The Hyper-Grace Quiz

THG_Nehorai

In the past few months, there has been an aggressive backlash against the gospel of grace. This backlash has been seen in the Christian media, the blogosphere, and in the publication of books by respected Bible teachers. I have come across articles with titles like “Confronting the error of hyper-grace,” “The deception of hyper-grace,” and the oddly-titled, “What’s wrong with grace?”

The authors of these articles typically describe the gospel of grace as a “dangerous teaching,” a “false message,” and “a hyped-up, watered-down, seeker-friendly gospel.” Those who preach it are branded “false prophets,” “antichrists,” and “pied pipers” leading people to hell.

What do these critics have against the gospel of grace?

Their criticisms are numerous: Apparently the grace message is soft on sin. It’s opposed to the law. It’s a prosperity gospel. It’s unbalanced. It’s extreme. It’s a fad.

Some of these criticisms reflect abiding misperceptions (“grace promotes licentiousness”). Some of the criticisms are slanderous (“grace preachers are closet sinners”), while others are risible (“this message was responsible for the rise of Adolph Hitler and the runaway Democratic party”).

Presented with these sorts of claims, it is tempting to dismiss the opponents of the grace message as ill informed and reactionary. But not all of them are.

In January 2014, Dr. Michael L. Brown released a book entitled Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message. In his book, Dr. Brown seeks to correct “some serious distortions and errors” that are being preached as part of what he calls “the modern grace message.” Dr. Brown portrays hyper-grace preachers as being opposed to repentance and the confession of sins, and he claims we think the words of Jesus have no relevance for us today.

Is this true? Do hyper-grace preachers actually think this way?

Since I am one of the hyper-grace preachers identified by Dr. Brown, I thought it might be helpful to respond to these accusations. To be fair, some of his accusations are spot on. On several occasions reading his book I said to myself, “Guilty as charged,” and I did so with a grace-addict’s grin. Still, a number of his accusations are based on misperceptions or they misrepresent what we are actually saying.

For instance, on page 37 of his book, Dr. Brown identifies four statements that he embraces and we, apparently, reject. They are (1) sanctification is progressive, (2) it’s healthy to confess our sins to God, (3) New Testament repentance includes turning away from sins, and (4) the words of Jesus are authoritative. To three of these claims, most hyper-grace preachers would shout amen! Confession is healthy, repentance is often evidenced by a turning away from sins, and everything Jesus said is good and authoritative. The only claim we would reject out of hand is the first one, that sanctification is a process. (More on this here.)

As Dr. Brown’s book illustrates, much of the criticism made against the hyper-grace gospel and those who preach it is based on misperceptions and misunderstandings. To illustrate this, ask yourself whether the following claims are true or false.

The hyper-grace quiz

True or false…

  1. Hyper-grace preachers are against repentance.
  2. Hyper-grace preachers are against confession.
  3. The hyper-grace gospel is universalism in disguise.
  4. Hyper-grace preachers say it’s wrong to ask God for forgiveness.
  5. Hyper-grace preachers say God is not grieved by your sin.
  6. Hyper-grace preachers are against the law.
  7. Hyper-grace preachers ignore the Old Testament.
  8. Hyper-grace preachers disregard the words of Jesus.
  9. The hyper-grace gospel encourages sin.
  10. The hyper-grace gospel discourages obedience and holy living.
  11. Hyper-grace preachers don’t talk about hell and wrath.
  12. The hyper-grace gospel makes people lazy.

To have real dialogue, you need to hear both sides of the story. If your only exposure to the hyper-grace gospel comes from attack articles and Facebook debates, you may think that every statement in the above quiz is true. In fact, every statement is false. Each is either a fiction or a distortion of what the hyper-grace gospel actually says.

We will look at some of these claims in coming posts. But for now, I want to hear from you. Which of the claims above have you heard? Which have you believed? And what are some other misperceptions you have encountered when telling others about the good news of God’s extreme, over-the-top, and hyper grace?

Adapted from The Hyper-Grace Gospel, pp.22-23.

87 Comments on The Hyper-Grace Quiz

  1. olowo omotoke // August 13, 2014 at 12:21 am // Reply

    Grace is the person of Jesus Christ,since their can’t be hyper-Jesus I also think their is nothing as hyper_grace….grace has been made available for us and for those comdemming they should their bible more often.

  2. RLFC1@aol.com // August 13, 2014 at 12:27 am // Reply

    Thank You my friend! I also have been Blessed with “A Preacher of Hyper-Grace! Along with you and JESUS! Years ago many come against Faith Preacher, yet, to me the question is; Did Jesus walk in Hyper-Faith and Hyper-Grace? Sure He did and thank God He did! Because most of us would still be walking in complete darkness! KEEP UP THE GOD WORK OF PREACHING “GRACE!” WE ARE GETTING IT! AL PANDOLA

  3. I would expect nothing less from misguided individuals in these end times. They don’t interpret the scriptures correctly and half their brain is still tuned to “the law” and its demands, they enjoy that, despite their inability to stick to the law.

    They ignore that God found fault with the law and gave us a better deal. No! That’s too easy, they say, I am a frank sinatra man -“i will do it my way”

    Good luck mate you are going to need it.

  4. Mark Steenhoff // August 13, 2014 at 1:02 am // Reply

    Hi Paul

    Thanks for the post. I have some questions on sanctification that I can’t seem to reconcile. How do you think about self discipline and how is it worked out? We know it is a fruit of the spirit but how do we think about it and exercise it? There is no doubt the law of sowing and reaping works out in life. How do you reconcile sowing and reaping (in particular related to self discipline) with living a hyper grace life / mindset?

    I want to think right about the amazing fruit of self discipline but when I think of hyper grace it all seems to get confused. The feel that I get is “Why be disciplined, it doesn’t really matter anyway”?

    Look forward to your feedback.
    Blessings
    Mark

    • Hi Mark, I just rolled out of bed and there are 37 comments to approve, so bear with me if the following sounds like the ramblings of someone who isn’t fully awake.

      The picture Paul paints in Galatians of the fruits of the spirit is a picture of Jesus – the fruit are his characteristics. Paul is saying, “As you walk by the spirit (ie: by faith in Christ) rather than by the flesh (eg: dead religion, self-reform, behavior management programs, etc.), this is what you can expect to see manifest in your life.” Fruit are manufactured; they are born naturally on the vine. If you struggle with self-discipline, your religious flesh will tell you to try this and try that, but grace simply says “rest in Jesus.” Every time the issue comes up, don’t condemn yourself for not trying hard enough. Instead, remind yourself that you are dead to sin and alive to Christ and the life you now live you live by faith in the Son of God. Obviously, there is much more to say about this, but here’s a good book I recommend.

      • Your completely right Paul. He is the Vine we are the branches. If we try to bear fruit in the flesh we are not going to get what we need or who we should become. We have to allow the vine to produce the fruit. As long as we are fixed on Jesus the Vine, the fruit will come. And he wants us to bear much fruit.

      • Mark Steenhoff // August 15, 2014 at 3:34 am //

        Thanks Paul and Chuck. I have ordered the book. I am encouraged that there is a practical application of this. As Jesus said (and someone referred to in these posts) “the work is in believing in Him”. So I am now thinking – Our side of the deal is to prioritize the believing, resting and enjoying – . The rest will follow.
        Blessings
        Mark

      • This leaves me wondering. I’ve always thought of sanctification as a process. Maybe sanctification is not the right word, but I see God changing me into the person that he wants me to be, renewing my mind so to speak. If that is not, strictly speaking, “sanctification,” what is the difference?

        I get that the fruit of the spirit is the result of my relationship with God, but it is not so much instantaneous. I also rely on the knowledge that it is not me doing the work, but allowing Him to work in me. I usually characterize it as “cooperating” as He works in me, but I still see a process at work.

      • The Biblical word we’re looking for is growth – it’s a growth process. Just as the oak sapling doesn’t get any oakier the bigger it gets, neither do you get any holier than the moment you were put into the Holy One. This is NOT the message taught under the label of “progressive sanctification.” It all comes down to a question: are you holy? Grace says “Yes, absolutely, 100% – now be holy. Be who you are.” The practical holiness teachers answer: “Yes and no, you are but you’re not, you still need to work and act holy and maybe one day you’ll be fully holy.” See the difference? Practical holiness says “You’re a work in progress, so work,” while grace declares “it is finished, so stop striving.”

    • There is no such thing as self discipline, nothing of self, all of Jesus. Right believing gives birth to right living. True change is effortless. Heart transformation. We love because He first loved us. Btw, I don’t like the hyper thing, Gods Grace is Grace. Adding the “hyper” Just makes it look or seem like a man made idea. Grace, simple and true.

  5. I was deceived for many years thinking to confess every sin (past and present), I found myself focusing so much on sin, that I had no time focusing on being free in Jesus Christ, I lived a fearful life, till a friend on facebook helped back on the right path, I started studying the Bible over again and actually couldn’t find much on confession sin daily, what I found was faith and believe, how many times does Jesus say “believe-believe-believe” even Paul states grace in so little words but yet straight forward and with impact (Rom 10:9-13)

  6. hey paul. i am really very thankful to have discovered your blog. Amazing and a hundred times amazing.
    God bless. One claim that i have heard many times is that sanctification is a process of a life time. And to be honest I dread this statement. Some help please.

    • Sanctification is a process which Jesus completed on your behalf. The Bible says he is our holiness. All those exhortations to “be holy” should be read as exhortations to be who you already are in Christ. I talk about this at length in The Hyper-Grace Gospel.

  7. That grace preachers invite prostitutes to their churches.
    That grace preachers/teachers are cultic or false prophets
    That grace preachers/teachers encourage sin by teaching that God’s grace is sufficient.

    • I would hope that prostitutes, along with tax collectors, thieves, adulterers, gossips, etc., are welcome in our churches. I would hope our message is attractive to sinners because grace is the only thing that can set them free from the prison of sin.

      • Thanks Paul for your response to Stephens post. We are called to share the gospel to every sinner so that they too may experience Christs love. He love for us compels us to want to please him and deny ungodlyness

    • “The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!” Luke 7:34
      Back in “the day” publicans and sinners were the prostitutes, druggies and drunks.
      So pointing to Jesus, Jesus alone and His sacrifice makes one a cult or false prophet? My brain can’t even begin to makes sense of that tonight.
      If God’s grace is not sufficient then how do you a mere sinful human expect to escape condemnation and hell fire? Insufficient grace makes the human ability to look like a Christian of more importance than the sacrifice of Christ.

  8. I have heard every single one of those accusations, and believed none of them. Thank God for the teaching of Pastor Joseph Prince, because it was through his teaching that I have returned to Jesus. If it were not for the Hyper-Grace Gospel, I would have become a Pagan, because to me Paganism was preferable above the mixed grace teaching of the pastors whom I have encountered in earlier times. Nothing can be more confusing than to hear that Salvation is free, but you have to ask God’s forgiveness over and over again in order to prevent losing your Salvation!

    Some of the more prominent accusations that I have read against Grace teachers are:
    -They are false prophets;
    -They are charlatans that are only “in it for the money”;
    -They are “prosperity preachers, and care about nothing else”;
    -If they were not so concerned about the luxurious “digs” they all seem to have, then perhaps the would have more time to do the work on Earth that Jesus is supposed to be doing.

    These are but a few, but enough to let any Bible believing Christian’s hair stand up!

    Thanks for this article, it’s brilliant!

    Antoinette le Roux

    • Here are another few accusations that I have recently come across:

      -They emphasize material wealth and the desire for it over the desire for Christ;
      -They link faith with money;
      -They are charlatans promoting false hope;
      -They are the reason why many believers get out from the flock when experiencing hardships and adversity.

    • Excellent point – my walk with God used to be a crushing thing, and I was simply tired of the demands of the Christian life. I went to church to keep the peace, plus Christ alone has the words of eternal life. But I had nowhere else to go, and resigned myself to “this is all there is.”

      Thank God that the crushing weight of law+grace was lifted from me after reading The Naked Gospel and the teachings of other hyper-grace preachers. It has made all the difference in my relationship with God!

    • I can totally relate! When I stumbled on grace, I was borderline suicidal. I was so depressed and hated the God I’d been taught about so much, I was ready to just quit altogether. I wanted to leave my church, but I was terrified to because I was taught that my life would get worse if I wasn’t going to church and doing my best to be a good Christian.

      Thank God He led me to this blog and through Paul Ellis showed me the truth about Himself. I still have a lot to learn, but my life has changed so much and it hasn’t even been a full year!🙂

  9. I have heard all of these as reasons to why “grace preachers” are wrong in the message of grace.The one I hear in particular is that grace preachers don’t preach enough hell and wrath.
    I then ask them one question,If hell is so important to preach in the gospel message then why didn’t the Apostle Paul preach,teach,tell or talk about it once?Shouldnt he have at least let the gentiles know at least once that this your destination if you don’t live the perfect life?But not once though?????

  10. Paul, I’m not really hearing any Christians talking about Hyper-Grace. Most Christians that Go to Church and pay Tithes and are members of the Church are satisfied with their standings. Some Christians that know about Hyper-Grace are undercover. They are afraid of the persecution. Some haven’t really gone out far enough to be able to explain Their belief. When I talk to some of them I tell them that Grace found me. They have this look on their face. I quit trying to explain to them about it. Now I just show them. Every fruit bears after itself. It’s like Jesus said, ” If you don’t believe what I say, believe me for the works sake.”
    He also said, ” You will know them by their fruit”. I quit trying to explain to them. I show them what I received.

    • I needed to read that. I get very frustrated that other Christians don’t see what I see. And I dread their persecution. Some can be adament about it. I guess those that don’t listen, God can show them through the change in me.

  11. As someone who was formerly on the other side of this, I would say nine and ten are the big ones. The focus of my Christianity was don’t sin and be obedient. Which wouldn’t seem too bad except Christianity is suppose to be about Jesus and I was consumed with myself and my behavior. When my focus went to Him, these became the fruit of our relationship rather than the root.

  12. I think you nailed it,I have found for me to look at it, is salvation is a package deal,which includes every aspect of the relationship,which is pretty much all you have mentioned, I think to seek the truth,and depend on our relationship with him will bring us full circle,and he will make the corrections etc that are necessary to be made for maturity,a major part of that for me,is knowing im completely loved and accepted and he will not leave me nor forsake me

  13. Most of my Christian life has been a struggle and to be perfectly honest quite miserable.
    Why? Because most of it I’ve listened to people spout “don’t do this or that and do this”
    I even had my salvation questioned because I don’t pray in tongues. To me God was a hard task master ready to beat my every mistake. I knew this couldn’t be the case. If it was what is the point? Thanks Paul for this website. At times I can’t believe that grace is so simple/kind/loving. I am now going through the process of unlearning works based ingrained theology. I know God’s grace goes well beyond what I have been taught and is not the lie I’ve been fed for the last 30 years.

  14. The infinite goodness of God eclipses anything. God is infinitely more powerful than the devil. Persuasive arguments based on human wisdom are using the wrong tool for a job. Backlash is out of fear based on human understanding fueled by law paradigms. Freedom is just that, freedom. I pray that the “backlashers” actually know Jesus. All arguments born from fear are pointless when you are sitting on the couch next to Jesus. I haven’t answered your questions Paul, sorry. So just a word of encouragement for your readers. Trust Jesus! Literally, absolutely, without exception trust Jesus. You have to know Him to trust Him. If you are afraid of Him or afraid of making Him mad at you, please ask Him into your life. He is lovely. His is wonderful. He is the prince of peace.

  15. Paul, I’m glad that you speak about these things. I have recently noticed a tension building in the church over the grace issue.

    It seems that people are basically choosing sides. I have heard well respected teachers making it perfectly clear that they do not endorse the hyper, sloppy, cheap (or whatever else it is being called) grace.

    I think there is a peer pressure going on in which people want to know “what side” one is on. May God keep us from politics and religion as His church is undergoing a major reformation. Let’s not forget that some of the respected Christians of Luther day, St Teresa for example, rejected the reformation of that day.

  16. Dorthy Salinas // August 13, 2014 at 5:13 am // Reply

    Blessings Paul, my current computer skills are limited, I can’t seem to locate how to reach you to ask a question from my heart so I apologize for intruding here to ask you a question that is not relevant to this current subject, but may I please ask, why does it appear that our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq, that are enduring such horrors do not appear to be experiencing the protection and benefits of Psalms 91? Do they not believe what we do?
    Also please advise me as to how to send you questions where appropriate.
    Thank you for the wisdom our Lord God has given you and God Bless you greatly!
    Dorthy

    • That’s a good question Dorthy, and one that I don’t have a good answer for. I do know that persecution follows grace and Jesus warned us that we would have trouble in this world. I have written more about that in this post. As for asking questions, please read this. Thanks.

  17. I continue to hear grace makes people lazy, disregards the “red letter” words of Jesus and is opposed to the law. There has also been Sunday school mutiny over whether or not we must ask God for forgiveness to be forgiven of sin. Grace is more divisive at times than people’s stance on politics or same sex marriage. I’ve not seen such an adverse response in all my life to telling people “God loves you and Sin is no longer the issue because of Jesus.” Grateful for places to receive the Truth of Jesus and continue to be rooted and grounded in this love that passes all understanding. Maybe that’s the issue…..human beings in our natural minds can not comprehend grace. It ( He, Jesus) is supernatural and is unveiled by the Spirit of grace. Lord help us remember this when we get push back or rejection. Jesus will not lose one of those the Father has given him. Amen!

    • I shouldn’t smile – these are serious issues – but your phrase “Sunday School mutiny” conjured up pictures of kids in pirate costumes. I guess Sunday School at your church is a place for adults, right?

      Yes, grace is divisive. As someone once said, “If you want to make people mad, preach law. If you want to make them really, really mad, preach grace.”

      • Kimmie G. // August 13, 2014 at 10:39 am //

        I guess it would make you laugh to know this is a class with 55+ Year old believers. I often am reminded that these truths …..the Truth found in Christ is revealed by the Spirit and the Father is drawing those whom will hear to his Son. One plants, One waters, but God gives the increase. I can rest…Hebrews 4. Thanks for planting and watering, Paul!

      • Kimmie G. // August 13, 2014 at 10:41 am //

        I am going to have to draw my picture of the “Sunday School Mutiny!” ☺️

  18. When we proclaim the truth that Jesus died for all our sins, which includes past, present and future sins, many think it as ‘encouragement to do sin’ and simply they reject it. They fail to appreciate the richness of grace of our heavenly father through Jesus. This makes me disappointing!

  19. Another grace addict. Oh yes I am.

  20. Grant Peever // August 13, 2014 at 6:14 am // Reply

    GUILTY AS CHARGED! “IN CHRIST ALONE”

    PREACH IT BROTHER!

  21. Kenneth Blount // August 13, 2014 at 6:48 am // Reply

    I have heard preachers, even some of my own teachers and preachers, preach against hyper-grace, and I did not like what they said, but like many still believed what they said must be right, and being fearful of been taken in by this new movement ; however I became increasingly uncomfortable when they voiced more and more against, so I decided to see for myself. I have always had a desire to know more, I don’t read books with the exception the bible from GOD’S word I have learned the most. I checked out the preachers of grace on u tube and found there are still people that will take this the wrong way and completely loose it, but I must tell you I have never had GOD show me more revelation of HIS WORD. it is an answer to Paul’s prayer in Eph1:18 flooding the eyes of my heart with understanding and knowing my position in CHRIST. I have yet to see or hear anything to dis agree with the gospel, in fact grace preachers have shed more and more light on JESUS than many preachers. it took 2000 years to come out of the dark ages, the religious (they don’t like to be called that) would like to still keep us in the dark.

  22. I preach the Gospel of grace, and agree that every statement is false. And will add to be like God is not something we aspire to be or work towards, it is a gift.

  23. I’ve heard most of these, I think. It does seem that hyper-grace is misunderstood; the Bible clearly teaches the unbeliever to repent, confess their sin to God, ask God for forgiveness, and turn from the Law. But to keep doing this as a believer is insulting to God; it treats his forgiveness as temporary, fleeting, or conditional.

    Believers may indeed disregard the words of Jesus as he is quoted “burying” those under the Law with its logical extremes. Dr. Brown himself has probably not cut off his hand if it causes him to sin, since he has probably has a good interpretation of why that doesn’t literally apply to a believer – as does a hyper-grace preacher.

    Believers may view hyper-grace as a license to commit sin, but when they do, they are forgetting who they are. Those who believe they are “simultaneously saint & sinner” are just following their nature. And as Andrew Farley asks, “How are you doing WITHOUT the license?”

    Other accusations I’ve never actually heard, so perhaps they are straw-man arguments only: hyper-grace does encourage obedience & holy living, and it does talk about hell and wrath.

    As for being lazy – I have found my true rest in Christ, and those who cannot relate to “my burden is easy, and my yoke is light” probably need to re-examine their theology and relationship with God.

  24. I’ve heard pretty much all of the above claims, and at one time (about 23 years ago or so) I used to believe many of them. The Holy Spirit sure had His work cut out for Him when dealing with the many misunderstandings I had about myself and about the redemptive work of Christ, lol, but thankfully I nowadays understand sin and the Gospel exceedingly more clearly and am able to see right through those above-listed distortions and false statements and take them for what they are: false arguments that exalt themselves against the knowledge of Christ and His finished work. Your list is pretty thorough. I’m not sure that I can improve on it since it pretty much covers all of them for me.

  25. If I may can I add the following. I have always talked to others about the Grace of our Father that I always felt was true for others (as taught here) but alas not for me. I am starting to focus on the verse where Jesus said “The only work we are required to do is to believe in the one whom the Father sent” I’m sure when we understand and walk in that then everything else has to follow through. When we look at Jesus we will so much want to be like him and not use it as an excuse to sin. He died for us, in our place because he loves us so much. When he hung on that cross his prayer was not “Father when Bill gets it wrong beat him with a stick and remove him from your presence” Jesus took our beating to reconcile us to our Father and come into the throne room of Grace. Full acceptance

  26. marianne soria // August 13, 2014 at 8:39 am // Reply

    Thank you for this article. I was a child of God who didn’t know better. I sat under 5 pastors at different cities.. The Lord brought the message (gospel ) of Grace to me while recovering from an auto accident. My life and my family’s life has changed so much. Now we attend a church in Carrolton ,Texas that is the truth that you just spoke of. We are so hungry and thirsty for God’s unmerited Favor, we know now that we are the righteousness of Our
    heavenly Father because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
    In His love ,joy and peace,
    Marianne Soria

  27. If Grace is a license to sin then I think I’m covered because of the license. I also think that those who sin without the license (grace) are in for a big trouble with a vindictive God. I’m being sacarstic here, though. Those who think Grace is a license to sin are those who don’t know or who prefer self-effort to “For it is God who is at work in you…”.

    A church has decided not invite me again because of this grace message. The senior pastor actually has no issue with it but the associate pastors are done with me. Funniest thing is that, the last time i was in the church with this same grace message, they witnessed the kind of miracle, deliverance, healing and decisions for Christ they have never witnessed before in the entire existence of that church.

    I was born into a legalistic Christian community, taught by the same and grew up a thorough-bred legalist until hyper-grace snatched me. I’ve got license to drive but has never been reckless or broken any traffic law so to say. I have “license to sin” according to them, but this same license I have found to make me say no to sin.

    Anyways, I had been in Egypt and lived under Moses and Elijah but when I read they came to say goodbye to Grace at the Mount of Transfiguration, I relocated and changed teacher. Life is better now! Praise the Lord!

  28. Love this site, it’s filling in a lot of blanks and answering questions i’ve had for years. Thank you!

  29. Lee Whitcomb // August 14, 2014 at 12:58 am // Reply

    Paul, this was an excellent post. When you wrote, “the grace message is soft on sin” my first thought was that sin is gone by justification …, and sinner man was crucified with Christ…. Our next sin and the ones thereafter were on the cross. We sin because we give in to our flesh instead of trusting God to meet a need and/or solve a problem. Repentance? To repent is a change of mind. At Pentecost Peter wanted his Jewish audience to change their mind about who they thought Jesus was. Confession? It is admitting that our thoughts, our words and our deeds are sin. Universalism? I for one hope it true. What soul coming into existence would choose to be Adolf Hitler, Jeffery Dahmer or David Berkowitz? Forgiveness? Forgiveness does not “take away” sin—justification does! Is God grieved by our sin? God may condemn what we do …, but He will never condemn the believer…. The Law? Jesus kept it for us! The Hebrew Scrolls? Much to learn about God’s chosen…. The words of Jesus? Jesus came for the Jew, but His words belong to us as a matter of history and truth. His words in the Greek Manuscripts may not pertain to us…. Sin? My comments above…. Holy living? You did a good job on this subject! Hell and wrath? I talk about our judgment…. Lazy? There was nothing lazy about Jesus and Paul…. Thanks again Paul!

  30. donavon freeman // August 14, 2014 at 3:00 am // Reply

    You ever notice when a child is in an oral stage they will place anything they find in their mouths but notice now it is the job of the parent to tell the baby no,no,no gimmie that and they remove it from their mouth.The child knows nothing of the harm that they are putting themselves in for these items to them pose no threat for the eyes of the parent and the eyes of the child see the object two different ways.
    Such is it with the law Paul says its important to mature as Christians and not remain babes for babes see nothing wrong with trying to digest the law it will kill them (for it is a ministry of death)and they not know.The Father comes along and tells us no,no,no give me that and takes the law out of our mouths.I myself would have never known it would have killed me if I totally digested the law.Thank God for grace

  31. That short poem by Ben Issac is beautiful….thanks for sharing it again!
    I’ve had someone ask if i believed in universalism after speaking about Gods love; so i can see how people can jump to that claim by what we preach.
    As for believing any myself, I’ll have to confess that i do :-D….its the claim about believing we no longer have to ask God for forgiveness. I’ll definitely say im finding it easier to accept christians who do; they just relate to God best that way. But i still find it pointless lol.
    I imagine God saying, “I appreciate your apology, and of course i forgive you🙂 But don’t forget you were already forgiven, and i promise, that i’ll remember your sins no more, so next time if i seem confused and forgetful, bear with me 😉…plus i knew you were gonna do it anyway! Run along now, i love you 😃 “

    • My mistake; the claim said hyper grace preachers believe its wrong to ask God for forgiveness. I’ve never believed its wrong :-)…..perhaps misguided, but not wrong🙂

      • I hear you. I say something similar in the book. There’s a danger of becoming a grace pharisee if we go around saying certain behaviors like asking for forgiveness are wrong. The key thing is to receive what God has already given. If asking helps you to receive, then by all means ask.

      • John Buta // August 14, 2014 at 9:33 am //

        Exactly :-)! People over doctrine, as you say.
        It makes me lament over my past decision to buy a grace pharisee t-shirt and wear it in.
        Have a good evening man.
        And im gonna have to get out New Zealand one day, just to finally meet the man behind the blog!

  32. I have heard it said “and what they teach is sending many to hell”
    Mainly from those who oppose the oppose what is taught on this website and similar publications.
    Now I find that a very confusing and frightening statement to make. I also do find myself reluctant to talk about something that can be contentious in case I have got it wrong. An example being once saved always saved. I genuinely believe a Christian cannot lose their salvation but I can see the arguments against. There are many disagreements amongst denominations that are chasms apart. Ranging from ones own interpretation to textual criticism, the main one for me being Romans 8v1 based on whether you read the KJV/NKJV or the NIV or NLT which if you preach from the KJV then you preach works based Christianity. I really do not want to stand before my Father and be told I got it wrong and caused many issues and failures. Anyway what I want to know is when Paul (and us who agree with him and expound it ourselves) and those who oppose our views (and tell us we are sending people to hell) what will God say? One has to be wrong. If so what then?

    • I agree that the stakes are high. As I say in the book, “Lives are hanging in the balance. Those opposed to the hyper-grace message worry that we who preach it are sending people to hell, while those of us opposed to the mixed-grace message agonize over religious practices that restrict or deny access to God’s life-saving grace.” You need to have a conviction about this. When I started preaching grace I encountered many questions and scriptures I could not answer. Smart, serious men very nearly silenced me. But the fire had been lit and there was no extinguishing it. I took all those questions to the Lord and he helped me. He’s pretty good at that!

      • Morning Paul, I hope your enjoying your breakfast, sorry if I’m spoiling it. Thanks for responding. I think I get what you’re saying. I do note though that those opposed to mixed grace message do not say to those opposed to it “your sending people to hell by your teaching” Both sides have a conviction about what they teach. Both will stand before our Father one day and one is wrong. What happens then? Is one a sheep and one a goat?
        Is the one who got it wrong still saved even though his works are burnt in the fire? I used to walk in the fact if it’s burnt at least I’m in but I want to build on Gold, Silver and Jewels. On Jesus himself.

      • Breakfast was hours ago, thanks Bill. Yes, there are some prominent people accusing us of sending millions of people to hell. Last year in Charisma Magazine/News alone there were about a dozen articles saying stuff like this. Our message has also been accused of being responsible for the likes of Adolf Hitler, Nazism, and the Holocaust. I am not making this up. For preaching grace I am almost daily labelled a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing, a heretic, an unbeliever, and an antichrist. Just a few comments before yours (not on this thread), someone told me I need to repent and get saved. I’m used to this. It goes with the territory. Those who have invested their lives in a system that hands out gold stars for good behavior do not react well to those of us who say gold stars count for nothing.

        But are the name-callers hell-bound goats? That’s not for me to judge. Paul had strong words for those who preached a message different from his (Gal 1) and so did Jesus (Matt 23). I think the main thing is that we follow Jesus and Paul and preach the same message of grace that they did, and leave the outcome to God.

  33. I totally agree, Paul. It’s really not that hard to understand. Jesus said, “When you see me you see the Father.” What is our father like?

  34. Hi Paul, I hope your day is going well. Have you repented yet:0)
    Sorry should not joke but couldn’t help myself. I do think there is a difference in teaching something incorrectly out of misunderstanding/misinterpretation and teaching it deliberately for what ever reason may be so. I suppose what I want to know is if 2 people stand side by side before God and have taught different things out of misunderstanding/misinterpretation they are both in as such. Anyway I’m sure you have heard this many times and I hope you have. You are a real blessing, somehow I stumbled accross your website. So you have reached a man in the UK. You teach what I have always felt was true but beyond me but not others. Anyway I’m learning and growing and it would be an honour to stand side by side with you. Father bless you fella.

    • My best understanding is this: God examines the heart. We used to have a saying, God will honor the man doing the wrong thing with the right heart more than the man doing the right thing with the wrong heart. The vast majority of those preaching mixture have a good heart and their motives are pure. I know, because I was such a person. I put price tags on grace while loving Jesus with all of my heart. I fully expect heaven to be full of people with stunned expressions on their face. And since we’re all learning, I have no doubt that I will be one of them.

  35. I’m glad you posted this. I read Dr. Brown’s article and my first thought was the he completed misunderstood the claims of the “hyper-grace” side. His is essentially a straw man argument.

  36. Hardest part will be trying to keep it <250. Might sound like telegram. Stop. Sorry. Stop. Read (some of) your discussion with Dr. Brown. I had a conversation with a hyper-grace person a few years ago as I was just beginning to want to understand grace. (Used to be super self-righteous.) This hyper-grace person coined "Christianity is the only religion where, there deeper you get into it, the freer you get." It was often quoted in our church at the time. I loved the thought of that, but wasn't experiencing it. This is a super intelligent, articulate person, yet they could not communicate grace to me adequately even though I wanted to understand them. I asked the same questions Dr. Brown did – what about "be ye holy" etc. The answer was that I am only the branch. I now get that we do out of what we already have on the inside. It's not a work on top of what Christ did, but it flows out of His complete work in us. This person was a Spirit filled believer with great insight, gave (money) much more than most, helped drug addicts and many others to Jesus, was in a leadership position and married to a godly person many likened to Jesus. It was often said that they are not a people-person, and so being civil according to most people's standards was not required. Tattoos, blue hair and video games was all "lawful" and being best friends with professed atheists who ridicule Jesus was considered slaughtering holy cows and challenging the religion in people. I don't think blue hair, for instance, is wrong per se, but it was all in the name of "all things are lawful, I'm under grace." It rubbed me the wrong way, which was intended, I guess. This person is now divorced (but still friends with their ex) and no longer believes in Jesus/God. What happened? Did they miss some "be ye…"? It seems to me something was left unDONE since all the emphasis was on BE-ing and AM, no need to do. Would appreciate an answer! Do I count this or is it going to tell me I talk too much when I press 'post'? *holds breath*

  37. One question on the Gospel and Grace of Jesus Christ:

    In Romans 6:14, Paul writes: “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”

    1. Sin certainly has dominion over people who adopt “lawless” lifestyles – they do as they like, sin as they like. Are they still “under law”? If so, in what ways?

    2. How would you explain the difference between “lawlessness” v.s. “not living under law”? (the difficulty is perhaps compounded because – in common parlance – “lawlessness” is often understood to be “not living under law”)

    John

    • Hey John! Hows it going? Great name by the way!

      1. I’d say absolutely, in a sense. In Romans 2:14 Paul speaks about the Gentiles who are “a law unto themselves”, how often have we heard that about people! Now obviously people who adopt a lawless lifestyle, like those in Romans 1, aren’t under the Jewish,, but they do set up there own law whether they realise it or not. They believe if they do action “x”, they’ll get result “y”…..but what initially seems like free living & fulfilling, gives them result “z”, which happens to be just as destructive as doing going to get good from God like those under Jewish Law.

      2. So I’ve kind of touched on it, but you’re exactly right that its not helped by people who like to throw a big antinomian label on anyone who says we’re under grace now and not under law. Lawlessness is not someone who sins while under grace, just to be clear. We all make dumb choices from time to time, we’re all learning.
      What lawlessness is though, is setting up your own way, apart from God to get the things in life you want. These people “suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Romans 1:18) and God gives them over to their sinful desires (Romans 1:24)
      So as we said, living under law is doing good, to get things from God that we want. But grace doesn’t work like that. Living under grace is right in the middle of these two ways of lawlessness and law, its living in union with the amazing God, and being set free from bondage of religion, and the bondage of Sin.
      Hope I’ve helped🙂

      • Hi John – *hi-five*

        Thanks for taking the time out to reply. I agree that the dichotomy is between lawlessness v.s. living under Christ = false freedom v.s. true freedom.

        Let us be diligent in entering the rest which Christ provides – Hebrews 11:4

        Cheers!

    • Hi John,

      The bible is absolutely right,
      Romans 6:14, “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”

      Those who lived a “lawless” lifestyle are not under grace, they are actually steep in the law.
      This is because the law was not given to make anyone holy. Its purpose is to show men how fallen short we are. The law is basically the system of merit, the system of good and evil.
      Anyone under law will always become introspective, self conscious, feelings of guilt and condemnation. We have taken our eyes off Christ, and we are left to our own strength.
      This is why it always stirs up the flesh and its works.

      • John Buta // August 18, 2014 at 7:14 pm //

        So true man!
        And i hope you saw my other reply…its accidentally under “scblhrm’s” comment as a reply, just a couple comments down🙂
        Take care mate, have a joyful day!
        😊

  38. Hi Paul. Have you or any others here come accross anyone who is actually frightened to believe or accept grace? Either because it’s free and the world says “there is no such thing as free lunch or because they have been so battered with works based theology that they can’t believe it’s true? If so what would you say to them?

  39. So many of us on this blog, came from such similar backgrounds of ‘grace plus works’, and the associated misery of fear and failure, often to the point of walking away from Christianity, that when we encounter the grace, ‘Jesus plus nothing’ message, we talk as if this is a NEW message. And in a way, that us true because the leading of the Holy Spirit is new everyday.

    But the message of Grace was taught long ago; this us not the new news, it’s the Good News. There is now a new label “hyper-grace” (I love how this was meant as derogatory by some, but now used as definition of a movement🙂 ).

    I guess the difference is => the internet. When religious teaching was dominated by large institutional churches and denominations, it was hard to hear contrary voices. We, in these churches were taught to fear and shun other teachings. With the internet, the voices can be heard, and we can make informed decisions.

    Nor is the disagreement new. But it makes me appreciate the apostle Paul’s ministry even more, when I read books like Galatians, and how brave he had to be to challenge the highly regarded judaizers. Whether you agree with the grace message or not. You have to marvel at who he was confronting and how he was not intimidated.

  40. A mentally disturbed man took his own life and the Legalists – I use to be such and claim no innocence here – rushed to defend their code and assure us that – yes – the man of unsound mind is sound-enough to refuse Christ and is – thereby – in hell. That whole arena broke my heart. From the man’s unsound mind, to his suicide, to that terribly presumptuous reaction of the Church (part of it). That reaction to that situation is what Christ’s Body has been reduced to in the world. Satan laughs.

    Fortunately the reach of His immutable sufficiency outreaches, out performs, out distances contingent and insubstantial paradigms such as Time and Circumstance and we need not honor the pale accusations which Man’s Accuser levels against those of unsound mind before the Bench of Man’s Emancipator. The soul’s delight at the sight of its true felicity spied in an unguarded Tree through that Door that is His All-Sufficiency effortlessly traverses the entirety of the Accuser’s barricades – be they material or immaterial. “The vast majority of those preaching mixture have a good heart and their motives are pure. I know, because I was such a person. I put price tags on grace while loving Jesus with all of my heart. I fully expect heaven to be full of people with stunned expressions on their face. And since we’re all learning, I have no doubt that I will be one of them.” (Ellis)

    • Haha😀 *returns high 5*
      No worries at all, i appreciate you saying that.
      Yess! I wish it also added, “Let us also be diligent in high 5’ing and having fun!”
      It was John Piper who said that mans chief end, was to enjoy God forever. Brilliantly put🙂
      Have a great day man….thank you!

    • How sad. I knew a guy like that once, who felt that those who committed suicide are in hell. He even believed if you were sinning at the point Jesus came back then you were going to hell as well. Even though I felt condemnation in my life for not performing I just knew this could not be true. If so I might as well play the lottery as I would have more chance of winning. There was no reasoning with this guy. Even though I don’t fully get grace for me I know its true and It will breakthrough one day. I pray every day that I never ever say to people the rubbish I’ve been fed for 28 years of my 30 year faith in our saviour Jesus

  41. Just some comments on sanctification.Like many others,I have been taught about “progressive sanctification”.I have always viewed that as growth…maturity,and i have no issue with that at all.We should desire to become more and more like Christ.My issue is with how many believers are taught how they are to grow and mature…which is full of fleshly effort,law imposing hogwash,spiritual manipulation and coercion through distorted teaching of the Scriptures…ironically stunting growth…at least in grace, These can not possibly be those who will be who they already are in Christ as they allow someone else to determine that for them.

  42. Michael Jenkins // August 18, 2014 at 2:08 pm // Reply

    I have heard just about every claim when it comes down to hypergrace. I hear most that Grace sounds too good to be true and it ignores discipline and obedience. Also true holiness is a term that I hear often.

    Yet most of these claims are assumptions and someone basically draw their own conclusion and have a baseless argument.

  43. I also comtnue to hear that grace must be balanced…..you can not go too far with grace and not have it balanced with ” holiness”; people have to be accountable for their behavior or they will think they have a license to sin. I’d much rather think of grace as a “License to Live!” Grace doesn’t move people to sin….it empowers them not to. By removing the old man, Jesus took away the dominance and empowerment to sin according to the sin nature. We are now empowered to live according to being branches on the tree of life! We are blessed, blessed, blessed to be engrafted in to family of God! Thank you Abba Father for your Son Jesus! We are apart of the Vine…..the Vine produces the fruit. We still have the same choice as Adam and Eve; eat from the tree of life or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Ministry of death or reconciliation….law or grace. And then, in his mercy, God tells us the answer…CHOOSE LIFE! Let those who have ears to hear, let them hear!

  44. I keep having lengthy discussions about this with people. The point that is most hard to accept is that GOD REALLY MEANS IT. Most people completely ignore the outrageously scandalous things Paul (for example) has written, and go directly for the ten commandments and behavioural modification. I keep pointing out that this is pride disguised as humility – the notion that we have to wallow in the misery of our sin because somehow, heroically, this is ‘the human condition’ and we can but hope that God accepts us. The biggest resistance both inside and outside the church arises when you say that your contribution to salvation and gaining God’s favour is not required, that it’s really all free, but that this is not a lazy ‘free’ but that it will lead to a total handover of the reins of your life to Jesus. I find this liberating to the extreme but in my view, fallen man (even if they are atheists) is a deeply religious being, wanting to know WHAT HE HAS TO DO. Take that away, put them naked and empty-handed into the light of God’s grace and watch him squirm. Thanks for the great blog!

    • Thanks brother, when we renew our minds to what has already happened in our re-born spirits(who we really are) and surrender our bodies to God, instead of temptations(Rom12:1-12), isn’t this a contribution to our salvation especially as regards to our flesh? The fact is we still need the flesh as we live our Christian lives here on earth and has to be looked after.

      Kindly elaborate more on Rom 12:1-2 whether it is our contribution.

      The truth is God did His part in our re-born spirits and we contributed nothing to that, but God expects us to renew our minds and also surrender our bodies as living sacrifices to Him to match what has already our spirits.

  45. It is the case that no, not any, Created-Self can in actuality pull the Uncreated into itself, regardless of what it, in itself, ever does. Insufficiency cannot pull All-Sufficiency into itself by force of will. Rather, the Uncreated must – in all possible worlds – spread His arms wide, and pour Himself out, and offer the All Sufficient Cup. The Insufficient, there swallowing down, is in fact swallowed up by All-Sufficiency, and finds in itself that All-Sufficiency which it could not otherwise know. Note the action of two wills there: Insufficiency’s swallowing-down and All-Sufficiency’s swallowing-up. It is unmistakable: without the pouring of the later, the filling of the former has no hope. Both are very present, the former and the later, and we simply cannot deny these two motions of these two wills, nor can we deny that the later gets all the credit, for, but for it, the former is hopeless: it is not sufficient in the Self – it is void – He is substance. Grace here comes into focus as that which furnishes what only All-Sufficiency can deliver: the All-Sufficient Cup. Should the Insufficient – the Created-Self – level any claim upon such living streams as only All-Sufficiency can source we must there point out the metaphysical absurdity of such claims as such are price tags which the Created-Self first invents and then claims to mysteriously provide. Shall All-Sufficiency thank Insufficiency? Metaphysically and Scripturally All-Sufficiency is the only Price – on Necessity – and All-Sufficiency is the only Payment – on Necessity. Enter: Grace. Enter: Rest.

  46. Typo:

    The “mysteriously provide” should have been “mysteriously satisfy“, as corrected here:

    ………Should the Insufficient – the Created-Self – level any claim upon such living streams as only All-Sufficiency can source we must there point out the metaphysical absurdity of such claims as such are price tags which the Created-Self first invents and then claims to mysteriously satisfy. Shall All-Sufficiency thank Insufficiency? Metaphysically and Scripturally All-Sufficiency is the only Price – on Necessity – and All-Sufficiency is the only Payment – on Necessity. Enter: Grace. Enter: Rest.

  47. How did I miss this one paul? You hide it on me did’nt ya. Thank you for this,ive gotten to the point were I send people to e2r,and tell them its covered there somewhere

  48. Hi Paul,
    I only learned of your blogsite this week through Michael Brown’s Hyper-Grace.

    I clicked on the Bill Gillham book link in your comment on 13 Aug. As I read that article as well as your comment on sanctification above (13 aug), I felt like a shaft of light came and set me free from the guilt and condemnation I have felt for more than 10 years about anger issues. I have read articles on generational curses, dealing with sin but none of them bore witness in me, until now, when I grasped the truth that those anger issues were not the real me – the real me is in Christ and I simply rest in Him and not “fight against the old me”. In the past, I focused on fighting against anger, I tried will power, self discipline but nothing lasted and I kept coming under condemnation and accusation of the devil. Now I understand that I am already truly holy in Christ (and not progressively as I falsely thought) with a new nature that does not include anger (or any sin for that matter), that when Jesus hung on the Cross He dealt with the anger issues already and I am free.

    Thank you Paul, for speaking boldly the truth of the Gospel of grace, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God bless you richly.

  49. What I hear most often is that what we share is too easy. It can’t be true because it’s just too easy. It requires almost nothing – belief and abiding, which if they knew can sometimes be more challenging and less likely to be met by our self effort than their works based faith.

  50. This article is SO needed right now! I have lost a fb friend that has and posts these notions of Grace! Thank you Paul!

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