Does the Hyper-Grace Gospel Promote Lawlessness? A Response to Daniel Norris

Yet another article has come out in Charisma News maligning the hyper-grace gospel and those of us who preach it. In it, Daniel Norris worries that preaching grace without the law leads to the sort of lawlessness that Jesus said “would abound in the last days” (Matt. 24:12). The implication is that those of us who preach this message are causing the love of many to grow cold. As others have claimed, our heretical teachings may be responsible for a last day’s apostasy sends millions to hell.

The punchline of this latest article is that we would delight in the old covenant law, as David did, and so right the “tilting ship” of unbalanced grace.

Since I am one of those who preaches the “toxic theology” of hyper-grace, and since I have long argued that the law has no relevance for the believer, permit me to respond to the accusations made in the article, which I summarize in eight points:

1. Preaching grace without law is unbalanced. Remember John 3:16!

John 3:16 is arguably the greatest sentence ever uttered and it ends like this: “…whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Notice the period at the end of that verse. It is the greatest period in the history of periods. That period tells us there are no price-tags attached to the grace of God. The abundant and blessed life that Christ offers you has already been given and paid for at the cross. You can’t earn it, work for it, or reimburse him for it. All you can do is receive it by faith.

What does this have to do with law? Absolutely nothing. The word law is mentioned nowhere in this verse or chapter. If Jesus did not see fit to balance God’s grace with law, neither should we.

Spurgeon on mixture

2. God’s law shows us what a righteous life looks like

Yet the Apostle Paul said that “no one will be declared righteous by observing the law” (Rom 3:20). Keeping or “delighting” in the law in the hope of being righteous is a flesh trip.

Mr. Norris writes that “under grace, man was enabled to actually be righteous,” by which he means that grace is the grease that helps you keep the law and be righteous. But the Apostle Paul tells us that righteousness is a free gift (Rom 1:17). Your observance of the law doesn’t come into it.

“You need to look into the perfect law of liberty and continue in it and do it” (see Jas 1:25). But the perfect law of liberty that James writes about is not the old covenant law, for that law makes no one free. It is Jesus, who makes you free indeed. Jesus is the law perfected, and the “(living) word that can save you” (Jas 1:21).

The old covenant law is like a mirror. Look into it and you will only see your faults. James is basically saying, “Stop looking at yourself in the mirror of the law. Stop gazing at your imperfections, but focus on Christ and his sublime perfections.” We are not changed by looking at ourselves. We are changed by beholding Jesus!

Want a picture of the righteous life? Don’t look to the law, but look to Jesus who is our righteousness from God.

Blackboard_righteous

3. If we are under grace, why not invite your neighbor to sleep with your spouse?

Such a remark shows a profound misunderstanding of grace which is the only thing that teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness (Tit 2:12). Mr. Norris wonders what stops grace folk from stealing from Walmart? I can honestly say I have never thought about stealing from Walmart. But I can see why someone who “delights in the law” may have, since one of the functions of the law is to inflame sin (Rom 7:5).

Live under the law and you will become thoroughly sin-conscious. You may not commit adultery or lie or steal, but you’ll think about those things because the law will be constantly telling you not to do them. As Paul tells us in Romans 7, the law does not help you overcome sin. Rather, the law helps sin overcome you! The law reveals the problem so that we might see our need for Jesus.

MLJ_2

4. The law is our tutor

According to the article, the old covenant was characterized by precepts but the new is all about principles. Grasp the principles behind the precepts you’ll produce the blessings. So be like David who meditated on the law all day long and you will be blessed.

How is this not a works-based message? How is this not an insult to Jesus in whom every blessing has already been given (Eph 1:3)? You don’t need to produce anything. In fact, trying to produce fruit will only frustrate the purposes of God in your life making you barren and miserable. The fruit that Christ desires to bear in you is not produced through practicing principles or keeping precepts. It is borne naturally as we abide in him.

The law is not a tutor or teacher in the sense that we understand the word. It is a guardian who takes you to the real Teacher who is Jesus (Gal 3:4). Jesus said the Holy Spirit would guide you into all truth (John 16:13). If the Spirit of Christ teaches you everything you need to know, what remains for the law to teach you?

5. Jesus revealed what the law, fulfilled within us, looks like

Jesus fulfilled the law by dying a brutal death on the cross. Yet those who say we must follow Christ’s example never go where Christ went. They’ll tell you to die, but only metaphorically. They’ll tell you to do what Jesus said, but when it comes to the hard bits they’ll tell you he didn’t really mean it.

According to Tullian Tchividjian, the number one problem in the church today is not cheap grace but cheap law, namely, “the idea that God accepts anything less than the perfect righteousness of Jesus.” I totally agree. It is Jesus who makes you righteous, holy, and eternally pleasing to God. Anything you might add to his perfect work only subtracts from it.

If we properly valued the law, we would properly value grace. As Tchividjian says, “A high view of the law produces a high view of grace. A low view of the law produces a low view of grace.”

6. The spiritual removal of the law from churches is a shame

Tell that to the Galatians. They fell from grace because they allowed a little law to come into their church and enslave them again. Paul said they were foolish for observing the law because “all who rely on the law are under a curse” (Gal 3:10). Your choice is simple: trust grace and be blessed, or trust in your law-keeping efforts and be cursed.

Is there a place for the law in the church? If we define the church as the community of believers, the answer must be an emphatic no! As Paul tells us in Romans 7, living under the law is cheating on Jesus.

Nee on Law

7. Oh for preachers to once again realize that God’s law is good!

A common complaint made against hyper-grace preachers is that we think the law is bad. We are branded antinomians because we allegedly teach that God’s law is defective or inferior. This is a slanderous accusation. In my book The Hyper-Grace Gospel I examined the teachings of 40 grace preachers and found none who had anything less than the highest regard for the law. Like Paul, we say the law is good for the purpose for which God gave it, and that purpose was to lead you to Christ who is the end, the fulfillment, the utter completion of the law for all who believe (Rom 10:4).

If you are resting in the grace of God, you have no need of the law. If you are secure in the gift of his righteousness, you have no need of the law. However, if you are confident of your own righteousness, you need the law (Rom 3:19)!

Blackboard_Grace_plus

8. Grace makes the law more relevant

Such muddled thinking explains much of the confusion in the church today. “You need both grace and law. Grace helps you keep the law. God gives us grace so that we might fulfill the law.” This is a most dangerous teaching! Buy into it and you’ll curse what God has blessed, you’ll fall from grace, and you’ll become lukewarm like a Laodicean and loveless like an Ephesian.

The Charisma News article calls for you to balance that which cannot be balanced. It would have you mix the death-dealing demands of the law with the life-giving grace of God. It cannot be done.

I am confident that I speak for every hyper-grace preacher when I say the call for balance is really a call for mixture. As Jesus and the New Testament writers tell us again and again, you can live under grace or law but not both. You cannot be hot and cold. You will either walk after the old way of the flesh or the new way of the Spirit. You’ll either have faith in his law-keeping performance or your own.

Every hyper-grace preacher would encourage you to put your faith in Jesus and his finished work. While those who disagree with us would have you meditate on the law “all day long,” we would encourage you to meditate on Jesus. It is he who has begun a good work in you and he will finish what he started.

___________

If you enjoy Escape to Reality, sign up to our email list and we’ll notify you about new articles as soon they come out. No spam, we promise.

And if you’d like to see these messages of love and hope go further, support us via our Patreon page.

85 Comments on Does the Hyper-Grace Gospel Promote Lawlessness? A Response to Daniel Norris

  1. Just watched Dr. Michael Brown attack Hyper Grace preachers pretty strongly at IHOP. He’s coming to Singapore next week. Do you know what his plans in Singapore are? I would love to see a debate between himself (Dr. Brown) and yourself or Joseph Prince. Would you be up for it?

    • I’d rather challenge him to a thumb-wrestle.

    • I watched a video in which Mike Bickle(IHOP) claimed to have a vision or dream in which a powerful demonic spirit approached him.He tried to rebuke it but it kept advancing towards him.According to Bickle this demon was the spirit behind the hyper-grace gospel.On the other hand I heard Joseph Prince claim he received a revelation from God to preach the gospel of grace that,according to Buckle,has a demon behind it!Well Prince and Bickle cannot both both be right!What do people on this forum make of such contradictory claims by men who claim to speak for God?

      • I agree with you David – they can’t both be right!

      • if it aint grace…..I got nothin!

      • I first have to admit I do not know very much about the teachings of Mr. Bickle. Based on what you said, however, I can’t see how he could be right when Jesus has already defeated the enemy. When we have beliefs that say, “stopping the enemy depends on what I do”, he may appear larger than his actual size.

      • Brian Midmore // September 18, 2014 at 7:41 pm //

        somebody has goofed.

      • to me its easy to see how the enemy could easily cause a counterfeit grace movement, a diversion if you will, anything to stop a advance…………………{the enemy has 2 goals. 1. to keep you from salvation.and if he cant keep you from salvation…………#2. keep you from being a effective Christian………..Derek Prince.

      • If I might add to this, Rob Rufus has an interesting message on “the grace-hating spirit” where he uses examples from the NT as well as his own life illustrating the opposition one runs into when they preach pure grace. Whether or not he has seen an actual demon embodying this, I am not sure. However, spiritual experiences (though important) are subjective. Peter tells us that we have the “more sure prophetic word” of scripture. I think all we need to do if we are unsure if we are preaching some dangerous demonic form of grace (although I have never known the enemy to be gracious) is to examine the scriptures with the help of the Holy Spirit.

    • DOCTOR Brown, is a bit too full of HIS DOCTORATE!.

      JP doesn’t ever have to face off with that homie. JP, brought Jesus back to the church, those who hear him preach…know that Jesus & Paul faced the same criticisms.

      Jesus never taught us that we need to debate the Gospel. HE SAID PRWACH IT! So we are charged to know first and foremost, what is the Gospel? JP knows it.

      So preach the Gospel of GRACE, after you learn what it is…and don’t waste your time arguing with believers with doctorates….

      Jesus didn’t. And when that filthy, low life, unclean spirit Devil showed up, Jesus just quoted the Word and showed him what a major punk he was,.

  2. Katy McNeill // September 14, 2014 at 8:21 pm //

    Dear Paul , Can you explain the parable of the talents .I feel sure that it has more to to with our believing in the character of God and how we then manage our lives. If you have time cold you comment.

  3. If Jesus is the fulfilment of the law and now keeping the law is keeping Jesus or walking in his righteousness then all the scriptures that pastors have used to manipulate, drive fear into. And challenge their congregations identities, scriptures that refer to consequences of failing to keep the law, now manipulate. Drive fear into, and challenge the identities of these very same preachers who seem to have trouble accepting his righteousness.It is awesome that the hyper grace they reject will be the one thing that will give them rest. In light of the cross, I would rather be judged for believing God was too good, rather than being judged for believing he was not so good. The anti hyper grace camp believe that we are still being judged and will be judged don’t they.

    • There is no such thing as ‘hyper Grace.’ Its non-scriptural to even use such a phrase. And that’s what makes it wrong for even believers like Mr. Super Spiritual, Doctorate Brown, to use such a phrase in his books. And I agree with your post. I just say, let’s not give traction, to non-biblical terms or phrases. Doctorate Brown is using to make quite a good deal of money.

      Brown is actually a piece of work. He even believes that he just negotiate the tithe under the NC, as he pleases. That believer has issues. he has no problem prospering using the Bible, for the basis for his books, and then has the audacity to tell people to overlook the scriptural principle of the tithe. You need to be careful with these doctorates in the Body of Christ.

    • Brian Midmore // September 18, 2014 at 7:38 pm //

      We will judged according to our deeds. Rom 2.6

      • Yes you will, read on to Rom 2:19-24 you may want to pay special attention to verse 24, it speaks of you.Verse 29 should be speaking of you. The Jew done only one deed to accept circumcision he accepted his birth right, it seems you have trouble doing this.

      • We will be rewarded for our deeds and our rewards will be in heaven, I’m that economy. Even now.

  4. Steven Saxophone Reed // September 15, 2014 at 5:40 am //

    Although Michal Brown does say strong things about some HyperGalatic Grace preachers and may be some times he goes to far but on some serious points he does have a point. I went to FreeStyle Sloshfest Church. We started to have couples living to get her who weren’t married and when I asked why are you doing this all I got was its OK were all under Grace. I was very sad because they weren’t living in Grace. We do need to have good Godly shepperds in the church with sound discernment of spirits. Please reply thank you.

    • Clearly the people in this church were abusing grace.St Paul would never have condoned such behaviour but that is risk he took when teaching on grace.You do not need discerning shepherds to realize that fornication is wrong it is in the bible.

    • He doesn’t ‘make any serious points’ IN FACT, he doesn’t even have an understanding what it means to have the GRACE OF GOD on one’s life, through Jesus’ finished work. Brown doesn’t teach, the undeserved, unearned favor of God. He teaches what Sid Roth likes to hear and he attacks preachers who teach the Gospel of Grace, like Paul did. He needs to take his doctorate, that he genuflects before, and humble himself a little to realize that Paul never went to some Bible school, or doctorate accredited College, to learn what Jesus taught non-educated people.

      Brown is a bomb-thrower. Frustrated because he’s not seeing results.

    • One of the things about living under Grace though…is that its important that the people see for themselves, that they should get married. Now if a preacher is teaching its congregates, that its not necessary for couples to get married, that’s quite a whole other story.

      What’s important to keep in mind as a believer under Grace, is that its not our responsibility to forcefully go out and tell people what they need to do or don’t do. Its one thing when a believe asks you about your opinion on a subject or topic. Its quite another when you live under Grace and tell people, “Well I’m under Grace…and you should be doing this or you shouldn’t be doing that.”

      But I do agree that if a preacher is preaching on the subject of marriage, he needs to come with the Word says. But you can’t force people to do what they still don’t have a revelation of. Its a fine line to walk. Its so easy to go back under Law…

    • It is the spirit in you that discerns all things, it is up to you who you approach for guidance.man or God.

      • thats why discernment is so important,my Dad used to say, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. not that your going to hell,but it can look good, and you can still end up with hell in the end. the enemy is very good at what he does.He always plays both ends against the middle,What ever he can disrupt he will,and i dont say this to take away from the Holy Spirits ability to keep us, HE WILL the father knows the enemy all to well and knows that satan will play out his hand, and I stress that,i have learned from pointless arguments,and at the end,I see how good the enemy is at his game.I understand how A.Wammock can say …..”Satan can eat your lunch and pop the bag”.

  5. The intellectual absurdity, the hopelessness, of some lesser some-thing than Grace is unlocked in this Fact: The Law is not Ten Commands. It is Six-Hundred-And-Something Commands and to fail (even in thought) in just one is to fail in all. Grace: Actuality finds Man in motion within the lap of Personhood’s inescapably triune milieu of Self-Other-Us within the ceaseless reciprocity of the immutable love of the Necessary Being. Man is by necessity the Contingent Self, fashioned in the Triune’s Image – and therein Man’s motions amid God/Man just are those motions found within Trinity by which all man’s Means and Ends are reduced to one word: Other. The contingent self’s volition amid self/other finds him in motion in the affairs of volition’s delight within love’s many embraces and should such motion be into the contingent’s own Self he will find there in privation – necessarily – insufficiency, lack – ad infinitum. Whereas, that same business of volition – of motion – into He Who is Immutable Love finds insufficiency as non-entity – ad infinitum. All-Sufficiency emerges as what must be the contingent’s hope: God Himself pouring Himself out for – pouring Himself into – we the contingent in all that just is the affairs of Amalgamation, of Word/Flesh, of God-In-Man, of Man-In-God – of incarnation. All-Sufficiency does not rescue contingency, man, insufficiency, lack, from Himself, rather, He rescues insufficiency (man) from itself, from lack, from privation. The necessary Means here cannot be some lesser some-thing than the Necessary Being Himself, cannot be some lesser some-thing than All-Sufficiency Himself as – it is self-evident – nothing short of All-Sufficiency houses the necessary reach to tie up all of the loose metaphysical ends inside of contingency’s insufficiency.

  6. Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones sates in his exposition of Romans 6 The New Man that if he preaches the Gospel of Jesus and the grace of God in way that doesn’t elicit a natural response of “I can do what I want then, grace will cover it” then he has not preached the true gospel. He then goes on to expound V1 on why this is not the case and is not what grace is about and to be used for.

  7. Hi Earl. I hope you are well. Just wanted to reply to your post “If I ain’t got grace I got nothing” that is true but just wanted to add that for the believer who ain’t got grace they have the the world on their shoulders in a sense. Life is weary and burdensome. I know this and am working through it. If I ain’t got grace I got nothing. Great post cause now those who don’t have grace can and should question “If I dont have grace I ain’t got nothing, if I have grace then I have everything” The total love and acceptance and the promise of Jesus
    “If your weary come to me and I will give you rest, give me your burden which is heavy and I will give you mine which is light”

    • hello Bill,after more years then I care count,and going round and round with eternal security,which basically leaves you spinning your wheels.I have discovered that “right believing does produce security and right living, who needs never knowing.Jesus is the WAY [noun] the TRUTH[noun} and the LIFE [noun] ……..its all him or nothing.

  8. hey Paul, another great response, stay well my friend, GRACE IS JESUS – there is nothing else

  9. Paul, You can’t fault the Michael Brown’s and Daniel Norsis’ of the world too much. They have studied the Scriptures as well as anybody has, and probably more! They see from a very logical and balanced mindset. One that probably any of us of any intelligence at one time had. After all it is the word of God! If we see the whole thing as the word of God, one must somehow justify the things that we see and logically reconcile them and not reject them. It’s all done with almost the purest of motives. The very enemy that blinded in Jesus’s day continues to blind today.

    Thanks be to God(which means we should be screaming and shouting as loud and dancing as wild as we possibly can) that our eyes were opened. As we allow the true gospel, The good news demonstrated in power to wash over our minds, we begin to see Jesus. Not from the diligence of study but of Revelation of Jesus. We see the magnificence of the cross, the power that was exerted that changed everything in the whole world from then On. We no longer can credit ourselves that our efforts accomplish anything and realize that all things are ours to be had in Jesus. As you so well said, everything(Sin, judgment, condemnation, pain, sorrow, sickness…) is a Sandcastle that is dissolved by the tsunami of love and power exerted at the cross. Emphasis added.

  10. Love the clarity of this post. What I will never understand is the ambiguity of law preachers. When are my works enough? When is my fruit sufficient? When will my lack of sin be enough to please God, or at least secure my salvation? It’s just too ambiguous and I have a very hard time believing that we serve an ambiguous God. There can’t be any guessing in grace. I once herard a pastor preaching on 5 sure-fire ways to know that you are saved, and he said that if you engage in a particular sin for more than a year than you probably aren’t saved. Really? Sounds like this guy doesn’t like ambiguity either. I will openly admit that I’ve struggled with jealousy for more than a year, continuously repenting and often feeling the condemnation of a sin I just can’t quit. I hate it and feel horrible when my thoughts come back to it. So this means I’m unsaved? My heart just screams, “No, it can’t work that way!” That isn’t the gospel, giving people time limits to quit sin or else … Giving people time limits to follow the law or else … But then again we all sin, says the bible, so who is really following the law anyways? More ambiguity. Too fuzzy for me. Too subjective. Grace is radical for sure, but also extremely clear and fixed. Like God.

    • You are absolutely correct it does not work that way, you see your sin, God sees you perfect in his Son, He is blinded by his love for his Son. And the new daughter that you are.

    • Laura,
      You are looking at your temptation all wrong, look at it as James tells us to. James 1:12-15 “Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the ‘crown of life’, which the Lord has promised to them that love him.”
      Its something to be endured, not avoided! Sufferings and temptations are the way to eternal blessedness:
      To be approved of God is the great aim of Christian’s in all our trials; and it will be our blessedness at last, when we shall receive eternal life.
      But know this! “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
      Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.”
      Speaking of time, it takes time for the sin to be conceived, birthed and then matured. So “nipping it in the bud” (the lust phase) is what pleases and gets approval of God.
      This goes along with 1 John 3:5,6 teaching, “And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abides in him sins not: whosoever sins has not seen him, neither known him.” Hard words?
      Comforting words, as they are truth.
      “so who is really following the law anyways?” Don’t worry with them, for “…they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12.
      Actually, 1 john 2:6, “He that say’s he abides in him (Jesus) ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” He is our comparison , our “Bench mark”.

      • Hi Tom, I believe you are being sincere about what you believe and I appreciate that. You have set forth an extremely high standard in your comment and you have backed it up with Scripture. It is such a high standard I struggle with grasping how it would be possible for me or anyone other than Jesus to live up to. I mean, I think your saying I have to be as perfect as Jesus – Wow! So I ask you, sir, would you also be sincere in telling me if you are living this perfect life?

      • Bob Georgeff // September 27, 2014 at 2:35 pm //

        Hi Tom,

        If you keep your quote of James 1 going for the next three verses that follow right where you left off, you can see where James explains that everything that comes from God is a “gift” and that we are brought forth to life in Christ by “His will.”

        Here are those three verses: James 1:16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”

        Also, crowns in Scripture refer to rewards for believers, not eternal life. If we could earn or maintain eternal life, it would not be a “gift.” See Matt. 5:12, 16:27, 25:21: 1 Cor. 3:12-14, 2 Cor. 5:10 and finally in Revelation 4:10-11, the elders cast their crowns (they are not giving up their eternal life, but stating by their actions that their rewards were only possible because of Jesus Christ) and then the elders say “You” – not we – “are worthy.”

        “… the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 11 “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

        I believe in holy living and believe that it shows forth what God has already done in giving me the gift of eternal life. I am not hanging on to life by my behavior, but I am earnestly seeking to be holy because I have been made a son of God. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

        Sincerely,
        Bob

  11. Dennis Gowder // September 20, 2014 at 8:44 pm //

    What what if Jesus was all like ‘ya but still, there’s gotta be a balance though’

    • In God there is no balance only perfection, his law is a perfect, his mercy is perfect, his grace is perfect, and his word perfects all.Do you mean by balance that we have to balance the good we do with some evil.

    • Sorry I forgot the most important.His love is perfect.

    • Nah, because then He would’ve been like, ‘It isn’t finished’. We should let Him be the Savior. Ya? 

  12. Can I ask a question? Is true grace received by revelation or believing or renewing your mind? I am reading “Grace the forbidden gospel. It states that the Father doesn’t just see us as if we have never sinned and that he sees us having obeyed all the laws all of our life. Jesus took upon himself what we deserved and he gave us what he deserved, the Fathers approval and blessings for 100 percent obedience. I remember when I was 16 and asked to to be baptized. I remember in the intervening period before I was baptized I did something wrong or acted in a wrong way, can’t remember what it was. I was then told “that’s why we are considering whether we should baptize you” Those words I do remember even today 30 years later. It tainted my baptism. How do I replace what I have read with what I carry?

    • Hi Bill, I hope this helps. Revelation and a renewed mind are results of grace. Our part to receive grace is to believe. We can let go of the things we carry from our past because we have been made completely new (2 Cor 5:17). The new man is just as Jesus is; everything that is true about Jesus is true about you (1 Jn 4:17). He is our new identity. We have been made one with Jesus. As we meditate on these things and believe, our mind is renewed and we receive more revelation (2 Cor 3:18). Those words that were spoken to you 30 years ago were spoken by people who did not know any better. When God looks at you, all He sees is His perfect son (Heb 8:12, Heb 10:14, Mt 3:17).

      Blessings

    • Bill, I recommend reading the post on the Your Glorious New Past. Keep tuned into good grace and you will be exposed to all that God gifts to you. Don’t look at yourself. Look at Him. He will only remind you of what’s right with you. Maybe the best thing you can do is be like Jesus and forgive what they did to you, not because you have to but because divine grace flows in human weakness – if you can follow me.

      • Our goal is not to bore you with practicality, but to astonish you with beauty. Morals were important enough for Jesus to die for them, but God doesn’t ask “How can I make my beloved virtuous and moral?” but rather, “How can I get him or her to fall in love with me?”!

      • Never thought of it that way “how can I him or her to fall in love with me” my mind works the opposite. Never knew my father and my stepfather never liked me. I had quite a traumatic childhood and teen years when my mum threw me out. That’s probably why I guard myself. Thanks for taking the time to respond and you too LJP.

  13. Charles Couch // October 10, 2014 at 2:41 pm //

    SEE THE TRINITY OF LAW GRACE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS…THEY CANNOT BE SEPARATED OR BE IN DANGER OF THE JUDGEMENT OF GOD..
    Righteousness cannot be defined without law. Righteousness cannot be demonstrated without grace. Also Grace cannot function except in fulfilling law. Any spiritual power or strength that God gives, He gives to be exercised according to His will–Those powers not thus subject to and controlled by His will are not powers of God’s grace but rather workings of the rebellious will of the flesh. God’s grace is abundant but it enables us to do His Will and Only His Will and Nothing But His Will. True grace functions only in accordance with God’s perfect law. Every bestowal of God’s grace fulfills in the receiver the demands of God’s law. The flesh of course rejecting God’s grace falls short of God’s law but the new man fulfills the righteousness of the law in which he delights.
    “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:4)
    A DOCTRINAL TRINITY
    Law, grace, and righteousness form a doctrinal trinity, the exclusion of any one of which destroys the others as well. True spiritual life must include:
    Law Grace Righteousness
    The dangers in excluding one or more of these principles are far reaching and unfortunately very common.

    • Interesting comment, thanks Charles. But I wonder how you reconcile Paul’s claims that while grace and righteousness both come by faith (Eph 2:8, Rom 1:17), the law does not (Gal 3:12)? You say that righteousness is based on the law, but Paul speaks of a righteousness that is distinct from the law (Rom 3:21). Paul also says it’s impossible for righteousness to come by the law (Gal 3:21). Rather than combining grace/righteousness with the law in some kind of 3-legged doctrinal stool, Paul typically said they had nothing in common (eg: Rom 10:4, Gal 2:21, 5:4, Php 3:9).

    • Hello Charles, you sound like you’re well studied in the scriptures. Your View of the law is very traditional. I am sure you’re aware of all the Scriptures in the New Testament that speak of the law. According to Paul’s revelation from Jesus the law revealed sin not righteousness. The Gospel revealed righteousness. The righteousness derived from faith as a gift and not as a reward for what we do or not do according to the law. Paul sawed that leg off from our mindset 2000 years ago. We just have to listen to Jesus on this topic instead of religion. As probably most of us all have grappled with these topics, I have found great freedom of expression and permission by Paul’s teaching in Galatians. Where he says on the authority of Jesus that if anybody(A supernatural being or event, A person of authority in the church, apostle or any other title, or even if we think that he, Paul, has written or said something contrary to the gospel) do not listen to it! Do not believe it! If you do you risk losing this incredible joy that comes with walking in freedom and going into a mixture of law and Grace. You risk going back under the curse of the law! Falling from Grace if that is even possible. I cannot fathom anybody experiencing this exquisite joy and intentionally going back to a set of rules that attempts to define one’s relationship with The living God himself.

  14. Zak Stokic // October 11, 2014 at 3:33 am //

    I agree with Charles, you know we have to speak our minds in relation to the heart felt truth that we all believe in our hearts, but the heart of man can also be a foolish deceiver. Many people in the world believe in many different Gods but we who profess Jesus Christ as saviour are brothers and sisters in him and our commandment is to love one another. I beleive that both sides of the argument are missing slightly this point. It certainly is important to have discussions about the word and I have much to say about scriptures also, and I will try to be humble in my reasonings but I pray that we can all be civil without insult. It seems to me from reading the comments on this forum that the wisdom of man reigns, I would like to present my case in regards to how I see the “Truth” by using only the scriptures if I may in the following days.

    • God promises to give us a new heart and to write his complete law in it, something you choose to ignore.

  15. Zak Stokic // October 11, 2014 at 3:53 am //

    How does Romans 3:31 fit into the view of the Law that you have? “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.”

    • Try Romans 4:14- 16 I would rather be where there is no law and by this escape wrath, if Jesus came to fulfill the law as you think, read the sermon on the mount and then try and follow the law, I can assure you that the only way you fulfill the demands of the law are in Jesus and by no work of your own, the faith of Abraham.You are so stuck in what you believe to be true you will not even climb over the fence and have a look from the other side,and see if the spirit in you agrees with what you see.

    • If we establish the law by faith, we do not establish the law by works.

      • Zak Stokic // October 12, 2014 at 12:17 pm //

        That’s your doctrine talking not the word of God. Word of God says that faith with out works is dead. Even Abraham performed a work to prove his faith.

      • Zak, I’m not sure how much you could know about my doctrine based on the one sentence response I gave. You cherry picked a verse and asked for a response… and I gave you one. You obviously do not like the response, but I didn’t manipulate what it says. It says we establish the law by faith. Faith in what Jesus did not faith in my works. Faith that He completed the work. Faith that He is such a perfect Savior, I would have to have delusions of grandeur to think I could add something to His finished work. Believing that there is something I must do to complete what Jesus left undone is not faith. This fits in with the entirety of Romans 3, Romans 4, and the New Covenant. Sometimes it may be possible to pluck out a verse and make it say what we want to outside of its’ context, but not this one. You’re making an assumption that believing Jesus did it all makes people want to sin. That is an assumption not based in Scripture.

  16. concerning Romans 3:31….i think the 4th chapter of Romans explains it.Righteousness was credited to Abraham BEFORE he was circumcised and long before the giving of the Mosaic law.The laws duration was only for a period of about 1500 years and only for Israel,no other people.God has already shown that he is perfectly capable of dealing with men without the Mosaic law.How much more that is so because of Jesus!Also the law never produced more righteous people.The Israelites became even more wicked than those around them.Israel essentially fell from grace when they agreed to the Law.It was an unbearable yoke for them.It boggles my mind that believers saved by grace,and who at no time have ever been under the law,are so bent on imposing it on themselves and others. IT IS SO UNNECESSARY.The teachings of grace are so much higher and we have the Holy Spirit to teach,lead,guide,comfort,strengthen,us.

    • zak stokic // October 12, 2014 at 5:50 pm //

      Ok Daryl, I appreciate your point but I have heard it and read it many times. You guys tend to always charge us that we are somehow trying to justify ourselves through the law. But this is not the case my brother. We also maintain that we are saved by Grace and only saved by believing in Jesus. I do follow the commandments and I do not look at women lustfully, or lie or steal or covet or any of the things that are against Gods commandments. The power to resist temptation is in your hands and in Gods hands but the power to do so comes from the cross and in Jesus Christ.I do not justify myself for fighting against the flesh, I do it out of obedience and no reward is there apart from pleasing the lord. If I fail today or tomorrow, I repent and I know that the Lord is faithful and Just to forgive and I carry on in his Grace which gives me that power. But you guys almost brand it as sinful to want to follow the commandments. So in these days good has become evil and evil has become good. I can only say that you don’t fully understand Romans because you left out Romans 6 which tells you why you’re not so free to do what you want or follow your fleshly desires. When you and your supporters read Romans, surely you can see the contradiction in the story line. One minute you are reading that you cant be justified by the law and the next minute you must turn from sin? Well there is no contradiction if you read it in the right context and not trying to make it work for your doctrine.

      • God went to great lengths to illustrate to us that the new covenant, required no input from us, be it obedience to the law , to a command or any other form of work, Abraham was basically in a coma , and probably not even able to dream when God done all the work, when the covenant was confirmed to Isaac and Jacob they were both in an attitude, not of obedience but disobedience not just to Gods law but in direct disobedience to God.You say you follow the commandments, how arrogant, do you follow them to them as Jesus explained at the sermon on the mount, I don’t think so.This speaks volumes of how you even deceive yourself.You are no different to the religious elite in the time Jesus walked this earth. You set theology to put a burden on others that you foolishly believe you adhere to.

      • Zack if you do not want to follow your fleshly desires give up all your money and donate it to the starving children in Africa, you would be able to stop much suffering and death putting your brothers needs before your own.

      • zak stokic // October 14, 2014 at 10:26 pm //

        Chris, I cant tell you how much you have grieved me by your words. Are you really a Christian? I will not respond to you in a hostile manner mate. How is it that you can judge someone you don’t even know. How do you know that I am a hypocrite? How do you know that I don’t give away big portions of the financial blessings that God gives me and still struggle to pay for my own bills at times. I will not tell you what I do for the kingdom of God. The most disturbing thing of all is that you have implied that you think that the Lord Jesus Christ was somehow joking about giving to the poor and be prepared if he tells you to sell all that you have. What about picking up your cross and following him daily? has Grace exempted you from doing so? Chris don’t even bother answering back mate, I wish you all the best but i can tell you only this, my love for God, the love that only he gives through his spirit is the reason I practice self control, I don’t do it to glorify or justify myself, I do it because I also fear him and obedience is what he wants. You will realize that one day. I tell you it is more painful when those in your own family intentionally insults and grieves you than when a non believer does, cos at least i know an unbeliever doesn’t have the love of Christ in him.

      • We live in continuous grace and mercy we do not step in and out of it we live and breath it every second of every day, am I saying we should go and sin now.NO !!!!!!!!!

      • hi Zac,im enjoying the discussion. I can only speak for myself,but i certainly do not see Romans 6 as being “left out” and grace allowing me to do whatever I want and follow fleshly desires.Because of Romans 6 and my being united to Christ,however,what I want and the desires i have are changed.The Holy Spirit bearing witness with my spirit encourages good from me not evil. I would say to a great degree,when believers are yielded to the Holy Spirit,they can in fact do what they want…and what they want,will be doing what God would have them do. I am not against following the commandments that are for us as believers,but not being under under the mosaic law,I believe it is sinful when men try to impose it on others and distort it,and mis-apply it.There is great freedom and latitude under grace,and of course there will always be those that abuse it,but that in no way should cause us to set it aside and put ourselves under the law.

  17. Zak Stokic // October 14, 2014 at 12:23 pm //

    LJP sorry if my response sounded arrogant, its difficult to express oneself only with words when you cant see my facial expressions or hear the tone of my voice. But I wasn’t cherry picking scriptures. There are many scriptures implying that the current view of Grace has been misunderstood. Here is another example, one of many. Romans 6:12-18

    • Romans 6 12-23 can only be seen through the righteousness we are gifted not earn, for example 16 refers to obedience leading to righteousness, but what obedience is spoken of if righteousness is a gift ? It can only be obedience to the new doctrine referred to in 17, and for me can only be obedience to grace and mercy, Paul expresses this doctrine well when he says that he is the worst of sinners, and this after his acceptance of the Gospel, he does not say I was but I am the worst of sinners.,All that these verses really says is that we should not purposely sin because of the freedom we have, We can be very thankful that the Holy spirit does not convict us of sin, if he did we would live in a state of permanent condemnation, we are saved from the law preachers by the Holy spirit, who speaks and reminds us of Jesus and his ministry.The only people Jesus was not very accommodating to were those opposed to grace, because of the damage they do.

    • Thanks Zak… you, me, and Romans 6 agree that sin is not good. Where we run into trouble is saying the law is the way to deliver us from sin. Romans 7:9 says the law is the way to a sin revival. 1 Corinthians 15:56 also says the law actually strengthens sin. The word law is used twice in Romans 6 and both times it is to say you are not under law. In Romans 6:14, from the passage you referenced, it says the reason sin does not have dominion over us is that we are not under law, but under grace. So if we really want to help people get victory over sin, we should shift our focus from sin and law to grace. With Jesus giving us an abundance of grace and the gift of His righteousness we can reign in life through Him. -Romans 5:17

  18. zak stokic // October 14, 2014 at 10:32 pm //

    Hi Daryl, I just want to say GOD BLESS YOU MATE. I cant tell you how nice it is to hear a kind word. I would like to chat more but at the moment I am so sad about some of the things I have heard on this site that if it wasn’t for your reply I was about to sign out for the last time. I will get back to you on our discussion. Cheers.

    • Hello Zak, i’ve only been following this site for about a month. Based on what I’ve read and know of Paul Ellis he would not want you to go anywhere but to continue posting your comments here. It’s true most of us here have a little bit different point of view then traditional Christians. By traditional I mean today’s version not those recorded in the New Testament. Probably everyone of us used to think exactly the same way you do now. I know I did. I believe most everybody here does have the Spirit of God residing in them and are born from above. As it sounds you are as well. And that’s enough to celebrate and dance and have a party. But those of us that Have tasted and believed for a long period of time the mixture of law and grace as a means to a relationship with God, when we are set free from this by the Spirit of God into the pure Gospel of Grace; the previous leaves a very bitter aftertaste. This mixture at times can produce strong responses from us because of the pain and suffering it has caused in the body of Christ. So even though I don’t have the authority of this site, let me apologize on behalf of us all. Even though most of us may not have a tolerance for mixture we do have great love for you and anyone else who wishes to interchange in the faith. This intolerance to the mixture comes from the very spirit that caused Paul to write Galatians chapter 1. Where he boldly declares that no one is to change the gospel. Which also gives us as believers the authority, permission and directive to stand strong for The good news of Jesus. This news which a lot of us believe has been altered and mixed with the declaration of the old covenant. So please continue to celebrate the goodness of God with us.

      • Hi Zak, I agree with what M&M is saying here and I’m sorry to hear you were grieved by some things that were said. I don’t think Chris was joking about selling your possessions to benefit the poor. I have to admit, I was also considering bringing up that point because your response to Daryl sounded like the rich young ruler. He came to Jesus with the claim that he kept the law and Jesus pointed out where that was not the case. We have to come to a realization that none of us are capable of fulfilling the law to the perfection that is required. Only Jesus could do that and He did. He doesn’t need a co Savior, nor is there one who could be. Blessings

      • P.S. The rich young ruler was also grieved by the fact that he was no match for the requirements of the law. Hopefully he realized what Jesus could offer him, instead of what he could offer Jesus.

      • Zak Stokic // October 22, 2014 at 10:51 pm //

        Thanks M&M, I appreciate everything you said and well said at that. I don’t know that we as a whole will be able to come to the same table of theology on the word and the right narrow path that Jesus talked about in my perception of the matter but I am now hopeful that we can come to the table of fellowship and peace and even more importantly giving all the Glory to Jesus our mutual Lord and Saviour. 🙂

      • Hello Zak and anyone else. I used to come to the table of theology with an open mind and a broadview to be able to see all the various messages the Bible seemed to present. I thought I exemplified wisdom by being able to do this. Every day reading the word for 35 years. If you were to bring up a theology topic, we could discuss it. Like once saved always saved or the need to continue in the faith. I did not take either side because the Scriptures seemed to validate both views. I stood for all the views the Bible had to offer. Then to my favor the Holy Spirit begin to do what he does so well. He began to tear down the sand castles of the theology that formulated my view of God. He began to exult Jesus far above anything else that I could think or study or desire. That is what the good news is about, Jesus! Thanks to Jesus, sin no longer is an issue, living in repentance is simply continuing to agree with him and salvation is eternal!
        To speak of theology is only and always a call to refocus your view, your mindset on Jesus. Now for me, every theology, view of the Scriptures is submitted and comes under Jesus and his good news! Every bit of intellectual collection, knowledge that has been acquired washes away to the power and love exemplified in Jesus. Any thing else i.e. box number two doesn’t count. Anything else besides what he has done is talking about what we can do. He doesn’t need our efforts that’s the good news. He did it; we never had and never will have of ourselves the power to do anything for God; Anything that can come close or measure up to what is required by God. He is the all sufficient one; he did it all. All we have to do is believe and receive from him. So box number one is Jesus and nothing else. Box number two is everything else; anything you want to talk about that is not Jesus goes in the box number two.

        The problem is this sounds too radical. We think that he requires or needs our help and participation in bringing order to our world. We have trouble believing that Jesus is the only source for everything we need including paying our mortgage, dealing with family troubles, theological resolutions, drug addiction; what ever you can come up with will bow down, bend and be swayed by the power and love and persuasion of the good news of Jesus! He did it, it is finished we believe Him, receive Him, love Him, are dead in him, live in And move and have our being in Him! It is all a celebration of Him, Jesus!! In case you didn’t get it, Jesus is my theology. To one all about theology, this may sound very trite or only part of the picture. But I believe Paul said it best,”For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. (‭Colossians‬ ‭2‬:‭9-10‬ NIV)

    • Hi Zak my apologies if my words have been unkind, not saying that I am correct in all I say but have you at least tried to see things from my view,and from this understood my comments, I can assure you I have done so for you, I consider carefully everything you say and I know where you are coming from, my words may not be very tolerant or kind, but if I am correct in what I say, then although very well disguised your words in my view, please note I say in my view, are destructive and bring death and seperation, again unkind words my apologies. To give just one example your view leaves the impression that sin distances us from God, I can assure you and i am sure you know some Christians have a very real battle with very destructive behavior, the view that this behavior distances them from Jesus only stops them from staying in contact with the only thing that can heal them, this is just one small issue I have.In Paul’s time some in the church were having orgies and worse and Paul was very concerned that his response had alienated them, this letter to the church at Corinth is missing and I am sure the holy spirit has not allowed it for good reason.but to end I appreciate your comments and see where you are coming from and invite you to disagree with me in the strongest way you feel necessary, you are after all defending what you believe to be the truth, I can assure you I will not take offence at anything you say.

      • I agree, well said and insightful as always. Thanks

      • zak stokic // October 22, 2014 at 5:30 pm //

        Hi Chis, thanks for your words, I’m so happy that I haven’t made an enemy in you. I’m certainly not going to try and tell people that I am right and they are wrong, I’m pretty sure I was coming across like that, I was actually put on afternoon shift in the time I started to make comments and my body clock wasn’t dealing with it all that well so my words came across quite harsh, forgive me. I hope we can talk more. I’ve got to get ready for work so cant talk at the moment. God Bless.

      • Zak Stokic // October 22, 2014 at 10:43 pm //

        Hi Chris, in response to your suggestion about me looking at your point of view. Yes mate I have, I have had that view and preached that view to many people and believed it myself for many years even while I was back sliding for approx 18 years. When I used to believe it I would try to ignore what I saw as contradictions in what I was taught that the gospel actually says. I guess things started to worry me when my Pastor told our congregation that if the mark of the beast was upon us, he would gladly accept the mark and encouraged us all to do the same because we are saved by grace and nothing we did in relation to a physical mark would change our relationship with God. I’m not sure that you are aware that I attend a grace church that certainly doesn’t agree with me, so I am used to especially in the last year being called misguided. I cannot prove in any real meaningful way that I am right. One question that comes to mind is that the general consensus seems to be divided into two main groups of thought, hence why we are having these discussions. My theory is, finding the truth in the scriptures is a thing of the heart. If your heart is right you will choose right between the two paths, if your heart is wrong then the other, and I believe that God did this on purpose. I cannot claim to you still whose heart is right with that argument so we’re still at the same cross roads. To me if it weren’t so then Jesus just would have said everything he said plainly and clearly. He would have just said “Only believe in me and you will be saved no matter what you do, you cant loose my salvation, period.” And I know again that most of you will say ” That is exactly what he said” but I beg to differ that the truth is in the detail and that every saying that Jesus taught needs to agree with every statement the epistles say. And I think we’re back at the same cross roads again. Basically I believe that the bible needs to be read as it is written without adding or subtracting anything by means of creating doctrinal rules. Cheers.

  19. Hi Zak, pleased to make your acquaintance. I notice your comment above “obedience is what he wants” and I agree with you. Jesus himself said “if you love me you will obey/ or keep my commandments” (depending on which version you read) I’ve read that Jesus gave 38 commandments, the main one being “you must be born again” Paul himself said “The whole law is fulfilled in one word, you shall love your neighbour as you love yourself”
    I think obedience starts with being born again. The problem is me and many others have been beaten with “If you love Jeus you WILL keep his commandments & if you don’t you don’t love him or love him enough” That weighs heavy on ones soul who does love Jesus. I don’t think Jesus said this as a threat, I think he was saying we will keep his commandments because we love him and not because we want to be loved by him. We were loved by him when we were sinners and he said that the worlds sin was unbelief. Anyway the reason I subscribe here is because I was so fed up of being a miserable christian being placed under must do and don’t do. What is posted here is starting to bring me out of that way of thinking, true it’s taking a long time:0) I don’t want to get it wrong and be disobedient but I want to know that if I am and do that I am still truly loved by my father. I’m starting to find that here by what is posted. God bless you my friend and stick with us.

    • zak stokic // October 22, 2014 at 5:24 pm //

      Hi Bill nice to meet you to. Yes i know exactly where you are coming from. I know what you mean about the people who preach law. I know that some how I am portraying myself as one of those, but really I’m not, well I don’t believe I am, It just seems there are only two boxes of thought. Lets say box #1 is Hyper Grace and box #2 is those that believe that living in repentance and avoiding sin is vital to keeping a real relationship with Jesus Christ. But Box #2 doesn’t attract that description, box #2 seems to only attract the description of self righteousness and trying to do it yourself and not through Jesus’ finished work, and I know for many in practice it seems that a feeling of condemnation for failures is the norm. But I don’t feel that way at all. I don’t feel condemned or not good enough because I approach it by faith even still. The way I see the bible is that the attacks by the enemy will always happen, it never stops until you are with Christ in Heaven. If there are no attacks against us in our Christian walk, its my belief that we are no threat to the enemy. The Lord knows that we are weak in the flesh, but if we walk closely with him and seek him daily in prayer and reading his word he truly strengthens us as he draws closer to us, and then the statements made about our status starts to become reality, I know this in my heart because for me it is reality, unless I’m delusional, no pun intended to anyone. But I totally understand what you are saying and I respect your opinion, and would love to hear more of your comments. Cheers.

  20. Evening Zak, I hope you are settling into your new work pattern. I get what you are saying and I get your take on box #2 and I’m glad you have reconciled it to yourself. Alas though there are people in that box who through experience and reaching who fall of “self righteousness and feel condemned” and I think that’s thru life’s experiences and sorry to say it words and teaching in the church they attend. I give you an example. I give you an example relevant to me. I had a promising career as a professional football player. I used to play football on a Sunday morning. I suffered a severe knee ligament injury playing football and had to have a knee construction. I was told by the surgeon forget a professional career in football. The day after the op I had a member of the church telling me that was Gods punishment for playing football on a Sunday and not going to church. I played in the morning but went in the evening and I was a young christian. Where is the grace in that? Another example I was once told that because I did not pray in tongues maybe I wasn’t saved or did not have the Holy Spirit in me. Every Christian should walk in the Spirit and avoid sin but the problem arises that when they fall foul God is punish you and make you suffer for getting it wrong and you have to make it up all they see is a Father who wants to beat them up. Where is the Fathers Grace in that. You are right attacks never stop for those in Christ and if we walk closely with God we will draw near. Alas at times there are people in the church who does Satans work for him and not knowing they are doing so. Jesus himself “Get behind me Satan we he tried to use Peter”

    Father bless you his son

Comments are closed.