How Well Did I Understand Grace Before I Understood Grace?
Have you ever seen those Magic Eye 3D pictures that look random but then reveal a hidden picture?
Maybe there’s a group of you looking and someone says, “Wow – look at that! It’s a ship!” Then another person sees it and now they’re both describing the picture to you.
But try as you might you just can’t see it.
They encourage you. “Look – it’s right there. It’s huge!”
But still you can’t see it.
You’re starting to think there’s no picture at all and they’re all deluded when suddenly, revelation comes. A ship appears as if by magic! If you’re like me and you’re usually the last person to see these things, you’ll no doubt embarrass yourself at this point by shouting, “I see it!”
That’s how it was for me with grace.
I knew people who looked into the Bible and saw radical grace but I didn’t. Sure, there were pockets of grace but there was a whole lot of other stuff as well.
Then one day, revelation came and I saw Grace! He’s right there on every page and in every book. How can you miss him? He’s huge!
I now find myself reading old scriptures with new eyes. “Look! This is speaking of Jesus. This is all about him. I never saw this before.” Now that I’ve seen him once I see him everywhere.
I was saved decades ago and I have always loved God with my whole heart. But when I got this revelation of his amazing grace, it was like being born again, again.
A friend recently asked me, “How well did you understand grace before you understood grace?”
My answer: I thought I understood grace perfectly well. For as long as I can remember I’ve considered myself a testimony of his grace.
But when Grace came into focus, I was floored. I realized that I had barely understood grace at all.
Looking back I can identify nine signs that showed I did not fully grasp the grace of God. Maybe you recognize some of these signs as well.
1. I understood that I was saved by grace but not that I was kept by grace
I received Christ by faith, but I was not continuing in him by that same faith (Col 2:6). Although I would never have said it, I had taken out a little works insurance.
Faith is a positive response to what God has done, but I liked to initiate things. My walk became “do, do, do,” rather than it’s “done, done, done.”
There was no rest, only performance anxiety. There was always another meeting to lead, another truth to teach, another sheep to gather.
I thought this was normal. I could get excited about the idea of being saved and saving others, but I was hardly drawing from the wells of salvation with joy (Is 12:3). I was constantly stressed and I treated grace as grease for my gears.
2. I felt obliged to serve
Jesus had done everything for me, what would I do for him? Of course I didn’t use the word indebted – that would’ve alerted me to the poverty of my theology – but much of what I did was motivated by a sense of obligation.
By trying to reimburse him for his priceless gift, I cheapened the exceeding riches of his grace. Instead of being impressed by what he had done, I was trying to impress him with what I was doing.
3. I motivated others using carrots and sticks
Because my own motives were screwed up it was inevitable that I would preach rewards and punishments. Do good, get good; do bad, get bad. At the same time as I was preaching against legalism I was putting people under law!
My gospel was like an ash-tray – full of “buts”! God loves you but… Jesus died for you but…
God’s gifts always came with a price. I forgot that grace is free. The moment you start charging for it, you’ve missed it. There’s only one motive in the kingdom and that is love.
I no longer believe that evangelism means scaring the hell out of people. The good news that the world needs to hear is that God is good and he loves us. The new covenant of grace is the formal expression of his unfailing love for us (Is 54:10).
4. I saw myself as a servant rather than a son
My identity was in the things I did rather than in my Father. I saw myself as working for God (a noble cause!) rather than doing the works of God.
I would not have said I was justified by what I did for I knew that grace and works don’t mix (Rom 11:6). Yet I was mixing grace with works like there was no tomorrow!
Here’s the strange thing: Even though I preached servanthood more than sonship, whenever there was a crisis I was quick to relate to God as Papa. It was only when I was strong and healthy that I was seduced by the religious need to do something for God.
Happily, there were many crises!
5. I kept asking God to provide what he’s already provided
I knew enough about grace to approach God boldly in my hour of need, but I didn’t know that he has already given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3). If someone was sick I would ask for healing when I should’ve just healed them (Matt 10:8). I would ask for more faith instead of living by the faith of the Son of God (Gal 2:20).
Like the prodigal’s older brother I felt God would bless me as I did my part. I didn’t realize that I was already blessed, deeply loved, and highly favored.
In my ignorance I wasted a lot of time doing a whole lot of nothing. I thought I was being active and fruitful but in reality I was passive and faithless. God had already come but there I was face down in prayer asking him to come again. What a waste.
6. I was more sin-conscious than Christ-conscious
Like many Christians I was afraid of sin (keep it out of the camp!) and I was not known as a friend of sinners. I defined sin as bad works and I said the solution to sin was to turn from sin (duh).
I had read that the grace of God teaches us to say no to ungodliness (Tit 2:12), but I wasn’t quite sure how that worked. So when preaching against sin I used inferior incentives like fear and punishment.
I emphasized what people must do (repent!) more that what God has already done (forgiven us!). I kept the focus on us when it should’ve been on him, and my preaching was powerless as a result.
If anyone failed to experience victory over sin, I figured they were unacquainted with God’s transforming grace – even though I had given them none.
7. I always tried to do the right thing
Someone under grace says, “He will lead me in the right path” (Ps 23:3). But in subtle ways I preferred rules to relationship. What I craved were clear Biblical guidelines for living. I thought I was choosing good, but then so did Adam. We both had an independent spirit that led us to eat from the wrong tree.
I felt validated when people came to me for guidance. I thought I was giving them wise principles when really I should have encouraged them to lean on Jesus (John 10:27).
8. I had a stronger relationship with the written word than with the Living Word
I did not read the scriptures to find Jesus but to learn, what should I do? I read indiscriminately and I was often confused by scriptures that seemed to contradict each other.
My solution was to go for balance: A little of this, a little of that, for all scripture is profitable. By failing to filter what I read through the finished work of the cross, I unwittingly poisoned myself. I mixed the death-dealing words of the law with the life-giving words of grace.
Although I was zealous for the Lord, in truth I was lukewarm. I did not submit to either the stone-cold demands of the law or the white-hot heat of his love.
9. I knew I was righteous, but I didn’t feel righteous
When I stumbled I readily confessed my sins to God, but I rarely allowed the Holy Spirit to remind me of my righteousness in Christ. I knew I was a new creation (2 Cor 5:17), but in many ways I acted and spoke as if I was merely an improved creation.
I thought honesty about my struggles was the key to getting more grace. But I would not have struggled so much if I had just learned to see myself as God sees me – redeemed, righteous, and holy.
I had some sense that Christ was with me and in me, but it never occured to me that our spirits had been cemented together in union. Consequently, I never saw myself as one with the Lord. He was up there all shiny and good; I was down here all messy and broken.
Occasionally I might be reminded that we are seated in heavenly places with Christ, but I never saw that scripture that says, “As he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).
I am convinced that grace comes by revelation. If you don’t yet see grace this article may sound like the ramblings of an unbalanced man. (Thank God I am! I’m done with balance!)
If you do see Grace, then you will be resonating like a tuning fork.
So let me finish with a few words for those of you in the first group. Please be patient with those of us who are leaping for joy. Don’t walk away from the Magic Eye picture scowling, “I can’t see it, there’s nothing there.” Just keep looking!
Grace really is right there in front of you.
And he’s huge!
More articles about grace.
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I published a draft of this post on my Facebook page a week ago. At the time I wasn’t sure whether my story would resonate with others who, like me, had come to see Grace on every page. It did. I don’t normally publish personal stories here on E2R, but when I do I’ll probably test-drive them on FB first. If you would like to participate in that initial dialogue, send me a friend request telling me you’re an E2R reader.
Thank God for you. God has been working with me for couple of weeks now on understanding grace. And am so glad I came across your post. God Bless you
Thanks for taking the time to comment Stella. It’s comments like yours that keep me smiling. Blessings on your already-blessed head!
I understood it quite well, I think. I accept that I’m clothed in His robes of righteousness (Isaiah61:10), though on some days I have to acknowledge that these robes are a bit shoddy in places, to be frank. Clearly Jesus was a carpenter and not a tailor. So I improve on the stitching here and there, which is a bit tiring. But that’s fine – I’m happy to work on what He couldn’t achieve on the cross. After all, I’m in such debt (let me find a scripture for that…) and I’m expected to do the maintenance, after all. And the pockets on theses robes – don’t get me started. So crammed full of gifts I can barely find my own works in them. Very, very annoying. Still, Im getting there. Lots of sweat, but that’s to be expected, right? I’m no tailor either, but that’s not about to stop me. Anyway, back to the old Singer machine for me – I’ve got a lot of self-repair work ahead in this heavenly position of rest.
Haha, funny post!
I am resonating like a tuning fork! 🙂 Thank you so much!
And that was one of the best answers to one of the best questions you have been asked in a long time… I may have to repost this on my blog
Loved this article. Sure rings true. My query now is:
How to explain this Grace to people who say they know grace yet you know they only think they do –Like we once did LOL
really enjoyed this, thanks Paul! Isn’t it so true, once you see grace, Jesus turns up on every page of the Scriptures…
Paul what can I say- you have surpassed yourself with this blog, it is so refreshing to read “truth” and let’s talk confession, without getting into a debate!
You have given expression to letting go of pride by “chucking out” all your pre conceptions and to heck with what man will say because I taught and preached the opposite for years.
There are many who wont accept and preach Grace, because it is not what their Ministry has been about, “so how can I change now-eish, what will the people say”- pure pride prevents them from sharing the truth.
It does not take guts to do what you have done, It takes a true deep love for Jesus and He expressed himself in this blog through you.
Awesome,thank you my friend. I just love this website and I have sent the address worldwide, especially darkest Africa [ I am in Durban S.A.]
Keep going Paul and a heartfelt thank you for the true Gospel message.
This was a wonderful refreshing read.
I find myself, at times, trying to work grace! It sounds absurd. After the scales began to fall off my eyes, I started to feel impatient with myself. I feel like I’m at the midway point… eyes open to Grace but still not quite there (does that make sense?). I find myself still struggling with a very law-centred, demand-oriented mentality.
Did you ever go through this? I suppose that I simply want to know that I’m normal. I’m finding that you need Grace to have a revelation of Grace and to stop working!
Awesome posting and I’m resonating. I’m still on the journey to get a deeper revelation of Grace. It’s exciting but like Asha, I’m impatient with myself. It’s like I’m reaching out for a destination but I’m not quite sure where it is. All I know is that it takes a focused effort to stay on the Grace path as it does seem easy to fall into a mixture of law and grace. Really appreciate your writing and others like Cornel!
Good one, Paul. Somewhere between numbers 6 (sin-conscious) and 9 (feeling unrighteous) I had an experience this week: on Friday I was stopped by local police for crossing the street on red. Although I had sorted most of my Sunday worship set and intended to send it out on arrival to the church, I felt not at all like praising when I got in. But God didn’t leave me to wallow in gloom, and I finally heard him saying to me, “I love you! My view of you hasn’t changed–won’t change, even when the police have asserted that you are outside the law.”
From Hebrews chapter 3: 7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts” 12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
The deceitfulness of sin manifested as a feeling of distance in my relationship with God, and my consideration that I must be out of the bounds of his love. But that is grace: not falling outside the bounds of his love!
My “ah-ha” moment with grace came years ago while sitting in my car smoking a cigarette, feeling shame, defeat and guilt. I was down to a couple a day, but wasn’t able to quit. Suddenly in the midst of the that cloud of shame God spoke and said as clear as day in my spirit “do you know I love and accept you just as much with that cigarette hanging out of your mouth as without it.? I was changed forever.
I can certainly relate. Once I felt I had such a “sinful” day. I felt I messed up royally and was beating myself up for it and God stopped me and said “I couldn’t love you any less than I do now”. Even after I was in the mud He loved me! 🙂
Thank you Paul. I can so relate with what you have said. It wasn’t until Jesus escorted me out of the “institution church” about 3 years ago that I started seeing glimpses of the BIG picture. After I read this I asked God to help me to see “GRACE”! Not long after that He showed me this verse:
Ephesians 2:7 –
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
I was like “WOW” He saved me to show me “GRACE”! 🙂
I’m now not just seeing “grace” but recognizing it more!
my mind struggles with understanding GRACE. i have had it explained to me before, but the simplicity of my mind, makes me think that i still don’t get it. help.
I hear you Kat. I struggle too. I see it then I don’t see it.
Paul’s blog is amazing resource for understanding grace.
this helps me and it may help you.
View all scripture through the lenses of these two undeniable truths.
1- God loves you.
2- Love holds no record of wrong.
Our problem is this God is the source of love and we are unable to love him without first having a full revelation of his love for us. We have to Receive to be able to give back.
If we believe God holds a record of wrong we deny the essence of his being.
Do this and wipe your mind clear of everything else you have ever learnt about God.
Start exploring the word and the true heart of God will be revealed to you.
I’m reading through “Look! The finished work of Jesus” and it reminds me – even in the face of Billy Graham-like power – that I AM the perfect performance of Jesus – in Christ – that I have already perfectly performed as Jesus – in Christ. He took our sin and sick lives and gives us His life. He always will – even in ages to come we are righteous because of Grace according to the word of Paul of Tarsus – “all things are yours in Christ.”
Another great line – God doesn’t expect us to
believe that we are perfect in our flesh, but he does expect us to
believe that we are perfect in our spirit,.
thanks for the post roshan. i just downloaded the book. i will let you know.
You have been a great blessing to me through these articles. I can not stop thanking God for sending me great friends and brethren to encourage me. I call you and Cornel friends although we have never met, because everytime I get an e-mail, there is always something God is teaching me and I always look forward to these e-mails. My life has changed, I am beginning to get a glimpse of grace in His word and am excited about the bigger picture. I know its huge and when it hits me, I will roll in waves of Joy. Thank you for this last article, I was so blessed, it reflected alot of me. Blessings to you and the family,
OMG! This might as well been written by me/for me? That was me! WOW TY
Me too, Dave! That was my story. Grace is a person and his name is JESUS! I knew nothing about grace until I read Destined to Reign by Joseph Prince about 9 years ago and it literally rocked my world. We are to rest in the finished work that Jesus completed on the cross. This is how I started to understand how much he loved me, I would say over and over if I was the only person on this planet he would have came and died just for me. That’s how much he loves me. Thanks Paul for writing this wonderful blog. Jesus is alive and well sitting at the right hand of ABBA/Father interceding for his beautiful bride, everyone who believe’s in him.
Hi Paul, Just reading the key point 1-9 without the details is already an eye opener. Thank you so much for sharing it. these are the words the we wanted to say, but cannot expressed it. you have said it better.
– grace and peace
by any chance, do you have a post about the Holy Spirit convicting believers of sin? I seem to not find one.
I don’t have a post about the Holy Spirit convicting anyone of sin because I only write about things that are true. Haha! Seriously, I have a couple you may find useful. Start with “Confession, conviction, confusion,” then try this one and this one. Bon appetit!
awesome! thanks Paul…
YES! YES! YES! I had that very experience last year. I had been a Christian for over 25 years, and thought i understood Grace, as I was taught by a Grace preacher back then! But I never got it when I thought I had! Like you said, its like these blinders have come off, and I want to cry that it took me so long to understand this… but i am also filled with crazy joy that I now do! The whole of scripture has taken on a new meaning… its so exciting…. I can FULLY understand what you are saying!! You see Grace everywhere now….. thanks so much for this post… it was great! 🙂
Just one more guy resonating with the good vibrations of grace, great to read words from a guy from Oz who is blown away by our amazing salvation… it’s all about Him !! Graeme
i still don’t see it. am i trying/thinking too hard.?
RESONATING LOUD AND CLEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I really related to what you said about finding contradictions in the Bible. For a while, I was afraid to open up the Word because I was filtering everything with the Law. Slowly, I am learning to filter every verse, every chapter, and every book with the finished work of the cross. His perfect love really does cast out all fear.
I have a lot of people in my life who preach law over grace. I need posts like these to remind me of the good news. Thank you!
Wonderful post! I totally relate. I got saved 30 yrs ago.I experienced pure grace – for a few months,until I was told it was a ‘honeymoon’ and I had to ‘grow up’. 27 yrs later, and totally frustrated, I asked God if I could go back to being a baby christian (as he was very kind then), or could I just go to heaven. He began to reveal grace to me. I found Andrew wommack and Joseph Prince. I was completely stunned that it was there all along and I’d gone off track & suffered for so long! Now I’m about to leave the church I’m in because they’re still stuck in the rut. I do share grace when I get the chance, but most times I’m counteracted by the pastor and I figure they’re probably better off being in one accord than hearing conflicting things from me. Plus I need to get stronger in Grace and get some like-minded fellowship!
Awesome post! Thank you for sharing. I can relate to being born again, then again and again! Ha!
Love what you’ve put together here ar E2R. Thanks!
I have been saved for 17 years and going to a legalistic church where the ten commandments was our rules to follow, on February 14 2012 I had a heart attack and died on the operating table, I came out of my body and instantly was in the presence of Jesus, there are no words to explain how incredible it was, so I’m not even going to try, seriously it’s unexplainable by any words in our vocabulary! But here is part of it, I WAS ONE with Him. (here would be a good place to put a billion (!) I mean it was just a fact, ONE WITH HIM (.) And loved?… You can’t even begin to grasp while still in the flesh. So after shocking my heart 4 times I came back, to try and make a long story short, for about ten weeks after this happened, nothing made sense to who I was out of my body compared to in body, I would still repent and confess sins trying to make sure God was pleased with me and to make sure there were no sins on me, but this made no sense because of what had happened to me, and the HolySpirit said these exact words to me, GRACE…WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT IT, WHAT DO YOU THINK IT IS ? Since then He has been revealing grace to me daily, I clearly see now that sin was dealt with at the cross, that I am loved, that it was never about what I did or didn’t do, but everything that he did! BUT HE THAT IS JOINED UNTO THE LORD IS ONE SPIRIT. I Cor. 6:17. thanks Paul for all you do!!!
Wow, June, that is an amazing story! Thank you for sharing it. God is good!
Hi June , love hearing what you shared Re, your out of body experience, as I find reading them(ndes)near death experiences &(out of body experiences mostly encouraging. This area of Grace also. I believe I had an,’ A-ha’moment regarding;’ being saved’ whilst reading a book, ‘Destined to Reign,’ by J.P mentioned by others at different times in & throughout the blog. It was a joyous moment and has since dissipated after talking with different believers and I also wonder if it’s because of Grace and Law being mixed in believers understanding. I’m new at trying to blog this is my first ever attempt. I believe Paul Ellis is very encouraging with having this site,thanks Paul for the E2R site if you’re screening this. If it has gone through successfully, I would like to further engage & participate. Bless you both.
Your opening part soooo describes me and many others I’m sure. Gods grace is just fantastic!
Yep, I got the same gig, a Grace revelation, like being born again again. Grace is a contagious fire, brother – this is a revival – and you’re fanning the flames!
Hi Paul: Your revelation of Grace has been much like mine…I was mixing the two covenants for many years and finding myself in a works relationship with God. Long story short, I came across Destined to Reign by Joseph Prince and in one weekend I had an “a-ha” moment where the lights came on. Now I have peace with God, peace with people and peace with myself. Thank you for writing this blog as it has been a blessing to me.
Praise God for you, Paul!! I’m so thankful to live in a day where we can connect so easily with others living in Truth and Grace. You are a blessing and being used by God to show many the true riches of His Grace. Grateful to find your site today!!
Paul, this article resonates with literally millions of believers around the world! I can definitely relate to reason #8 that you listed. I came to Christ through Word of Faith teaching which definitely helped me at the time. My youngest daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy & thankfully I had teaching that Jesus had paid for her healing. I didn’t know much, but I knew enough to overcome that diagnosis. I was taught to search the scriptures for promises of healing. Again, this definitely helped me, but at the same time it caused me to have a relationship with the word instead of God himself. Although I’ve experienced great miracles I have always thought something was missing. It was the relationship with God.
Thanks for the article!!
I was in a legalistic church for yrs. I am out and just now learning about Word of Faith teaching. So your comments Scott, I found interesting. Thanku 4 sharing.
Am so blessed with this blog Paul. It is a source full of truth and refreshing. This blog is one if not the only one I read frequently. You have a very good insight and I found it sometimes make some religious person(s) out there feel the heat…
Like you, I had been a christian for decades before I understood the gospel of Jesus Christ. My husband and I attended a terrible church which not only preached a false gospel of works and fear but abused its congregation with little thought for what they were doing. We stayed there for 15 years and couldn’t understand why we worked so hard for no gain, and in the end felt rejected and abused. NOW, we know what the problem was. While there is desperate wrong in what happened in that place, we too were wrong and not following Jesus but our own imagined version of the gospel. No false gospel can change a man, the only antidote to a false gospel is the true gospel, and once you get a hook on that, look out!!!!!
I have tried telling others from that church about the gospel I have rediscovered, all I get is further abuse! I pray the scales will fall from their eyes, but for now, we are now walking in the joy and freedom we had only dreamt about before. Thankyou Jesus for all of your incredible and undeserved grace towards us, and all that you did on the cross.
Thankyou also for the freebies, especially the Derek Prince message, it has helped us enormously!
P.S. I still can’t see the ship!
This is brilliant Paul. Thank you for allowing all to partake of the grace, the Jesus, in you and for simply yielding. This probably articulates the testimonies of so many. Woohoooo. You blessed 🙂
This is so helpful in clarifying why one can miss the walk with God that one would expect from huge amounts of time and energy and guilt spent on it! wow! love cannot be manufactured by guilt or indebtedness, but only love begets love. One can understand the teaching of grace but not feel it. But when you begin to really feel it -what a difference!!
Paul, this was the same experience I had. Being almost 60 now and received The fullness of Grace since 2006, It’s a joy waking up every morning wandering what the lord’s going to show me today. Grace has been the greatest teacher. Helping me to renew my mind and transforming me into the image of Christ. Enjoy your writing!
Oh my goodness!! I literally cried when I read this post. Even though I’ve asked Jesus in my heart numerous times, I was always plagued with the thought of not believing enough or not being sorry for my sins enough. This has truly been a blessing to read this post and I thank God that you were obedient to Him and posted this for all of us strugglers out there!! God bless you!!
Thank you so much Mr. Paul Ellis for sharing this article! Everything you have written is so true. Praise God in Heaven! Grace truly comes by revelation and as I have discovered in my own personal life, it is in His time, not ours. These 9 points accurately describe my life as a believer for the past 18 years. I was blind but now I see! And now I am free indeed!
Thanks for sharing, Donna! Your story and your delight at seeing the splendor of God’s grace is shared by many.
Love this! This sounds so similar to what happened to me a few weeks ago. I was saved when I was 12, but I feel as though I came to realize the fullness of His love just a few weeks ago. I finally realized it is all Him and not about me! What beautiful freedom. I cannot believe how in bondage I was. So funny how you felt born again again BC I keep thinking I should be baptized again, but partly BC I was raised in a Baptist Church. I keep trying to share this with my friends, but they all keep taking it as me telling them I got saved which is so frustrating BC they are not hearing me! Jesus has exploded the theological box I was operating in! And praise God BC I am now at a true Grace church, although we prefer the term Hyper Jesus! 🙂
I was born again at 9 years old and fell into sin in my teen years. I rededicated my life to Jesus in 2003 but have struggled with ups and downs in my walk with Him. I read your post and realized it is almost word for word my story. In all the hours per day studying the bible and praying and listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying to me, I never thought to ask for a revelation about the grace of God. Thank you, I know what I am missing finally.
simple question for you. now that you have a revelation of God’s grace according to your testimony, are you seeing the power of God move freely through your life and ministry to liberate those that have been held captive to the enemy. also in your relationship with the Lord are you lead by the Spirit of God in everything you do as well as what you believe? do you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit (John 10:4-5 & 27)I guess that would be my question and the reason that I ask this question is because I listen to his voice and when I listen to this quote “Grace message” I do not hear my father’s voice. I have been associated with ministers who preach the “grace” message and what I have seen that is continuing to remain (John 15:16) is that the people who have been held in demonic bondage and the people who have fears and anxieties, addictions, etc. are not being liberated from captivity. They’re being told instead that they’re OK and they have all they need when many of them have been in bondage for 20 or 30 years of their life. I do not disagree that there is a desperate need for the people of God as well as those outside the body of Christ to come to know the love and grace of God however unfortunately ,many have bought into the idea it would seem you have as well, that the grace of God is the end game when in reality it’s the beginning. These are the things that are classed as simplicities in Christ. this is the milk of the word not the meat…
You raise many valid questions and concerns. However, I am bound by E2R’s Comment Policy to keep things focused and brief so I had to trim yours. I would encourage you to take your questions to E2R’s Facebook page, where longer discussions regularly take place. But to answer your first question, yes, I have seen much fruit from preaching this message – a hundred times as much as I saw before. Easily. A tree is known by her fruit. If you are seeing sin among some who preach grace, be assured that that fruit is not from the grace of God that teaches us to say no to ungodliness. People who fear punishment hide their sin; remove the fear and that which was hidden comes into the light. Grace didn’t put the sin there; it merely revealed what was there all along. But grace can help them overcome their sin. Nothing else can.
Paul I’m just musing but does this mean that there is no punishment to fear? Or that there is no punishment (from worldly principalities I mean, not God). I’m sort of overcoming a wound, trusting what you said here, but finding that people can still hurt us. And it seems to me, this is where I get confused: it takes willpower and self-effort not to talk back. Since I believe what you say about the fault that lies with that, I choose rather to talk back. Say things that are mean, but that at least allow me some dignity. Keep me from be walked on (I don’t seek to walk on others either).
I’m a little heart-weary because my dream is to work, to earn a degree, but I’m finding amazing grace has better dreams in mind. But this also means that I’m not very PC or customer-friendly or “honoring” according to the good old boys definition. Do you recommend something I could read on this? Something that explains what God’s plan is when we rest? Maybe I’m just not taking initiative and pursueing my dreams. My heart is to help others, but if that means kissing up should I do that? Is it necessary to put a little self-effort in?
roshan, self-control IS a fruit of the Spirit… which means that the Holy Spirit is totally able to help you bite your tongue! and not only that, but He can show you the reason behind the angry or hurtful words coming out from the other person’s mouth! most likely it is a fear or the person is hurting – and this understanding will actually help you to have compassion for the person so you can pray for them… i know this for a fact – it was one of the first things that changed in my behavior after i was saved. i knew it was Jesus, because mean and nasty things NOT coming out of my mouth and a heartfelt compassion for the person attacking me totally surprised me! 😉
And what would you define as the power of God if not grace. Maybe you believe it is in a man.Grace is not the beginning of Gods power , who has the greater faith, those who eat or those that do not. We need to move on from the doctrines of baptisim and laying on of hands into meat.What would you suggest to liberate people from the bonfage they are under I understand that you comment is trimmed and I may be missing something. All I see is critisicism and no solution. What is the meat in your understanding.Do you hear the voice of God ? All I see is arrogance in your comment. Then again I have not heard all so here is your opportunity within the constraints of the site. What do you understand about grace, if it as weal as you say what achieves more.What is easier to say your Sims are forgiven, or to drive out the demon.
Paul, I was not interested in a blog debate or convincing via apologetic argument. The questions were for you to answer feel free to email me your answers. I have friends who have been severely bound and hurt by this teaching and want to know why.
Your friends have been hurt by grace?
People don’t get hurt by grace. What happens is that they get hurt when they they dare to “dabble in grace” by throwing out the condemnation of the law, but not replacing it with a revelation of righteousness. So they go ankle deep into the ocean of grace, and start experiencing the freedom and joy, but then legalism comes in through friends or preachers, and condemnation comes, and since there has been no real change of thinking and acceptance of the new identity, they get bullied back into the legalism fold and end up blaming grace. No sane person blames the sower for the seeds which get withered by the sun and weeds. The message of grace flies in the face of legalistic religion, and that is why it gets attacked so much, it is not the problem though, unless you’re the legalist.
I think this is the best post I’ve read. I think I agree with all of it.
Thank You Paul, this just sums it up…I have a friend who I was talking with last week about no longer needing to be apart of a 12-step program because I have found This GRACE you just spoke about in a similar way as you. However, this friend, who is a minister and a member of this 12-step fellowship doesn’t seem convinced when I explained to him my decision to leave this fellowship because GRACE has COME and done for me what I have tried for years to overcome myself….drug addiction and bad habits. I will be sending him your blog in hopes that his eyes will be opened or at best, he understand that mine are!!!!!!!
You are an answered prayer of how I can further respond to him without damaging our relationship.
May God continue to add to your understanding of HIS GRACE!
Wow!!! This is my story too! I purchased several copies of Grace Disco for Christmas gifts after reading this chapter in my copy. I am now one of those leaping for joy! Thank you Paul Ellis as your blog and books have been a huge blessing.
I discovered the hyper grace message just recently-it took nearly 40 yrs as a Christian for the penny to drop.As a traditional gracer I could never understand the transition from Roms 7 to Roms 8 and when I heard older Christians talking about it and playing spiritual snap with each other as if they understand it(which they did not)I felt like I must be stupid or not spiritual enough.Now it seems to make perfect sense.
I’m impressed please bring more
Leaping for joy with tuning fork in hand! Really loving hearing peoples “born again again” stories! It’s like nothing else you ever experience. I know now what “joy unspeakable” is!! ‘Became a Christian’ in 2000, saved by grace and the finished work of the cross in 2014. 🙂
Paul, what a wonderful post! Everything was covered in such a concise and succinct manner. Grace is like that. You can say a mouthful with a small portion. Thanks.