What is the Gospel of Grace?

What makes the grace gospel the grace gospel?

Sunset crowd

There are few things in life more important than life itself. You might give your life for a child or a loved one. Maybe you would give your life for your country. The Apostle Paul gave his life for the gospel of grace.

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Act 20:24)

Paul dedicated his life to the gospel of grace. He said that preaching the grace gospel was more important than life itself, and that anyone who preached a different gospel should be cursed.

Anyone, no matter who they are, that brings you a different gospel than the grace gospel… let him be condemned and cursed! (Galatians 1:9, TPT)

What is this gospel of grace that Paul valued so highly? How do we recognize it?

And how would we know if someone was preaching a different gospel?

What is the gospel of grace?

The gospel of grace is the only gospel for it is the grace of God that makes the good news the good news. It is the grace of God that saves us, sanctifies us, and keeps us secure to the end.

What is grace? Grace is the love of God that comes to us through his Son and empowers us to be who God made us to be.

And what is the gospel of grace? The One who sits on a throne of grace wants to share his life with you. This life is found in his Son who is full of grace and truth.

What does the grace of God look like? It looks like Jesus. Grace isn’t a mere message or sermon. Grace is a Person living his life through you.

What was Paul’s gospel?

The gospel that Paul preached was a classic 3-point message: Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again as the prophets foretold (see 1 Cor. 15:1–6). You are probably familiar with this message, but do you really understand what it means?

As we behold the cross and the empty tomb, the full implications of God’s super-abundant grace become clear. Because of grace I can say:

  1. God loves me unconditionally
  2. God accepts me just the way I am
  3. God has forgiven all my sins
  4. God holds nothing against me
  5. God justifies me and makes me righteous
  6. God makes me a brand new creation
  7. God adopts me into his family making me a co-heir with Christ

And that’s just the beginning of this great grace gospel!

The radical claims of grace

Paul spent his life unpacking the implications of grace. He said things like: God is no longer holding our sins against us (2 Cor. 5:19); we are saved and kept by grace (Eph. 2:5, 1 Cor. 1:8); and God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3).

These claims were radical 2000 years ago, and they are still radical today. They are so contrary to our natural understanding that many dismiss them as untrue.

“The grace of God can’t be this good.”

Yet Paul described the grace of God as extreme, over the top, and hyper. He and the other New Testament writers said God’s love and grace are greater than we can dream or imagine. They dared to ask bold questions like these gems from Romans 8:

  • If God justifies me, who can condemn me?
  • If God is for us, who can be against us?
  • If God has given us his Son, what won’t he give us?

God’s grace is greater than we can fathom. We will spend the rest of eternity exploring the limitless reaches of his grace to us.

So how can we get this grace message wrong?

What is NOT the gospel of grace

Paul warned us not to listen to those who preach something other than the gospel of grace. Since the grace of God comes to us by faith alone, there are two ways preachers can mess this up:

  1. They preach things that distract us from grace (eg: conditional forgiveness, law-keeping, progressive sanctification, judgmental prophecies, conspiracies, myths, etc.)
  2. They preach things that diminish faith (eg: sin-management, worldly philosophy, politics, dead works, performance-based acceptance, etc.)

How can you tell the difference between a grace message and a graceless one?

A grace-based message will leave you praising God and thanking Jesus. In contrast, a graceless message will have you making promises you can’t keep and then condemn you for not keeping them.

Someone who has not been fully apprehended by the grace of God will always be tempted towards dead works. So be wary of those who preach a mixed gospel. If you desire to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, tune in to the hypergrace preachers.

But the biggest mistake we can make with the gospel of grace is we think it is for other people. “Grace is for sinners, not good churchgoers like me.”

Big mistake. We all need the grace of God every single day.

It’s grace from start to finish.

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Check out these bonus teaching resources and my article how to teach the gospel of grace.

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24 Comments on What is the Gospel of Grace?

  1. What an amazing God who serves us with His life!

  2. James Barron // February 17, 2022 at 4:19 am // Reply

    Hey Paul, Just wanted to drop you a quick note and let you know how much I appreciate all your writings and your passion to proclaim the true grace of God in Jesus.  I saw where you were going to list other websites that teach the grace message and I wanted to give you my website to add to that list if you feel good about it. I have had your link on my website for about 5 years now or more and I only put those on my website that I am totally confident about endorsing. My website is…

  3. While I believe it’s true that politics can be a faith killer, I’m not able to articulate why. It would be interesting to hear if you have any further thoughts on that. Thanks!

    • Politics is about governance and power, which tends to corrupt rather than strengthen people in the faith. It certainly does little to promote the unity of the faith. Preachers who use the pulpit to push political agendas when they could be telling people about the grace of God and the Lord of all are not making the best use of their position.

  4. Thank you Paul… love the clarity you bring in your teachings. God bless you!

  5. Sorry but there is no such thing as unconditional.

    Even all of the apostles taught that there is a proper way to live and if you do not repent your sins are not fogrgiven. When we become Christians we cannot continue to live in sin and believe God tolerates it. We are to be transformed by the Holy Spirit. This is a lifetime commitment. I pray this helps you. You seem to have a good heart for Christ and for others.

    • Saying there is no such thing as unconditional love is like saying there is no such thing as wet water. The love of God is unconditional by definition. Add conditions to it and it ceases to be love. His great love for you is the one thing you can count on in life.

    • When my kids were first learning to walk, they fell down a lot. Instead of scolding them when they fell, I gently encouraged them to get back up and keep trying. I cheered them on and was super proud of their efforts. When they took those first clumsy steps, I was grinning ear to ear.

      I believe my Dad in heaven is the same way.

      He knows my failings better than I do, yet he still sent his son to die on a cross for me. My Dad (God) isn’t going to love me any less because I messed up, or because I didn’t let the Holy Spirit transform me fast enough, or because I didn’t live the proper way. Instead he’s cheering me on! When I mess up or have a bad day, he tells me it’s okay and encourages me to get back up and try again. He reminds me that he’ll always love me no matter what and that he’ll always have my back!

      That’s his unconditional love and grace.

    • Joe Conaghan // February 17, 2022 at 1:24 pm // Reply

      @Ropheka You preach a false gospel that can save no one. The repent in the Bible, everywhere it’s linked to salvation, simply means to change one’s mind. Repent and believe the gospel simply means to change your mind about trying to earn heaven and receive the free gift of everlasting life through faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 4:5 says “But to him who worketh not, but believeth on Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” and Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves it is the gift 🎁 of God. Not of works lest any man should boast” I suggest you stop trying to impress God with your dead works and be impressed with His final work on the cross.

  6. Amen brother Paul. Hypergrace and Free Grace are brothers and sisters in Christ. I think you would have liked Zane Hodges and he would have liked you too. As it relates to the gospel that saves a person and saves them forever (OSAS), we are perfectly aligned. As it relates to sanctification and rewards, we diverge. But this should be no cause for disunity. One Lord, one faith, one Spirit, one Body. God bless.

  7. This is spot on Paul. You have a gift for putting into words the amazing love our Father has never ceased to show towards His creation. Thanks for all you do for the kingdom.

  8. Erik Grangaard // February 17, 2022 at 5:05 pm // Reply

    The radical gospel is radical because it has nothing to do with us, the recipients! All we can do is to receive this wonderful gift, and do not turn it down because it is “too good to be true!”

  9. I read your tweet and tried to answer your questions but I needed help which lead me to this page. My answer to grace had only been “ God’s unmerited favor “ but I loved your answer which is “Grace is the love of God that comes to us through his Son and empowers us to be who God made us to be.” My next question is who did God make us to be? My answer is a reflection of Jesus. What is your answer?

  10. Well said Bro.!!!

  11. Romeo R. Cruz // February 20, 2022 at 10:23 am // Reply

    Good morning Pastor Paul. Whenever I read your articles, it always reminds me how good God is. Thank you so much for the inspiration your bring. God bless you always! You are Charitoo!

  12. Theresa Benischek // February 21, 2022 at 7:20 am // Reply

    Thank you Paul, for the truth you share. It is sad to read how self righteousness in the church causes many saints to live sad, defeated lives because they cannot accept Grace. When my children were little (we were attending churches that didn’t have it all together about Grace and unmerited favor), I would have to remind them almost weekly that there is NOTHING we can do to improve on Calvary. They would get all involved with works and what they had to do to get God to love and accept them. It was very sad. Evidently with all the Grace teaching out there today we still have folks trying to “fix” their own lives. My family has embraced fully the Grace message since 2010 and miracles are flowing when we stay out of it. I pray that these folks receive a fresh revelation of God’s unmerited, unconditional Love for them and receive His Son’s Finished Work at the Cross as FINISHED!

  13. Wes Prosser // March 1, 2022 at 7:52 pm // Reply

    Hello Paul…

  14. Thank you for your article. I got saved when I was 21, I’m now 47. The church I went to when I got saved was a church that had mixed messages. So many people were set free and saved and Gods spirit moved….but I also felt condemned, strived to be perfect and there definitely was a “ line “ I could cross to lose my salvation. I am still struggling with all of it today. 😦 I want to believe the gospel of grace so bad, but keep falling under condemnation. What do you think about when Jesus said to the woman, go and sin no more? And warned another, that if you sinned a worse thing will come upon you? Thank you

    • Hi Heather. Any condemnation you are experiencing is not from the Lord. You know that, right? He is for you and has justified you, so don’t let anyone bring a charge against you. When those voices of condemnation trouble your mind, fight back by preaching Romans 8:31–39 to them.

      Why did Jesus tell the woman to go sin no more? Because sinning is destructive. It very nearly got her killed. He might have said to her “Stop sinning or something worse might happen. Next time you get caught, I might not be around to stop these guys from killing you.”

      Someone with a law mindset interprets the sin no more phrase as a threat. “That was your last chance. Sin again and I won’t be so kind next time.” As if. But someone who has a grace mindset reads it as a promise because only grace empowers us to say no to ungodliness and live righteous lives (Tit. 2:12). It’s like when Jesus told sick people “be well.” He empowered her to live free from sin. That’s what grace does.

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