Myth 9: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Encourages Sin

Preach the scandalous grace of God and some will misinterpret your message as an endorsement of sin. It’s practically inevitable. But those who dismiss grace as a license to sin merely show their ignorance of it. As John Calvin may have said, “How can the medicine that’s supposed to kill the disease (grace) feed the disease (sin)?”

“Hyper-grace preachers are soft on sin. They don’t condemn the sin that’s right in front of them.”

The same accusation could be leveled at Jesus. An adulterous woman was brought to him for judgment and he didn’t even mention her sin. Not once. Instead he said “go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Jesus wasn’t making a threat. He was saying, “Receive my gift of no condemnation and be set free from sin.”

“Hyper-grace preachers are closet sinners who distort the message of grace to accommodate their ungodly lifestyles.”

Grace preachers are sometimes compared to the licentious men of Jude 1:4. Because we stand with Jesus instead of the rock-throwers we are thought to be soft on sin and sinners. But this is a slanderous accusation made by the ignorant and graceless.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness … (Titus 2:11–12a)

Jesus is the grace of God that offers salvation to all people. His grace teaches us to say no to sin. If the grace you’re drinking teaches you to say yes to sin, it’s not the grace of God. It’s a manmade substitute.

Saying grace promotes sin is like saying Jesus promotes sin. It’s slanderous at best, and blasphemous at worse. Grace isn’t permission to sin; it’s the power of God to sin no more.

Some make a great show of suppressing sin by laying down the law but all they do is drive sin underground. A law-based approach cannot work because the strength of sin is the law (1 Cor 15:56). Combating sin with the law is like trying to put out a fire with a bucket of gasoline.

It is not God’s law that teaches us to say no to ungodliness, it is his grace.

Those who seek to mix grace with law ruin the medicine that would otherwise set them free. Only God’s pure and undiluted grace can turn a sinner into a saint, a hater into a lover, and a Pharisee into an apostle.

Stumble and sin in a mixed-grace church and the message you get will be, “Look at what you did!” But sin in a hyper-grace church and the message will be, “Look at what he did and what you can now do because of what he did!”

A mixed-grace church would have you turn from every sin until you’re a dizzy sinner. But a hyper-grace church will do what Paul did with the sinning Corinthians and seek to reveal your true identity in Christ. They will say things like:

(You are) sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people … Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way … (and) he will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:2–5, 8).

We don’t get victory over sin by striving to keep the rules. We overcome sin by trusting Jesus who loves us and lives within. So reckon yourself dead to sin and alive to Christ and be free!

Extracted from The Hyper-Grace Gospel: A Response to Michael Brown and Those Opposed to the Modern Grace Message, pp.42-44.

35 Comments on Myth 9: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Encourages Sin

  1. God is for you not against you. If what you are hearing, whether from your mind or a preacher, makes you feel otherwise ignore it and read Escapetoreality posts until you know that you know God loves you and His grace empowers you to live the life He wants you to. Thank you for teaching the true good news Paul. God bless you and your family.

  2. Brandon Petrowski // March 16, 2017 at 1:41 am // Reply

    Good reminder. When I tried to live my life according to law principles, I sinned more and didn’t really desire to stop. Focusing on God’s grace made me actually desire to stop sinning and empowered me to pursue God. The grace of God transformed my heart and care about honoring Him.

  3. A great excerpt from a great book. Thank you!

  4. Roshan J Easo // March 16, 2017 at 4:05 am // Reply

    I sort of get in the impress the girl mode or even more generally that I want keep from dismissing the words of Jesus. but god supplies all of my needs. praise Jesus.

  5. That’s pure, priceless wisdom! If the Church does not embrace this perspective, it will remain stuck in the ditch, playing the role of the Pharisees. Like actors pretending to be something we are not. We are risen, new, united with Christ – His unity with God is our unity with God, when will we walk in THAT! My heart breaks as I type. Thank you so much for your work Paul.

  6. I wonder how these anti grace people accommodate the sin in their life.outside of believing that God grades on the curve.

  7. Paul, reading this post made me recall your post of Sept 4, 2015: Is Grace a Person? Each complements the other. We can never have too much of GRACE.

  8. When you were born again( literally,begotten from above ) the Holy Spirit planted the WORD into you, just like HE planted the seed (WORD) into the Virgin Mary, and as a result, the seed in the. believer reproduces after its own kind, and thus he cannot sin (see 1John 3:9 ), and so sin has no more control over you
    Neil in Canada

  9. rackara david // March 16, 2017 at 7:58 am // Reply

    wonderfull….keeping the laws made me a slave for years. i almost decided that salvation is imposible, and i rather live as a legal sinner the being a sinner under the umbrella of christianity. your e-mail teachings has been and is of great values to me. i am not ashame of discussing the with friend, because it is so liberating. it makes the bible ever living and no dout everything make sense. may God bless with long life dear paul!
    rackara david

  10. I’m going to have to buy this entire book. How I wished it existed when Michael Brown was pounding on “holiness” back in the Brownsville Revival days. And FYI, my attempt at “holy living” failed miserably. I became proud, mean, and bossy toward my “unholy” family members who didn’t measure up–a real jerk! Sadly, my Dad died of lung cancer before Jesus made me graceful. The dead letter of the law does KILL. Trust me. I should know. I live every single day with this knowledge.

  11. Dude, awesome Paul. Such a clear and fresh reminder. Very to the heart of the matter with incontrovertible truth, yet gentle in the sense of Jesus being gentle with sinners like the woman from John 8. Thanks so much for this timely release.

  12. Another example of not condemning sin that could be leveled at Jesus is the Samaritan woman at the well. She had 5 husbands and was living with a man who wasn’t her husband. But the Bible doesn’t record that Jesus shook His finger at her saying how bad she was. He let her know that He knew what she was doing, but still offered her His living water.

    I think a lot of “the church” act more like Old Testament Pharisees than New Testament Christians. They especially will bring up the verse about people wanting preaching that tickles the ear and that grace is a false gospel that tickles the ear. What I think tickles the ear is preaching about what man needs to do to make himself right with God. That feeds pride. Even if it’s 99% Jesus and 1% man’s doing, they like that because they want to have some little bit of credit for themselves. I know that if it has anything to do with my doing – I’m done. I can’t be good enough, period. It has to be absolutely 100% Jesus.

    Even faith some people have turned into a work. I used to think I needed better faith, more faith. But as I’ve been praying and reading, I’m seeing many things that I’ve read before in a different light. Many people in the Bible did not have perfect faith and Jesus still helped them.

  13. The strength of sin is the law! Amen. If it weren’t for the law, we wouldn’t know what sin was. (1cor15:56), only through the law may we know that we are sinful, thus we come to the father as a sinner and seek His grace! For without the law there would be no saving grace, Bc there would be no sin, as sin is defined by John as breaking the law of God.

  14. The Holy Spirit authored a book that I was the scribe of that was transcribed over four years back from 2007 to 2012. It is titled “10 Lessons by a Saint”. Few people I have shared it with are interested (It is not published, as yet) . It is all about who we are in Christ Jesus and what He has qualified us to do through Him. A pastor I recently shared it with told me that he was familiar with “those hyper grace people” like me…. I had no idea what or who he meant! I had never heard the expression “hyper grace” nor listened to any “hyper grace” teachers. I had just written a book by the leading of the Holy Spirit, based primarily on biblical scriptures found in the Epistles. I did not know that I had written a book that is part of a “Christian sect” called the “hyper grace” teachers! As I have recently discovered that there are others out there like Paul Ellis, who are teaching the same things that are in my book, (some of it is almost word for word!) I have been comforted because when I first wrote my book, others who read parts of my book said they had never heard this teaching in church, or as I call it “the religious division of the world system”. Thank you Paul for being in “my sect” of Christianity. I am in good company and I am enjoying finding the rest of my family of grace who are actually out there! (I hope you do not think I plagerized you when I finally get my book published, but the true author, the Holy Spirit, had both of us use some of the exact same phrases….I guess you begin to talk like those you hang around with! (in the spirit)
    I reside in the U.S. but I abide in Christ Jesus. Saint C.

  15. I read Michael Browns book Go and sin no more years ago when I struggled with besetting sin and condemnation the fear of consequences etc put fear into me enough for me to stop…for about 2 weeks Conversely I have embraced grace i.e. its all about what Jesus has done because He loves me unconditionally not what I do and now I have walked in freedom from wilful sin and peace and joy in the Lord for over a year hallelujah

    • Wow! I did the same thing. When Michael Brown’s book “Go and Sin No More” first came out years ago, I promptly purchased a copy, and attempted to “stop sinning.” Of course, my efforts didn’t produce lasting fruit, but look at me now! I’m walking in grace and loving it. The truth will set you free.

    • If you read another of Paul’s blogs about hyper-grace, you will see him say that Jesus’ command to the woman meant a God-empowerment not to sin. He says the same in his headline above

      Somehow the same command to you only worked for 2 weeks

      Were you deficient, or God’s grace, or is Paul’s statement deficient?

      Grace forgives us, frees us from death, and brings us closer to God but it does not in this life make us sinless or even able to be sinless. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves.

      As Paul has said elsewhere, the end, the telos, is restored relationship with God/Jesus; it is not a clean moral sheet,

      • Colleen G // March 23, 2017 at 10:29 am //

        It is not the command, God’s grace, the individual or even Paul Ellis’ ideas about “Go and Sin No More” that is deficient. However knowing what I do about the theology of the author of the book in question his view of and how he thinks people are able to cease sinning is pure flesh based. No one here is claiming a 100% cessation from sinning. However they are speaking of being able to live purer and higher than they did while they were slaves to sin.

    • Roshan J Easo // March 24, 2017 at 2:56 am // Reply

      Quoting Paul, “Sowing to the flesh is not a smart choice. It’s following Adam down the lonely path of distrust and death. Whenever we rely on our own flesh – our abilities and understanding – we set ourselves up for disaster. It’s a destructive way to live. Happily, there is a better way:

      Whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Gal 6:8b)

      How do you sow to please the Spirit? Read Galatians. To walk in step with the Spirit means to trust him. It’s living by faith in the Son of God (Gal 2:20). It’s relating to God as a Father (Gal 4:6).”

  16. Sauncy Welcome // March 17, 2017 at 2:42 am // Reply

    Actually, for the born again child if God, Grace is seen as freedom FROM sin. For all those outside of Chrust Jesus, Grace is seen as freedom TO sin….It all depends on where you abide….within or without. Thank you Paul for speaking for our spiritual family, the “regeneration”, as JESUS calls us, the new creation IN Christ Jesus!

  17. Roshan J Easo // March 17, 2017 at 6:27 am // Reply

    Its really about his faithfulness and not ours.

  18. God’s extreme grace doesn’t encourage anyone to sin. When a person understands for the first time God’s overwhelming love for Mankind, the last thing he wants to do is to commit every kind of disgusting act. Besides, sin was nailed to the Cross and it died there. Jesus became SIN. He was resurrected BUT SIN WASN’T! Consider also that the legal code was abolished. Where there is no law – there’s no offence!

    • So you are lawless and a outlaw. When we got SAVED we accepted Jesus as Lord and Master? Are you then free to do whatever you like. No. St. Paul writes strong warnings about sin. Too bad nobody likes to talk about it today.

      • Colleen G // March 24, 2017 at 12:47 am //

        That is part of Phillip’s point. When you get saved “..the last thing he wants to do is to commit every kind of disgusting act.”
        Most of us when we got saved accepted Jesus as our Savior. A Savior is someone upon whom you throw all your trust and reliance upon because you know you cannot do anything for yourself. A Lord and Master(in the sense that you imply) is someone you pledge good behavior and obedience to trade for the continued benefits of citizenship in his kingdom. Accepting Jesus as your Savior not only shifts the focus from self to Him but it also opens up a dynamic missing in the Master-Lord picture, dependent gratitude. While a servant may be grateful that his master accepts his pledge, the contract depends upon his behavior. He must depend upon himself for continued good standing in the kingdom. It becomes more about the servant and less about the master.

  19. Deborah Kean // March 21, 2017 at 1:22 pm // Reply

    Glorious! A child did a poster at our church that sums it up – I saw it on Sunday – he wrote “Jesus never says “You suck!” “

  20. Go and sin no more. Your right in that. The idea was that the priests were trying to entrap Jesus. The man that the harlot was sinning with was not brought. Why??? We aren’t told. The sin no more is just that. Don’t do it again. Had the woman kept on sinning, she would be lost. We are the same. When we come to Christ, He changes our heart, renews our mind. We are changed and should, from that point on, hate sin. That does not mean we will never sin again. Read Romans 7. Paul had a hard time not sinning even after being saved and filled with the Sprit. Self can never lead us down the path of righteousness. This was Pauls bane before He understood how to live a victorious Christian life. Because He was saved and filled with the Spirit, He thought He could now live within His own will without sinning. He found out that was not possible. He struggled. We must give all to Christ. Not 70,80,90 % but all. We must keep our focus on Christ all the time. 24/7. The Bible does not teach sinless perfection. It also doesn’t teach once saved always saved either. If we sin, we must repent. Here we will disagree. If we sin and don’t repent or feel the need to because we think Christ paid for every sin we will commit, then we completely misunderstand what Christ did. He didn’t die on the cross so we could sin at random. He died to provide a way to heaven by His blood shed at Calvary to wash the sins of those who will believe on Him. No one comes to the Father but by Jesus. Once saved, doesn’t mean sin without repentance. I disagree with the notion that after salvation, one never has to ask for forgivness. We all slip up from time to time. The conviction brought about by the Holy Spirit after one sins is why we repent. And Christ will forgive us indefinatley provided we are sincere. Sin no longer has dominion over us. Doesn’t mean sin is gone. We can overcome by our focus on the Cross. What Christ did there.that give the HOLY SPIRIT the legal means to work on our behalf. Only through the framework of Christ crucified.

    • momzilla76 // August 7, 2017 at 1:02 am // Reply

      What a mixed bag of things you just said. You have half the truth but then stir in traditional thinking that does not stand up under the full light of scripture. Jesus only died one time for all our sin purchasing us eternally-forever(Hebrews 9:12-14 & 24-26). Hebrews 10 talks about how the Law sacrifice system could not perfect the people, purge their consciences of sin or even take away their sins. Then Jesus comes and offers Himself making us holy and set apart, making one and only one sacrifical offering for sin and then He sits down having finished His work.
      You are correct in that you must give it ALL to Christ. We cannot cling to the tradition that keep eternal life in our hands via our behavior, feelings of sorrow over sin or our ability to pray “I’m sorry” to God. We have to give it ALL over to Jesus and submit that His one time blood offering is powerful engough without those things to keep us eternally bought, cleansed and forgiven without our contributions. The cross you look to has little to no power for salvation as the key rests in your ability to feel & say sorry when you sin and your ability to turn away from it. Contrary to church mythology this one time forever for all sin does not encourage people to go out and sin more. It is the bedrock for our freedom to say no to sin and to make course corrections when we do stray. If Jesus one time offering was not enough then do you truly believe your added feelings, turnings and prayers are just the thing to finish the job? Jesus wants it all, including the ability to save you eternally without your assistance. He just wants you to believe fully in Him.

  21. Howard Smith // August 10, 2017 at 5:14 pm // Reply

    When you sin, thank God He’s already forgiven you!!

  22. It’s simple, if The Son Of God Himself is not sufficient as a once off infinite and perfect sacrifice for sin, then what is.? Grace doesn’t make an easy way out, Christ suffered terribly and was forsaken so we may come to Him as Saviour, by believing in Him as God. Only satan and the demons from hell would dare attack GOD’S GRACE?

  23. Divine Makola // November 15, 2017 at 1:50 am // Reply

    my desire is that all people in religious churches should know this truth. thank you God for unmerited and undeserved gift.

  24. Probably the most important post you’ll ever read: faith is rest

  25. I hope somebody reads this and can get back to me. I began my walk in the freedom of grace and in the spirit. Yet, I quickly fell into legalism. I found myself, DAILY, scanning the bible for sins so I could avoid them but obviously that gets really fuzzy. So I downward spiraled into anxiety and fear. Coming to this blog in the last 2 days has been an answer to my prayers. My question for anyone please to clarify is what is the best response when we do discover sin in our life? I was having premarital sex and justifying it by twisting scripture. Ya I know issue. We stopped having sex and legalized our marriage because of guilty feelings (but he is also an amazing man so I am happy with my choice). Yet what should I do to avoid falling into this legalism again in the future when I know I am doing something wrong? The “hyper grace” idea is the only thing that has resonated with my spirit and cleared up the bible for me.

    • Hi Jenny. I’m glad you found us. Falling into law is a temptation common to all. It is one of the chief ways we can walk in the flesh. The only way we can avoid it, is to keep our eyes firmly fixed on the Lover of our Souls. Make Jesus your focus and the temptation for lesser things diminishes. When you stumble, don’t concentrate on what you did wrong, but keep your eyes on Jesus who defends us and loves us unconditionally. It is only God’s grace that can empower us to live a whole and abundant life, and that grace is revealed to us in Jesus.

      • It’s funny how legalism spun me into literally 1,000 of questions and made the bible a choppy mess. One message of the grace of God made the whole bible come together into a beautiful picture. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my multiple questions. So, do I have it right that if I never read my bible (which I still will), I still would have known that that fornication was wrong because God would have showed me? Or am I still sin centered? I just fear that if I do not read the law I may do wrong things without knowing. I also fear because when I was stuck in fornication the only reason I stopped was a literal threat from a pastor making me feel deeply condemned. On the surface it seems like the threats stopped me and the grace never did. I know that is not true but that is where the confusion comes in. I was always taught that that horrible feeling was the spirit making me stop.

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