I have heard and read so much against the so-called hyper-grace movement lately that I feel like I must speak up. People have stopped preaching the Gospel so that they can preach against the preachers who preach about Grace. Now who do you think is really behind that? If you want a clue, let me say it again: People have stopped preaching the Gospel so that they can preach against the preachers who preach about Grace.
And here’s what they say about them: that they are teaching people that there is no need for repentance. I have never heard any of the grace preachers saying anything of the sort. It’s ridiculous! Joseph Prince is the main preacher accused of preaching hyper-grace. I have never heard Joseph Prince preach that sin is OK with God.
But what I have heard is his accusers mixing law in with the message of grace. Why would they do that? Because they don’t really understand the power of grace. They use the law as a means of controlling new believers until they know how to behave. If Joseph Prince and the other grace preachers are guilty of anything, it’s trusting the Holy Spirit too much. That’s right, they leave the picky little transitional tweaks up to the Holy Spirit. Girls, new believers, that haven’t figured out yet that they need to dress more modestly, and men who still cuss. Rather than wag his finger at them, he preaches the message of grace.
The message of grace is the message of how much God loves us, and it’s that love that changes us from the inside out. We came to Christ based on love. It is an ever-deepening knowledge of that love that gives us the power to change. Not a change based on external pressure, but change born of our own reciprocal love for a God who loves us much more than we can ever understand. It is our love for God that makes us want to live our lives in such a way that we please Him and bring glory to His Name.
Anybody who claims to be born again, but continues in sin is not really born again (1 John 1:6 & 2:15). The litmus test for this is fruit. What kind of fruit does their life bear? If they are continuing in sin, that will be obvious to all sooner or later. If someone is determined to continue in their sin, no amount of preaching or “discipling” by controlling their behavior will work in the end.
But when someone really grasps “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:18), there really is only one response: to live to please Him. They don’t have to constantly check themselves for hidden sins and doctrinal error because they willingly lay aside their flesh and begin to live in the Spirit and to walk in the power of that same grace that saved them. That’s why it’s important to preach the Gospel of Grace, and to keep emphasizing the love of God. Judgment is surely and swiftly coming. But while the fear of Judgment might get some people in the door, it is the love that saves them, and love that helps them to truly walk in the “newness of life,” (Romans 6:4).
Believing that you must control new believers is flesh and it is unbelief. Grace is available not only to save, but to empower the new life. Let go and let God.