of the gospel, and conflicts with the warnings that scripture gives to believers against falling into condemnation.

      And no, I was not setting up a strawman, I was talking about rejection of faith after initially believing. I clarified above that such a conclusion is taking my statement out of context. Hyper grace teaches that subsequent rejection of faith doesn’t put one in danger.

      • faith is a gift (eph 2:8)… essentially, our like preciouse faith (2pet 1:1) is the gift of the Holy Spirit Himself. when we first receive the gift of faith (by the Spirit) and act upon it, we are born again (in and by the Spirit)… God the Holy Spirit did that – He joined Himself to us… and “what God has joined together, let no man seperate!” (matt 19:6) God’s gifts are irrevocable (rom 11:29).
        by your word usage, i’m under the impression that you believe faith is something we have to maintain by our own power… but faith is not something we strive to have… its Somebody we have already been blessed with that empowers us to “walk out” our new life by! ;)

  84. …and they all lived gracefully ever after?

  85. Christopher says:

    I think someone should leave a comment and a link at the CharismaNews website to this page that Paul had responded to Dr Brown’s article. Readers would be interested to see the discussion here. Mm?

  86. Wow! All Im reading here is people getting set free left and right from bondage, addiction, and stronghold by beliving this Hyper Grace Message including myself. The Bible Calls it “Abundant Grace.” If you want freedom like you never had before. If you want the love of Jesus to flood your life like never before. If you want a relationship with God like you never had before we welcome you to come into this abundant grace!!

  87. I finally went and read Brown’s article linked in the topic post. He also seems to have issue with what some grace teachers say in that God does not see our sins. I think he misinterprets what those in the grace movement are suggesting. Of course He(God) sees our sins. How could He not! The problem is according to Romans 4:8 God does not or will not impute sin to the Righteous…the Believer. If Christ became sin for the believer and we sin but God has to judge or discipline us then did Christ die for nothing? Referencing Galatians obviously.
    Also it would behoove him to study the old covenant sacrifices and how they were shadows of the coming Messiah. A similar thing happened with those sacrifices as well. The blood of bulls and goats took on the sins of the Hebrews. In a similar fashion the Hebrews sins were covered, as in God did not see their sin either, but under the old it was only for a year.
    At the Cross however Jesus took on the sins of the world forever. Not to cover them up but He became sin for us.
    I think I alluded to it earlier but this goes back to original sin nature(a noun) vs actively sinning(a verb). As Wommack suggests rather than calling it sinning for a believer perhaps it’s better to call it “missing the mark”. After all hasn’t it been shown, over and over, that no one can live by God’s Laws perfectly? Was that not the reason Christ came to begin with? To free us from the curse of the Law! Since we couldn’t do it ourselves, by Grace He did it for us.
    It is a shame Brown uses the term “Hyper” for something he does not understand fully. I am reminded how the teaching of Paul was also received by many in they didn’t understand either.
    Perhaps this dialog will help open many eyes to more of the gospel truths.

    • Dr. Brown apparently understands it quite well: God doesn’t impute sin to the righteous, but only those who believe are righteous, for righteousness is by faith. The unfortunate error of hyper-grace says that nothing -not even wholesale rejection of faith in Christ- will make a believer unrighteous, which is unscriptural, since it’s impossible to please God without faith (Heb 11:6). There is no scriptural support for such a hyper-grace dogma, but very clear teaching that those who endure to the end shall be saved.

  88. Joseph Benton Sy says:

    Hi. I really don’t like debating over this. But I think it boils down to what people will see as the effect of your adherence to whatever you think is right. If we’re reading the same Bible but interpreting it the same way, doesn’t that just tell us that we don’t look at ourselves but on what God is telling us, albeit individually? I mean if you are for ‘hyper-grace’, isn’t it a healthy expectation that you would ‘go and sin no more’ because of what Jesus has done? What’s disheartening is that I have seen other people believe in this and have actually made it an excuse to sin. Cussing, disobedience, not submitting to authority and even not following road rules! That’s wrong at some point. If we really profess that we are His then aren’t we supposed to live ‘not of this world?’. (Romans 12:2). I’m not blaming Mr. Ellis on this, but I think what’s important is that we know who we are Christ and then live accordingly.

    • i think that when some people realize they aren’t under law they swing their flesh pendulum in the totally opposite direction… if you take away the speed limit there are people who are going to react to that by driving recklessly… but i think the reason for this is because they haven’t had a revelation of God’s love for them… people who choose to drive recklessly don’t care about themselves or others – otherwise they would understand that their behavior is hazardous. we can only truly love and care for others when we have experienced true love…God’s love… and being able to appreciate everything Jesus went through for us to be perfectly forgiven and made righteous. i’m thinking there is a big possibility that these “grace abusers” believe that God’s love = “no laws”… kinda like a kid that says “if you love me you would let me do whatever i want.” the purpose for dying to the old way of the law was so that we could live in the new way by the Holy Spirit…but a person who reacts to grace this way is still acting like an independent rebel…

  89. Charles Indonesia says:

    I believe both sides, who believe in Grace and who don’t believe in Grace, still saved already, for we all believe in Jesus and His Deity (unless you don’t believe in Him). The differences is just the way to live life. Under Grace we live with no condemnation, no fear of sin, and in His love forever. Vice versa, who dont believe is His finished perfect work (Grace) will have to confess their sins everytime, to work for God’s blessings and acceptance, and to look older than they are. :-D

    Thats it. All we in Grace want is for those who are still lost to live the way we live, in Grace, no more striving, no more toiling, hard labor ceased, under His shower of Grace abundantly, and many more blessings from God that was promised to Abraham that now is ours.
    Its your choice my friends, pick one and live it fully. I hope you pick Grace. Amen.

    • Christopher says:

      Doesn’t Heb 10:29 tell us that living under the law is an insult to Christ? “How much worse punishment, do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace?”
      I don’t think living under law or the lifestyle that legalists live should be condoned.

  90. There’s no extreme grace, greasy grace, sloppy grace, hyper grace, etc. There is only grace. Those terms are added by people whose fear of deception is stronger than their understanding and experience of God’s love.

    Great article Paul! As for the comments, you have the patience of Job! And the message of Paul! :)

  91. nthabiseng modise says:

    Great article. Thank u!

  92. Paul I agree with you that we are forgiven pat present future heb 10 knocks a home run on this point… The whole chapter is about comparing The covenants and When we look at the fact in the Old, your sins were not taken away, they were cover by blood of bulls and goats and Your sins were not forgiven once for all due to, you had to offer up year by year a sacrifice.

    lets get into this part

    what does make perfect mean? well we are forgiven Once for all and we have The righteous of Christ in us, because he is in us we are made perfect, our sins like in Jeremiah 31 when he says and there sins I shall remember no more.

    This is not license to sin, some people say that it is but it has a different effect on me Because God show me how much he loves me and makes me WANT to live for him.

    Now in heb 10 sinning willing, this is not talking about Christians going bad or back sliding, it about People that heard The truth but they reject The sacrifice of Jesus, calling his blood common no better then bulls and goats and in insulting the spirit of grace.

    example The temple stood for about 20 more years after Jesus left and stood offering up sacrifices in The temple, they did not believe and that is The sin of heb 10 The sin of unbelief, also in heb 3.

  93. The controversy of the gospel of grace is not over the first part of this verse but over the second part.

    – For He made Him(Christ) who knew no sin to be sin for us,
    – that we might become the righteousness of God in Him(Christ) (II Corinthians 5:21 NKJV)

  94. Titus 2:11-12 says Grace is a person called Jesus. :) Thus Hyper Grace maybe also called Hyper Jesus. Does this mean there is such thing as ‘too much Jesus’? Or such thing as ‘relying in Jesus too much’?

    As I read the comments, I realized this
    #1 those in Hyper-Grace and other side agrees that God hates sin.
    #2 both sides also agrees that Christians are not sinners because of Jesus (Grace)
    #3 both sides maintain that a Christian should not remain sinning and must live a holy life.

    What both sides did not agree on ‘how to live a holy life’?
    Those in non-Hyper Grace camp says “obedience is the answer”
    Hyper-Grace would say, “Jesus is the answer”.

    • That’s a very good summary, Joseph. There are those who trust in their own obedience – their own acts of repentance, confession, standard-keeping – and those who simply say “Christ is my life” (Col 3:4, Gal 2:20).

  95. Paul firstly I would like to say that this website has blessed my socks off since I was led here. Here’s my two cents. Jesus always loved the unlovely, those whom society had rejected. He drove the self-righteous crowd crazy with who he broke bread with. He transformed these people with the awesome power of his Grace and for once in their lives they felt real love. Not a fickle human love, but divine love. Agape love. Unconditional and received through faith in who he was. He gave them rivers of living water from their innermost being. Having experienced this myself I can tell you they didn’t come from anything I had done, but when the Holy Spirit revealed that my salvation was absolutely nothing to do with me.
    Jesus has transformed my life because I know I am loved. Any fruit we bear draws from this source. Nobody is advocating deliberate sin, we need to stay clean so he can use us more effectively to further his kingdom, we need to remember however that the source of our love is his love and Grace for us.

    It’s the Glory of HIS creation and the Glory of HIS salvation. Why do we law as always try and make it about us.

    As a footnote remember that knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. I’d like to write a book myself called ‘hyper-theology’. How religion bores and condemns people out of the doors.

    Blessings to Paul and Michael, nice to see grown men disagreeing but with total respect for each other.

  96. I read Brown’s original article and feel that much of his focus rests on whether God “sees our sins”. To me this seems like a trivial point to get hung up on, since the New Covenant (cut in the precious blood of our Savior, Jesus), clearly states that God will remember our sins No More(“No More” is a strong DOUBLE NEGATIVE which means never ever, not in ANY way, By NO Means!)! (Thank you Jesus!)Grace is not about getting a “free pass”. Grace is God’s unearned Favor that took All our sins, and by All I mean ALL, and punished them once and for ALL in Jesus. Grace is not free, its priceless, and thats why it was given as a gift, because if it were for sale, we could never afford it! My sins didn’t go unpunished, God saw them and imputed them to my sinless Savior. And in the same way Jesus became MY sin (2 Cor 5:21) I now am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! God sees His Son’s perfect and finished work, and if we keep our eyes on Jesus, beholding begets becoming (2Cor 3:18)! Thank you Paul, your writings on this blog are an “unmixed” drink for my thirsty soul! Keep renewing our mind towards God’s Grace(Brown may call it “Hyper”, John Newton called it AMAZING) either way, it’s a sweet sound that saved a wretch like me!

    • Christopher says:

      Thank you Bec. You bring tears to my eyes because its true, grace is priceless. You’ve described it so beautifully and that truly honors Jesus.

  97. Thank you Paul for bringing us the true gospel… THE GOSPEL of GRACE

  98. Pop Quiz: Which is the true answer:
    A. Living in the balance of Grace & Faith
    B. Living in the balance of Grace & Law
    c. Living in the balance of Law & Faith
    Short answer: A
    C is the way the Jews & old covenant live
    B is the way religious people live
    A is what the New Covenant teaches
    I hope before Dr. Brown writes his book he does thorough research. I would suggest for him to start going through all of Andrew Wommacks site. http://www.awmi.net Start with the message “Living in the balance of Grace & Faith” That was a life changer for me and that is the real issue. pleople who claim we are “hyper grace” are refering to those who are off balance in grace only etc. which can lead to the feared errors. BUT if we live by Grace THRU Faith we remain in balance and safe (I think Eph 2-8,9 is prob the most important Scripture – By Grace are we saved(healed, delivered, prospered) thru Faith) Responding to God in Faith is the “work/command” that is required(.) One last thing. When we keep our eyes & focus on Jesus we won’t sin or want to sin. The sin lies in taking our eyes off of Him, not in what we do during that time. Our focus should not be on sin, but on Jesus. BTW the Holy Spirit convicts us of righteousness not sin big difference. The last thing we need when we blow it is a God who says “I told you so, You wretch” Rather a God who says “Son I love you, you are not this failure, you are My righteousness, you are FREE :)”

  99. The point I’m trying to make in my posts on Hebrews 12 is this:

    It seems the idea that God would convict of sin would compromise the teaching of Son-consciousness. Conviction seems to imply we need to be sin-conscious, and we all know how that leads us into self-focus and lack of victory and intimacy. I hate that.

    But I think the idea that conviction of sin EQUALS sin-consciousness is the work of the enemy. What I feel a lot of people are struggling against IS NOT the idea that conviction comes from God, but believing a condemning voice IS of God.

    Why do I belabor it?

    1) Hebrews 12 clearly states it (God rebukes those He loves and rebuke is a sign of sonship, not the questioning of it), and many other passages imply it. I’m not interested in making people sin-conscious. I’m interested in exposing false conviction from the enemy.

    2) I feel like Joseph Prince has a major revelation on victory over sin. But I feel his teaching on conviction isn’t accurate (unless I have missed something) and so turns people off to the powerful message he has. And I don’t want that to happen.

    • Good points you make about Hebrews 12. Yes, the Holy Spirit will show us where we are sinning, but sin is really pride and unbelief at its core. Our Father is faithful to teach and reprove us.

      • Neil, thanks for the comment. I agree. Sin happens because we aren’t resting in the finished work. Gal 3 – the Spirit by Whom we reflect His nature came through simple faith.

        Glory to God!

    • John Senior says:

      Dustin,
      Nowhere in Hebrews 12 is the word “rebuke” used. In fact the ONLy word that could possibly be taken this way is, as I said before is the word “paideia” – to child train or tutor. Notably the KJV uses the word “discipline” but even this is too strong a meaning for “paideia”. The whole passage in Hebrews 12 is about how God lovingly and gently child trains or tutors us in His ways. There is no sense of punishment in the world’s sense – as v 10 says He child trains us “for our profit”, in order to bring about “the peaceful fruit of righteousness” – which is a gift from God that we receive, based NOT on what we do, but on what we believe.

      • John thank you :)

        Yeah I’m totally for that, it not being about punishment but fathering and love. What I’m talking about is that God, even gently, will point out areas where we have sin, but it is no longer a matter of justification or acceptance.

        Even Pastor Prince’s book opens with the Lord speaking to his heart about mixing grace and law.

        So it seems unhelpful to say God never convicts of sin. That’s the point I’m talking about.

        It seems more helpful to say that He does do it in one way, but not another, namely to guilt and encourage works-righteousness.

        Thoughts?

  100. Hi, so I’m a little confused. I get that we’re “saved by Grace through faith” and that Christ died for “all are sins” but I’m having a hard time understanding the repentance part. I’ve been reading the “Gospel in 10 words” as recommended by a friend I and think it’s pretty awesome so far. I was saved and grew up under “fire & brimstone” teaching. I now attend a “Grace” driven church which I really love but lately I’ve been struggling with the topic of repentance. Are we commanded or supposed to repent everyday of our sins? It just seems wrong for me not to ask the Lord for forgiveness. Also I listen to Christian rap as well as other christian genres and hear a lot about “Dying to self.” I remember reading somewhere in the “Gospel in 10 words” book were it addressed the this topic of “Dying daily” It said “You do not need to die daily and “We were crucified once; we need never be crucified again.” I still have trouble understanding this and to learn that the topic of “Dying daily” is not biblical, where did this topic come from and why is everyone stressing it?

    Love,
    J.P.

    • Christopher says:

      I think the repentance meant the change of life, from living in unbelief, in works in order to earn God’s favor and self reliance – to faith and dependence on Jesus. I read a book somewhere that the English word ‘repent’ is derived from Latin where re means to go back, and pent means top, as in penthouse. The Greek noun metanoia literally means, ‘a change of mind.’ It is better understood realising oneself as being seated with Christ in heavenly places and being sons and daughters of God. That means that we realise that we have set apart through Christ and not like the world which wallows in the pits of sin and unbelief. The faith part is believing what the Words says, even when it doesn’t make human sense – our righteousness is in Christ.

      • Yes, and if we understand that repent, ‘metanoia’ actually means to have a change of mind, we can understand Romans 12:1-2 so much better!

        Will we repent again in our walks? Yes! But does that mean to turn away from sin (which is really just works driven by Law or behavior modification), or seek for forgiveness again (even though ALL of our sins were forgiven at the Cross) or does that mean letting God remake, >>>renew<<< our what? Our minds – the birthplace of sin (see Matthew 5) — which leads us to change our minds – repent – about our sins AND who we are in Christ – and then our actions (living works, Fruits of the Spirit) follow that RENEWALL!

        / Yay God! /

    • Hi J.P., the phrase “dying daily” is derived from a statement Paul made in 1Cor.15 where he was commenting on how he faced physical death for the sake of the gospel. He was not talking about dying to his “old man” which he deems dead in many other scriptures. He was defending the fact that we will have resurrected bodies when it is all said and done. For more info on the dying to self thing, you might want to check this out: http://siggit81.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/dont-have-a-cow-part-6-dying-to-self/

    • Thanks for the feedback guys. @John Long- I appreciate the link bro. Definitely cleared up the confusion I had.

  101. I can just agree with a lot of people here that Joseph Prince first opened my & my brother’s eyes to the Good News (Gospel of Grace), then Andrew Wommack just slammed all of our man-made teachings to the floor & then…Curry Blake’s teachings blew our minds! Not elevating any men to idols, just saying these guys truly understand & teach the Gospel to a point where it changes your life effortlessly & practically.

  102. Dustin
    First sorry I couldn’t reply to an earlier post. This site has limited “reply” capability.

    Here is a link to another dear bother’s blog(Cornel Marais whom E2R is familiar with) and he has some good things to say about what you’re asking I believe.

    http://www.charismaministries.org/does-the-holy-spirit-convict-christians-of-their-sins/

  103. The law was our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ. Jesus came to deliver us from the law. The Holy Spirit was given to be our conviction. What we do with that is irrelevant to our salvation or favor with God. When He looks at us He sees the blood of his Son, not whether or not we are following “the law”. Our sins are remembered no more and the Spirit gives us the desire to do good and keep trying when we fail. Our sin nature does not disappear nor will it ever. That is why we turn TO Christ in our sin. We don’t clean it up to approach him worthily. We never were and we never will be. Focusing on the law and making it a part of grace is discrediting Jesus’ finished work.

    • Christopher says:

      This concept of God seeing the blood of His Son when he sees us doesn’t make sense. Under the Old Covenant, the sacrifices of goats and bulls ‘covered’ the sins of the Jews, which had to be repeated year after year, but John the baptist introduced Jesus by saying “Behold, the Land of God which ‘takes away’ the sins of the world”.
      I believe that the finished work on the cross is sufficient to wash us perfectly clean, and it is an agreement between Father and Son that the world may be reconciled through the death and resurrection of the Son.
      As for ‘sinful nature’ I suggest you read: Do Christians Still Have a Sinful Nature? by Ryan Rufus

  104. Carole Hustead says:

    To Paul Ellis,   A friend introduced me to The Gospel in 10 Words and every time I read in it, I am blessed. I think this movement should be called “Radical Grace”, or “Extreme Grace”, or even “Ultimate Grace.”  However, I like “Radical Grace” best because I believe the good news Jesus brought the Jews of his days was “radical.”  It also seems that your message is “radical” to many people today.   For many years I have said about Hebrews 4:2 and 4:9-10, “There is a rest for God’s people and they entered not in because of unbelief. Today they enter not in because they have not be taught.”   Thank you for bringing that teaching to our world today.   Carole Hustead 

    • Hi Carole, thanks for your encouraging feedback. I like radical grace too. Jesus made a radical impression when he walked the earth. Paul was radical when he said a complete no to the law. And yes, since so many have never heard of the gospel of undiluted grace, the message remains as radical as ever.

  105. You know in a way, whatever passages the critics of Paul Ellis throws his way on obedience is tangential. If I have to avoid to eating on 6 days, avoid making any contact with all women, and confess every single sin I ever committed since age 3 in order to avoid eternal agony in a burning hell, it all misses the point. Why? Because either you have confidence that Christ is faithful to live in you to meet *every single one of these* requirements and a 1,000,000,000+E(Google Plex) more that God would put on you to be acceptable to Him … or you do not have the confidence. If I am wrong about this then 2 Thess. 5:23-24; Gal. 2:20; Phil 2:13; Rom. 6:22; Rom. 7:5-6; Rom 8:1-39 and many more verses are all lies that need to be ripped from the hinges of our Bibles!

    1) You can trust in your good judgements, motivations, resiliency, discipline in order to life a life pleasing to God and get to heaven or …

    2) You can trust in Christ in you the hope of glory (Col. 1:27) to both “will” and “do” “his good pleasure.” That’s radical childlike faith that God will make it happen. Are you willing to bet it all on that?

  106. Enjoy reading the gospel in 10 words and following this discussion about the hypergrace article.This discussion reminds me of what Paul in Rom3:8 and 6:1 was saying as he was attacked about his grace message and accussed of saying lets sin more that grace might increase. As A. Wommack reminds us if your grace message is not attacked like Paul’s (pun intended) was you are probably not preaching the gospel like the apostle Paul did. Equally if your grace message is attacked due to stating the outrageous bountifulness of God’s love and grace you are most likely on the right track. I find you can only see certain things about the wonderful grace message and not wanting to continue in sin if you have received it. Until then it does not make full sense and I can see that someone may be concerned about bountiful grace as a license to continuing in sin so that they think you have to do something about it. Of course it sounds like circular reasoning but you can only look and perceive from your vantage point.

  107. Alfred Scott says:

    After reading all the comments it *SEEMS* that everyone in the law camp is living a very holy and obedient life whereas all in the Grace camp are living a disobedient and unholy life.

    Lol

    I’m totally agreeing with Paul’s article.

  108. You remember when Charisma have on his cover the Prince of peace? I think mister Brown start preparing his article :-)

  109. Response to thewordandprayer: I would definitely say that our interactive relationship with God involves correction for things we are doing that don’t line up with Him. But I believe His aim is to encourage us in faith. Paul told the Corinthians to test themselves to see if they were in the faith (he did not say to test themselves to see if we were doing everything just right). He then goes on to remind them that Jesus Christ was in them (this is in 2Cor.13:5). So I think God will always remind the believer of the sufficiency that is found in grace and faith rather than simply where we are missing it.

    • John, I appreciate your comment :) Yea, I feel we must rest fully in the finished work from the heart to experience new Life, which is of faith–a completely different mindset than Law.

      Where I’m coming from with the point on Hebrews 12 isn’t about trying to convince people that God punishes us or rebukes us with hatred. My concern is for those who are turned away from good grace preaching because they hear this teaching that “the Spirit does not convict of sin”, which to many sounds like this: “God will never correct, father or guide us when we are in error.” And so people who have a clear revelation of grace are written off as not credible, and that hurts my heart. It almost seems like an issue of semantics and definitions of words.

      My other concern is for those who love God’s unadulterated grace: when they hear someone saying, “But God does convict of sin, something seems off in your teaching,” they can immediately peg the person concerned with “mixing Law and grace” when that is the last thing on their mind.

      Make sense?

      Bless you :)

  110. I Hope Paul allows this link. The current run of Joseph Prince’s daily tv broadcast is #142. Specifically part #1 broadcast on Thursday this past week. This particular episode speaks directly to the content of this E2R post. It is uncanny how appropriate this JP teaching is to the subject at hand. Please watch this 28 minute video….everyone including Dr Brown.
    It’s titled “Put the “Amazing” Back into Grace”

    • Thank you. I was greatly blessed by the link provided. As the bride of Christ we are all united through what Jesus has done for us. The all together lovely one the all together beautiful one. Shalom.

  111. John, Felix and jennie, sorry if there is confusion: my logins changed: I’m both Dustin Horstmann and thewordandprayer ;)

    You are blessings! – Dustin

  112. Christopher, I would not have guessed that anybody would assume that I meant God LITERALLY only sees blood when he looks at us, but rather understand that when he looks at us we are CLEAN because his Son’s BLOOD has washed away our sins. Not just for the moments, hours or days after salvation before we sinned again. As for our sin nature, I am a Christian and I still have a sin nature. If I didn’t, it would not be so hard not to be sarcastic and patronizing in my replies. The Holy Spirit is reminding me to be a good girl. It straight up makes me angry that so many on here INSIST on forcing the LAW (not specifically you) into God’s GRACE, his finished work. We GRACE only-ers are like “God’s grace is sooooo amazing” and the Grace/Law combiners are like “Well…it’s not THAT amazing….yeah, but….words….knowledge…old covenant…words…yeah, but” IT IS FINISHED. THE PRICE IS PAID. STAND IN AWE.

  113. I would say it is dis-honest for people to say that they consider hyper grace means that we can live anyway we want or our actions do not matter, or we can say we can follow Christ but live in rebellion.

    I tend to see this on doctor brown page ask brown but I really do not want to jump into a frying pan, trying to dig in exegesis etc….

    I think Dr,brown info on 1 john 1:9 IS not correct, this is how I see it

    1 John 1:9 in ref. to confessing our sins, was written in context to people who believed that they had no sin (1 John 1:8,10). And if they believe that they had no sin, then they must also believe that they had no need of God’s forgiveness for sin. And if they believed that they had no need of God’s forgiveness for sin, they would neither confess their sins, nor would they thank and praise God for forgiving them of their sins, because they believed that they had no sin.

  114. I cannot get over this! The law camp keeps accusing the grace camp of living and preaching a license of sin???? But the grace camp are the only ones who are sharing testimonies of getting freedom and deliverance from sin??

    Paul now I really understand what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote this verse.

    “Some people are actually trying to put such words in our mouths, claiming that we go around saying, “The more evil we do, the more good God does, so let’s just do it!” That’s pure slander, as I’m sure you’ll agree. (Romans 3:8 MSG)

    • Who is this cryptic “law camp?”

      • There is no camp! Just a bad term I used. Sorry J.C. if i offended you. I did not realize how bad it sounded. Better term would be Just grace alone or mixture of law and grace.

    • Funny how that works . . .

      Those who pursue Torah observance (Hebrew Roots Movement) often boast about how glad they are that YHWH has shown them His Torah so that *they* can avoid sinning (most of which concerns works of the flesh – observance of Feasts, days, and dietary laws, etc.). While they pridefully boast in their obedience, they constantly chide others who don’t do as they do and order *believers in Christ* to repent (according to their false definition of repent from their ‘Torahlessness’ before it’s too late! Too late for what? Those who are in Christ are cleansed-by-the-blood, redeemed-by-Christ, believers in Him! We are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21)!

      Jesus did not come to make Law-breakers into Law-keepers, He came to make spiritually dead people into spiritually alive people. And since we are alive in Him, the Fruits of the Spirit are demonstrated in our lives, manifesting in the works that He has prepared in advance for us to do, chiefly the Fruit/works of Love (of which, imo, all the other Fruits of the Spirit are elements), which fulfills all the commands that God requires of us after Christ came (John 6:28-29, 1 John 3:23, Rom. 13:8-14, Eph. 2:10, Gal. 5:16-26).

      So wait – let’s get this straight – the Fruits of the Spirit fulfill the commands of God? And we ‘achieve’ this by abiding by faith in Christ? Whoa!

  115. Paul, I am so pleased that you gave your previous life as a lawyer up to preach about Jesus aka grace. I am sad for those who responded to your above post out of anger and some, ignorance of the Father’s love.
    I can’t wait for those guys esp to be dipped into the fondue of Christ’s love and have them lap it up, be thoroughly soaked, and apologise to you one day.
    Think you are the coolest blogger and the bravest to tackle these thoughts. Keep writing on his love buddy.

  116. Or we can see it in this way; we need hyper (super-abounding) grace, to turn away from sin. In other words, the empowerment to sin-no-more, is found only in the Grace of God; the obedience of Christ. The only obedience that’s flawless and perfect with God’s standards, is Jesus’s obedience (2 Corinthians 10:5). His obedience is our obedience, just as His righteousness is our righteousness. With the obedience of Christ established as our only obedience, we can boldly confess in the faith of Christ, that God sees no disobedience (failure to obey, which leads to sin) in us, because all that God sees is the perfection of His Son in us. Jesus is the standard of our perfection.
    God sees no sin in us when He chose to remember them no more. It truly matters how we see ourselves, as God sees us. Just as Jesus is, so are we in this world. Just as Christ is perfect without blemish, without sin, so are we, in the eyes of God. In the eyes of Man, it’s undeniable that we have a history of mistakes, but in the eyes of God, there’s abounding grace and truth, and clarity, we are perfect and sinless to Him, in the image of Christ.
    As born-again believers with the Spirit of Christ living in us, God does not see our obedience nor our disobedience, all He sees is Jesus and His obedience working in and through us, Even towards non-believers, all that God sees is the blood of Jesus shed for their redemption, He does not see their sins or mistakes, because they have been forgiven through Christ’s sacrifice. The confession of a new believer, is not to confess one’s disobedience but Jesus’s obedience. I believe that the conviction of the Holy Spirit, not only point out to the world of their imperfection, but also to point out to them their need for His Grace, convicting them in their hearts that only God can help them, because they did not believe in Him (John 16:9). Helpless beyond control under the yoke of sin, because of unbelief, Holy Spirit had to convict their hearts to surrender, thus receive God’s goodness, prior to repentance, which is the renewal of the mind (metanoia), to help them believe in God who is for them, and not against them. Our sins may be evident to us, but forgiven in the eyes of God. It’s only when the sting of the law (condemnation) is removed, so will the venom of sin be removed. The thirst for God’s Grace, Jesus’s obedience, will overrule every other desire to sin. If God is no longer observing our sins, why should we?
    It’s more important to observe our righteousness in Christ, than our sins. Being conscious of our sins, does us no good, except condemnation and guilt. The guilt-trip is a vicious cycle that locks us in sin, rather than liberating us from the stronghold of sin. Therefore to say that God still sees our sins, even after the finished work of Christ, is to preach a sin-conscious relationship with God, rather than a Christ-conscious relationship. The only way, truth and life, in establishing our relationship with God, is not under the exposure of our sins, but the exposure of Christ.

  117. Guys, seriously? How do you reinterpret this scripture to evade the obvious meaning? Eph4:17-30…
    I’ll say it again, and maybe it wont get editor supressed this time: “Sanctification is not a repuditation of Justification. Sanctification is the natural outgrowth of Justification. That is why Rom 12 starts with “in view of God’s mercy” and then goes on to say “offer your bodies”. You drink milk so you can get strong enough to eat meat, you don’t pout and say meat is evil, only milk is holy.

    • At this point I’m asking: “Why not go and find another blog about God’s ‘somewhat’ amazing grace and let this go. You guys clearly just are incapable of accepting God’s grace for what it is. You are sounding more and more like babes as you cannot absorb any of this truth. The grace that we are swallowing IS the meat and it is chewy and delicious and completely satisfying. Seriously, why not find a blog that will back up your faith/works beliefs and keep eating the Spam.” You are not going to win any arguments here. Most of us joined this page because we agree 100%. Why are you still here? It’s been argued to death now. You are not going to sway us from the truth and clearly you are not ready to accept God’s grace. As patronizing as it may sound, I encourage you to beg God to make it all clear and show you if you are in error yourselves and for heaven’s sake….leave this alone now.

    • Excellent comment, Durable. The Lord’s commands are clear to those who want to understand.

      Sally Ann, grace is more amazing than you give it credit for: it not only brings about salvation and forgiveness, but also teaches us to deny ungodly lusts and to live righteously (Titus 2:11-12).

      As much as you want to deny good works, the Bible is clear that faith without works (that is, that doesn’t produce works) is dead and cannot save (James 2:14-20). Try reading your Bible for what it says instead of dwelling on select proof-texts, it opens up a whole new level of understanding.

      • Dear Brother, I have been following your comments a fair bit and I read with great sadness that many like you presume and assume that those of us who decides now to live in the New Covenant have a faith with no good works and tends to live a care less life of unholiness. It keeps coming up again and again. Please remember we were like you before and we place emphasis on obedience to the law and living holy lives that is also how I use to see others. Their worth and identity is measured according to how well they obey the law – what they do. I have since repented and we pray you too will receive your revelation of His Abundant Grace soon so you too will Reign in Life! But first remember what James said a transformed soul will be like – “… Quick to Listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
        Shalom!!!

      • Christopher says:

        The bible talks about ‘works’ and ‘good works’ and there is a difference between them. ‘Works’ is when you use your own efforts to earn God’s favor and please him. That is a law principle.
        ‘Good works’ is looking after the poor, the widows and orphans. Good works brings glory to Jesus because the poor praise Jesus for His goodness.
        By one’s effort to please God, one brings glory to oneself, whereas living under His grace, one gives glory to Jesus.

        Galatians 3:1-3 O foolish J.C. Thibodaux! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

      • Allan, if you placed emphasis on law-keeping, then you were never like me, and don’t understand what I’m saying.

        Christopher, I don’t espouse salvation by keeping of the Mosaic law (i.e. works of the law); you would dare not only misquote the scriptures but rip them out of context to attack me?

  118. GUIKE THEOPHILLUS PANMEI says:

    Wow!! quite a trip going through all the responses here by Pastor Paul Ellis, Pastor Ryan Rufus and Dr. Brown. Well Dr. Brown, GRACE tipped the balance cause that’s 2 against 1 (meant that on the lighter side). It was grand going through the insights that were poured out here. Pastor Rufus, eagerly waiting to hear your anointed teachings at the JESUS FESTIVAL here in the Philippines March 1. And pastor Paul Ellis, IF NOT for hyper-grace where would we be now?? I thank the Lord that you obeyed the Holy Spirit’s unction to pen down GOD’s TRUE NATURE of hyper-grace. I really don’t care what anyone labels me UNDER grace. I am what I am NOW because of the GRACE OF GOD. I am the living HYPER-life.

  119. J.C……..sigh. Your retort did nothing. Just as all of the obvious verses thrown at ya’ll have done absolutely NOTHING for you. Like Mr. Panmei said…..CALL us whatever you want! We are free from the law. Ya’ll need to stop assuming that we’re standing on the corner waiting for a drug deal with our porn magazines!!!! I’m gonna take an educated guess here and assume that the people following this blog and arguing with you here take an extreme interest in God, and things above and desire to live lives that mimic Christ though for entirely different reasons. I’ve been on the other side. I know exactly why you’re thinking what you think. Half of the comments on here are textbook replies and extremely predictable. They sound exactly like the half a zillion sermons I heard growing up in legalism. Dare you study AGAINST your belief? Dare you take the challenge to see if enough prayer and openness can sway your deep roots of misunderstanding? When I began re-studying the Bible with an open heart and neutrality, I found an entirely different GRACE. I figured, what’s the harm of investigating and studying AGAINST it. I’ve been brainwashed to believe other insanely legalistic “truths”. If I’m right, I’ll only strengthen my beliefs. If I’m wrong, I may have an understanding of God’s love that was IMPOSSIBLE for me to feel with my previously inaccurate notions. Nobody said it’s easy to evaluate everything you believe. I’m asking you guys to PRAY. This is coming from someone who was on your “side”. DELETE your “worthiness” and where do you feel you stand with God? I promise you seeing God’s grace for what it truly is will only make you love Him so much more.

    • Sally Ann,
      My retort cut down your nonsensical smears about “somewhat amazing grace.”…

      • Thanks JC, but we’re done. Normally I give critics one chance to speak and one further opportunity to respond. You’ve been given several opportunities beyond that and nothing good has come of it. You are entitled to your views but I am entitled to keep these threads clear of ugliness. Sayonara.

    • Hi Sally, I’ve read your response, and also your post re: sheep and shepherd (Amen!). I too grew up in a very religious environment (Catholicism), and more recently, Pentecostalism (where I was taught about salvation, but interestingly enough there were also religious traditions, and a mixture of law and grace, which can almost be more deadly than pure law). What I’ve come to realize is that revelation of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ — grace, can only be revealed by revelation. We will never be able to win an argument on this subject. And for me, I have to remind myself that I too was stuck in religion, and law, and works, and sin for almost forty-three years. I can’t expect that I will sway someone in one posting, although I guess we can always try….and always with love. Blessings to you, sister!

      • Hi Diana,
        I contend for the Gospel with those engaged in the pursuance of Torah-obedience – kind of Law-keepers to the nth degree, though in reality, they water down the Law by necessity because there is no Temple and no Levitical priesthood. What they preach is pretty much salvation by grace thru faith BUT then there are certain things that you MUST do (in their case, mandatory Torah pseudo-observance) to MAINTAIN that salvation – classic Galatianism/Judaizing.

        I just want to encourage those here who contend for the Gospel that winning arguments is not what it’s about, because as you note, we will never ‘win’ the argument (in the Law-keepers’ eyes, anyway). But it is always okay to preach the Gospel of Grace (‘full preach’, as Rob Rufus likes to say), as that is the most effective way to refute false teachings.

        When the Apostles came across false teachings/beliefs, the primary way that they addressed them was to reinforce the simple Truths of the Gospel: Who Christ Jesus is, what He came to do, what that actually accomplished, and who we who put our faith and trust in Him are in Him. When those Truths are *understood*, false teachings/beliefs tend to fall away. It takes time, and many prefer to strive to establish their own ‘righteousness’, but we must be content to be just a piece of the puzzle, willing to preach the Gospel in season and out of season, trusting the results to God.

  120. I think the hardest thing about re-evaluating your beliefs and seeking to understand TRUE GRACE is that from the time you get saved with a faith/works mentality, you identify your new Christian life with works, change, manifestations. The focus from the beginning is you and what you’re doing. To question the value of these, is to question your entire Christian identity and that is terrifying. I believe this is why so many Christians get re-saved or re-commit. IF their lives have not been “pleasing” enough, they choose to assume they must have never been saved or they would have enough good works. Correct teaching would leave them simply realizing they will always be human and love God all the more that HE is there through every up & down, with unwavering love and mercy. Understand that seeing change and good works for what they truly are and giving God’s GRACE it’s full credit does not automatically mean one leaps for joy and proceeds to seek out whatever ungodliness they can get their hands on. Seriously. Consider this: If you are on a mission to thrash those that desire the world to understand God’s FULL GRACE, ask yourself WHY it’s so important to you. Is it fear that your identity and everything you have preached up until now could be a complete error? Is it pride that keeps you from giving God due credit? Why can you not accept unconditional love?

  121. Why did Jesus compare us to sheep? Why does he call himself our Shepherd? He leads us. We make ourselves as dumb sheep to accept His grace and he leads us….not once to salvation, but our entire lives. What do you know of sheep? They are STUPID! It’s a lot of work to herd them around. They are always straying and going their own way. Yet Jesus compares us to sheep and loves us as sheep and remains our shepherd no matter how sheepy we are. He does not turn around and say “Quit acting like SHEEP!” He expects us to be sheep and came to be our shepherd anyway. Is that because He is going to beat us with his staff and we will become super sheep or cease to have any sheep-like qualities? No. A Christian leads a life not of works, but of following the Shepherd. Where ya’ll want to say FRUITS! FRUITS! MANIFESTATIONS! WORKS! We want to say “follow”. You want to define what it means to follow and add in whatever work you need to include. It is not about what we do. And what we do…do..means nothing to us but something we did because we felt we should or shouldn’t. IT. IS. NOT. ABOUT. US. He leads us. We’ll be sheep and bumble about, but He just looks at us and says “There are my precious sheep.” The simpler you can admit it is, the more amazing HE is for HIS grace. Now you may proceed to tear apart my analogy here and throw some more twisted Scriptures. READY. SET. GO!

    • Christopher says:

      Wow, that is so true! I love the way you describe Jesus as the Shepherd and us the sheep. Well done.

  122. Ken Johnston says:

    “God’s Grace is not a license to sin”, amen.

  123. Durh!!!!!! Cuz that’s what we want is a license to sin. It’s also not a super hero cape that’s going to make you incapable of sin. “Go and sin no more”….that’s the part where YOU say…see He expected us to drive ourselves batty trying to become sinless and obey His commandment to go and sin no more. But wait, there’s more….”lest a worse thing come upon you”. Sin has it’s own consequence. It is not good for us. Those consequences are not punishment from God. This verse is not a threat. Fact is when you accept his grace, you accept his forgiveness. It is OURS to claim. Not to repeatedly beg for every time we sin. We INSULT his GRACE.

    We DO feel remorse for sin. We DO NOT DESIRE TO GET AWAY WITH AS MUCH SIN AS WE CAN BECAUSE WE ARE FORGIVEN. We have the faith a child has when he has done wrong that his Daddy loves him the same. It is unconditional. We sin. We feel the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We try to do better, not because we have his disapproval, but because we want to mimic our loving Christ. We thank God we are already forgiven and continue our lives without fear loving our Shepherd all the more for being our Abba Father. Amen.

  124. This may sound like heresy to some, but I’m just going to share something from the Bible. God said He has set before us life and death. He goes on to say choose life (Deut. 30:19). So first, there are some things in the Bible that are death to us (2 Cor. 3:6-11). We have to discern, with the help of the Holy Spirit and by letting Bible interpret Bible, which ones are life and which ones are death. Second, we have to choose the ones that are life (He said it, not me). We should not try to apply every single verse to our life. We can’t walk in life and death at the same time and see any victory. Why would God set death before us? Because we need a good dose of death in order to die to our own efforts. If you really want to live by every single verse in the Bible, do it wholeheartedly with 100% effort (leave out the parts about stoning). Then death will produce the result it is intended to – “I can’t do this, I need a Savior”. As soon as you reach out to your graceful, loving Jesus, who’s been there through it all, He says with love burning in His eyes and a smile on His face, “come closer, give Me that heavy burden and I will give you rest” (Mt. 11:28).

  125. Thanks Christopher. Joseph Prince was talking about the Shepherd in an episode I recorded. I love him! While this thread has had a lot of annoying comments, I am really impressed by the intelligence and humility of so many others. You can really hear in some of these comments the love and awe for God. I honestly didn’t know before this blog that so many people DID understand God’s grace having never been around it. It also introduced me to Joseph Prince. I’m a lil excited about it.!!!! :)

  126. I’m not sure if this has been addresed as I haven’t read through every comment but I was just thinking about something the other day. Someone brought up the scripture in Matthew 7 when Jesus turns away many and says ” I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Then go to Psalm 103 and it says ” Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities.” Okay so I was just overwhelmed because we just don’t deal with the “big sins”. The “little stuff” also matters. What got to me even more was a definition I got for iniquity long time ago which is to practice lawlessness. So in other words this is ongoing and not a one time sin. Sometimes we know what we’re doing and sometimes we don’t but I don’t feel as though I can just go sin some more. I don’t want to.
    Any thoughts?

  127. i enjoyed the article as well as reading the thread. i liked that Dr. Brown responded and there was a lovely conversation that ensued. I am reading Paul Ellis’ book and have read some of Dr. Brown’s. [I have not read the hyper-grace one]. I am pretty sure that what Dr. Brown is addressing is simple and is being misunderstood by some. I could be wrong, but here is how I see it: Yes, God’s grace IS hyper and super and mega and all that. but it doesn’t give us the right to live lives that contradict our confession and the ACTUAL DEFINITION of Grace [which is crazy-awesome!!!!!!]. And, incidentally, Paul Ellis also agrees with this if you read his stuff. I simply think Dr. Brown is highlighting the message in Jude 1:4 and Titus 1:16 that describes the danger when the message of grace is morphed into a philosophy of hedonism. It is touched on in the last half of Hebrews 10 as well. This was a problem addressed in the NT soon after the Cross and Resurrection, and it is a problem today. simple. Ellis is right about Grace and its radical nature, and Brown is right about bringing up the messages of Jude, Titus, and Hebrews, which is in effect saying we do not understand or embrace true Grace if we manifest the problems mentioned in those scriptures. now we can all stop fussing about it. LOL. just my take.

  128. John Shankster says:

    Your work here is full of contradiction that you dont even see. At least Dr. Brown made the effort to study systematic theology. You don’t show much grace toward him with your comical critique. He’s simply warning the Hypers like Jesus did the seven churches. You have just crossed the road from legalism into the opposite ditch. What is your motive for perpetuating such teaching? The central theme in the bible is not our righteousness, but His, and about His gracious acceptance of us as we willingly give-up our pet demons. God is calling us to be lovers of the truth. If we do not love it we will not find it, and though He loves us with an infinite love, we still have to go where He went…to the cross. It is those who persevere who will be rewarded. His grace is free, but it is not cheap.

    • John, which aspect of the post do you disagree with? Surely you are not just here to fling mud and see what sticks.

    • Christopher says:

      You see, John, Paul responded to Dr Brown’s comment because Dr Brown used generalization. He was generalizing us grace believers.

    • ????

    • Colleen G says:

      Hmmm? “willingly give up our pet demons” So you would rather a rewrite of Romans 6:23 “for the wages of sin is death but the wages of holy living is eternal life” or maybe Romans 3:22 “even the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon them that cleaneth up their act in addition to believing”.
      I’m sorry giving up pet sins does not out work, out do, or make us prettier than the blood of Christ. Either Jesus shed blood makes you holy and acceptable or your lifestyle does and His death was vanity. (see Romans 5:8-11, Colossians 2:14, Hebrews 9:24-28, Hebrews 10:10&14)
      Which view cheapens grace? Hyper grace which teaches that Jesus did it all and I contribute nothing good enough to please God or the view which teaches that my self purification is equal in God’s eyes to the blood of the Son?
      If you think I and others like me are looking for loopholes and wiggle room to go and sin all we want I’ll remind you what the apostle Paul had to say in Romans 6:1: “God forbid!”
      The abuse of truth does not make the truth wrong.

  129. Thank u Paul for adressing this issue :) it seems to me as if all that is being discussed here is sin! We are dead to sin period!! i like what the message bible says about this ROMANS 6:1 (The message) So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!
    Sorry for copy pasting a bible verse Paul but i think it says more than i could have said! Grace and peace.

  130. I know Dr Brown is problably long gone from here, but I would like to ask him a perosnal question. If “Hyperthetically” lets say a missing book of the Bible was found writen by Jesus that said You can do anything you want sin, cheat on your wife it doesn’t matter etc. Would you Dr. Brown then go out and cheat on your wife? steal? etc. Even if it meant no guilt, or shame? I think I can answer for you. You would say NO you would’nt go cheat on your wife, why? because You LOVE her and have no desire to cheat on her, correct? Then how can you say “Hyper grace” people are doing exactly that? Are you saying you are a better Christian than them? What keeps you from sinning? the law, guilt, shame, chance of getting caught, or love and relationship? hmm I think the later is what we are about. 2nd I keep hearing that you are concerned about “all the horror stories” of grace people living in sin. Do you mean like, Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggarty, Jim Baker, Todd Bently and more closely Brownsville revival? (There obviously was some kind of a division there that caused a split and soon end to the revival) ohh that’s right they are all from “your camp” I guess I’m kind of picking up the stones thrown and tossing them right back at you, but seriously, I have yet to hear of these stories from grace preachers, in fact everything I hear from them is how they were truly set free from sin “by Grace through faith” If you would first study, Paul Ellis, Rob & Ryan Rufus, Cornial Marais, Andrew Wommack, people who I consider the leaders of the hyper grace movement you would come to a different conclusion. There is sin in extremes from ALL camps so maybe the book should be about that?

    • I’m not sure why the Brownsville rival ended, but I noticed something interesting about it. I was looking at some old video of the revival and it struck me (where it had not before) that God seemed to be sending a message through the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. They would often have people come up and give testimonies. As soon as someone started talking about what they did to cause the work of the Spirit in their life, they would suddenly be cut off by a move of the Spirit across the sanctuary. If a testimony was giving all the glory to God, they got to finish. It suddenly seemed that what God was trying to say throughout the revival is, “This is not about what you’re doing, this is about My grace”.

  131. Ben Ellis says:

    This is an age old debate between believers. The crux of the matter is whether a believer can forfeit God’s grace. Calvinists maintain that a believer cannot. Arminians believe a believer can. Hyper grace people don’t want to fall into the ditch of legalism. Arminians don’t want to fall into the ditch of lawlessness. Paul addressed both extremes in Galatians 5. In Galatians 5:1-6 he warns believers of legalism. In Galatians 5:13-26 He warned believers of abusing God’s grace and living haphazard lives which may cause a believer to forfeit their salvation 5:21. All true believers want to please the Lord and walk according to the Spirit. Christians need to know that grace gives salvation, adoption, redemption, and that grace teaches us to say no to sin and empowers us to live holy lives. I’ve enjoyed reading the postings.

  132. Come Up Here says:

    I had just read your last comment, then went upstairs to read “The Sermon on the Mount” in the Message Bible. I believe his translation answers this “Brown issue”.

    5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
    8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
    9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
    11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

    We believe in the Gospel of Grace and the finished work of Christ. How many times do you think Paul faced these same issues with the religious..

    • Bill Mullins says:

      I am a little reluctant to post not being sure I can add anything to this but here goes. I have been a Christian for 31 years for over 20 of those years I have been a minister and am currently an associate pastor of a small church. I spent a large part of my early ministry in legalism very unfruitful and very unhappy. I moved slowly out of legalism with more and more of God’s love being revealed to me. I was a very good pharisee when I was in legalism and made myself and my family unhappy a lot of the time. God did bless me in many ways during that time but the undercurrent was bad. In the last few years I have been exposed to what I guess is called the Grace Movement and at first dived into it head on. I believe the revelation of God’s grace is of utmost importance. I give this as my humble opinion. The concern I have is that some of the fruit I see among the grace movement group is much like the fruit in the legalistic I saw before except it seems to be paraded for display instead of covered up (same sins just handled different.) Where I am at now is I am excited about God’s grace but see it as not just his covering my sin but his delivering power from sin. Galatians 2:20 Romans 6

      • Hi Bill, thanks for sharing. No one is excited about seeing grace abused but the sad fact is it happens and it has been happening since the Garden of Eden. Nevertheless, the cure now remains the same as the cure then and the cure in Romans 5 and Galatians – a greater revelation of Jesus.

  133. Bill Mullins says:

    Thank you for your response Paul this is difficult having a conversation 24 hours apart. I have purchased your book but have only read the first chapter. I quess what is giving me the most problem besides a large amount of scripture is the 3 close male friends i have had in the past all three from the grace side two were unfaithful and then left their wives and the third just left. I have had no one close in the grace group ( forgive my terms) displaying good lasting fruit.

    • HI BIll,My story is similar story.born again in the early 70s,baptisted in the holy spirit,in the charismatic movement,then in the disipleship [sheparding],raised a catholic, preached transcendental meditation and taoism in 12th grade catechism class.come to find out catholicism interfered with my relationship with the Lord, I have had a reconnection with my old disciple ship friends and teachers,all have come to discover more and more grace,some are gone, but anyway,more and more I am seeing that its the Lords ballgame,He saves you ,he keeps you, he maintains you,its all him. I have discovered, He is light years ahead of us,stay close to him,No one can take him from you,AND HE WILL NOT LET ANYONE TAKE YOU FROM HIM, be careful cause satan can eat your lunch and pop the bag,kinda like 2 steps forward and 1 step back.

      GOD BLESS,REST IN HIM.

      • Gina Sienia says:

        Earl- good word. Had to laugh at “satan will eat your lunch and pop the bag…”. That was funny! Keep up the positive. Yes the Grace walk “looks” suspect at times. We’ve been ubber trained in religion which appears “holy and clean living” however its whitewashed tombs (to quote our brother Jesus). Man He had rough language for those who maintained an appearance of right living… So yea, HANG ON for the ride of your life! That’s what I tell my newly born again young believers. The 20 something generation is eattin up the message of The Gospel of Good News. They’ve been waiting for something real!! God is SO good!
        Signed- gina/ a woman freed from 30 YEARS of religious law abiding. Whoop!

      • Thank you gina, actually I stole that from A .Wommack,he has some good ones.

    • Bill; I’m sorry you have had those experiences with people who were close to you. Who can explain why they did what they did? I can’t. I have a similar timeline as you (when saved and how long in ministry, and coming fully into grace as well recently). The immediate fruit in our lives and the lives of those in ministry with us is that we’re all closer to God than ever before, happier and freer – and not one of us has any desire to dive into harmful behaviours now that we realize just how forgiven and free we are. Rather, it has given us a deeper appreciation and awe for what God has done. What choice do you really have? To go back under the law and legalism because what your 3 friends have done? The truth of grace is what it is and people have free will to receive it and honour God – or not. That cannot change the truth about grace. The fruit is there. Don’t panic, just rest and walk it out. You’ll see. :)

  134. Bill Mullins says:

    I do not plan on stepping back into legalism but i also do not plan on stepping into what some seem to be calling grace. I praise God for his work in my life and the true freedom he has given me. He is worthy of all praise. I had no power over sin but he has defeated all those that were against me at the cross. His nature being revealed for his glory by his power

    • bill, sometimes i think people who learn they are under grace forget about what the law taught them when they were under it… just because we are free to fail doesn’t mean we should go out and fail on purpose….

    • …clearly these are not walking in the Spirit – the Holy Spirit will never lead us to do something that is against the standards that the law revealed to us ;)

      • … like eating meat with yogurt and wearing mixed fiber clothing and eating shellfish and a whole slew of other things. Or women speaking in church or not wearing a head covering… to add Paul’s personal slant on things. (No disrespect implied… just making a point).

        The law is meaningless with regard to walking in the Spirit.`

      • no offense taken…i’m not talking about being under the law, but about Gods holy perfection that was revealed through the law. i’m just saying that the Spirit is never going to lead a believer into an extra-marital relationship….rather, He empowers him to overcome fleshly desires and to not act upon them. Gods perfect standards will never change. The difference now is that we are in Christ, and His holy perfection is accounted to us -regardless of our actions. but we uphold the law by faith through the Holy Spirit’s power (rom 3:31)

  135. Just remember that no one will be able to boast about anything in Heaven, even the act of us getting saved was an admission of our helplessness and inability without Jesus.

    And if we are honest about the way the Holy Spirit moves in our lives…. at least in my life it has been like this: Hearing messages about “do more” and “if you don’t …… then…” and teachings about “losing salvation” – the result for me has ALWAYS been fear and worry, resulting in loss of supernatural peace and loss of movement of Holy Spirit.

    BUT…. when I drink the messages of pure grace – “perfect forever”, “completely, fully forgiven” “God loves you with the same love He loves Jesus” “Jesus finished it ALL at the cross” then the Holy Spirit confirms His word in my inner man, by opening the rivers of living water to flow through me!

    I have never felt the Holy Spirit confirm any teaching about law or condemnation in my heart, but I have felt Him confirm and affirm the teachings of pure grace, over and over again.

    Woohooo! Jesus

    • euan,I see no other way to go,after 40 yrs,the revelation of how bankrupt in the spirit we are has pushed me to grace,j prince has a excellent teaching on this,this week,it is also on his web site this week as the broadcast of the week.

      • Hey Earl, thank you so much for the heads up about the Joseph Prince preach – I just watched it now: it truly blessed me big-time and has given me a HUGE smile for the rest of the day… in which I will allow myself to be carried on the shoulders of Jesus!

      • Who loves ya baby!……..dont take that personal,ya have to be old enough to remember KOJAK.

    • Jan Gale says:

      This says it clearly for me Euan the way it is. And another wooooohooooo from his grateful children here too.

  136. Grace is the very nature of God. To say it must be balanced is to say it must be diminished. In Grace… lies an invitation to dive deep into relationship with God… to be fully enveloped in divine love. It is sensual… you can feel it. It fills you up. It enlivens. It excites. We get so caught up in it we don’t realize the effect it is having on the very core of who we are.

    • Jan Gale says:

      Tom that is the essence of the revelation of grace. All the riches of Christ are in His grace and all the promises of God. It is not possible to go back to the diminished half life of clinging to the cross and begging God in prayer once the full revelation of His amazing love has changed us, forever. In some ways there is too much to say to post on here, but in others its so simple you can sum it up in one word, Jesus. I am so in love with Him that he is more real to me than anything else. I walk above the earth. There is nothing that can separate me from him and his love. I can face anything life throws at me. His wisdom is amazing as his grace. I am excited and in awe of his person and presence. Forever…….

  137. I feel confused. On the one hand, we are not supposed to live under law if we are under grace. On the other hand, we are not supposed to sin if we are under grace. But sin is missing the mark of God’s standard. And God’s standard is laid out in his laws. I am not talking about the Jewish law here, but God’s general law, like when Paul says in Galatians 5 that we aren’t to envy, hate, be drunk, be selfish, be impure, etc. To the extent that we don’t follow God’s standard (i.e., even if we miss it by a hair’s breadth) we are sinning. So if grace means we aren’t supposed to sin, grace must mean we are supposed to live under God’s law. Yet we are not under law…And yet, Paul makes it clear in Galatians 5 that if we don’t follow God’s standard, we will go to Hell. This takes us back to a works-oriented salvation. It is all confoundedly confusing!

    • I can see there is a lot of confusion here, Laura. First of all, if you read all of Galatians you will clearly see that Paul is NOT recommending we “follow God’s standard,” and that to do so is to fall from grace and make Christ of no effect. Second, grace does not mean “we’re not supposed to sin.” That’s like defining a healthy marriage as “not supposed to get divorced.” Not getting divorced is a by-product of a healthy marriage. Similarly, not sinning, is a by-product of living under grace. Just as I can have a healthy marriage without trying to not get divorced, so too can I walk under grace without worrying about not sinning.

      Make sense?

      The Galatians were law-conscious. The Colossians were rule-conscious. Both had to be steered back towards grace. In Galatians 5 Paul does not prescribe anything other than walking after the spirit – in other words, living by faith instead of sight. Walk after the spirit, says Paul, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. One thing follows the other.

      • Thanks for the explanation, Paul. I am reading all of this over and over, trying to let it sink in. It is so hard to undo 40+ years of fear and law!

    • Laura, I really appreciate your honest, genuine response. I hope Paul’s explanation has blessed you. There are a couple of things that came to my mind as I read yours’ and Paul’s comments. To expand a little on Paul’s example of marriage, all of us would prefer a spouse who is faithful because they love us and not just because it’s the right thing to do. Also, love is a more effective motivator. If we’re doing something because we have to, we eventually become annoyed with the one making us do it. As we walk in grace we fall more in love with Jesus, because even if we mess up, we just get more grace. That results in us loving Him more and empowers us to fulfill the law without trying; we’re just walking in love. The other thing I wanted to mention is when Paul (in the Bible) speaks about the law, he is talking about the ten commandments (since they are the only part of the law written and engraved on stones, 2 Cor 3:7). Grace and peace be multiplied to you! :) (2 Pet 1:2) Blessings!

      • Thank you for the encouragement, Jim. I am trying to learn to walk in relationship. It is a whole new way of thinking for me. I think it will take time. I pray God will bring me along and do it in me. Grace and peace to you as well, pressed down to overflowing. You carry His message of peace.

    • Laura, you ask a great question: We are commanded to love, yet we are under Grace, yet to love is a command (law)! What’s up with that?!

      Here’s how it plays out for the one who is in Christ: If we are in Christ and loving one another, all of the Laws that God cares about are automatically fulfilled (Rom. 13:8-10). The really cool part? Love is also a Fruit of the Spirit, which means that if we are being led by the Spirit, we are doing everything that God requires, against such things there is NO law (Gal. 5:22-23).

      Do fruit-producing plants strive to produce fruit? No . . . they produce fruit as long as they are attached to the vine/tree/plant – fruit is the by-product of LIFE. If you are alive in Christ and abiding in Him, allowing His Holy Spirit to live through you, love is an unavoidable by-product and fulfills the law =o).

      It’s a ridiculously unfair in our favor win-win deal.

      That is Grace.

      • Very thought-provoking, JGIG, thanks for taking the time to write this out. The analogy with the fruit is compelling. I am trying to think of things in a new way. For example, I am trying to think of God in terms of the characteristics described in Galatians 5 (fruit of the Spirit). If that is who he is, then as he fills us, we will be like that too. It is so hard to be still to be filled. I am used to striving and struggling and trying to earn my keep.

      • the only thing I would add jgig and laura is,we love him with his love,so even the love is provided.[GOD IS LOVE][WE LOVE BECAUSE HE LOVED US FIRST.

      • Amen, Earl. Thank you for that.

    • i heard a really good example in one of joseph prince’s sermons that might be helpful… when the first half of the golden gate bridge was being built, 23 workers fell to their deaths…. so before they started on the second half of the bridge, they spent a lot of money to design and place a safety net under the new construction. lo and behold, this time only 10 workers fell, but not one of them died… and the second half of the bridge was built faster and was of better quality and craftsmanship than the first half!
      when we were under the law, we were fearful of making mistakes and “fell” more often… but when we walk in faith and follow the Spirit, we are trusting in Christ’s finished work… we are made secure and can then relax from our efforts to keep ourselves from “falling”… as a result we naturally “perform” better and yield high quality “fruit”. ;)

      • Wow, that is helpful, Jennie, very much so. I have incorporated it into my points to meditate on. It is hard to learn to think like this when I am so used to theologies that were either graceless or (even worse) mixed. The funny thing is that right before I read your reply, God had placed on my heart the words ‘grace is an under-girding.’ Your post provides a picture for the words. Thanks for taking the time to share it with me.

  138. Marshall Noblitt says:

    Amazing insight of comparison, trying to not get divorced. Paul, I wished all could see Jesus offering His sacrifice to God on the alter on behalf of all men. Then, to imagine some other worshipper daring to approach and lay their sacrifice on the same alter alongside the sacrifice of Jesus to win, or keep, God’s favor. How they can be so bold as if to say Jesus is not enough. I want to add my soiled underwear on the alter of sacrifice, alongside Christ’s offer of His own life’s blood. You keep up your good work because it is desperately needed. I know God will not forget the suffering you endure to warn people of the spiritual train wreck just over the hilltop.

  139. Paul and Dr Brown, Perhaps I am missing the point. (I just recently came across this site, BTW, thank you Lord!) Isn’t your “disagreement” really a matter of the chicken and the egg? Grace is for all mankind. We cannot earn it. We do not deserve it. Alas, there it is. We accept it, and we are saved. Yet, we can choose to be grateful in our salvation, or ungrateful. If we are grateful we proclaim the Gospel and it transforms our lives. If we are ungrateful then we live our lives chaffing under what we perceive to be a millstone around our neck. Ungrateful, we perceive that in exchange for our salvation, we must perform a set of tasks, lest we be thrown back into the pile of discarded wheat.
    I suppose what I am asking is this. Isn’t it possible that “the works” which Dr Brown speaks of are merely the same as what I perceive Paul is calling for, which is to live our lives as Children of God, free from the burden. We may fall short, but we are desirous by the Spirit to live a changed life?

  140. I’m just amazed at how we think we know so much about such things and know how wrong everyone else is. 1 Corinthians 8: 2-3 “Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God.” Kinda humbling to our wisdom and understanding, huh? Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

    I’m really searching for understanding on this subject and many of the posts here come across as spiteful to other believers. Might as well be arguing about what color of carpet to put in the church.

  141. Kerry M. Mattingly says:

    I think the Apostle John sums it up nicely in this verse: [speaking to believers in Jesus] “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world”.
    1 John 2: 1-2

  142. Ben Johnson says:

    Can someone answer a few questions I have?…

  143. Great discussion going on here, I have experienced both sides. All I have to say is that those who think that ‘hyper Grace’ is a bad thing have more confidence in their flesh than in their born again spirits……Grace speaks to our spirits and we need more of it everyday since it is the fulness of Jesus, his very essence which leads to a lifestyle where sin has no dominion over us……law based preaching which fleshly people call balance is actually mixture is only attractive to the flesh and produces temporary results and a false kind of holiness. Let us not be like the children of Israel who grieved God because they did not know his ways. It is clear in Psalms that his ways are the ways of Grace. The more we feed on his Grace the more we are transformed. forever #TeamGrace

  144. Thank you for the post, Paul, and thank you Dr. Brown for posting your replies. I used to attend your church in NC. You probably don’t remember me. Irrespective of my disagreement with your views on grace Dr. Brown, I can wholeheartedly tell you that your book series Answering Jewish Objections strengthened my faith greatly years ago. I needed Christian Apologetics (Existence of God) and subsequently Jewish Apologetics (Messiahship of Yeshua) to be initially persuaded to come to church again. For that, I’m so grateful to men of God like Ravi Zacharias and you Dr. Brown. I don’t know the scriptures as well as you or Paul. But for me, it was what you call “hyper grace” that started changing me from inside out. It was grace that made the verse “there is no fear in perfect love” truly ring true in my life. It was the radical grace that helped me started looking at the world with love and compassion. It was the super hyper grace that truly helped me love the sinners without loving the sin. This is the case to my some of my close friends as well. We are amazed at how radical grace can so radically change our lives. I am confident and hopeful that God will make all these conflicts and disagreements in the body of Christ for good. I believe that some amazing things are happening in His Church. Much blessings you Paul and Dr. Brown, Abba’s beloved.

  145. This article is unbelievable. In response to this paragraph:

    Dr. Brown surely knows this for the word “love” appears 13 times in his short article. But where Dr. Brown and many Christians get confused, is what we must do in response. Evidently, Dr. Brown thinks we must turn from sin. (The word “sin” appears 14 times in his article.) But this is old-covenant thinking. It is selling the love of God for the price of a little old fashioned repentance. It is not the gospel of unmerited grace.

    Paragraphs like that one convince me that we are not on the brink of, but are already in the apostasy of the church. Do we disrespect and devalue the blood of Jesus Christ so much that we think turning away from “sin,” i.e. pornography, homosexuality (I have friends in the faith who have painstakingly fought for freedom from this), covetousness, etc. is “a little old fashioned repentance?” Is God some kind of circus clown that just laughs at whatever we do because we’re his children, as long as we’re at the carnival? Please, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, do not believe this kind of heretical, disgraceful teaching. It is far more dangerous than we’ll know in this life. God is holy and He is as much in the business of sanctifying His people as he was 2,000 years ago when the apostle Paul spent so much time writing to the churches about turning from SIN, if for no other reason than it brings DISGRACE upon the NAME OF GOD!

    I am so disheartened that people would even think there is a debate in regards to this topic. How did we ever reach this place in Christendom? Thank God for watchmen in the church like Dr. Brown.

    • You have framed the issue as “those guys aren’t against sin” which is a straw man. It’s not actually what anyone here is saying. The point we’re trying to make is grace has no price tags. Turning from sin is not something you do to get love and grace because if you did it wouldn’t be love or grace.

      If you are interested in what those in the so-called grace camp have to say about repentance, read this.