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

  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 // March 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm //

        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

    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”, 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…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 // February 22, 2013 at 11:30 am //

    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 // March 9, 2013 at 7:08 am //

        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 // February 22, 2013 at 2:04 pm //

      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 // February 22, 2013 at 10:04 pm //

        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.


    • Charles Indonesia // February 23, 2013 at 1:55 am //

      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 // February 22, 2013 at 6:27 pm //

      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 // February 22, 2013 at 5:19 pm //

    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.


    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 // February 22, 2013 at 9:35 pm //

        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 // February 22, 2013 at 6:20 pm //

    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.

      • 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 // February 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm //

    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 // February 22, 2013 at 7:16 pm //

    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 // February 22, 2013 at 7:21 pm //

    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!!!

  45. Jonathan Marsden // February 22, 2013 at 8:16 pm //

    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 // February 22, 2013 at 9:17 pm //

    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..

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