Myth 5: Hyper-grace preachers say God is not grieved by your sin

Schultz“Hyper-grace preachers say God doesn’t care when we sin.” Actually, we say God cares very much because sin hurt the objects of his affection—us! Sin damages people, fractures friendships, and destroys families. Sin hurts you, and that makes your Father sad.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Eph. 4:30–32)

Is God oblivious to our shortcomings and sins? When you sin does he act like Sergeant Schulz and say, “I see nothing”? Of course not. God sees everything. Our choices bring him pleasure and pain. Paul would not have written, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God” if that wasn’t possible.

But you need to understand why God is grieved. He’s not grieved because you disappoint him. (Since he knows everything you’ve ever done and will ever do, it’s not possible to disappoint him.) Nor is he grieved because you broke his rules. (You are worth more to him than any rule.) Our sins grieve him because they hurt his kids.

Look at the sins Paul lists above and you will see they are all relational sins. They are the sins of quarreling, backbiting, and being a jerk. When we act this way we hurt those around us and make our Father sad. When we sin out of anger we give place to the devil and open a door to trouble (Eph. 4:26–27). That doesn’t make your Father happy and it won’t make you happy either.

Critics of the hyper-grace gospel say things like, “Grace teaches that God turns a blind eye to our sin.” It would be more accurate to say, “Grace teaches that God chooses to remember our sins no more.” But that doesn’t mean our sins don’t trouble him. He is our loving Father. He cares deeply for us. He is not happy to see us destroy ourselves through sin.

If Jesus didn’t care about the effects of sin, he would not have gone to the cross. Nor would he have warned the churches in Revelation about their bad behavior and unhealthy habits.

The gospel declares that God’s love is unaffected by our choices, but it does not follow that we can act without consequences.

Your behavior matters to God because you matter to God. He wants you to prosper and thrive in every area of your life. He doesn’t want you opening the door to trouble by sowing to the flesh. But even if you do—even if you make one dumb mistake after another—he will still be your Father and you will still be his dearly loved child. Your actions may be harmful and saddening to him but you will always be the apple of his eye.

Act like a sinner and you’ll grieve the Holy Spirit, but here’s what won’t happen: The Holy Spirit won’t record your sins, for he promised not to (Heb. 10:15–17); nor will he send you on a guilt-trip, for he’s the Spirit of grace not the spirit of guilt; and he won’t withdraw from you until you get your act together, for Jesus said he would never leave you (John 14:16).

THG_sideWhen you sin, the Holy Spirit will always point you to Jesus. He knows that as we behold the kindness and compassion of Christ, we become kind and compassionate ourselves. As we gaze at his forgiving face, we become forgiving. As we marvel at his beauty, we become beautiful. As we behold Jesus we are transformed into his shining testimonies of grace.

This makes the Holy Spirit happy.

Adapted from The Hyper-Grace Gospel, pp.33-35.

31 Comments on Myth 5: Hyper-grace preachers say God is not grieved by your sin

  1. If we walk in Jesus we do fail and this is covered, our friends fail and we cover this.This is how we walk, and in this there is no grief or offence, there is only joy, peace and freedom.It is not about do right but walk right.Perfect unity!

  2. So well said. So much commonsense. In my limited opinion, to begin to comprehend Grace is to begin to comprehend the cost that Jesus paid so that we could experience Grace. A cost so great because of sin that purchased us and brought us into relationship with the living God. To walk into Grace is to walk in love. Those that have forgiven much loves much. How else could we experienced such incredible joy! To see Grace or Jesus is to see the great price he paid for the pearl!

  3. Excellent post, very good explanations, and they make the most sense when you consider the whole of God’s Word.

  4. when looked at from a parent, child, point of view it is so simple to understand. he knows us, being created in HIS image,puts us pretty close to the truth. I have to leave it at the Parent/Child level,if I add to it,it gets complicated.

    • Lovely. A parent-child relationship, simple! Over the years of my preaching grace, I noticed that people who find this hard to believe are those who think it’s too ‘simple’ to be true. Must guilt lovers prefer harder sanctions, heavy penalties and complications so as to justify their ‘working out their salvation’

  5. Speaking of the simplicity of grace, how does one really behold the glory of the Lord as in a mirror and become transformed from glory to glory into His likeness? The greatest majority of Christians would acknowledge they have never seen God at any time. They would probably say reading the Bible is looking into God’s face, but I don’t think so. Thoughts?

    • I believe I heard J.Prince,talk about this and also explained it as when we look in the mirror,we begin to reflect or see ourselves as we transform from glory to glory in Christ.

    • Beholding is looking at Jesus….who he is, what he’s done and all creation which He made. I see that in the word as the Holy Spirit teaches me, hearing the Gospel, looking at the sun rise or the trees as the sway through the breeze or the waters crashing on the shore….. In the eyes of my children when they are happy or sad. All of it. I am beholding Jesus because I can see him everywhere.

  6. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit by not letting Him produce His fruit in your life. Allow Him to take away all bitterness…

  7. I believe it is from “destined to Reign” Prince, who said on page 209 “God cannot not see your sins when they are covered by the blood”. So saying, you that are “in Christ” are covered by the blood, so God cant see your sin. Inferring that you are walking in forgiveness . No. 1 John 1:7 say’s “ But ‘if’ we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.” What light? Colossians 1:12-14 and 21-23, “ Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in ‘light’: Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:….. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: ‘If’ you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel,…”
    Those are big if’s.

    • Conditional statements will frighten those who are trusting in their own flawless performance, but should not scare those who are trusting in Christ’s. I talk about what it means to continue in the faith in this post.

    • Sometimes what looks like a condition in scripture is actually a connect the dots statement. But we can only see that if we know what all the dots are. Let me use the walking in the light part. Jesus said He is the light. Walking in the light is believing in Jesus. So if we are doing that then we have fellowship. It’s not so much a threat but a cause and effect thing. You already do thus here so this over here is the natural result. The old pluck a verse out and treat it like it’s a separate entity practice has led to a lot of our current legalisms.

  8. Andrew Robertson // October 1, 2014 at 6:38 am // Reply

    I struggle with this Paul because I think people who say this about Hyper-Grace preachers want us to focus on our behaviour rather than on Christ Jesus’ finished work. To me it seems like a red herring. Hebrews 10:4 quotes Ps. 103 in saying God remembers our sins no more. Did God speak that when he chose us IN Him before the foundation of the world (Ep. 1:4), or at our conversion – speaking of our past sins? I believe the former. I don’t think God is focussed on our behaviour because we are “In Christ” and God does not see sin in Him. The law has been fulfilled by Jesus and, as it is written, where there is no law there is no offence (Ro.7:8). Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes (Ro. 10:4). When reading Ep. 4 which you quote, I needed to read from verse 20 and ask myself how do I put off my old self and put on my new self. My answer is that I will not grieve the Holy Spirit through unbelief in what Jesus has accomplish in himself and wants to accomplish in and through me as I surrender to Him. Our focus needs to be on remaining in Him rather than on our behaviour. That way he will work His life in us.
    I do enjoy reading your posts and have found much encouragement from your writings and book recommendations. Thank you.

    • When I see great grace from preachers like Malcolm Smith (on youtube) and great unbalanced advice from preachers like Andrew Wommack, I am led to new shores of our already purchased eternal security. And when I’ve reached the end of all preaching (like the end of the voyage like the Dawn Tredder reaching the edge of the world) I’m left with the choice: All who seriously and constantly seek joy will not fail to find it. All who are in hell choose it, for their would be no hell without that self-choice. Hell is God’s great compliment to human dignity and human freedom, and we are in the current of the grace of God. Our Great Adversary has been soundly defeated by our Great Advocate. My body breaks with happiness in our gospel and in the ease of our warefare – for we fight like children! All who are in Christ, are in the Promised Land! Now remains for supernatural endurance and reigning in all things. Richly we have been bestowed – and that bank will never run out, though the robber does work.

  9. Myth 1:Hyper-Grace is against repentance
    Myth 2: Hyper-Grace is against confession
    Myth 3:….
    Myth 4:….
    Myth 5: Hyper-Grace preaches that God is not grieved by sin.
    Myth 6: Hyper-Gracers know how to count.
    🙂 Joking aside, have I actually missed something here, or what?

  10. I love this….and it just makes me wanna reach out and hug my father! Thank you mate 😀
    Its brilliant to hear this about God, particularly on the topic about our sin. Its like we don’t need to avoid speaking about sin, because in and through it you have just shown how much God loves us 🙂
    And i love how you started; God caring about our sin because he cares for us. And i love the conclusion; that experiencing this loving kindness will transform us into caring and compassionate people too. Sums it all up!
    Peace man

  11. Kerstin Fullerton // October 3, 2014 at 10:38 pm // Reply

    Thank you Paul. I so appreciate your blog and love the way you express God’s grace and make it so practical.

  12. Michael Jenkins // October 8, 2014 at 4:18 am // Reply

    Thank God for a gracious Father, He forever lives and cares for his own

  13. Revelation 3:5 says after rebuking the church because their deeds were not complete in the lords sight and the Lord says “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white, and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before my father and before his angels.” How does that fit in with the the Grace message that you preach? There are so many scriptures that contradict the unbalanced Grace message. I really cant accept this as being the truth, God still hates sin as he did in the old testament he hasn’t changed.

    • Revelation 3:5 is one of my favorite declarations of God’s grace. This post explains why.

    • And if you still sin then he hates you , unless you have found a way to escape sin, or overcome sin, or stop sinning to redefine yourself. You speak of truth like you still look for it, but it is in front of you reaching out to you, but you close your eyes, it is grace and mercy not just forgiving you but redefining you giving you life, stop looking for your way and follow the way, the way he made for you not by you.

  14. Got a great word this morning. I love that the gospel is called the good news. Paul gave new meaning to me in Ephesians 3:8. He describes the news he came to preach as, “The boundless riches of Christ!” Let that sink in for a minute… While others are preaching the four steps to good relationships. Or seven ways to overcome sin. We have the most incredible opportunity and privilege to search out and explore the vast realm of limitless riches found in Jesus. There are no limits! This is the true final frontier; not space! How good is He? There are no limits. How powerful is the cross in devastating sin and it’s hold on individuals? There are no limits. Is there any disease or level of poverty in this entire world that is exempt from this richness? I pray that the eyes of our heart would be opened and that we would see the limitless, boundless riches of His love that He has exerted towards us and even in us having been sealed by the Spirit guaranteeing this incredible inheritance!!! Soak in that for a while and see what strongholds are destroyed! Let that wash out your holy ashtray… Get rid of the buts… “But it says in the Scriptures…” Are you feeling it!! 🙂

  15. It makes me think about “All things are lawful, but not all things are expedient.” It’s not about what not to do, it’s about what is going to help me reach my goal. If my goal is a better relationship with God and loving my neighbor, then anything you could call a sin is rejected because it gets in the way. It’s another way of thinking about why we do what we do. I see it as part of God doesn’t want us to sin because it hurts us.

  16. wow this is so relieving .last night i did something i knew would def grieve the Lord but this morning I asked for forgiveness and he did not make me feel guilty but pointed out to me how that sin was hurting my emotions and reducing m dignity. then he reminded me how much I am loved by him and that if i just wait in his grace i can overcome it and also have something much better when done in the right context.

  17. What are loving God and Father. Help us not to grieve the Holyspirit but to make right choices always, and when we miss it may we always remember that He still loves us and will not throw us away, amen.

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