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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89 Comments on Some honest answers for Michael Brown

  1. Its so sad that people bash our jesus therefore GOD..

  2. The problem I see with the message of hypergrace is not addressed in these Q&A. The problem I see is that for the majority of people, only the initial message is primarily heard, and all the explanations are not. If you have a church of 2000 people hearing the message that it is the Grace of God that saves you, and there is no expectation of God from you, 1975 of those people will run out and think they can live any way they desire. Therefore, when the primary message is GRACE and NO SIN, that is what thousands of believers run with. They think they can live like the world with no consequences. They do not sin any more, or at least God doesn’t pay attention to their acts in the flesh. The fruit of the whole message has become worldly, sinful people who believe they will spend eternity in heaven because they heard the GRACE message that it is Jesus and not them.
    In fact, I compare the message with the indulgences of Martin Luther’s time. Free to sin, not free from sin.

    • Wow! That is such a biased and uneducated response to Grace. I was saved by Grace 35 years ago. In all the messages I’ve heard over the years, I’ve never heard one preacher declare what you just stated. Nor have I ever walked away thinking I can do whatever I want to do without any consequences.

      My pilot light of excitement for Jesus was turned up to full blast when I began to understand the “Hyper(super abundant ) Grace message”. I had only know it as The Gospel up until Steve Hill and Michael Brown labeled it Hyper-Grace. Paul Ellis, in his excellent book The Hyper Grace Gospel, sheds light on Romans 5 where the Apostle Paul described grace as super, super abundant grace in the literal Greek. So it really should be labeled Hyper Hyper Grace! Because that is exactly what it is it is over and beyond and to Infinity and past anything our imagination can even come up with!

      For the last three years literally I’ve listened to and spent reading hundreds of hours worth of Grace teaching. Once again never once has anyone ever said or come away with what you have described! The blindness that you have exhibited by your comment can only be taken away by revelation of the Holy Spirit. Spend some time meditating in the actual message of the gospel that Paul and the other apostles teach. Isolate the message of the gospel from the other messages and reproof’s that are in there and the excitement and joy that only the Holy Spirit can bring through this message will be yours!

  3. Donald,
    Would you mind quoting the study where you got these numbers?

    And could you clarify Hypergrace church, as compared to what? I mean I’ve been in churches where Grace was sorta taught but performance was emphasized. I knew many who “followed” the rules later to leave and even claim atheism (trust me, these were not hypergrace churches). It seems you are insinuating that the hypergrace theology is faring worse that the performance based religions.
    I would say that if you are basing the truth of a message on what man does with it; I would be hard pressed to accept that premise. Would you be comfortable with me evaluating what you believe based on how nonbelievers interpret what you taught. I know people from a works based church that would say they are saved because they recited some pre-written prayer and got baptized. Again not from a grace- based church.

    Maybe this will put you at ease:
    “They think they can live like the world with no consequences.”
    I told believe that; I hate sin
    “They do not sin any more, or at least God doesn’t pay attention to their acts in the flesh.”
    I don’t believe that. Gods unconditional love is mind boggling. That he chose to remember my sins no more – takes me to my knees.
    “sinful people who believe they will spend eternity in heaven because they heard the GRACE message that it is Jesus and not them.”
    Are you referring to “believers” or “unbelievers”? Believers in the sense of people who the God’s Word is True,Just, and Beautiful. (See discussion above.

    Gods Gospel has always been abused. That’s what satans does.

    Thank you,

    and maybe you could specify which specific church you are referencing. Was this study of a hypergrace church?

  4. Wayne Nickel // February 16, 2015 at 4:06 pm // Reply

    “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.”
    Actually some dear friends of mine have dismissed or should I say render the Jesus’s words as less relevant as it is before the cross. They say that is what JP has been teaching. I listen to JP on occasion and I did not hear this. They listen to JP all the time and that is what they claim he teaches. So whether or not that is what JP intends, that is what some of his listeners are understanding.

    • Wayne I for one listen to Joseph Prince very often. I can assure you this is not something he teaches. He does suggest however, as do many other Grace teachers, that Jesus’ words must be taken in context. Remembering that His words were still while under the Old Covenant of the Law. Simply just because it’s in Red letters doesn’t mean it’s necessarily for us(Believers) today.

      • Wayne Nickel // February 17, 2015 at 2:14 pm //

        Hi Felix. While words were spoken before the cross, the Bible is quite clear that he was not preaching Old covenant law but all his teaching were about the gospel. He further stated how the Holy Spirit would remind them of ALL his teachings. If JP is teaching contrary to this than we have error. That would also be contrary to the teaching of Charles Spurgeon and other grace teachers.

      • What do you make of “if you deny me before men I will deny you before my Father in heaven”. and then Peter denied knowing him 3 times and with cursing and swearing?

  5. Wayne…..Let me show you a couple of links from E2R and what Paul Ellis suggests on this subject:

    https://escapetoreality.org/2013/11/19/how-to-read-jesus/

    https://escapetoreality.org/2012/01/30/do-everything-jesus-said/

    https://escapetoreality.org/2012/01/14/the-greatest-law-preacher/

    https://escapetoreality.org/2011/04/07/chop-off-your-hand/

    Those are a few on here. You can read and decide for yourself. Again context is key.

  6. I’ve heard Joseph prince say “do good get good do bad get bad” which is probably why Dr brown and others ask about what we believe about consequences for sin. And that statement along with others implies there’s no consequences. There would be consequences for the things Abraham Isaac Jacob and many others did yet they experienced grace. I should be dead yet I’ve experienced the same thing. But please don’t tell me I just said go and sin. So my question is how are consequences compatible with grace?

    • Gahigi- it’s not merely about the consequences of sin to us. It’s about what our sin costs others and God. We need to see sin for what I really is – a failure to show love to and the resulting real pain and suffering we cause them by that unlove- not seeing sin as merely some kind of abstract theological concept or impersonal divine judicial issue we must reckon with. We are so fundamentally narcissistic in the modern church that we can’t even see the real relational cost of sin . This is why we are so myopically obsessed with the effects and costs of sin to US personally. Namely- how grace relates to sin for us personally- we need a reality check here: grace or no grace our sin hurts God and others ! That alone should be the end of all arguments. I want to shout out loud in the church : “SIN IS NOT JUST ABOUT YOU!”

  7. Savedbygrace // February 20, 2015 at 1:47 pm // Reply

    How can JP be leading ppl to God as michael says & is thankful for….but yet JP Teaching is leading ppl astray…..Jesus said to the Pharisees when they said Jesus was healing ppl using evil. Jesus responded a house divided cannot stand. (Matt 12) it’s never good for us to call good…evil…The work of the spirit…..the work of lies…..I know though this good news you are preaching Paul……is goin to spread like wild fire…..and signs & miracles will follow! Keep up the Kingdom work!!

  8. Having been a listener of Dr. Brown’s since around 2010, and having finally learned more about the Good News (from prayer and reading, not from any human: most Grace teachers seem to be Calvinists, and don’t tend to have answers for what concerns me since I’m not one) I have to say that I’ve never *once* heard him speak the Good News I’ve learned from God—in fact, not a single word he’s said has ever brought me closer to Jesus.

    I’m convinced the charge that he walks in a “subtle legalism” is true, because it’s exactly what he teaches others.

    The Gospel God has showed me gets me into fellowship with God *apart from merit*; thus, I get sickened by the fact that Dr. Brown wants to lead anyone to the Lord. I mean, his “Good News” sounds more like, “Do good, or else,” than “He did good, so rejoice you can know Him without doing anything good—and knowing Him is the power to be righteous.”

    I would not suggest anyone learn the Gospel from Dr. Brown because he just hasn’t shown he knows it all that well—at least not on his radio program.

    • I mean, I think it is correct to tell people to be righteous; however, we have to troubleshoot issues according to a sort of procedure—by steps.

      The first step (especially important in such a culture as the one we live in—one which I am convinced has not been taught the *pure* Good News which affords us access into grace wherein we would otherwise have been “standing”) needs to be, “How is your access to the Lord? How is your faith? What does it consist of? Tell me its parts.” (because, without that, you’re just never going to be righteous).

      I feel like anyone who has access to grace will also have access to righteousness (“…abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness…” + “…access by faith into this grace wherein we *stand*”). I’m not saying I believe in sinless perfectionism, but I think we are skipping a very important step when we don’t address the contents of someone’s beliefs first. I mean, you leave people (like me) *struggling for life*—trying, under duress, to “do” any “obedience” (preach the Gospel, fast, pray, read, be more devoted, sing worship songs, etc.,) they think the Lord wants them to do to somehow be “pleasing” and get back into fellowship with the Lord *when it’s a free gift*!

      • Thor- you are right in saying that “our” faith enables us to enjoy in our everyday living the fullness and completeness that we already posses in Christ it is critical that we realize that without exception the scripture teaches that this faith is never something that we can produce, induce or apprehend . Biblical faith (the faith by which we enjoy and apprehend any of blessings of our objective fullness in Christ) is a gift from God. Faith in Jesus, faith in His grace, faith in his redemptive work must be given as a free to each one by God Himself. For this reason to ask a man to have faith is to ask of him that which he cannot produce.
        For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭3‬ NASB)
        For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; (‭Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭8‬ NASB)
        “The righteous man shall live by HIS faith” (Hab. 2:4)
        In the meantime Christ alone is sufficient. The gospel isn’t Jesus plus faith or even Jesus plus grace rather the authentic gospel is Jesus plus nothing equals everything.

      • Barry,
        I think you and I believe nearly the same thing; where we diverge is I believe when the Word is preached (even if “preached” is defined by your own “Jesus plus nothing”)–if it is by the Spirit of Grace–Grace becomes available for people to believe. I do not believe men can produce faith, but I believe men can receive or reject Grace and Faith when it is presented to them. Faith comes from the Spirit of Faith; but if Grace really were “irresistible”, and Faith were merely the action of this irresistible Grace, then no one could ever be deceived (moved away from faith) after believing and being justified–but this is not what we see in Scripture (e.g., the Galatians were deceived by people preaching a message which did not issue from God Galatians 5:8, the result of which was that some of them were severed from Christ’s Grace whereby He saves from sin and wrath on sin Matthew 1:21, Romans 1:16-18, 7:7-24).

        “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ;” but Hebrews 3:12,13 says some people “harden their heart” when they hear God’s Voice speak, because they are unrepentantly indulging in sin and are deceived and hardened by their refusal to be repentant and broken about it.

      • Thor- if they are decieved and do not respond in faith it is because they have no faith and since as the Scrioture declares faith is a gift from God ( “and this not from yourselves . It is the gift of God” (Eph 2:8) then the only reason they have no faith is because God has chosen not to give them that gift.
        All those God chooses by His grace to save he gives the gift of faith to and all those who believe are justified and those he justifies He Glorifies . Romans 5;1; Romans 8:30

      • Barry,
        Sorry that’s not going to cut it: the Galatians were saved by faith and had received the Spirit [Gal 3:1-5], but were cut off for default unbelief toward truth but active faith in lies [Gal 1:6,3:1-15, 5:2-8]. Yes, God gives “gifts” and then says to fight to possess those gifts [Jer 18:3; 1 Ti 6:12].

        I am not convinced one way or the other about your definition of election since there is evidence both for it and against it.

        We probably won’t be able to get to the bottom of this in this limited space.

        I disagree with you, and you disagree with me. That is fine.

      • Daniel – I liked your comments – I was reminder of this verse :
        Let us therefore, as many as are mature , have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. (‭Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭15-16‬ NASB) after almost 60 years of walking with Jesus I don’t just take it by faith any more that I am nothing , can do nothing and can come up with nothing and will put myself into a situation like the Galations where I deserve to be cut off and I no longer have to take it by faith that Jesus plus nothing equals everything – I know it by experience.

      • *[Gal 1:6, 3:1-5, 5:2-8]
        *[Josh 18:3]

      • Thor,

        Just for the record; don’t think that all are in agreement on this forum; I for one would say absolutely faith is a gift. It is a gift He gives to those He loves. I believe He loves all of His creation. But then, I’m not “of Calvin”. 🙂

        Don’t push for consensus, just seek Truth.

      • Barry,
        1. Again, you are “preaching” “Jesus plus nothing”, but if no one *believes* “Jesus plus nothing”, they will not benefit from it; it is only from *submitting* to that message that someone will get any benefit out of it–making faith absolutely vital to your message and not of secondary or tertiary importance.

        2. Though I’m glad you have walked with the Lord for a long time, I do not put my trust in greatness of “years” (e.g., “60 years of walking with the Lord”); I only trust in the Word of God. If I did trust greatness of “years”, I would not believe the Bible but men–and this is not the way to get the greatest amount of Grace.

        God Bless you as you remain in Christ

      • Neither faith nor any other aspect of our salvation is ancillary. Faith is essential BUT biblical faith which is sourced and given by God, and exercised by the believer, becomes his own, and by it he lives; not upon it, but by it upon Christ the object of it; from whom, in a way of believing, he derives his spiritual life, and all the comforts of it.
        Saving faith while essential to salvation and essential to appropriating and enjoying every morsel of Gods redemptive blessings -is NOT another work that WE must or can come up with (biblical faith is always a gift of God- God himself persuading us of His love and works until we trust Him- it is the faith that God gives us as a gift through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus (II Pet. 1:3)
        And it is not faith in faith but faith in the object of our faith which is Jesus.
        While EVERYTHING IS REQUIRED and nothing is ancillary to our salvation Jesus plus nothing equals everything because Jesus supplies EVERYTHING and we are nothing and supply nothing.
        Jesus plus anything equals Law! Jesus plus Law equals NOTHING!

      • Thor, you’re speaking of faith as if it is something that you bring that makes the message important. Without your faith, You say the message is not relevant unless you believe it. “it’s of no benefit”. Where in that is true, for each individual The truth of the message still remains valid and accurate regardless of each individual’s response to the message. There in lies it’s power. It’s all God. Jesus plus nothing equals everything. He is everything you need. If you try and make faith as something that you bring to the table that completes his power, you pollute the message! That message carries no power in itself.
        The message of the gospel stands on its own without your faith. He makes that so clear by letting you understand that even the faith you have you did not manufacture from within yourself. You are thinking of faith as initiating from within you. As if you measured the set of facts and determined them to be accurate therefore you have exhibited faith. In reality all that is is an empirical approach to truth. No different then determining the parameters and reality of gravity or any other natural element or force.
        Faith is when we look at an unperceivable truth from a natural standpoint and see it from a super natural perception. Gods perspective. The only way to see from Gods perspective is for him to give you that perspective. This faith can only be given and not obtained empirically from the measuring and weighing of a set of facts.
        For example when Jesus asked Peter who did he think Jesus was? Jesus made it clear that his answer did not come from within himself but from God.
        Faith involves an encounter with God. How we respond to that encounter reveals to us and everyone else whether or not we received what he so freely gave.
        In our western Greek mindset this presents a logical problem, The problem is this type of data cannot be weighed and measured. It can only be received and experienced. We get to taste and see how good God is!

      • M&M – that is such an enlightening explanation to me. I realize now why when (like every good German scholar)I attempt to reason my way into believing God’s promises (by stacking the empirical evidence up in the hope of finally being able to believe and appropriate it) I always end up with little or no real faith. But when I simply look away from myself like a simple untaught child up into the face of Jesus for Him to impart His own faith into me I find myself spontaneously and effortlessly believing His promises. It seems our own faith somehow gets in the way of enjoying the faith of Jesus in us much like our own righteousness or effort gets in the way of us enjoying Jesus righteousness and power. Thanks for this excellent and helpful insight!

      • Barry, thank you for those kind words.

      • M&M & Barry,
        We’re not going to solve anything here: you’re going to keep “misunderstanding” and misrepresenting my position (because it is “convenient” for your argument), and we’re going to have to wait 24 hours for each and every message to get through.

        I’ll not be wasting my time any more.
        Thanks

      • Thor,I am sorry for misunderstanding you. I must admit I did have a hard time trying to understand what you were saying. Based on your comments you do have a vibrant and growing relationship with Jesus. That is what gives life it’s excitement! I’m sorry if anything I said was water to your enthusiasm and fire. With a name like Thor I can’t imagine that slowing you down a bit. I know that you would never allow my words to do that in your world. But the thought that it might’ve done it a little, greatly bothers me. I do enjoy your enthusiasm though. I look forward to more of your comments centered in Jesus.

    • Thor,
      I am in agreement with M&M. I was a tad confused; but have enjoyed your posts.

      Even if i didn’t agree, I noted how respectfully you presented your points; and I appreciated that. .

      For what it’s worth; I can’t recall a post by M&M that I didn’t appreciate (though I’m sure we differ somewhere 🙂 ). I have also noted (by my best judgement) that, though pointed, his posts are kind and not meant to sound condesending (which is one if the reasons I appreciate his posts).

      Hopefully, in light of this; you will feel comfortable to share your views.

  9. Actually being aware of the bondage, and lack of power, that he wants to bring me under makes me furious with him.

  10. THors gonna get out that big hammer look out

    • FYI I didn’t mean anything by “Thor”; it’s just my middle name (if my middle name were something else I could have used that one).

    • Here’s a “hammer” God showed me (His Word is a “hammer”) through prayer and study:

      The way to leave God is to leave His Law; the way to return is by returning to His Law.
      Returning to God is as simple as returning to His Law [Mal 3:7-10].

      We see the Galatians suffered the consequences of disobeying God’s Law when Paul says, “I am astonished you are so quickly deserting Him Who called you in the grace of Christ and are *going after another Gospel*…”.

      The Galatians departure from the Gospel was the same as departure from God!

      Obedience to the Law of Faith (i.e., receiving the Glorious Light of the Gospel, which Light dispels the Darkness [both Light and Darkness work their own works 1 J 3:8]) will unite you with God; disobedience to the Law of Faith will disconnect you from God.

      God is His Word! Naturally, unifying yourself with His Word will be unifying yourself with God Who is His Word! This is extremely Good News for those who long to be with Him!

      • Some Scriptural bases for my assertion that “faith = ‘obedience’ to God’s Law, and unbelief = ‘disobedience’ to God’s Law”: Jn 3:36 ESV (“believes the Son” is the logical opposite of “disobeys the Son”); Ro 1:5 (“obedience of faith”), 3:27 (“Law of Faith”), 10:3 (“have not submitted [have rebelled against] God’s righteousness”); 2 Th 1:8 (“obey the Gospel”); Gal 5:7 (“obeying the Truth”).

      • Here’s another “hammer” [Jer 23:29] I didn’t know [Jer 33:3]:

        The Darkness wants to get you to believe and falsely confess that God is holding your feet over the fire–threatening you to “work”–so that you will have a basis for boasting that you have to “work” to save yourself (or “get yourself out of trouble”). Boasting cannot be done away with by a Law of Works [Ro 3:27]! Sin separates from God [Is 59:2; Ja 1:14]! If we want to return to God, we must have victory over sin.

        This is why the victory is the Light: faith in the Glorious Light of the Good News. Faith in the Light puts Light in your heart, which means Darkness cannot enter or work its works in you.

        What is the confession of Light which overthrows agent-of-separation darkness-of-boasting’s power?

        “I am NOT in trouble with God! I am perfectly OK with God! He’s not out to get me! This claim is substantiated by God’s work in Jesus Christ! He loves me! This is God’s message!”

        This will save you from Darkness (and its works) by enveloping you in Light [Ep 6:16].

  11. Dr. Brown at odds with Joseph Prince? Almost as relevant as Richard Dawkins objecting to Scientology.

    • Not sure you want to compare Joseph Prince with Scientology. LOL

      • Just pointing out that neither one has a message worth hearing.

      • Dave, the vast majority here disagree with you on that.

      • Dave,
        I was jk 😉

      • Bob,
        I think he was talking about Dr. Brown.
        Personally, I don’t follow either of them.

      • Thor: Jesus plus nothing vs. Jesus plus something else is always the core issue in whether one has deviated from the biblical gospel or not. Grace, faith, law, works etc are all peripheral to this central issue of the authentic gospel: Jesus plus nothing equals everything. When you have Jesus you have everything including faith, grace, fulfillment of the law and every other issue men argue over. Having Jesus you have everything God will ever require of you. It’s about having Jesus and Jesus having you. Nothing else matters.
        “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;” (Colossians‬ ‭2‬:‭9-10‬ NASB)
        Jesus plus nothing equals completion, fullness, plenitude and all sufficiency for life and for eternity. Jesus is the pearl of great price which we make a wise investment when we sell out every other spiritual virtue and blessing to get.
        Is Jesus plus nothing enough for you?

      • I know you were addressing Thor, but that was so well said I just had to comment.
        Jesus is not just enough. He is everything! Not just filling to the rim, but overflowing creating a sea. He is the end to all arguments. As you said. Comments like mine seem exhibit little practicality. Although the gospel is applied so practically in life in its full revelation, the word (practical) just seems so dull in comparison to all that Jesus is.

      • M&M – thanks and amen! What don’t we have in Jesus? What blessings are we missing in “He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Eph 1:3)? What completion is lacking in “you are complete in him” (Col 2: ) What faith of our own do we need to provide apart from, ” To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: (‭2 Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬)?
        If Jesus plus nothing isn’t enough the Bible is lying and we are all still hopelessly lost.

      • Barry,
        “Jesus plus nothing” is a concept you are declaring, which you are also calling me to “believe”; therefore, faith is not one bit ancillary to your “Jesus plus nothing” message.

      • Thor- Can I ask what you believe you need to add to Jesus to secure or maintain any of Gods redemptive blessings ?

      • Barry,
        This forum is too limited. We’re not going to get to the bottom of these things here.

        Be blessed as you remain in Christ

    • Dave,
      Were you saying Dr. Brown AND Joseph Prince are not worth hearing?

      Personally, I think could recommend them to OTHERS for different purposes (each person has different needs and comes from a different background), but I’m not really interested in hearing either very much out of either of them either.

      • Honestly, I do not believe that Dr. Michael Brown is a believer. His views are quite contrary to to the message of the cross. He makes no distinction between law and grace, and though he denies it, he is preaching replacement theology. His messages on youtube, given at IHOP, are deplorable.

        I have also spent a great deal of time reading and listening to JP’s message as well. While he appears, on the surface, to share the gospel of grace, he strips it all away when he makes the motivation for belief to receive something more from Jesus than what we already have in it’s fulness. He has not yet shed his mystical “word of faith” fallacies from his repertoire, and therefore reveals that his heart is still set on earthly things.

      • Dave- whether Dr Brown belongs to Jesus or not only God knows but clearly in his ostentatious public pressuring people to serve, to work and to perform by the motivation of fear he is playing into the sinister work and hands of the devil and the elementary spirits of the world. The catch phrases to watch from a preacher for sinister inspiration are such as these: “must, have to, had better, or else, need to, demand” and the like (sadly the 6 most oft repeated phrases from the most church pulpits in this generation ).
        Wherever you have fear, threats, accusations or guilt employed as a motivating influence of Gods elect people there you have anti Christian, antagonistic and sinister forces at work.
        See Heb. 2:14-15; Gal. 4:9; Col. 2:13-15.

      • Dave,
        I would disagree with you but OK I was just trying to clarify because I misunderstood you.

  12. Why have a comment section if you are just looking for responses that agree with you?

  13. Hi Paul
    do you believe there are ever any deliterious consequences of disobeying God’s commands that ARE DIRECTLY CAUSED by God?
    It is argued that He could act in this way to protect people from the actions of others or to deter us from actions that would be harmful for ourselves.
    Is it safe to say if it’s harmful in any way to His child it’s not God who caused it.
    Blesssings.

    • Hello Lewis,
      I do not presume the right, intimacy or expertise to answer for Paul. I even had to look up the word “deleterious”😎. However if you’ll go and read some of the posts under the topic of punishment, consequences, judgment or the like (I’m not sure how he lists it). You will find the goodness of God described in these posts. In addition you, will find that Jesus took the judgment and punishment for all of mankind for any breaking of the Law and any other sin a person has done or will do. God is God. He is righteous and good and can do whatever he sees fit. However since Jesus was punished for this, it would not be just of him to implement deleterious consequences towards a lawbreaker.

  14. Kintu George William // March 15, 2015 at 3:52 pm // Reply

    Paul, i am a pastor who has just embraced the grace message within a year or so. Of the past, i had been preaching a mixture of a gospel, which is not a gospel of our Lord at all. But this past year, my life and the entire church have experienced a real transformation. Your web has been one of my great teachers and i really appreciate. Keeep on, we are being uplifted and enjoying at the same time.

    • That’s wonderful news! Thanks for sharing.

    • Hooray Jesus!! Hooray Paul!! Hooray Kintu!! Take that Satan! That’s the second best news I’ve heard all day!😎👏🎉🎶💥I know you’re asking, “what could be better?” The Good news @ Jesus!!😎

      • This is good news indeed! I am beginning to realize as I read through Gods word looking to see if their is grace for churches which have little or no revelation of the sufficiency of Jesus grace. The amazing good news I am discovering is that Jesus grace plus nothing is still more than sufficient for churches that are steeped in religious self effort, selfish ambition and pride, divisions and schisms based upon every religious personality, legalism, politics, gifting and performance orientation. A perfect example of the modern self effort churches with little or no revelation of the all sufficiency if the grace of Jesus is the Corinthian church. Yet look at what God says about such a church: “that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Corinthians‬ ‭1‬:‭5-8‬ NASB)
        There truly is grace abounding for Gods people who don’t believe in grace.
        Can we extend grace to them as well?

  15. “But don’t confuse behaviour with identity. You are not defined by what you do.”

    Awesome! Now I can get drunk and bang my secretary – guilt free! And I’m not a drunkard or an adulterer, because you can’t pin me with any silly, old-time, guilt-laden label.
    And if anyone points out that getting drunk makes me a drunkard, and that having sex outside of marriage makes me an adulterer, I’ll tell them this: “Shove your lame definitions up your a-hole. I accepted Jesus as my saviour and I can do anything I f-king want to.”

    • You are not defined by what you do but a tree is known by its fruit. A child of God wouldn’t talk this way. Running after sin is ignorant and senseless for someone who has tasted the living bread and drunk the living water. I don’t expect you really want to do any of this stuff. You’re just the latest in a 2000-year-long line of critics who have sought to dismiss God’s awesome grace as a license to sin.

    • Papacito,

      Does your secretary know that this is what’s in your heart? “Awesome! Now I can get drunk and bang my secretary – guilt free!”
      Or does your secretary know that this is in your heart; but you don’t follow up on it because you have to obey a law?

      You didn’t give us enough info to help you; that said, keep reading teachings by grace-based pastors and maybe you can get a handle on these thoughts.

  16. Donna Branch // April 27, 2015 at 1:49 pm // Reply

    The Lord did not promise to remove the church’s candlestick placement for no reason. Yes God forgives we believers perpetually but nowhere in the Bible does it say you can live like a sinner but it’s okay you’re always forgiven, you have to admit your mistake and repent to the Lord. Jesus never told any of the Apostles or anyone else that a believer could do whatever they wanted and it’s alright. Jesus always talked of the unprofitable servants and wicked servants that will “have their portion with the hypocrites.” The Apostles writings warn against people claiming to be Christians but use their freedom in Christ as a license to commit salacious. God does not wink at sin and won’t hold guiltless people who exploit His Son’s Sacrifice.

    • No true born again believer wakes up every day desiring to ‘live like a sinner.’ But Christians do sin every day. Every believer does.

  17. Paul I am confused. On one hand you say punishment of sin are void under the new covenant, but you also talk about how sin is bad for you and will destroy your life. Are you talking about an unbeliever?

    • No. Sin is like gravity – it’s effects are universal. Believer or not, if you sin or sow to the flesh, you will reap destruction (Gal 6:8). If you sleep with another woman, you’ll destroy your marriage. If you drink and drive, you could hurt a lot of people. This has no more to do with divine judgment than falling down does.

  18. You know, on the day that I repented and accepted the cross I was so changed in an instant, so humbled and grateful that I went three years living in forgiveness, love and holiness, because I couldn’t help it. I didn’t have much doctrine, but I believed once saved always saved,despite the fact that my church didn’t, but I was never afraid. I held onto the gospel I received by personal revelation. But then stuff about losing salvation got in and my faith was destroyed. After a long old battle, I think today could be my last as a Christian, I’ve had enough. Half of Christianity believes grace, half not grace plus works. None of you are united. Half of the protestants effectively have Catholic Armenian beliefs!! I lived a more holy life when I believed that all my sins including future ones were forgiven, than when I believed that my obedience was needed on top of the cross. The former was all grace and gratitude. The latter is a sucky, inferior, joyless salvation where the grace is half as much as the first one, and where fear dominates. If I end up in hell, then I lay the charge to all these holiness preachers who have shipwrecked my faith.

    • Hi Shaun, I’m not sure if this is a legitimate rant or half-satirical, so forgive me if I misread you. I don’t think you’ll end up in hell because of bad stuff others have preached, but you’ll make yourself miserable if you swallow their poison. You seem to have started from a good place. Why not return there?

  19. I just posted a reply (my version ofcourse) on Dr. Browns webpage and then I saw you have done the same 🙂 and am glad that I find myself in the same page as you on on most issues 🙂 Thank you for the fight of faith you do in the front lines with regards to this subject. I really believe this is God’s response to the immorality and temptations in our current age (and in need of a sort of reformation) and the endtime revival will most definitely be rooted in grace and not law. A church emphasizing law and legalism is exactly what the enemy wants – “the power of sin is the law”(1Cor 15:56).

  20. Hey, Paul. I just posted on Dr Brown’s site a response to his latest article about false shepherds. I think Michael is missing what I’ve termed the second half of the gospel. I have read some of Michael’s blogs and posted there once I believe. But until God directed me to your site , I had never heard of you. God used you to show me the second half of the gospel–how to live out life In the here and now.
    Thanks for being so accessible to us. I haven’t felt this free or loved by God to this degree –even when I received Christ. Reading the Bible through the lens of the second half of the gospel has brought new life –the abundant life that Jesus promised.

  21. Paul’s response to the 1st Q assumes something that Michael Brown does not believe: that our obedience is done outside of Christ. (As a colleague of Dr. Brown, I can say this with confidence.) All obedience of believers is in Christ. Outside of Christ no work is of lasting value for the one who performs it. The question remains, are believers required – in Christ and through the enabling of the Spirit, which is of course, by grace – to obey God’s commands? If they do not, will there be some loss, not in regards to salvation, but in regards to relationship? If a husband cheats on his wife and she forgives him, he may remain married, but is there not still a loss in relationship that must be recovered?

  22. Paul’s answer to #5 is a straw man argument. I agree with what he says there. However, that was not Michael Brown’s question. Progressive sanctification is the daily progress of the believer being transformed into the image of Christ. This is entirely the work of the Holy Spirit, but believers who disobey and do not seek God do not grow as others do. Paul said as we behold, or contemplate Christ, we are transformed into his image (2 Cor 3:18). This implies that those who do not focus their attention on Jesus do not receive the same transformation. This is not a work of the flesh, but of the Spirit. But you have to be in the Spirit’s presence for him to perform his work. Even coming into his presence is the believer’s response to grace, but there is a difference between responding to grace and resisting it. even believers can resist God’s grace, and if we are honest, we will admit we do this quite often.

  23. I believe hyper grace, as it is called, is the end times deception. Separate actions, thoughts, from consequences. It is a doctrine from hell. Jesus said, take up your cross and follow me, whoever does not, is not worthy of me. True grace brings you to the cross, saves you there, and then enables you to take up your cross and run the race. Nothing less, nothing more.

    • You of course have the freedom to believe whatever you want. That doesn’t make it right! Any doctorine with Grace in the name is probably not originating from hell. Grace by definition is the unearned favor, blessings from God. Receiving from God something we did not deserve or merit. Not a teaching coming off the lips of old Lucifer. When you hear anyone under the label of grace teaching you will hear Jesus as the central focus. Because Grace incarnate is Jesus.
      Although you will hear a lot of sermons on “take up your cross and follow me” by the religious teachers of Christianity, The post cross, crucifixion teaching that Paul received from Jesus was that those of us in Christ “are” crucified with Jesus. Jesus took up the cross and paid for our sins; your attempts are not necessary, nor are they adequate.
      Since Grace is all about what Jesus did and not on your efforts, it makes one wonder about someone taking an anti-Grace stance or anti-Christ stance! And anti-Grace stance would be an anti-Christ stance originating from the pit of hell.

    • “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!””
      ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭2:20-21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  24. Marc Chopinsky // March 2, 2016 at 8:51 pm // Reply

    I know Mike personally and your responses to his comments cleared up many questions for me. We love Mike and his passion for Jesus.

  25. Is God confused? Is there a disagreement between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Or, is the clarity and uniformity of the Words that each speak demonstrate their oneness? I believe the latter. “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.” (John 12:49) Maybe if we were to listen to Holy Spirit and not say anything until we heard clearly from Him, we would become unified as one. (ref. Ephesians 4:13) If I have truly died and now Christ Jesus is in me, whom, may I ask, is doing the talking? If I still hear more of me than I do of Holy Spirit then I know what must be done. Pride clouds the glorious rays of grace; I must not only declare the Word but I must become the Word–ergo, I must decrease and He must increase. May God’s never-ending grace overtake us all–to such a point that we become less of ourselves and more of Him!

  26. I’m a new creation in Christ and I have the past of Jesus Christ. This isn’t about proving myself. This simply God’s gift to those who would receive it. Yet how blessed are those who would stop testing God. And sudden disaster is nothing to fear for such since grace means we are gaining heaven. Yet God loves us stupid.

  27. Roshan J Easo // February 7, 2017 at 5:36 am // Reply

    Paul grace is so amazing. the fruit of grace is wisdom, but not a wisdom this world understands thanks for making it accessible.

  28. Roshan J Easo // February 7, 2017 at 10:34 am // Reply

    To be honest though people will think we’re never falling into sin even though you and the bible says we’re sinless. What happens is that we are all searching for the missing key. We find one only to find that its alusive and there are other needs in the body. I want to focus on christ in me. but somehow we are being put under law again and again when scripture clearly teaches we’re not under law. Someone is going to be held to account before Christ. So as a reminder, grace is the feeling that your future and even your deaths is going to be more glorious, more splendid then you dare imagine. Right? Grace is Jesus. Grace is strength for today and a bright hope for tomorrow. Grace makes us want to go on living because we have a hope for everyone. Whoever wills receive the waters of life.

  29. This was so well done. Thank you. I think Preachers should, at least in part, be judged by their fruit. The fruit of Joseph Prince’s teaching in my life has been to liberate me from false guilt and a neurotic fear of the Lord. Now I reverence the Lord and feel so close to Him as a result of hearing Prince’s sermons. I am so glad you brought kindness and clarity to this debate. Thanks Paul.( Also I have actually heard Joseph Prince say that you can, indeed grieve the Lord.) I honestly do not think Michael Brown has listened to enough of Joseph Prince’s sermons to render an accurate judgement.

  30. emmanuel obi yeboah // April 8, 2017 at 3:08 am // Reply

    amazing answers to Mr Brown’s question.Thank you Paul am so blessed!

  31. What do you have to say about this verse…We are not of those that go back into perdition but those that believe unto the saving of the soul. Hebrews 10:39…Does this not call for perseverance by the saints?

  32. Thank you so much for the response. Still trying to wrap my head around your answer. I checked your scripture index, but 1 John 5:16-17 was not included. In some of your readers response to questions offered on your blog, some have said that the Christian can not sin because he or she is no longer under the law. John here says a brother can sin but then goes on to say another born of God does not sin. Any exposition on that.

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