It seems nearly impossible to grasp how it could have come to this. Ominous warnings are being issued—not by the NWS (National Weather Service) or the NHC (National Hurricane Center), but by the NRS (National Religious Service). The warnings going out to church-goers and Christian believers are coming from what are usually presumed as trusted and reliable sources for those seeking accurate information … such as pastors, theologians, authors, magazines, and of course, those “best friends” who are always there to make sure you don’t go wandering from the church tenants that they hold so near and dear as the glue to keep them on a straight and narrow lifestyle.
What is it that has the corporate church so alarmed that they feel the need to caution its members to take shelter and protect themselves against? Prepare yourself for the preposterous: They are actually warning people about GRACE! You know I’m not making this up because you’re probably someone who has been on the receiving end of such meaningless conversation. It’s like a horror movie entitled, “The Manifestation of the Kooky Monster!” Of course, the NRS will try some so-called political posturing by attempting to differentiate what they consider to be acceptable “regular” grace and contrast it with something they will define as dangerous “hyper-grace.”
These wolves will tolerate grace to a certain extent but will go on to warn of taking grace too far; a “cheap grace” they believe will issue “a license to sin.” There is no such thing in God’s Word about grace giving people a license to sin. It’s a myth and a fabrication that leads to fear and uncertainty … the very opposite of what the gospel of grace is meant to bring to people, which includes the gifts of righteousness, peace, assurance and life. This fear of “too much grace” is birthed from a mixed message of grace and law, rooted inside of doctrines which erroneously blend the obsolete Old Covenant with the everlasting New Covenant of Jesus Christ. People are free to make their own right or wrong choices, but to put the blame of sinful choices on grace is the equivalent to placing the blame on Jesus.
We need to begin to see grace for what it really is … or WHO it really is—the Person of Jesus Christ. He is the manifestation of grace. He is the very essence of grace. God gave us this grace that is found in Christ Jesus before time began, and it has nothing to do with good or bad works (see 2 Timothy 1:9). Consider this question: Can you have too much of Jesus? Of course not. But when the NRS warns of dipping into too much grace, that is exactly what they are saying.
They’ll imply with lip service that grace is a good thing, but they’ll advise to avoid putting on too many layers because it might lead to more sinning. This is the precise opposite of what the Bible teaches because it was through the law and commandments which caused sin to increase—not grace. God designed it that way to reveal sin, condemnation and death, and ultimately point people to the savior Jesus (grace). The book of John reveals a contrast between the law of works and the grace of God: “And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:16-17). Grace contains layers that never end … grace upon grace. It is the foundation of all truth.
Stop thinking about grace as merely something that “covers your sin” temporarily until you sin again. Get away from the mindset that grace is only there to “let you off the hook” when you do something wrong. Stop mixing law and grace! Why? Because you are not under law and the law is not of faith! Paul told Titus to avoid the empty talkers … that is, primarily those (Jews) whose teachings were not sound in faith, and with their “Jewish myths and commands” would turn people from the truth. They would profess to know God but denied Him by their works (see Titus 1:10-16). Paul went on to say this: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12).
When Jesus appeared, grace appeared. He (Grace) inspires and empowers us to live in a God-like manner. Grace never leads anyone into sin. Never. Scripture declares Jesus was filled with grace, yet He never sinned. So grace isn’t just about helping people who have sinned, it’s God’s purpose for us, and a part of the new life we have in Christ. It legitimizes us to experience a supernatural life of the Spirit of God in abundance. Shame on the hypocritical, legalistic hyper-grace accusers who have allowed themselves to be so deceived—but it’s not too late to start getting this right by repenting—which means to have a change of mind.
“Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Romans 5:20). The word abounded here in the Greek is where we get our English word for hyper and means “to abound and overflow exceedingly.” Literally, to super-abound or go beyond what is needed. “Are you saying people can go sin as much as they want?” Ugh … a typical question with roots connected to those trapped within a mindset of hollow religion. Paul was asked the same question by people who had been stuck under the Mosaic law. His answer was, “may it never be!” Once believers begin to understand they are not identified as “just sinners saved by grace,” and that they are no longer slaves to sin, but are dead to sin, the new heart within will cause them to see sin for the terrible thing that it is. The Spirit who abides within will change what we “want” when we are led by Him. In Christ, you are not identified as a sinner, you are a new creation declared to be holy, sanctified, and are the righteousness of God in Him.
Staying entrenched inside of doctrines from the NRS with a pattern of trying to keep the law and commandments along with other modern-day religious rules only results in the increase of sin. But grace abounded more! Repeat after me: Grace abounded more. Say it as often as you feel is needed until you get it. Thankfully for us, grace is hyper!
For more on avoiding the trap of religious bondage inside of a new and better covenant, and also gaining a better understanding of the teachings of Jesus, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee. ~ Michael C. Kapler
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