Some honest answers for Michael Brown

Brown and PrinceCharismaNews has just published an article entitled “Some honest questions for Joseph Prince.” In it Michael Brown puts 11 questions to “Pastor Prince and those who embrace the modern grace message.” Unlike Pastor Prince, I’m not a busy man. I don’t have to preach four or five times this Sunday. So I have taken it upon myself to respond to these questions on behalf of all who embrace the gospel of grace.

Regular readers will know that this is not the first time I have responded to something Michael Brown has written against the grace message. “Paul, why do you keep taking the bait?” Because I enjoy it. I appreciate the opportunity he gives me to proclaim the gospel of grace.

Plus, as an author, I can tell you that January is a quiet month for selling books and there’s nothing like a bit of controversy to boost sales.

Michael mentions a couple of his titles, so permit me to mention mine. The timing is propitious since my book The Hyper-Grace Gospel: A Response to Michael Brown and Those Opposed to the Modern Grace Message has just won a Silver Medal at the Illumination Book Awards. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the academy and Dr. Michael Brown, without whom this award would not have been possible.

Okay, advertising over, let’s get down to business. Below are shortened versions of Michael’s eleven questions along with my brief responses to each.

1. Does God require anything from you as his child, other than receive his grace? If so, are there spiritual benefits that come through obeying these requirements and spiritual losses that come from ignoring them?

Ephesians 1:3 tells us that every spiritual blessing comes to us through Christ. There are no extra blessings that come to us separately from Christ and in response to our obedience. All is grace.

2. Is it possible for us to displease the Lord? Is he always pleased with us? Can we grieve the Holy Spirit?

As I say elsewhere, the notion that “Hyper-grace preachers say God is not grieved by your sin” is a myth. Your choices and behavior can grieve the Holy Spirit, but only because he cares for you and wants you to prosper in every area of your life. Your behavior matters because you matter. But don’t confuse behavior with identity. You are not defined by what you do. Your identity is Christ and in him you are and always will be 100 percent pleasing and acceptable to God.

3. If the Lord always sees you as perfect, is there any way for you to disappoint him? I’ve heard it said that we can only grieve or disappoint him by not trusting his grace, but according to your message, hasn’t that sin been forgiven as well?

Yes, every sin was carried on the cross and in Christ we are completely and eternally forgiven. Still, there are things we can do that make the Lord sad, such as being slow of heart to believe the good news of his grace.

complete_forgiveness

4. If God has pronounced your future sins forgiven in the same way he has pronounced your past sins forgiven, why do Paul and other New Testament writers address these very sins in their letters? Why does God bring our present sins up to us in the New Testament, even warning us about the dangers of walking in those sins, if they have also been forgiven and forgotten in advance?

God will never judge or punish you for the sins that Christ bore on the cross. The audacious claim that he chooses not to remember or record your sins comes straight from scripture (Rom 4:7-8, 2 Cor 5:19). In Christ, you have received redemption and the forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:7, Col 1:14). So why do Paul and the other NT writers talk about sin? Because sin is destructive. Sin can hurt you. Your Father loves you too much to say nothing while you ruin your life. Your sin won’t undo the work of the cross, but it could undo you, your marriage, and your family.

5a. A leading hyper-grace teacher claims that the doctrine of progressive sanctification is a “spiritually murderous lie”…

Clark Whitten makes this claim (on page 28 of his excellent book Pure Grace) and I agree with him. The “saved by grace but perfected by human effort” teaching has produced a church that is, in Whitten’s words, “judgmental, angry, hopeless, helpless, dependent, fearful, uninspired, ineffective, and perpetually spiritually immature.” He’s right. The idea that sanctification is something we produce is a stone cold grace-killer.

5b. If “progressive sanctification” simply means to walk out our holiness with the help of the Spirit, what is so dangerous about this teaching?

There is nothing dangerous about it, since that is what scripture and hyper-grace teachers teach. In Christ we are 100 percent holy. The message we preach is “be who you truly are.” But this is not progressive sanctification as most understand the phrase, or as Michael himself describes in his Hyper-grace book when he says our sanctification is positional (ie: not real) and something to pursue. Michael insists “sanctification is a process!” (p.100) and he interprets New Testament exhortations as demands and requirements that must be obeyed, but I smell carrots and sticks.

6. We agree that the Holy Spirit never condemns us for our sins as believers, but does he ever make us uncomfortable when we sin?

Jesus called him the Comforter, not the Discomforter, so I guess not (John 14:16). I have written elsewhere on how God deals with us when we sin.

7. We agree that we do not need to confess every sin we commit each day in order to “stay saved,” but is any type of confession and request for forgiveness appropriate? For example, is it appropriate for believers to say, “Father, I’m sorry for sinning and I ask you to wash me clean”?

It’s not wrong to ask God for forgiveness and grace in your hour of need. If asking helps you to receive what God has already provided, have the freedom to ask. What’s not okay is telling people that God only forgives them because they ask, confess, repent, or do anything. The Bible teaches that we are forgiven in accordance with the riches of his grace (Eph 1:7), not our asking.

8. I know that you are against certain types of self-examination lest you become “sin conscious”… (But) if I understand you correctly, you would question the salvation of someone who demonstrated no change of life and continued to walk in unrepentant sin. But doesn’t this mean that, on some level, you are looking at your “performance” to verify your salvation?

Not performance, but fruit. Performance suggests a show put on to impress others; spiritual fruit can only be produced by the Lord. If you want to know if someone has been apprehended by the love of God, look for the fruit. Fruit are not sin. Fruit always point to Jesus.

9. Do you think there’s any danger in claiming that the teachings of Jesus before the cross don’t apply to us as believers today?

In his book Michael suggests that hyper-grace preachers claim “The teachings of Jesus are not for us today” (p.203). This comes in a chapter entitled “Why are we running from the words of Jesus?” But who’s running? Who is dismissing the pre-cross words of Jesus? Certainly not Joseph Prince or any other prominent grace preacher. These are scurrilous claims which may be why Michael doesn’t repeat them here. Instead, we get the watered-down hypothetical: Is it dangerous to dismiss the pre-cross teachings of Jesus? Of course it is, Michael, which is why we don’t do it. Please stop suggesting that we do.

10. What does it mean to walk in the fear of the Lord? What do you make of verses like this: “And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear… (1 Pet. 1:17).

What does it mean for the wives of unbelieving husbands to live in “purity and reverence” (1 Peter 3:2)? I only mention this because the word for reverence is the same word for fear Peter uses in chapter 1. If Michael is suggesting that we fear the Lord, is he also suggesting wives fear their husbands? Surely not. Jesus says that to fear the Lord is to worship him.

11. Do you see any possible danger in emphasizing that it is impossible for a believer to lose his or her salvation? On a practical level, do you feel it’s important to add any scriptural caveats to your teaching of eternal security and, if so, how can you do this without putting an emphasis on “performance”?

There is no danger in reassuring believers that Jesus keeps his promises. Instead of preaching “scriptural caveats” I recommend we preach the gospel. Instead of judging the performance of others, I recommend we preach the performance of Jesus. This is what Joseph Prince and every other grace preacher does.

Grace and peace to you all.
___________

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147 Comments on Some honest answers for Michael Brown

  1. I personally want to thank you Paul Ellis for speaking the truth in love. For years I was in a “grace less congregation” and I didn’t know any better! I left the church for years, I said, hey I can go hang out in the world, with grouchy, angry, folks who look like they are sucking lemons when they sing “Joy to The World!” Now I know why!!! 🙂 Living in the truth of the Grace that God in His love has blessed me to have, has caused my heart to heal and to know the love of God that surpasses knowledge! I am blessed to be in a congregation today that knows the Grace of God, that knows the Holy Spirit and allows Him to lead the Church like He is supposed to! My prayer is for the ones that still believe like I once did, for the blinders to come off, and simply be thankful for the Grace of God that sets us free!!

  2. But was Paul not educated greater than a doctorate?

  3. My brothers Michael Brown and Joseph Prince are really not that far apart, if at all. I believe the main issue is misunderstanding between each other, but more significantly by those under their teaching. I believe this is often the problem with teachers — one thing is preacher, but another thing is understood. Thusly, I believe ministers should place more emphasis on explaining and expanding on the meaning and intent of their teaching and not work emphasis on “headlong teaching.”

    • * preached not preacher
      * headline not headlong

    • They are actually quite far apart. One wants to have one foot on Mt. Sinai and one on Mt. Zion (Brown) while the other wants to set up camp on Mt. Zion (Prince). One (brown) refers to preachers like Prince as a ‘hyper grace’ teachers and ‘dangerous’ to the Body of the Christ. While the other (Prince) understands and has stated often that you will get criticized and misunderstood just like the Apostle Paul did when you start preaching the Gosepl of Grace the way the Bible presents. The way the Apostle Paul presented it. Brown however uses his voice or ‘air time’ to malign Prince’s ministry.

  4. Salvation came to us through the cross. We are completely forgiven through Grace. Should we therefore keep sinning consciously that grace may abound?. No. Christ is not a minister of sin, but if we sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous who still sits at the right hand of God interceding for us. Sanctification is our responsibility driven by our submission to the Holy Spirit given to us without Whom we shall never make it. No hyper confusion please. The internet may be free for all but some sheep still love fresh grass.

    • Hebrews 10:10 & 14 says that we were sanctified through the blood of Christ. That grass can’t get any greener. 🙂 It just needs room to grow

    • “…sanctification is our responsibility…” Are you saying that we can sanctify ourselves? Is it not true that once we have received the Holy Spirit we have it made – that we do not have to DO anything to “make it”?

      • Sanctification is our responsibility ; but remember, its (our response to His ability)
        1 John 3:3, “And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.”
        Again, 1 Timothy 5:22, “…. neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep yourself pure.”
        The only reason we fail (sin) is by our own neglect of walking in the Spirit, Galatians 5:16.
        “Put to death therefore what is earthly (Melos- part or member) in you….”Colossians 3:5. (see Romans 6:13)
        Regarding these precious scripture, I like Paul’s admonishment, 2 Timothy 1:14; “Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.”NASB. Amplified, ” Guard and keep [with the greatest care] the precious and excellently adapted [Truth] which has been entrusted [to you], by the [help of the] Holy Spirit Who makes His home in us.”
        Something we do, with help!!!!

      • Colleen G // January 28, 2015 at 7:25 am //

        We need to grow and mature in the outward signs of having been sanctified by the blood of Jesus but spiritually in God’s eyes we are sanctified because of Jesus blood not because of our own personal manifestations of holy actions. Now if by sanctification people are just meaning looking like and behaving like a Christian of course we should try our best. Scripturally sanctification is holiness, purified and consecrated before God. No amount of trying to clean up my act avoiding sin is going to purify me enough for God. Just as one speck of pepper on a white sheet of paper can be seen so can any kind on sin no matter how tiny in human reckoning. God’s holiness is 100% perfect purity. Our standards needs to be His not just our comfortable notions of being good Christians who avoid the “big” sins and say sorry when we commit the small ones.

  5. Marshall Noblitt // January 25, 2015 at 3:15 pm // Reply

    Why do so many schools of seminary put their student *on the hook* and teach them to go and do likewise to their congregants? Is it possibly they know the truth about scandalous grace but fear losing control if hearers get a solid footing on grace and reject any more attempts to get them back on the hook?

  6. Now more illuminating Grace is required for the Church to decipher between error and truth in all these GRACE teachings. God help the Church of your Son Jesus CHRIST.

  7. This message of grace is the sure cure to hypocrisy, unforgiveness, self righteousness, and hardened hearts…perceiving the love of God transforms our hearts to do likewise to our neighbours both in marital relationships and other social norms.
    Without which we are just a self righteous generation who are respected as long as we can successfully hide our weaknesses. Unforgiveness and self righteousness says ‘…as long as you don’t get caught, u remain holy!!!’

  8. Well said. Breaks my heart the way I see people, especially church-going believers, publicly shaming Christian teachers they don’t agree with. And especially throwing the pure Gospel
    Message of grace under the bus. No wonder some people avoid the church and Christians… I appreciate your concise, respectful responses and for standing up for the Truth

    • Thank you Kristin. Mohandas Gandhi said: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ . . . If it weren’t for Christians, I’d be a Christian.”

      • Then Mohandas Gandhi has hell to look forward to for If he hears the true gospel of Grace and rejects it, it’s on his head if he dies without Christ.. .

      • Nizam Khan // January 27, 2015 at 9:42 am //

        FIFI, I was not talking about Gandhi. I was referring to “Christians” who cause others to stumble.

      • Nizam, i THOUGHT IT WAS GANDHI LOL. THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW

      • I could care less about what Ghandi said- why should we? Does his performance make him better than us? Not hardly, he’s no different to me than a prostitute, living outside the walls of the Kingdom

      • Jesus was a friend to prostitutes. Pretty sure he’d like Gandhi too (Rom 5:8).

  9. I will stick with my Jesus , my bible and my teachings by Paul Ellis and Joseph Prince.

    Nothing is removing me from the gospel of Grace… not even an angel. 🙂

  10. Thanks Paul for your precise and scriptural answers. Because of the gospel of grace (which is the real gospel) my relationship with the Lord has developed in such an intimate way. Now I do the things that I do (pray, read the word, give, love on people, share the word etc) because I want to and not because I have to in order to score brownie points with the Lord. Thanks to all Grace preachers.

  11. Don’t we all a counter such questions?
    But the questions are often loaded accusations not requesting clarification. Still, questions us the chance to clarify.

    One of the challenges is that people often try to fit an answer into pre-determined concepts. I.e.

    “God focused verses sin focused” in a performances based paradigm will sound like license to sin.

    “Not trying to pursue righteosness” (God’s grace will produce righteousness) in a performance paradigm will sound like you do not believe in living righteously.

    Saying you don’t purdue performance will, in a performance paradigm, sound like you don’t believe performance is important.

    Though these are not truths, the problem is trying fit the wonders of grace into a performance paradigm (I.e. Their puzzle). We must always remember, short of the listener pursing a new way, willing to die to their old way, willing to turn from actions to belief (willing to start their puzzle anew); the hyper-grace will not fit their puzzle without their modifying the grace “puzzle piece” to make it fit. I know … for that was me.

    Complicating this issue are assumed leaders who try to ‘piece fit’ grace and performance together, and listeners, who love these leaders so much (often their pastor), that they get confused or deceived.

  12. Paul thank you for your kind yet bold voice for grace. The Holy Spirit knew how desperately I needed this truth and he began to teach me through John Sheasby and his wife Beverley back in 2001. It takes a while to be deprogrammed, I know because I was deceived back in February 1976 by “The Children of God” only in their company for 92 hours and rescued by my parents and siblings; that is a good GOD story. Anyway, I was thinking when I was conceived in sin and born in sin I actually didn’t do sin; so as I have heard it taught, sin is a person, Adam, it is not a verb but a noun. Now as I was raised in Christian doctrine (Lutheran) the Father was drawing me to his heart. But because of sin conciousness thinking I was often concerned of going to hell because of the ungodly things I had done. But when I finally heard the gospel of peace 1973 at the Billy Graham crusade I received the gift of salvation/righteousness provided and sealed in covenant between the Father and the Son Jesus. At that moment I became one/in Christ. No longer in Adam. It wasn’t anything I have done to earn or merit this gift of grace so here again I am in him a noun; not a verb. If course because of the years if sin concious teaching I would often think I must do something. In 1976 I became disillusioned with church and I was psychologically kidnapped by COG because they convinced me I was going to be a Christian missionary and live for God 100%. They used the KJV Bible and the text was twisted for the benefit of deceiving people who truly loved Jesus. The deception came easy because I was steeped in performance based acceptance my whole life in the church. I know beyond doubt that your teaching and the so called “hyper-grace” gospel is truth. I am convinced because of the perfect 24/7 peace of heart and mind that Jesus brings to me. Curious question I have for Michael Brown and other critics. What are they suggesting is truth? I am thinking it would encompass stuff I have to do. I know myself and I am not perfect nor consistent, I am John 3:8 and Jesus said that was his idea for me and it is okay. I can live move have my being in him and move with his spirit as the wind. Very spontaneously. Okay I am done. I hope you read this and tell me what you think. Grace and peace to you.

  13. Thank you for these simple and direct answers to questions that Michael Brown has asked and uses often when he writes and speaks AGAINST the fullness and completion of grace. He is causing much confusion, doubt, and fear for his listeners–those who love Jesus but don’t understand about grace and those who do not know Jesus yet but are hearing MB’s teachings against grace. If MB would allow himself to rest and trust in the power of grace and truth that comes to us as a package deal through the all-powerful blood of Jesus, he would understand that his concerns are mute points. WE don’t do anything to receive or earn blessings from God, except trust in and rely upon what JESUS did FOR us. JESUS was enough. JESUS is enough. JESUS did it all. JESUS is the ALL. The GRACE of JESUS (not the believer’s self-effort or performance) is what changes us from the inside-out when we trust and rely on His gift of grace to do so. Praise our Father who left no stone unturned in His perfect and complete plan of salvation–salvation that provides to receivers SO much more than forgiveness of sin (even though that would have been much more than we deserve). God is good–He thought of everything. (I often wonder, what part of “It is finished” from the lips of our Savior scares born-again Christians? I don’t get it.)

  14. Brian Midmore // January 26, 2015 at 9:47 am // Reply

    1. Does God require anything from you as his child, other than receive his grace? If so, are there spiritual benefits that come through obeying these requirements and spiritual losses that come from ignoring them?

    God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to humble, therefore humble yourself under the almighty hand of God and he will exalt you in due time. 1 Peter 5.5-6.

    Does not this verse suggest that if we obey God and humble ourselves (by his grace) we will receive a blessing from him? But if we do not humble ourselves will we receive the same blessing?

  15. If we’re what preaching is true then there’s TOO MUCH at stake. Dr. Brown’s questions are centered around what the believer needs to do and his performance. Instead we focus on Christ and His performance. I was just thinking that I heard a very prominent respected man of God talking about his visits to heaven. He mentioned 3 levels and I believe he said all those on the first and second level wanted to be on the 3rd level. He said those on the first level were experiencing bliss and on the second he mentioned they had served Christ very well here on earth or something to that effect. But those on the 3rd level were very close to God (or something to that effect) like Enoch and others. Also he might have mentioned this is eternal and you don’t get to change levels. My point is there’s only one way to that 3rd level and its by grace through Jesus only. He should be our only hope or as Hebrews says “we have confidence to enter the most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus…”

  16. Ramon Torres // January 26, 2015 at 1:12 pm // Reply

    Paul may I know why my second comment was not shown here about the apostasy in 2 Peter? …

  17. No PhD here, but it seems to me that 1John 4:18 answers well to the “fear” question – “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love.”

    And the easy answer to how we know if we are truly saved would come from (1John 3:14) “We know that we have crossed over from death to life because we love our fellow Christians. The one who does not love remains in death.”

    IMHO

  18. Paul I don’t believe or see anywhere in the WORD that indicates our future sins are forgiven. “Once saved always saved” is derived completely from Calvinism and has become a substitute for the Gospel itself as a result. Even if it be true, the presentation in that light is where the problem lies for me. The fact is, we do not know whether or not we can or cannot lose our salvation, and the endless arguments are 99% opinionated. When I look at things like “Or I will remove your name from the book of life”… etc etc….. “If God spared not the angels”…. etc etc…… “For it is IMPOSSIBLE for those who ….. made partakers of the Holy Ghost, if they fall away….” etc etc……(that was NOT only for the Jews “back then”….) one has to conclude that this is not something we can say for sure one way or the other. And no, my faith and/or understanding is not “weaker” than anyone else’s because I say these things. Saul at one time was blessed by God, directed by, etc etc…. Saul is not likely in heaven right now. There are way too many people who just don’t understand the difference between a Jesus “believer” and a Jesus “acknowledger”- eternity is the difference between the two. No one will ever convince me you can live like Hell and still go to Heaven because you say “Jesus id Lord”…… not so- the demons know and acknowledge the same and receive the same sentence. So the preaching of “once saved always saved” is indeed a gospel within itself, apart from the will of God (for me that is). I do respect other’s opinions, but unless we have died and found out the answer to that question, no one knows for sure. God made it this way so we would “make our calling and election SURE”…. why else would He say such a thing? That alone totally undoes this theory…..Peace 🙂

    • Even if it were true that Peter believed you need to work to stay saved, that would not undo any of the promises of the One who saves us. Uncertainty is just another word for unbelief.

    • victor……since Jesus died on the Cross around 2000 years ago I’m pretty sure yours and my sins were all future! Paul(E2R) has an excellent article addressing your “Once saved always saved” question. See this article.

    • Then God help us all if that was true Victor, but it is not, how can it be? Something for you to consider. It contradicts what Christ done for us if you understand it that way. So if Believers that are not sure of their salvation not knowing if they will be righteous enough or acceptable to God when they die, should read and understand Romans 14:17-18 – Remembering too that righteousness is a gift from God that works on the inside out. So although Christ loves us all, we may not all be well pleasing to God in that way, vs 18 “For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.” Now, if we are acceptable to God thou we may sin from time to time as we are all still in the flesh,, when we fall asleep, how can we not be accepted then? Check out Abraham. After God imputed righteousness to him, later on he sinned, twice, by putting his wife in a uncompromising position to save himself and her and he sinned more times but is not recorded. Look at David, Moses, the meekest man on the earth yet God took his life. Surely, the blood of bulls and goats is not to be compared to the blood of Jesus..Christ blood is eternal and it is not greater than sin, otherwise Christ failed and we know he did not.

      • I do consider these things and have for quite some time. And again, I don’t see anywhere where I am somehow “not sure of my salvation”….?! Can you explain the “great falling away”? What are they falling away from? Yes Abraham sinned, but there is a world of difference between “sinning” and “forsaking” God. Paul, I would ask, can a “believer” get his/her name in the book of life any other way than salvation through Christ? And also, then, if so it be that is the only way, then how is it therefore possible to have it removed? I’ll tell you again, I don’t know, I lean toward your opinion, believe it or not, but I also think it is a dangerous thing to tell someone that what they sin in the future is already forgiven…… This is not God’s way of doing business anywhere in scripture, so all the theories and opinions when I hear these things are just and only that. No one can read Hebrews 6:4-6 and believe otherwise, or concerning the clear warning to all about having your name removed from the book of life. How is it that Jesus warns those, and “not” us?! I don’t think so, just saying…… There are 65 other books in the WORD- Romans is not “ahead” of the rest. Paul is/was not the Christ. MANY think this way, and are very misled….. and mislead others in the process. Please explain Hebrews and the book of life for me Paul, thanks

      • Hi Victor, yes that scripture use to get to me too years go. It’s in the book of Hebrews and was addressed to the Hebrews who trusted in their works, (performance). Not easy for them seeing how they were raised to place the law as no1, in their lives. In the NT, our “works is to believe on him, whom he has sent” and “without faith, it is impossible to please him.” These particular people that Paul was writing too knew something’s about how Christ operated, they were around true Believers, they only tasted thou of what the true Believers received and benefited to some degree, probably through healing, they saw signs and wonders, they heard grace but never really drank and swallowed if thy will, they just tasted. They were never really experience true conversion. Even today, some in church just want all the goodness and benefits but not the Saviour. They come to like him, but they don’t want to move on with him any further. Some have positions in church and dress the part of a Holy than thou Born again; but as far as the word is concerned, they are a bunch of “thieves and robbers,” because they do not enter through the door (Christ). There’s a bit more to it but that’s the lowdown. I hope you understand.
        God bless

    • Joseph Prince, Paul Ellis, and others have discussed these issues but its a good idea to look in the WORD for ourselves. For many of us the issue is not knowing you’re saved, being uncertain, or worrying about meeting this or that claim is not good news. You mentioned Peter. So consider that he denied The Lord but the Lord himself said “anyone who denies me I will deny before my Father…” Also he prophecied Peter’s denial and his restoration. So He knows the future. It sounds like being saved “apart from the works of the law”. This same Peter says “cast your cares on the Lord for He cares for you.” Being saved would top that list for many of us. Maybe doing that will make your calling and election sure. Also consider the prostitute that washed His feet with her tears. I had to check this out for myself from a preacher but in the Greek Jesus said her sins are forgiven past present and future but the other’s sins in his parable were only forgiven from the present. In the Greek it’s in the perfect tense but only the present tense for someone who is forgiven little. Lastly He says she will love much but the other will love little. He also does the same thing in Revelation. All the scriptures point to Christ that we should put our trust in Him.

    • Please study all you “half-quoted” statements above IN CONTEXT and you will experience the blessings of God’s Word in abundance in your life and it will produce great FREEDOM in Christ which you seem to lack and even “try to defend” – which I dont know why? Have you truly understood the Gospel news? Have you receivED salvation Christ offered? How glad I am that my salvation is not depending on your doubts about the complete work of Christ. I struggle to find the reason “people” seemingly wants to help God in the salvation process. Cant we just hear + understand + belief Jesus Words and enjoy the fruit of HIS salvation – thats why it is called GOOD NEWS. Read Jesus words again and rejoice in His complete salvation – not mine or yours >>>> John 10:28–29 “28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

      [And please DONT make a statement ” There are 65 other books in the WORD- Romans is not “ahead” of the rest. Paul is/was not the Christ. MANY think this way, and are very misled…” – The Bible clearly warns against it and declare that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” – 2 Timothy 3:16] NOTE: I ‘m not going to debate with you – have a fantastic day in Christ.

  19. Brian Midmore // January 26, 2015 at 8:41 pm // Reply

    I would like to correct something which to me seems unfair to MB. In point 5a you equate progressive sanctification with sanctification by human effort. I believe that MB would argue that sanctification was both completed and progressive both of which are accomplished by God’s grace.

  20. I believe Dr. Brown is sincere in winning souls for Jesus. But he is like the apostle Paul before his encounter with the Lord in Damascus. I believe the problem with these preachers who believe we still need to perform to achieve righteousness is that they are overstepping their role as preachers. Preachers are only called to preach the pure grace of God. Whether the person receiving the message responds to it correctly or not, it is not the preacher’s role to be CONTROLLING of the believer’s behavior by adding or subtracting to the message. Maybe they do not believe that grace alone can TRANSFORM a person. But I do, for 2 decades I have been condemned by the law but was freed after hearing pure grace being preached when I attended New Creation Church in Singapore for a year when I used to work there.

    Grace to you Pastor Paul, Joseph Prince and even to Dr. Brown.

  21. I am a little surprised that people see something new in this most recent article with questions for Joesph Prince, there is nothing new there. So if we don’t agree why (Dr. Brown) keep asking the same questions and getting the same answers. I see no benefit to it except to either sell books or get people to say I am of Dr Brown or I am of Joseph Prince… sound familiar? But Paul said the thing that we should ALL be saying the same is I AM OF CHRIST and Christ is God’s. And guess what?, there isn’t many reading and listening on either side of this debate that would not say that. This is TRUE unity and the only unity there is. Surely our fellowship is with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

  22. Moses Kawuma // January 27, 2015 at 1:23 am // Reply

    The very good reply Paul. Keep up the great work.

  23. Paul- I never said we need to “work” for our salvation. I’m every bit as sure as you are about my salvation, if not more so. Nowhere in scripture does it state that we ever lose our free will. If you think we do, then ask yourself how was it then, that even the angels still have a free will to this day-to rebel or not against God? Again, I don’t believe we can work our way into Heaven. But that within itself doesn’t change free will. And as far as Joseph Prince is concerned, you may want to do some research-he also believes Jesus went to Hell and satan had power over him for 3 days and nights, so “it is finished” appparently, according to Prince, did not apply. He also teaches that Heaven is somewhere below the earth, and that we go “sideways” to get there, and that people who died before Christ were in a “type of Hell” as Creflo Dollar teaches, all “Word-of-Faith” teachings…… that somehow, Jesus went and preaches to them and they received some sort of “2nd chance”….. again, I don’t think so. He came to the earth and preached to the captives-period. I bring this up because it proves that either you or Joseph Prince as certainly “unsure” about these subjects because surely you disagree with many of the word of faith teachings. So then, should I say to you, “It is the same as unbelief”?????!!!!!! I hardly think this is pleasing to God. If God takes away our will, then He is indeed that monster Calvin said He was……. Again, I could be wrong. God help me if there ever comes a day when I think I have all the answers….. Peace 🙂

    • Victor,
      Is it your thought that after I leave this earth and lose this flesh that I Dont want any part of; and find myself in the very presence of my Wonderful Father. Purified, and free from temptation; that I will still have free will? That I will still be able to sin (rebel)?
      Regards

      • Jimmi- That is one of those many things we do not know or will we ever in this life know. “We will forever be with the Lord” in my mind gives us the best clue. What we DO know is that the angels did rebel and obviously have/had a free will> Because my beliefs do not conform to “once saved always saved” does not translate into “I need to help God in the process, or “I need to work my way in”, etc etc…… and it is quite sad to see that some here (not you) just simply cannot handle a different take, hence they must resort to their obvious angry childish accusations….. that within itself is very “telling” about where they are with God as far as I am concerned. Better said, where they “think” they are. Peace

      • i dont know Victor, were do they think they are, and were are you, I spend to many years with that little nagging doubt,and dont want to doubt, but trust his ability to keep me……….

      • Thank you for the reply.

    • It is a fascinating thought though.
      It’s almost as though God threw choice out of Heaven, and put it on earth where his creation could have free choice. Keeping the purity of Heaven. Maybe our choice to follow Him is saying we happily never want the ability to sin once we leave this flesh; which jives with the teaching of the bible that there is no sin (rebellion) in heaven.

      I am curious though; do you believe that born again believers get a new spirit and are regenerated once they believe? And if you do > what happens to this new spirit when they are no longer saved. Then if they repent and get back in God’s Will; does that spirit just come back?

      I must admit; when I believed a lukewarm (defined as works/grace mix) religion, I understood and even participated in backsliding (umm… Everyday);backsliding and losing my salvation was a conceivable option. And I always wondered where that line was. I mean which sins released me from salvation. The ones I repeated? Did I ever not repeat a repented sin? What about the selfish thought I had against that pokey driver? “Oh no!! I just repeated that sin AGAIN!! The one I cried about in prayer last night.” “Was this the last time you would forgive me Father?”
      But once I got ahold of the gospel (the grace message) And I was free to fail while being loved unconditionally; more and more I choose to love and, more and more I hate the flesh; and backsliding is a distant thought. I love living in His grace. When I chose fleshly desires, I so miss the choice of love that I could have made The choice of Love, that the Holy Spirit immediately convicts and reminds me of. How I Love Him and His reminders !!

      • i have thought about that alot also Jimmi . Personally I dont think we are completely aware of how deep our inability to sense unconscious {sin} or conscious sin if you will is, so that is why the depth of grace and love is so deep,and Jesus is saying dont be sin conscious because you will never reach the bottom, just bath in the grace and love and in your new creation, Im trying not to say ignorance is bliss, but in this case just trust Jesus because we will never understand it all yet. IM I makin any sense here or am I spiting in the wind.

  24. The Grace message is of old, ancient seeing as our Savior is that – John 1:14. Grace is nothing new and it’s throughout scripture from start to finish. Grace may appear modern cuz most church Believers has been so long, subjected to religion from Preachers.
    It’s great how you answered those questions. You went straight to the point and hit each question on its head. Question 5b intrigued me as many Believers I know had problems with understanding holiness. I heard people say how can we be holy and we still do wrong? I use to think it was performance base. We are made holy – Hebrews 10:10. 2 Corinthians 3:18 shows it’s by the Holy Spirit, when we behold him. 2 Peter 1:3 Shows the moment we receive him, we have it. You know, salvation is instant and so is holiness, but to work it out in our conduct/behavior God’s way, can only be by the Holy Spirit. No. 6 I brilliant, so many need to understand this.Someone reminded me of what someone else said the other day, how Believers can lose their salvation due to a scripture I completely forgot, the five wise and the five foolish virgins. Interesting topic God bless.

    • Indeed. Being holy just means that you are set apart from the world because you belong to God. You are not of the world, so God was actually encouraging us not to be like them, but to be who He created us to be and live in it; see what God sees us. This is what Romans 12:2 [PHILLIPS] proclaims: “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.”

  25. Paul, did DR. Brown ever responded to your book? Just curious. 🙂

  26. just to make a blanket statement,over the years I have seen how inadequate we are and how adequate he is and depending on myself to toe the line,becomes a joke, so I truly believe he has to maintain us in any position. it can get really dark and deceptive out there,anything that depends on you to achieve without the holy spirit and the grace of God usually dies .

    • What are we trying to achieve? See my comment about redefining salvation.
      Holiness, sanctification, resisting sin (either by self effort which leads to failure it by grace which leads to success) – to the biblical authors are NOT the goal and end objective . To Jesus and the apostles Holiness of life is merely the means to THE GOAL. THE goal and objective is better and more enjoyable relationships.
      Brown’s end objective is holiness . Gods objective is more love among His people so we can relate better.
      “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. ” (1 Timothy‬ ‭1‬:‭5‬ NASB)

  27. What most people don’t realize is that Dr Brown and those who are influenced by his perspectives hold a radically different definition of salvation than the fathers of faith would admit to. To Dr Brown salvation is fundamentally an issue of the personal attainment and a quest for personal holiness and sanctification through Christ and through personal diligence and effort. While to the fathers (and to us who oppose Dr Brown) salvation is entering into a holy and loving RELATIONSHIP with God and others. To Dr Brown salvation all about personal holiness and relationship is merely an optional expedient or means to this mostly individualistic pursuit .To us salvation IS RELATIONSHIPS based upon the grace of Jesus plus nothing. Until we realize and address this unspoken modern bogus radical redefinition of salvation we will not effectively be able to confront Dr Browns perspectives.

    • Delete this Paul if I am overextending my invitation to comment BUT- the majority of modern evangelicals adhere to this radical redefinition of salvation. Even to those to whom personal holiness and sanctification is not the end objective of salvation these are the means to the objective of PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT ! The mantra is : Get saved and get holy so you can be more personally empowered.
      This is blatant idolatry ! God says, “Get saved and get holy so you can be better lovers! “

  28. Dr. Brown, if truly you wanted answers; you truly don’t need more than those.
    Thanks Paul (a brother from same mother, GRACE), may the Grace of our Lord be greatly multiplied unto you through the knowledge of Jesus Christ…I have been greatly blessed by your lovely and heavenly enlightened words.

  29. Paul, why do you think so many Christians are unmoved by the gospel of Grace when they hear it? They are perfectly content with a mixture of old and new covenants and they will not come off the belief that God wants them to change before he can bless them fully. Our excitement is not contagious, and they are happy looking at God like they are a servant rather than a son. God is constantly evaluating them and waiting for them to do more or sin less before they can have His full power operational in their life. It’s often not an argument with the theology, just an apathy. I suppose some of it is pride, but is there something else also?

    • There could be a number of reasons. I suspect a big one is that when you have invested your life into a system that rewards good behavior and then you hear that your investments are worthless (because God doesn’t reward us for what we’ve done but for what Christ has done), the temptation will be to resist and fight to protect those investments.

      • Excellent answer. It certainly lines up with all the things in the Bible about God blessing the least of us. It’s interesting that for all these years I thought I was renewing my mind, and now I see the biggest thing my mind needs to grasp is that, when I am In Christ, nothing should come from me – neither bad (punishment) nor good (rewards).

      • I think your right Paul, like A. Wommack says when they find out its what Jesus did and not what they did or do, they say ……..’ and gee I was doing so good to .”

    • Bob- David said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, God will NOT hear my prayer”….. And if you think that your behavior has nothing to do with what happens to you in life, the day will come where you will receive a rude awakening…… God is “A REWARDER of those who diligently seek Him”….. indeed it’s based on that- so if you don’t believe that, then you don’t believe anything He says

      • Victor, I understand that my behavior has plenty to do with what happens to me in my life. David said that as a man under the law. He also said, pointing to the new covenant: Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. I am talking about if I have a walk where I am abiding in Jesus. I’m not saying that I want to do anything that I can get away with. You are arguing from an old covenant mindset.

      • Nobody seeks God not one, I can assure you God does all the seeking,if you have the ability to seek God, God gave you that ability, and if God has found you because you step out from behind the bushes, it is not him who hides again, it is not What matters is our ability to respond to Gods seeking , that empowered by what Jesus has done. The power that it seems you deny. God is no longer behind that curtain my friend, you may want to note that David did not say if I have inequity in my heart, he said if I regard.I believe he looked to the grace of God.

      • Victor it is as you say if you regard inequity in your heart God will not hear your prayer, there is only one way to get to the point where you do not regard inequity in your heart.No man is good not one, only God is good.Jesus is the way I speak off.

    • And on top of what Paul just answered I feel the as humans we feel we need to say we’ve done something to earn that merit. Religion has so ingrained that in us. Similar to the way the Hebrews answered Moses in Exodus 19 before the law was given.
      Modern theology has it backwards. We are taught do, do, do to earn His favor. However the Gospel of Grace says IT IS DONE. As Joseph Prince teaches Right Believing leads to Right Living which is the opposite of how modern(religion inspired) Christianity teaches things.
      That is the one thing that Dr Brown fails to grasp. He feels we MUST do something.

    • Maybe they are fearful and lacking complete trust in what Jesus has done prefering to think they can solicit Gods favour and mercy by their own self righteous effort.It takes courage to fly in the face of traditional teaching and intimidation by so called ‘preachers of righteousness’.Adopting a radical view of grace may also lead to isolation becoz so few churches teach it and many Christians prefer to follow the herd.

  30. andrewtungsk // January 28, 2015 at 11:49 am // Reply

    Jesus paid the price for us. At the cross he told the thief beside him that he would be with him in Paradise on the same day just for the fact that he believed in Him. At the cross He said it is finished. Jesus paid for our sins and iniquities. Such is the ‘foolishness’ of God that many cannot understand with their logic and wisdom. The Grace of God surpasses all our understanding. To many people it is unbelievable. I can understand these people for I am of a pragmatic nature and I would never ask God for anything if I could do it myself. Yet I came to Him having exhausted all ways and means and have to be ‘foolish’ enough to trust on His grace.

  31. Ephesians 1:3, and the rest of Christian doctrine represent grace as the vehicle, not the object of our blessing. The ‘bus’ is not the ‘destination.’

    By treating the ‘bus’ of grace as if it were the ‘destination’ of a flourishing relationship with God, Ellis inadvertently neglects substantive areas of the gospel message, by focusing wholly on grace.

    This is the gist of Brown’s argument. The Biblical portrayal of Christian life is very balanced. “All is grace” simply doesn’t represent the whole picture.

    By focusing so deeply on grace and giving no attention to the other elements of Christian teaching, Ellis and Prince’s charismatic and evidently-pleasing message, when compared to the Gospel looks like someone whose only diet is vitamin-C tablets and nothing else. A healthy diet is not all vitamin C. Just like a healthy Christian doctrine is not all grace.

    The key problem, however, is that Ellis and Prince will be unable to see this until and unless they really step outside of their current paradigm and focus wholly and entirely on God. Focus wholly on God, not on what messages please the ears of men.

    • Since I preach Christ alone, what have I missed? Christ is my destination, my “bus,” and my “paradigm.” He is my everything and my “Vitamin C.” Evidently you think he is not enough. Just out of curiosity, what would you add to this Christ-focused message?

      • Christ alone might refer to your doctrine of salvation, Paul. But it doesn’t answer every theological question.

        Once saved, how are we to relate to God? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives? What do we do about sin? What does discipleship look like? What does it mean to be in a relationship with God? What is God’s will for my life? How do I obey it?

        “Christ is my everything,” as well intentioned as that statement is, simply doesn’t answer those questions. It’s non-cognitive. It’s a mantra, if you will. It speaks to your passion and love for God, like a fist-pump or a cheer for your team, but doesn’t carry any meaning for the questions that form the big picture of Christianity.

        In order to answer those questions meaningfully, substantively, and cognitively, in a way that lines up with God’s intentions as revealed in His word, shouldn’t you go beyond the “Christ is my everything” cheer?

        Peter, John, Paul, James- all of Christ’s followers, in their writings, did precisely that. Their writings are full of meaningful answers, answers that go far beyond “Christ is my everything.”

        Is this objectionable to you?

        I don’t mean to be harsh, I see a genuine conflict of views here, and my desire is to honor God and respect you as a brother in Christ. You have my email if you would rather communicate privately.

      • That’s the difference between us – I see Christ as the complete package, his work is a complete work. Or as Paul put it, he is our “wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Cor 1:30). He’s not just our salvation but our sanctification and everything else we need (Php 4:19). As Spurgeon put it, “He who has Christ has everything.” Is this not the testimony of the entire Bible?

        To dismiss Christ and his sublime work as a mere “fist pump” or mantra is to dismiss grace. “All is grace” is not a truth to be cognitively grasped (for it appears foolish), but spiritually received and believed. Grace comes no other way (Eph 2:8).

      • Rauss , Victor and whomever else might be operating from their paradigm,

        When I read your comments I do not see legalistic Pharisees. I see men of God whose hearts desire is to honor God; to rightly divide the Scriptures. Your mindset and your beliefs are shaped by the Scriptures as any Christian who desires to seek God and His will would be. If you were anything like I used to be, you put forth a lot of energy, effort in order that you might not be conformed to the way this world thinks. Your hearts desires is to be pleasing to God by allowing your mind to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. You have learned the Scriptures and have the ability to see a balance in relation to the scriptures that seem to contradict themselves. You think you see clearly this grace that Ellis, Prince and others are all excited about. “What’s the big deal, it’s Grace we all believe in grace”. The Bible speaks about other topics: perseverance of the Saints, examples of people falling away, How to deal with sIn. How to relate to God and other people, and a host of other topics. I used to teach “Yes,Jesus is the center of our existence but Jesus is not going to pay the mortgage. He has his part to do and we have our part to do. I just want to be clear on what my part is and what he requires from me. He is faithful and of course will do his part”.

        This was my mindset. Does it somewhat partially describe your mindset? If so, all those questions and holy desires can be answered and filled by Jesus. As he opens your understanding to all of what I’ve mentioned previously you will also experience an incredible, unbelievable (but you will believe it) Joy! It comes straight from God himself and is dropped inside of you. Listen to what the amplified Bible says about this joy:

        And now I am coming to You; I say these things while I am still in the world, so that My joy may be made full and complete and perfect in them [that they may experience My delight fulfilled in them, that My enjoyment may be perfected in their own souls, that they may have My gladness within them, filling their hearts]. (John 17:13 AMP)
        If this intimate joyful relationship with the father is what you desire (The implication is you do have a relationship, but you might not be experiencing the joy that is described above), I will continue Expounding. If not I hope you find your hearts desire.

      • I am the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE.sound pretty clear to me,he is ALL, Everything you need is in the package. Blessing, correction, any growing or progress. etc is in the package.

    • Paul or Joseph Prince cannot step out side of their paradigm. Their paradigm is Jesus and they exist in him and for him. Just as the rest of us who’ve had our eyes opened to Grace!
      It’s true. When you have a lot invested you don’t want to let go. But that would mean they actually can see Grace and I don’t think they can. At least not in its purity. Yes, To be saved, they have to have known grace. Every Christian that steps into this arena believes they have a complete understanding of Grace They don’t understand that, Grace is only Grace when it is pure Grace. Paul demanded in Galatians 1, that we separate the gospel from other messages, even other messages from the word of God in order to keep it pure. We have learned by listening to the gospel that purity means it all comes from Jesus and nothing comes from ourselves. We cannot add anything to it or it is no longer Grace. They don’t know how to separate the gospel from the rest of the word of God. They see all the other references in the New Testament to the perseverance of the Saints and they see perceived actions required from us. Thinking themselves enlightened or balanced, they infiltrate the gospelWith other messages from the Bible. Since it is the word of God, they treat it just as if it were the Gospel. They lump it all into one big pot for a “balanced” diet. They think because they are well-versed in the Bible, they have a deeper insight than you do. I used to be just like them. When my wife started telling me about Grace, I looked at her like she was nuts. My comments: “I’ve been saved for 30 years! Of course I know what Grace is. I love Grace. I was saved by grace”. And I would’ve said to you, “but you’re not looking at the whole New Testament”. I would’ve said that you’re ignoring other scriptures to promote the scriptures that support your theology. Just like you will find some of them quoting that we do not preach the whole counsel of God.The problem is they see the whole Bible as being part of the gospel of Jesus. They mix the law and good advice with Grace for a deadly, lifeless Gospel. Whereas the whole Bible is the word of God, it is not the gospel of grace Centered on Jesus.

      The gospel is our foundation. The Gospel has Jesus as it’s center. The gospel is all about what God has done for us. The Gospel of Grace announces a love so grand that we could never earn it. It has to be Given.

    • Gods intentions as revealed on his word ?? I thought Jesus was the word of God.You seem to be standing with on foot on one island another foot on another island and the sea in between , like you do not know where you belong. My advice . Jump into the water my friend.

      • Chris,

        Jesus is indeed the Word. But so are the scriptures. It is through the word of God- the scriptures- that you have learned about Jesus in the first place.

        If you deny the scriptures, you deny Jesus. If I understand your island-analogy correctly, I have only one response:

        I can deny neither the scriptures nor Jesus. And I pray you affirm the same.

    • Rauss there is one undeniable truth. It may be that Jesus is not the center of your theology and he does not complete it but it completes him, but it remains a fact that you are the center of his theology, all things were created by him and for him , and his sole purpose in all of this was you to know him, it seems the whole universe revolves around you? but then again as you argue maybe a balanced approach is required.Facetious yes but only for illustration.

    • Focus wholly on God ?? Is Jesus not God ???

      • O my Chris- was it not God who said, “Seek me with your whole heart and then you will find me”?!….. How on earth can you say above, that “No one seeks God?”

    • The word was with God in the beginning , every word from God is this word my friend there is no other word from God he was was with God in the beginning, before this word the were no other words, and after this word there will be nothing else to say or write.All scripture is was and will be this word.

    • Let me see if I can explain it how I first grasped the difference between grace being the “bus” and it being my “everything”. Sorry if it is too long
      My bus view:
      The gospel of Jesus dying for your sins was the gateway to your Christian life. God cleaned you up and made you a citizen of His kingdom. Now it was time for hard work, self made holiness, self denial and worldly separation. The things that first allowed you access to God were no longer very applicable as you were supposed to me maturing and not relying on the baby food. The gospel and that unmerited grace were a sinner’s tickets into the Kingdom which were traded at the door for the handbook for holy Christian living.
      My everything view:
      Grace and the gospel are no longer the sale pitch/ticket to get sinners into the kingdom. These two thing are everything. They are how you approach God, deal with your sin, interact with sinners, parent your children, read your bible and make all those myriad of choices daily. Why? Because of grace you no longer operate from the viewpoint of fear of loss, separation or of getting dirty. You operate from a confidence that no matter what Jesus blood really was put over all your sins once forever and that your walk in simply trying your best to love out God’s love to everyone. You operate that you are fully righteous, sanctified and justified because of your faith not because you can behave better than the lost. Your view shifts from self and self shaping to Jesus and listening and waiting on the Spirit’s leadings

      • Awesome job, Colleen!

      • Very good explanation, Colleen. Thank you.

      • Colleen, I’m afraid you have missed the point.

        Nowhere do I advocate “Hard work, self-made holiness, self-denial and worldly separation.” I’d like to know where you get these claims myths from, because I never said them. Perhaps your disagreement with my view is predicated on your misunderstanding of what I believe?

        But your misstatement is helpful. It helps me clarify what I believe. I believe that grace and the gospel continue to operate after we are saved.

        Where I disagree is the use of the word “grace” as a stand-in for what the Bible teaches.

        Ask yourself this. Does saying the word “grace,” and understanding the Gospel message together make a good Christian? Clearly not. It doesn’t matter how many times you say the word “grace” it doesn’t teach you anything.

        At bottom, that’s the problem. Simply using the word “grace” doesn’t teach people or help them grow in Christ.

        To truly grow, you don’t just say “grace,” you learn “what grace means.”

        And you don’t stop there. You learn what salvation means. You learn what Christ means. What sin means. What faith means. What love means. What the Holy Spirit means.

        This gives us a fuller Christian message. It goes beyond simply chanting feel-good words, and renews our mind with meaningful, contentful access to what God tells us.

        In short, my view holds to the fullness of scripture. I don’t stop at grace. I start at it.

        I’d like to know where you disagree with that.

      • Rauss
        Maybe I missed something;
        I thought Colleen simply stated her beliefs, I didn’t see her post as an attack on anyone.

        “Simply using the word “grace” doesn’t teach people or help them grow in Christ.” Maybe you could clarify this statement. I mean “case in point” > the Escape to Reality has MANY posts and blogs about Grace and scripture and the author has written many books, so the statement seems a bit odd; so I’m not sure on whom you are focusing this statement.

        If the statement is focused on a specific poster they might reply “Perhaps your disagreement with my view is predicated on your misunderstanding of what I believe?”

      • Rauss No simply utter the words and grace together in the same sentence will not make anyone a “good” Christian. In fact it won’t make you a Christian at all. However if you believe, have faith in, in the gospel of Jesus and the grace that comes with it will make you an excellent Christian.
        Why? Because grace is the gas in the tank of the bus(suing your original analogy) that is Christian living. No gas and your bus just sits there. Some folks get out and try to push it in their one strength trying to make it go and they might be able to move it a little and feel like they are finally getting somewhere but it’s all them. It’s not until you understand grace, not just as a catchy phrase but as a vital doctrinal truth that your bus gets rolling according to how the Spirit directs it.
        As to my previous comment. I was imply using my experience and examples I had seen to try and add an explanation to the bus vs. everything conversation.

    • Raus- The “balanced” Christian life is Jesus living in His people plus nothing of our own will power, effort or diligence. Christ alone is the Christian life; Christ alone is the Christian way and Christ alone is the Christian truth. Jesus Christ starts the Christian life in His people , he continues the Christian life in His people and He finishes the Christian life in His people. We are saved by the grace of Christ alone from start to finish. We start living the Christian life by the grace of Christ alone, continue living the Christian life by the grace of Christ alone and will finish living the Christian life by the grace of Christ alone. Any authentic holiness we produce along the Way and any authentic good works or good fruit we produce is produced by Jesus living in us by His grace plus nothing of our selves. This authentic Jesus produced works and fruit does nothing to secure or maintain our right standing with God and is entirely for Gods glory alone and not for us. This is Gods “balanced” gospel.
      It is a stumbling block to the self made and foolishness to the self taught but is the power of God for the complete salvation of those who believe it.

      • Barry, even Jesus didn’t stop at Himself. He went beyond. He taught the beatitudes. He taught how to pray, how to heal the sick. He taught God’s will. Christ himself went beyond “Christ-everything.”

        So you’re faced with a dilemma. Are you going to follow “Christ-everything” or are you going to follow what Christ actually taught?

      • The beatitudes are a description of what Christs life in us looks like. You are missing the Key to all of the commands and teachings of the Bible- Christ in us!
        The Christian life as presented by the Bible is not (as you have mistakenly assumed) a partnership between us and Jesus whereby He initiates or commands and we produce the rest – the Christian life is Christ in us plus nothing . It is His thoughts (the mind of Christ) His emotions (the fruit of the Spirit) His will (the will of the Father), His virtue and character and strength and activity and actions and follow up!
        The Christian life is not a mimicking or an impersonating of Jesus – (like those cheap Elvis impersonators ) rather the Christian life can only be lived by Jesus Himself in us and through us.
        Christianity isn’t what we do for God rather biblical Christianity is what God did for us and does for us, in us and through us by the grace of Christ alone.
        Your picture of Jesus and the gospel is far too limited my friend . Because you view the gospel in terms of some of Christ and some of you- you are clearly demonstrating you yet an infant in Christ – a mere babe in Christ and you cannot yet recieve the solid food of the gospel. Choose to believe the biblical gospel of Jesus plus nothing equals everything and you will instantaneously mature into spiritual adulthood and you will be able to hear and grasp what I am declaring.
        “Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? (‭John‬ ‭3‬:‭10-12‬ NASB)

      • Rauss,
        Pertaining to this discussion; it doesn’t sound like Barry is the one with the dilemma… He clearly stated what he believes.

        Keep reading, praying, and asking. One thing that might help you; love God’s Word more than anyone else’s interpretation. You might not ever agree; but you might understand. In your world or interpretation you are hearing totally opposite of what Barry said. You think he is pursuing Godlessness, He is telling you that he totally wants to be filled with Godliness.

        Again, you may not agree with Barry. But your lack of understanding what he is saying hints of blinders (though I could be wrong).

    • To reply to victor, Read Romans:3 and Acts 17:23-34 pay attention to27+28 . Your view is from the wrong side of the cross.

    • Rausss you try to seperate Jesus and scripture, After his ressurection one of the first thing Jesus does is take a long walk with men who not only new scripture intimately but being Jews they lived scripture, and he explained to them where they failed, I believe you fail in the same way.It is not through scripture that I learn about Jesus, it is through Jesus I learn about scripture.

      • Nizam Khan // January 30, 2015 at 9:21 am //

        Chris, I agree wholeheartedly. Like I said above:we don’t believe because we understand; we understand because we believe (Jesus).
        Also, Jesus said: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.…” (John 5:39-40). It is clear that we don’t “get it” until we allow the Holy Spirit to let us get it.

      • Chris- Ruass and the multitude of those with him who have truncated the teachings and commands of Jesus in the gospels (the sermon on the mount etc ) as a kind if revised “christianized” version of the law. The similarity between this perceived “Jesus revision” and the Moses edition of law is that the Jesus revision demands complete obedience with the threat of divine disfavor, loss of divine blessings and divine disfellowshipping. The minor differences between this (perceived ) “christianized Jesus revision” of the Law and the actual Mosaic siniatic legislation is that Jesus’ “revised version ” of the law demands not only outward conformity but inward heart and motive conformity.
        The truth is that heart level obedience to the commands and teachings of Jesus in the gospels are the spontaneous and effortless fruit of Spirit led living by faith -in His people. Also the reason Jesus had to verbally spell these commands out in sermon form to his contemporaries is because He wasn’t yet living INSIDE of His people until after Pentecost. After Pentecost the New Covenant kicked in, “I will write my laws on their hearts and minds AND NO ONE WILL HAVE TO TEACH HIS BROTHER…”

  32. Roberto Guadiana // January 28, 2015 at 7:53 pm // Reply

    Once saved, how are we to relate to God?
    As best we can.
    What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives?
    Whatever he wants it to be. You cannot control the Holy Spirit.
    What do we do about sin?
    Try not to.
    What does discipleship look like?
    Depends on the disciple.
    What does it mean to be in a relationship with God?
    Believe in his son and see where it gets you.
    What is God’s will for my life?
    Life more abundantly.
    How do I obey it?
    Live as if you believed.

  33. Thank you Paul, for your succinct and correct answers. It often makes me stop to wonder why a fellow believer’s eyes would be blinded to the truth of God’s lavish love and grace towards him. “You whom are seeking to be justified by the law, you are fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4). But then again, that was the issue that I had with the church that I had to leave. It was all about what “I” was doing, not what He had already done…

  34. Roberto Guadiana // January 29, 2015 at 11:33 am // Reply

    I appreciate your taking the time to respond so well, Paul. I also appreciate that you can take that task seriously, without taking yourself too seriously. Maybe I will buy one of your books.

  35. Scott Madden // January 29, 2015 at 2:16 pm // Reply

    Paul, I would like to know the difference between the gospel of grace and what Jimmy Swaggart preaches the cross. I talked to Francis Swaggart today on her program and she said that JP and AW don’t preach what her husband preaches. She said that JP doesn’t even ask for forgiveness of sins. Can you help me and tell me how this is different than the preaching of the cross?

    • I’ve never heard him preach, so I can’t help you. Sorry.

    • Scott, I remember Jimmy Swaggart very well in the 80’s. He was a huge force and touched many for the Lord. I was newly saved and listened to him frequently. I haven’t heard him in decades, so I don’t know if his message has changed. I didn’t have the revelation of grace that I have today, but even then I knew something was wrong with his ministry. There was a lot of pride. Swaggart was critical of so many different things, from other ministers to Christian rock, etc. His view of God and his focus on himself ultimately did not serve him well. He fell into repeated sexual sin and lost the vast majority of his ministry. Falling from grace, like many people think, is not falling into a sin but what we think happens to our relationship with God after we sin. Swaggart was devastated when he thought of his failures. I truly believe that if he had a righteousness consciousness instead of a sin consciousness he would have had victory over the sins that lead to his downfall. One cannot live in that mindset and have it turn out well. Even if you are strong enough to live a fairly moral life you will never receive to the same level as when you are only receiving based on what Jesus has done. God is so good.

  36. When are we filled/indwelled with the Spirit of God? Do you believe the same on this as Dr. Brown (or those that don’t believe as you do re: Grace)?

  37. Well, I’ve watched Joseph Prince for years. I read Micheal Brown’s article in Charisma and would like to see Joseph Prince’s answer to those questions or even speak face to face and discuss the gentleman’s questions. But to see the ugliness that I’ve seen in the comments — no desire to read all of them — with people attacking each other, it’s rather disappointing. Does anyone have no right to simply ask questions. If we take everything we hear without question, I surely don’t call that wisdom. Even Paul tells us to not just listen to anything we hear. Paul had a lot to say about grace, but he also had a lot to say about living in obedience to Christ. We can only survive on milk for so long before we need the real meat of God’s word!

    • Sherri- I am not sure where you get the impression that the comments here are not in love, kindness or graciousness. Also if you read the concept of milk vs solid food in the Bible you will discover that you have misused and misapplied this metaphor. The bible presents these metaphors exactly opposite to how you have used them. Milk as described in the Bible is for those who are still trapped in the spiritual infancy of believing that our relationship with God is secured and maintained by obedience and solid food in the Bible is is used to describe the solid food of the trusting in the gospel of grace alone apart from the works of obedience.

  38. I really enjoyed, not only your response, but your sense of humor, as well. God bless

  39. Scott Madden // January 31, 2015 at 11:57 am // Reply

    Paul or anyone else, I am needing some questions answered. To be short and to the point I was saved when I was 14 at one of the fear films of missing the rapture. I got close to god but seemed to never get where I needed to be. I see now after hearing JP and AW and yourself that I was trying to perform to achieve it. Being an athlete and thinking that all good things come from working for it that’s what I did. I failed and fell from grace. Recently I got thrown the grace movement and it just seems too good to be true. Can it really just be this simple? I am having trouble with the eternal security part. When I was saved at 14 was I really not saved? therefore I couldn’t have lost my salvation? What about the prodigal son the bible says he was dead when he left. Also, in John 15: 5-10 when it talks about remaining in the vine. it says if we don’t we are gathered and thrown in the fire. Is both of these stories talking about losing our salvation?

    • Scott, you can find numerous articles here on E2R on eternal security. Check out the archives.

    • Scott, please stop worrying about whether there is eternal security or not. You want to be saved and God wants you to be saved. I personally am not certain whether or not a person can lose their salvation, but I know that I will be fine forever. And so will you. Yes, please relax and believe the things that you are being taught by Paul, JP and AW. When you feed on that for a while your whole demeanor will change and even your actions will reflect God more. Here’s some advice: memorize and start confessing Isaiah 54: 9 – 10. Isaiah 53 talks about all Jesus has done for you. In Isaiah 54, because of what Jesus has done, God has SWORN that he will never be angry with you again. His kindness to you will never be taken away. You have a covenant of peace that can never be removed. You didn’t get this by yourself. You don’t keep it by yourself. All you need to do is rest in it and use your faith to believe that you are righteous ONLY through Jesus. It gets easier I promise you.

      • Scott Madden // February 2, 2015 at 9:31 am //

        Thank you Bob! I believe the enemy was attacking and trying to get me to not believe that it could be this easy. I appreciate you all and your words. God Bless!

    • Scott- Only one question you need to answer- and the one you are asking is not the one you need the answer for: Here’s the real question- “Who moved?” Was it you or God? If it were God, you’d have a problem….. obviously, you don’t! Scott, I’m convinced He loves you and desires you every bit as much as He did from day one. One of the greatest lessons I have ever learned was when I struggled continuously on how important it was to forgive myself- if I would sin or do wrong, etc etc, (doesn’t matter what area of life), the day arrived where God spoke clearly to me, and this is what He said, “Don’t EVER insult the blood of my Son again…..” !!! I was a bit baffled at first, but then I realized that even in my worst moments and times in life, those times and actions/rebellions were NOT WORTHY TO BE COMPARED TO HIS BLOOD. My life has never been the same since that day. I gained great empowerment, and also lost those desires to rebel/sin because of that empowerment. It really is true Scott, that if in fact you are truly sorry, and you sincerely want forgiveness, all you need to do is simply ask- AND- TRUST GOD that He has not only forgiven you, but He literally has NO RECORD of it-NONE. Don’t let the devil allow you to even so much as question that! If he can get you to remotely doubt it, then you will never find the path of growth God intended for you, rather you will continuously question what God said from day one- HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US IF WE ASK HIM. The reason it is so difficult to trust and believe God is because it is difficult to trust and believe “people”…… I hope this helps. It changed my life forever, God’s Grace

      • Scott Madden // February 2, 2015 at 9:28 am //

        Victor,
        Thank you that is very powerful! I’m sold out for Jesus and his Grace! It makes me want to run up and down the street in 15 degree weather shouting The King Of Glory!

    • Scott, take Paul up on his offer and review the Scriptures he has listed in his scripture index on eternal security.
      With that said, eternal life it’s really that… Eternal! If I may say with conviction, pay attention to the following scripture. Do not try to rationalize it or let anyone else rationalize it for you. It is true!
      “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” (‭John‬ ‭10‬:‭27-29‬ NIV)
      Once the gospel becomes credible to you and you allow it to wash through your mind, you will be clear of how solid this salvation is for you. You didn’t earn it by your own merits or work; it was a gift that was lavished upon you through Jesus!
      “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭1‬:‭7-8‬ NIV)
      “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (‭Ephesians‬ ‭1‬:‭13-14‬ NIV)
      Therefore you cannot lose it based on your own merits or works or lack there of, because it is an an unearned gift from the father! Should you desire to see how much power was exuded from the cross, read and meditate in Romans 5. When you read it you will see that the power, that God exerted through the death of Jesus and the delivering of this grace which gives eternal life, dwarfs the power that sin exercised on mankind, by delivering death.

      As far as the vine goes, it’s about finding your identity in Jesus. Once you were born again, you are in the Spirit and therefore attached to the root! Let the following scripture sink into your mind.
      “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.” (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭9-10‬ NIV)

      Hope this helps.

  40. In response to a comment Rauss made above: Titus 2:11,12 (NIV) Grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to ive self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,…

  41. The answers are brilliant! I’m glad Michael asked the questions… Really blessed! Thanks for this amazing grace!

  42. The apple never falls far from the tree. WhIle every new spiritual movement or trend may embrace some new experience or emphasis they rarely start out of fresh doctrinal ground. The modern Charismatic Movement (of which Dr Brown claims a key leadership role within) is steeped in the soil of self effort and performance orientated spirituality because the Charismatic Movement was birthed by its father Pentecostalism (which remains to this day obsessed with self effort and performance orientation ). Self effort Pentecostalism was given birth by the grand father of self effort and performance based spirituality which was Wesley’s Methodism and Charles finney’s works based revivalism. The great grandson’s little finger has grown thicker than grand fathers wrist! The modern grace movement on the other hand can trace its roots back to the good tree of Luther’s reformation. The reformation had two sons – one born of the flesh which was self effort revivalism which led to the modern day self loving consumeristic performance orientated charismatic church and the other son of the reformation was born of the power of the Spirit – giving birth to the great gospel of grace preachers like Whitfield, Spurgeon , Moody and more recently Martin Lloyd Jones and now the post modern grace preachers god is raising up from among both the Charismatics world widenand the western evangelicals.
    Flesh gives birth to flesh and Spirit gives birth to Spirit. How can the modern Charismatic Movement be reformed? By rejecting the idolatrous pursuit of personal empowerment and by rejecting self effort religion and returning to the ancient roots of sola fide, sola gracia, sola scriptura and sola Deo gloria! Wisdom is always proven right by her children and the loud and brazen Folly to is proven by her twin daughters: “Give! GIVE! ” They cry

    • Barry, I couldn’t agree more. This is something I have been pondering for a while, having grown up in the Charismatic Church. It reminds me of when Jesus said, “You err because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God”. The reformed folks had some solid insight into the word, but not always the moving of the Spirit. The holiness/Pentecostal/Charismatic branch seemed to have experienced much of the Spirit/power, but not have not had solid theology. They seem to build doctrines around the people who are getting the “results”. A great example is Finney. he clearly, by his own admission, preached a different gospel than the reformers (and early apostles) preached. He preached that we, through discipline and effort could attain perfection. But because he saw “revival”, people in that Charismatic stream bat an eye at his anti-Christ gospel.

      Both streams/branches need the humility to learn from and bring correction to one another.

  43. About 80% of Michael Brown’s questions are focused on US, what if WE…, shouldn’t WE…etc. But I am so full of joy and edified because 100% of the responses of Grace given by Paul are ALL focused on Jesus!

    Just look at the fruit that is coming from the message that Joseph Prince proclaims… every week countless people share testimonies of how they were freed from depression, miraculously healed and are in love with Jesus. Seems like good fruit if you ask me!

    The blessing is only for perfect righteousness, anything less than perfection brings the curse of the law! Jesus righteousness IS perfect and he HAS given it to us who believe in him! Therefore the blessing is ours FREELY.

    Let’s walk in this blessing and then people like Michael Brown will be wooed into the Gospel of Grace by the effortless success in everything we put our hand to. And all will know that we are called by the name of the LORD!

    Jesus is so amazing!

    • Euan- so true what you shared! “I will make you jealous by a nation without understanding.” I found there’s nothing like a joy filled, fruit filled, Spirit empowered and blessed people who everyone knows don’t deserve it and haven’t worked for it and yet are still full of Gods blessing , miracles, fruit and Spirit to make the self effort, slave driving , depressed and guilt ridden crowd jealous enough to admit us grace people are having the time of our lives.
      G-R-.A-C-E –God’s REALLYGOODPARTY At Christ’s Expense!

      God knows The only reason I continue to enjoy staying connected to the slave driving church is to taunt the slavers and make the slaving sheep jealous!

    • So well said and that is the Gospel.
      Jesus and his awesome gift to us is absolutely amazing!

      “…That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him. But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.”
      (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2‬:‭8-10‬ MSG)

  44. when doubts and questions come at me that maybe I should be living according to the Torah, and when I turn to The Lord, He gives me a song to sing and today, when reading Psalm 35, I was blessed with His amazing grace again.

  45. Great article Paul. God bless you brother!

  46. Dr. Brown actually replied to this article. However his reply shows he does not understand scriptures in its context.

    Here are my comments towards his rebuttal.

    • The issue with Dr Brown and those who view Gods economy as a performance based economy is not merely that they do not understand and interpret Scripture accurately. Their problem is that they do not KNOW GOD accurately. Like Job and his friends they held an inaccurate perception of God Himself which is why when things went south for Job both Jib and his friends assumed it was in account of some failure in Jobs performance . Even Job wanted to know what in his performance God was holding against him. Then God showed up! And Job knew that he had it all wrong because he had an inadequate view of GOD HIMSELF: “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.” (‭Job‬ ‭42‬:‭5-6‬ NASB)
      We who have embraced Jesus plus nothing equals everything have a clearer and more accurate perception of God. Dr Brown though he claims to know God has yet to SEE him. Once they see God they too will abandon their bogus performance based religion.
      No one can consistently live in a way that is inconsistent with the way the perceive GOD. “this is eternal life – that they may know THEE and your son Jesus Christ”

  47. Sometimes i think we can be splitting hairs with “progressive sanctification”.I think when many use that term,they are not saying we are perfected by human effort…they are just speaking of growing spiritually. As i have read elsewhere ,the oak tree does not become oakier,however it does grow stronger,put down roots,branch out etc. We bear fruit as we abide in the vine,certainly dont produce it ourselves.I agree with the message of be who you truly are…meaning be who you truly are in Christ.I know very little about Mr. Brown but did just recently view a debate he had,and in my view he clearly was in the right.The other gentlemen I believe,rather than genuinely seeking Gods Word and finding out who he is in Christ,was simply affirming his own sinful lifestyle,not recognizing that the same grace that saved him could also heal and deliver him. For some being who we truly are is distorted to just accept and approve strongholds in their life that are clearly sinful according to Scripture. Forgiven and forgiveable? Absolutely. Acceptable,pleasing to God,to be celebrated? Not at all…for those who desire to live worthy of their calling.

    • Much rests on the interpretation of words and phrases. The real difference is found in asking two questions. The first is, What do you want me to do? The grace preacher says, “Be holy – be who you already are in Christ.” The holiness preacher says, “Do holy – keep all the commands of the Bible/Jesus/the New Testament.” Thus the former causes you to behold Christ while the latter leads you to behold yourself. Since we are only truly changed by beholding Christ, any change brought about by the holiness preacher will be flesh-based (will-powered) and temporary.

      But the second question is the one that ends all debate: What if I don’t do what you tell me? Here the holiness preacher reveals his true colors: “You will lose your salvation.” In other words, you can undo what Christ has wrought. The grace preacher would not be so presumptious. Surely there are consequences to walking after the flesh, but undoing the promises of God is not one of them.

      The holiness preacher will always sound good in a debate with a sinner, but you can walk after the flesh doing good just as easily as doing bad.

      • Wow. Really good stuff. The thing is that, for most people, as long as you’re doing good that’s enough. If you have an earning mentality your whole walk you may go the whole time without anyone challenging it. Just like the older brother in the prodigal son story. But you’re only getting what your own effort brings out (it’s good to be good!), but never the real undiluted favor that God has for you. I’m so grateful that I’m starting to understand this.

      • Thanks Paul. I needed this reminder. I just saw JP on “Life Today” talking about this. He was saying we have more faith in what Adam than in what Christ did in that a sinner can’t undo his status but a Christian can even though Romans says “by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”

      • Gahigi- I loved JP s comment about faith. It’s a good thing Gods children are saved by Jesus grace alone and not by their faith in His grace or many of Gods children would be lost.
        However this is still the $64 question:
        “when the Son of man returns will He find faith on the earth?”

    • Every church culture – while ideally should be shaped by objective divine truth is often shaped by the culture of the world it is called out from. Those world paradigms are not deleted the moment people are transplanted into the church by divine adoption but are tightly held onto even by the leadership. Two of the nascent world paradigms which remains in the church is the existentialist notions that you can and you do in fact choose to become what you are (choose your own identity) and the other is that you can choose your identity by what you do. They both are based on the worldly axioms that you choose what makes you- you choose your identity. The French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre popularized this worldly notion. In this church culture the Beatitudes are truncated into the Doattitudes. The two bogus axioms in that are that we have free will to choose who we are and who we become. Objective biblical truth declares that we neother choose who we are nor does what we do influence or effect who we are or what we will be. Both our natural and spiritual identity are NOT by free will OR by PERSONAL CHOICE. We don’t freely choose our birth, our gender, race, intelligence, talents, family, age, genetic predispositions etc. Neither do we freely chose our new birth , our adoption, our spiritual family, our identity in Christ, our ministry calling, destiny or spiritual gifts or even our ordained path in life- these have nothing to do with our free will. The notion of free will as it relates to identity is a worldly axiom that is not even stated in the Bible but is axiomatically brought into the church from the culture of the world .

  48. The gospel is not law versus grace! Honestly the majority of so called “grace” people are just as condescending, obnoxious and nasty as their legalistic siblings. Paul said in Titus that once the true gospel is shared you don’t continue to argue with the legalistic group because it bears no fruit. The church takes one thing and runs with it, argues over it and when the next big name rises with a new theology they jump to that bandwagon. Joseph Prince makes good points yet there are times he offers opinion and doesn’t clarify its just that, his opinion. He preaches the cross, the blood which Osteen won’t touch with a ten foot pole. But Joseph Prince didn’t invent grace nor is he the “savior” who brought the message to the U.S. Les Feldick has been teaching grace for decades right out of the Bible.

    • Monica – the gospel is more than about law and grace- really? Name one aspect of the gospel, name one of aspect of redemption, of anything pertaining to life and godliness that does not have the doctrines of grace vs law at its core and foundation and fountainhead . The truth is that everything in life has at it’s core either God centered grace or human centered self effort (grace or law).
      God Himself calls The gospel of His Son “the message of grace”. God calls Himself “the God of all grace”. God’s Spirit calls Himself “the Spirit of grace.” God introduces His Son in the gospels with the most significant statement He could ever say about him: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. “(‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭14‬ NASB)
      You also mention that those who defend the gospel of grace as having the motive of arrogance . REALLY? Last time I read my Bible God forbade assigning and judging motives until he returns (I Cor 4:5). Your rather dogmatic evaluation of our motives as arrogant makes me wonder if you may have possibly missed the infamous plank in the eye. Just sayin????

      • Let me share the best kept secret in the world; Love is the essence of reality.
        At the all love is this issue :
        grace : love comes to me because of everything in the giver and nothing in myself. Vs
        Law: love comes to me because of something in me
        Therefore grace is the essence of reality .

    • Monica,

      Though I don’t agree with your opinion on how you like to classify all the posters on this blog; I do agree that that we need to not focus on individuals as if they are the extra blessed of God. I.e. The priest that takes the place of the Holy Spirit.

      But then, it can be an unfair allegation when people simply agree with a poster or a blogger, or with a shepherd. I do believe your point could be made with a bit more kindness and with a little less accusatory statement, possibly a little less condesending. I think you will agree based on your statement ” … people are just as condescending, obnoxious and nasty as…” I mean I’m sure you don’t want that statement to be pointed back to yourself.

      That said, your concern that some people might need to be careful is well taken.
      Thank you for sharing

  49. Thanks Paul for the response, I would not disagree with anything you said.If Mr. Brown believes you can lose salvation,I certainly think he is wrong and frustrates grace if he teaches that. In the particular debate i viewed however,Mr. Browns view was more in line with the teachings of grace than the other gentlemen,who certainly did not see himself as a sinner.I felt the other gentlemen distorted grace in order to approve his lifestyle…one in which Scripture has nothing good or approving to speak of in the old testament,the new testament,in teachings before the Mosaic law,in the Mosaic law,in the teachings of Jesus while here on earth,or in the teachings of grace after His ascension. When believers “use” grace to affirm their sinful preferences,they too are frustrating grace.Grace should help us be holy,not excuse carnal living. Even if we live carnally,i know we never lose our salvation,yet we suffer loss.I doubt that any of us who have ever gone through periods of carnal living where we were not in fellowship with our lord,are glad with the results or consequences.

    • The grace of God teaches us to say no to ungodliness, so if someone comes along preaching a grace that teaches us to say yes to ungodiness, it’s not the grace of God.

  50. What is sad about it is that when I imagine Mr Brown having a conversation with Yeshua, I can hear His answer to Mr Brown. The same one He gave to His disciples. Can you imagine Jesus telling you “go and bring pastor prince or anybody else’s ministry down.” ?
    This is not a genuine atitude of love, we are to build each others up. YESHUA SAID: every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined…”
    This atitude is an atitude of what I read the other day, and it is what is happening in our days among the so called “christians”: the spirit of Leviathan, pride, jealousy and envy.
    “Leviathan has come at you in the form or right-ness or righteousness.  He is declaring to be right, claiming to be righteous,  asserting to stand up for what’s right, not caring who he puts in his jaws to ruin.” A spirit with many heads:
    Each head of Leviathan speaks to a different person, whispering in ears, convincing each other they are right.  Through rumour, gossip, and even doctrinal error and disputing, he convinces believers that they are right and their leadership is wrong.  In this way he incites a very subtle rebellion and works against our unity in the faith.  When unity starts to break down in relationships around you, you may be experiencing an attack from Leviathan.”
    Trying to have a bite in [becoming famous by destroying someone else’s] success is not a calling from God.

    • Ed- my experience has led me to believe that there remains a hidden monster behind most failures to reject performance orientation and the fear based compulsion towards spiritual perfectionism . That hidden monster is INNER SHAME. Shame is a mostly hidden yet painful and powerfully toxic emotion that causes even redeemed saints to believe that regardless of how many times they hear they are acceptable IN CHRIST as they are – they persist in perceiving themselves as fundamentally flawed, unacceptable, undesirable and unworthy of Gods redemptive love and promises. That shame is so powerful and painful it remains hidden but it manifests in the fear of rejection and abandonment especially in relation to father figures – God being the biggest Daddy of them all. The other manifestation of shame is hyper performance orientation, perfectionism and a sense of self appointed entitlement to reject, criticize and evaluate the performance of others- especially those who refuse to play the “I will be acceptable and loveable when I perform perfectly .”
      Fear of rejection and anger and criticism towards others are the universal symptomatic emotions of shame. This emotion is universal in all of Adams children (who also hid in shame from Gods pursuing love). But there is an epidemic of hidden shame in modern church culture. A church culture where prominent church leaders are the greatest victims of their own self imposed hidden shame

      • Barry–What you wrote really spoke to my heart. I never thought about it like this before. It breaks my heart to see God’s already-loved children trying to gain His love through self-performance like God has a merit badge system. They see themselves without seeing Jesus IN them (as God sees them). And Jesus IN them will change them–but from the inside-out (which sometimes takes a while). The way churches have portrayed life after salvation, though, I understand how this confusion and guilt and condemnation has taken root. Thanks so much for your post!

      • Thank you Debi- I’m just recently enrolled in the Lords personal class on the role of shame as it relates to the message of grace but I sense God showing me that even with grasping “Jesus in me makes me acceptable etc” shame can remain lurking and destroying our faith from underneath. Shame truncates the message of grace like this: ” you can Cloth me with Jesus but I remain a pig in Kings robes” or “Jesus in me – YES! but I am still worthless. Unacceptable and unloveable” Shame deceives us into believing that Jesus death and indwelling GIVES us value and MAKES us loveable. The Bible on the other hand declares that Jesus death and indwelling REVEALS AND CONFIRMS OUR INTRINSIC VALUE AND SHOUTS AT US THAT WE ARE ALREADY WORTHY OF GOD DYING FOR US !
        The price an expert is willing to pay for an object reveals it’s true value.
        The gospel adds nothing to our value- it merely reveals our objective intrinsic value.
        A priceless value that shame refuses to acknowledge.

      • I can think of a few people I know personally who are dealing with shame–buried deeply, but shame that greatly affects their perception of themselves and the way they handle life (including their understanding of the fullness of grace). Good word!

      • Thank you Barry for your words.
        Once we are adopted as God’s children through faith in Yeshua Messiah, we are “new creatures”, we are not Adm’s children anymore.We are God’s children, bought with a price: Yeshua’s blood. We are given a new heart, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. We are sealed. He is the grantee of our new identity. We are God’s children, no one’s else. The Father will take full responsibility to makes us holy, to teach us, protect us until the day He will take us to live with Him. As parents we do not like anyone to interfere, teach and provide for our children, neither does our Heavenly Father. His promise is that He will gives us everything that we need to live a satisfying life. If Yeshua Himself says that He did not loose any one of those the Father has given Him, the Father also will protect us till the end . HE WILL NOT ABANDON US OR GIVE UP ON US. WHICH KIND OF PARENT WOULD HE BE? . It is like when Jesus tells us that He is the good Shepherd right? Sheep don’t go hunting, or go looking for the wolves. The perfect Shepherd takes care of them. He feeds them, protects them & heals them when they are hurt. LET THE GOOD SHEPHERD TAKE CARE THE WOLVES…

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