Tuesday, November 1, 2016

What Gospel Are You Hearing? The Hyper-Grace Gospel

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. Galatians 1:6-7 NKJV

16 I refuse to be ashamed of sharing the wonderful message of God’s liberating power unleashed in us through Christ! For I am thrilled to preach that everyone who believes is saved— the Jew first, and then people everywhere! Romans 1:16 Passion Translation

  In the recent weeks, we've been studying the Gospel of Christ. We've asked the pertinent question, what gospel are you hearing? So many are hearing a message that leaves them hopeless, discouraged and sometimes downright deceived. As ministers of the New Covenant, we all should have a passion for preserving the integrity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 Since we've exposed the many false gospel narratives, I sensed the impression to look at the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is not bad news. It is not sad tidings. It is not a message revealing just how angry and disappointed God is with the World. The Gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ.

The Hyper-Grace Gospel

  Many detractors of the truth of Grace have coined this phrase "hyper-grace" as a form of insult. It is designed to show how extreme and off base the message of Grace supposedly is. I suppose according to these critics we can actually teach too much Grace. Too much Grace is dangerous and unbalanced in their view.

 What is the Gospel of Christ? The English word that is translated Gospel in the New Testament is the Greek word "Euaggelion". It is defined as the glad tidings of salvation through Christ. The proclamation of the Grace of God manifest and pledged in Christ. The Gospel is the proclamation of God's amazing Grace. 

 Why embrace the label hyper-grace? Because this is exactly how Paul the Apostle described this over the top, too good to be true but true Grace of Almighty God. 
...But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, Romans 5:20 NKJVb
The word in the Greek for abound is huperperisseuo. It is defined as super abounding, exceeding, to overflow, to enjoy abundantly, to abound beyond measure. The Gospel of Grace reveals we can never deplete the supply of Grace. Let's briefly look at the characteristics of the Grace Gospel and even answer a few myths along the way.

1. The Hyper-Grace Gospel reveals we are forever forgiven.
When we receive the Lord Jesus all of our sins are forever forgiven. God is not holding a record of our sins against us. He isn't tallying up just how often you blow it. He isn't going to use a demerit and merit system to determine just how much He will bless you. We've been forgiven of all our trespasses, past and present and future, Colossians 2:13.

2. The Hyper-Grace Gospel reveals we've been made the righteousness of God in Christ.
 When we receive the Lord, we exchange our old dead and unrighteous nature with Christ's living and righteous new nature. We receive His righteousness not some cheap knock off! We are just as righteous as Jesus, 2 Corinthians 5:21

3. The Hyper-Grace Gospel reveals God isn't angry with us, nor ever disappointed in us.
 This concept really irritates the tradition ruled mindset. Isaiah 54 prophesied that in this New Covenant God will never be angry with us nor rebuke us. Yet, some point to Revelation and Jesus' rebukes of the seven churches. Is there a contradiction? No, He rebuked their actions and revealed their errors. In our position as the righteous, born again, children of God, He is always pleased. In our thinking patterns, in our choices, and actions He may not always be pleased and will correct us to keep us on the right track of blessing and peace.

4. The Hyper-Grace Gospel reveals we've been sanctified, made holy, by the Finished Work, once for all time.
 Hebrews 10:8-14 reveal we've been made perfect in Him. We've been sanctified once for all time. What about progressive sanctification? This passage in Hebrews doesn't reveal a progressive sanctification. It's once for all time. This doesn't mean instant perfection in thoughts and words and deeds. What the Scriptures reveal is a progressive maturity into who we've already are.

5. The Hyper-Grace Gospel reveals we are eternally secure in Christ Jesus.
 John 10:27-29 reveals we are forever in our Father's hands and nothing can snatch us out. Once we are saved we are always saved. When we were lost and dead in trespasses and sins, no amount of good deeds could remove our old nature. We couldn't use our free will to simply renounce satan and no longer be lost. It was only when we received the Lord and through the new birth receive new life and exchange our old nature with Christ's nature. Once born again we can't be "unborn again". This is the good news of Grace.

 Some may be thinking, "yeah this sounds all good, but you hyper-gracers, are soft on sin and accept wicked living as ok." Actually, we aren't soft on sin but rather we magnify the solution to sin. 
20 When the law came into the picture, sin grew and grew; but wherever sin grew and spread, God’s grace was there in fuller, greater measure. No matter how much sin crept in, there was always more grace. Romans 5:20 Voice
God's superabounding Grace changes us from the inside out. Grace isn't about behavior modification but true heart transformation. Grace doesn't look to alter us from the outside in. He changes our desires, which will produce right living.

 Some may be thinking, "Hyper-Grace teaches and aligns itself with false philosophies like universal salvation in all it's forms." It is unfortunate that some who teach the errors of universalism or inclusion make claims that they are teaching Hyper-Grace. Jesus spoke of wheat and tares growing together.

 When the truth is taught, false ideas will subtly try to masquerade as truth. I've seen some take a passage in Colossians to mix truth and error.
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled Colossians 1:21 NKJV
 Some have taught that this passage proves no one was really lost. People were just separated from God in their thinking. Therefore they weren't really lost and simply need a mental awakening to see life. The problem here is that salvation is a heart transformation, not a mental awakening. What Paul was teaching in context, was that our thinking was contrary to God's ways but when we receive Christ we have the mind of Christ. Right thinking leads to right living.

 What Gospel are you hearing? Hear the good news of God's Grace. Hear the glad tidings that you're righteous and forever forgiven. Hear the truth that God isn't mad at you. Hear the good news that you are eternally secure. Hearing anything else leaves you broken, dejected and deceived. Hear the Good news Gospel and rejoice in His goodness and love for you that never fails.


Days of a Fiery Young Man said...

I have an adult son who received Christ and was baptized at age 15. He was on-fire for Christ. He went on several mission trips and did a 2-year internship at Bethany Church in Baton Rouge. I have heard him speak in tongues and watched him be overtaken by the spirit. In college he decided that he was gay and didn't want to believe anymore. Today, he lives a homosexual lifestyle and does not want me to mention my faith when communicating with him. He calls the Bible a "fairytale". I don't believe "once saved always saved". The way my son now rejects Christ and the Gospel can in no way end with eternal salvation. I know in my inner-knower that my son will return to the fold; however, if he were to pass today I cannot believe God would just overlook his conversion to atheist.

John W Reed said...

Only God knows his true heart. We aren't the final judge. Your son is walking in deception. God still loves him and we can pray that He will make Himself more real to him.
The hard truth is one your son never really was saved but going through the motions because 1 John teaches about those who left were not really with us. Secondly, your son just has been enticed away through severe deception. Grace has made a way and we trust in the Finished Work to bring clarity and truth.

Anonymous said...

The notion that those who do not persevere in the faith were never of the faith to begin with is a product of Reformed theology; not the scriptures themselves. While it is true that SOME were never saved in the first place; it is not a logical conclusion that ALL were never saved in the first place. The Bible does refer to those who apostatize or fall away from the faith. By definition it is impossible to fall or turn away from the faith if one never truly belonged to the faith to begin with. Thus only genuine believers can be said to apostatize.
That is why Jude 1:12 refers to those who are "twice dead." How can a person be twice dead? It cannot refer to physical death because the Bible states that we die once and after that the judgment (Heb 9:27). It can only refer to spiritual death; so how does someone spiritually die twice? The only explanation is that an unsaved person who is spiritually dead (once) becomes spiritually alive in Christ upon becoming a believer and regenerated in the Spirit. However, due to habitual sin and/or unbelief this believer subsequently becomes spiritually dead (twice) and forfeits/loses his salvation. That is why believers are commanded to persevere in faith and obedience. Those who do not are not assured of salvation.

John W Reed said...

Its been a long time but I wanted to clarify my view. I said of a person who is seemingly walking away from the faith that only two possibilities exist. The first that they heard a message, tasted it for a season and walked away. Meaning they never had faith, to begin with. They never received Christ. I am not a Calvinist and disagree strongly with reformed theology. Yet that point isn't Calvinistic. It only becomes so when we assign this view to each and every case.
The second scenario is simply, that the person is under an attack from the enemy, where they are being led astray, deceived and following down a dark path. What is the result of this person? That Jesus paid it all. If they truly believed at one time, then they are saved. We don't serve a performance driven God.