Who are the Hypergrace Preachers?

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Hypergrace, according to some, is a dangerous and unbiblical teaching that is leading people down a licentious path to hell. Apparently the “rock-star preachers” promoting this hypergrace heresy will be “held accountable for the spiritual death of millions.” By proclaiming God’s unconditional love and forgiveness, hypergrace preachers have taken grace too far, say the critics. They have made grace radical, over-the-top, and unbalanced. As someone who has been labelled a hypergrace preacher, how do I respond to this claim? Guilty as charged, amigo! Grace is the one thing that separates … [Read more...]

Is Hypergrace Biblical?

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Hypergrace, according to a mainstream Christian news magazine, is a dangerous and unbiblical teaching. By proclaiming the unconditional love of God and forgiveness for all, hypergrace preachers have taken grace too far. We have made grace unbalanced and radical. Hypergrace, apparently, is unbiblical. It’s a modern invention based on a few scriptures taken out of context, and it does not reflect the whole counsel of God. This claim - that hyper or extreme grace is unbiblical - is easy to test. All you need is a Bible. Six pictures of God’s grace In him we have redemption through his … [Read more...]

The Lifter of Your Head

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In Jesus’ day, only certain people were allowed to participate in temple life. Those with diseases such as leprosy had to stay away. They weren’t welcome. They were considered infectious and untouchable. But Jesus was not afraid to touch the untouchables. He went to where they were and “infected” them with his love and healing power. When we cultivate the attitude that church is a place for perfect people with perfect hair and perfect smiles, we inevitably marginalize those who are going through hard times. “You’ve got to be walking in victory every day.” But what if you’re not? What if … [Read more...]

Does James 5:15 Preach Conditional Forgiveness?

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Those who put price tags on grace sometimes point to this verse: The prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. (James 5:15) “See - you have to confess and pray to be forgiven,” they say. “If you don’t do these things, God won’t forgive you.” Never mind that grace and works don’t mix (Rom 11:6). Never mind that God is not counting our sins against us (2 Cor 5:19). Never mind that every blessing is ours in Christ (Eph 1:3). Apparently you have to perform to be blessed. Don’t be fooled. Fall for this and you … [Read more...]

‘Stuff Jesus Never Said’ – out today!

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My new book, Stuff Jesus Never Said, comes out today. I know what you’re thinking: Why did I write a book about things Jesus didn’t say? The words of Jesus may be the most important words ever uttered, yet his words have been mangled in the machinery of manmade religion. For 2000 years Jesus has been misquoted so often that many of us are more familiar with the words he never said than the words he did. “You have the words of life,” said the disciples, but for many Jesus’ mangled words have become instruments of death. Words that used to comfort and heal, are now used to inflict pain and … [Read more...]

The Gospel of Wow!

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I’m going to let you in on a secret: I don’t particularly like listening to sermons. Or lectures. I know, this is a strange confession coming from someone who used to preach and teach six days a week. I have nothing against lectures or sermons – and the good ones can change the world – it’s just that I am not a particularly good listener. Tell me and I zone out. But show me and I get it straight away. It’s just the way I’m wired. I’m a visual learner – aren’t we all? – so for years I have wanted to create a book that uses pictures to convey the beauty and simplicity of the gospel. That … [Read more...]

Isaiah 45:7 – Does the Lord Create Evil?

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Whenever I tell people that God is good and he is not the One making them sick nor is he responsible for the bad things going on in the world, I can guarantee that I will get two cynical responses. (1) “Tell that to Job,” and (2) “That’s not what is says in Isaiah 45.” As I have looked at the foolish words of Job elsewhere, today I want to look at the words of Isaiah: I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7) This is a stunning verse – as we shall see – but it has been used for terrible purposes. “Have you got … [Read more...]

Jesus our Tithe

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Many of the laws and traditions of the Old Testament are shadows that are fulfilled in Christ. For instance, the circumcision of Jewish boys points to a spiritual circumcision “not performed by human hands” (Col 2:11). Your old self has been cut off by Christ, which is why some refer to Christ as our circumcision. But what about tithing? How is this old covenant practice a shadow of a new covenant reality? Tithing and circumcision have a lot in common. Both were practiced by Abraham, both were subsequently encoded into Moses’ Law, and both have led to controversies that divide the … [Read more...]

Should You Tithe?

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For years people have been asking me for my response to the tithing question. “Should you tithe?” Here are two responses: You should tithe You should not tithe Since both responses are expressed as commands, and we are not under law, I care for neither. “Paul, you’re being tricky. Please address the issue.” Okay, check out two statements below. Which do you agree with? I tithe regularly, therefore I’m spiritual I never tithe, therefore I’m spiritual You will find both views debated on social media, but both sides are in error because each is boasting in what they are doing or not … [Read more...]

Tithing Under Grace

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Tithing has become the hot-button issue of our day. Just as the early church was divided on the issue of circumcision, the modern church is divided on the issue of tithing. “You should do it.” “You should not.” In this three-part series we’ll look at the tithe and its place in the new covenant. Abram’s tithe Let’s begin with the story of the first tithe. As you read this story, don’t go looking for principles or moral lessons. Instead, go looking for Jesus. (Hint: he’s represented by one of the characters in this story.) When Abram came back from his victory over Chedorlaomer and the other … [Read more...]

8 Signs that a Church Doesn’t Get Grace

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A while ago I listed eight signs of hyper-grace churches. A hyper-grace church is one that is so focused on Jesus that it begins to look like Jesus, talk like Jesus, and smell like Jesus. To highlight a positive it helps to accentuate the negative. So how do we get it wrong? What are the signs that a church is missing the grace of God? Here are eight of them: 1. They are self-conscious The message you hear is, “You must nail yourself to the cross every day.” So Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t good enough? “You have to cleanse yourself and make yourself holy.” You cannot succeed. A focus … [Read more...]

Who is the Unworthy Servant? (Luke 17:10)

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How do you see yourself? As a valued son or a worthless servant? As a beloved child of God or a mere minion? Jesus came to reveal our heavenly Father, so a good sign that you understand all that Jesus did for you, is you see yourself as God’s dearly loved child. But what are we to make of these words of Jesus: So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.” (Luke 17:10) This seems confusing for didn’t Jesus tell the disciples, “I no longer call you servants but friends” (John 15:15)? So which is it? Are we … [Read more...]