Systematic-II

 

CAVEAT: A sampling of Paul’s writings contradicting the hyper-grace skew. The sequentially selected verses below are not exhaustive. Only those required to reinforce the bedrock doctrines the church held prior to the modern era are being reviewed as they relate to the spreading frenzy called hyper-grace or its variants. It should be remembered that the hyper-grace movement not only basis its new found revelation on a select number of verses, but primarily centers on the teachings of Paul as he rebuked churches for trying to follow Jewish law as a means of salvation while forgetting their faith in Christ.

SYSTEMATIC - Observation II
(The Error of Hyper-grace)

“A false-grace doctrine is a drug—a poisonous sleeping pill that feels freeing, relaxing and euphoric. Yet the false-grace overdose that’s occurring in churches all over the world is resulting in people’s careless, self-focused slumber that they will, one day, fail to awaken from.” - John Burton.

EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS (Continued)

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Romans 3:10-12.

This is such a vital passage.  It assures the world that none are righteous before God.  When rightly applied, it ensures that the sinner has no hiding place, no matter how good he thinks he has lived his life; he has chosen a way that has not led to God.  To drive this point home, the passage repeatedly uses words such as none (4 times), and the phrase, no, not one (2 times).  The next six verses exposes the wickedness of man as well.

Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:19-20.

No one will be declared righteous by the deeds of the law.  Every mouth will be stopped.  Through the law we become guilty (conscience) of sin.  This is a fundamental truth to the new convert.  Paul’s message here (and in the next chapters), is one describing the essential message of Christ’s work in the convert.  No matter how hard you try to be perfect in following rules and rituals, you will never be righteous by the deeds of the law.   

The religion of Christ’s day was the most ritualistic generation of Jews to ever exist, leading Christ to tell the disciples that unless their righteousness exceeded this type they would not be saved.  The law cannot save you; you cannot be justified by its deeds.  That is the whole of this passage’s teaching.  Who does this apply too?  It applies to “every mouth” and “all the world.”  You cannot add to that, and you cannot take away from it.

The first part of verse 19, says, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law:” Before I declare what this passage says I want to indicate what it does not say:

1.         It doesn’t say that those who are under the law are under the curse of the law.
2.         It doesn’t say believers are not under the law but under grace.
3.         It doesn’t say that before faith came we were kept under the law
4.         It doesn’t say that if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.
5.         It doesn’t say Christ came to redeem those under the law.
6.         It doesn’t say anyone desires to be under the law.
7.         It doesn’t say that those who are under the law are under wrath.
8.         It doesn’t say that those under the law are dead.

I could probably add some more but the point is made.  This passage says that the things the law declares, it declares to those who are under the law.  That is all it says.  To add anything else or to take anything away from this passage is doing a disservice to the word of God.

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”  Romans 3:21-24.

God now shows us His righteousness apart from the law.  God reveals that all have sinned and now are justified by His grace through Christ.  This justification is an act of God whereby the sinner is made righteous on the basis of the work of Christ; he is born again, regenerated.  You cannot justify yourself, and it is not a process.  A believer of five minutes is just as justified as one 20 years in the faith.  It is apart from the law, and this righteousness comes by believing, by having faith in Christ, and it is for everyone, or all them that believe.  It is clear that it is by God’s grace because we do not deserve it. 

God paid the ultimate price to attain it, but we can receive it free of charge.  It is called a redemption, which means it is a payment or ransom to set the captive free.  Christ’s atonement satisfied God’s righteous anger, and His blood satisfies the penalty of the law.  This act removes the sins we have committed from our conscience and God’s presence after we repent (confess and forsake sin) and believe in Christ.  Justification is not sanctification.  Sanctification is a process, a process that makes justification a reality.

This is the glorious message of God’s grace.  Grace is an attribute of God, which is His giving us what we do not deserve; as opposed to mercy, which is God not giving us what we do deserve.  To add more to this glorious act, to make it take on other meanings such as to include perseverance or sanctification is damaging to God’s great gift, and damaging to the believer.

These passages explain how we attain our right standing with God at conversion, which is Christ’s righteous sacrifice covering our confessed and forsaken sins.  Grace is not a cover for us to commit sin.  We are not sinners saved by grace.  This act places us on a new footing, through a new birth.  Sin is removed and we are to live a holy life of victory over sin.  It is not an excuse to remain in sin.  Since it was impossible for us to acquire righteousness in relation to the law, God purchased it for us, so we could live a life for Him, in holiness.

Hyper-grace teaches that you cannot live a life of holiness to God, and this is the great lie.  You should always be vigilant against false teachings, especially those which demean living holy, and promote living in open sin.  If you know anything at all about God it should be that He is holy and He abhors sin.

The verses above teach on the believer’s justification (not sanctification), and his redemption from captivity.  This is where false teachers are muddying the water, by making justification mean sanctification.

You cannot sin as much as you like because you are covered by grace.  You cannot find an excuse in the whole Bible that allows you to continue to sin, it’s just not in there.   Believers do not sin flippantly.  The believer’s struggle is against temptation not sin, and it is ongoing.  When we are convicted of sin we confess, forsake, and continue to fight.  A person who uses God’s grace as an excuse to remain in sin reveals that they were not saved in the first place.  Matthew Henry puts it like this:

“True believers are dead to sin, therefore they ought not to follow it. No man can at the same time be both dead and alive. He is a fool who, desiring to be dead unto sin, thinks he may live in it.”

Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”  Romans 3:25-26.

Christ (as the perfect sacrifice), turned God’s wrath away and gave the gift of God’s grace to us.  The Bible says, “for the remission of sins that are past.”  First notice that this particular verse does not speak of “future” sins.  In fact, it specifically says the remission of sins past.  So, to be clear, it does NOT say just the remission of sins “only,” which any wrester may infer past, present, and future; but this verse specifically adds the word past.

Hyper-grace teaches a false security in sin to supplicants by telling them that past, present, and, future sins are forgiven in a way that they are no longer putting forth effort to be perfected in God’s grace (sanctification).  Can you be damned for living a sinful existence even if you claim to know God?  You sure can.  There are hoards of verses in the Bible that teach this very thing. 

Hyper-grace goes beyond just removing the effort of the supplicant in the process of sanctification (the process that makes justification a reality), but also teaches them to be hostile to God’s conviction and correction upon their conscience in relation to their willful sins.  You can no longer preach against sin among these folks, and the Devil loves it.  It truly fulfills the prophecy pointing to our time, of a people having their conscience seared with a hot iron.  Christ’s work has justified us that believe not to return to a life of sin, but to a life going on unto perfection.

Additionally, because nominal believers embrace a doctrine that allows the existence of their selfish sins along with a hypocrite’s errant belief in salvation, they have embraced the ways of the world and its lies in opposition to sound doctrine.  The world has deceived so called “Christians” into believing in space and dinosaurs more than in biblical truths.  It is not a joke, if you ask 99% of church goers today which is real, living a sinless, holy life unto God; or, does outer space exist, they will say space does exist and you cannot live a sin free life in Christ (both of which are lies).

Where [is] boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”  Romans 3:27-28.

There is no bragging of your virtue in the law.  An ascetic Jew can stand before God being blameless in God’s law and still not be justified in God’s sight without faith.  Also, there is no supposition alluded to in this verse that says, we do not have to observe, study, meditate, employ, and follow God’s law.  The Bible plainly states you are, “justified by faith without the deeds of the law,” not you are justified by faith to ignore, break, speak ill of, destroy, or adversely disregard God’s law. 

You cannot be justified by the deeds of God’s law, which is all the Bible teaches.  Why, because you have already violated it.  You cannot un-commit adultery, un-murder, or un-steal; therefore, because you cannot be justified by the works of the law you are not under the law as a form of salvation.  However, God established His law to reveal sin.  That is why every prophet, preacher, and even Jesus preached repentance.  When your sin is known, it is up to you to repent (confess and forsake) your sins and comply with God’s will.

The Bible never says not to perform the teachings of the law, or to not apply the law’s great truths to your life.  God’s word is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.  Ignore these truths and find yourself thunderstruck at the judgment. 

God Almighty does not play the word games the false teachers and the Devil does.  God will show you plainly, as shown above, what His word says stripped of the gloss of man’s teachings, to your sore amazement.  Play games with God, or His word, and you will see what happens.  You will not be able to say He did not warn you.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. Romans 3:31.

Here it is.  The statement that confirms faith has not voided God’s law.  It is, so plainly written in the Bible that only a fool would say you do not have to obey God’s word.  However, the fools are multiplying. 

Why is the lost sinner better off than the nominal believer who sins willfully claiming to be covered by grace?  Because that nominal believer has heard the great message of God’s grace, claimed to have believed it, and then returned to a life of sin.  It would be like getting released from a torture prison and then desiring to go back. 

The true believer becomes more indebted to keep God’s moral law than anyone else.  We establish the law more so than those without faith in Christ, because we realize the value of the great gift of grace.

Those teaching that you do not have to follow God’s word are populating hell quicker than anything the Devil is doing.  In their heart, they really hate God.  This is not a lie.  How can you love God and despise His word, or tell people not to follow it? 

The one commandment they say they follow, you know, the only one they are under, love the Lord thy God with all your heart; well, you cannot love Him with all your heart if you do not follow what His word teaches.  You are a liar to say you love God but refuse to keep His word.  That is not just my opinion, but the word of God that you despise, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 

Take note, you cannot say God did not inform you of the truth.  You might not like it, and here in this world you do not have to obey it, but the one thing you cannot do is ever say you never heard of it.

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.  Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.  Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,   [Saying], Blessed [are] they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  Blessed [is] the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Romans 4:3-8.

Abraham and David were justified, made righteous, on the same principle of faith that we are made righteous.  God has not changed.  Works of the law did not secure their justification, and justification by faith is not a new principle discovered by Paul. 

The Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Muslims, Hindus, whoever, cannot be justified by works of the law.  It has been proven, and here repeated by Paul.  Now Paul did not just say we establish the law, and turn right around and say the law is abrogated.  That is the extra message of hyper-grace, that if I cannot be justified by the law why follow its teachings.  This is what they add. 

You will not find listed here, or anywhere else in the Bible a passage that says the law has been rescinded.  Here is a truth, because you receive this justification by faith, your sins are forgiven and not imputed to you.  It reflects a present position; God says I forgive you based on your faith in my Son, not because you are blameless in the law.  You cannot justify yourself, take My grace. 

Now, if God forgives your sin, covers it, why would you dig it back up and return to a sinful lifestyle?  That would be like an abortionist stepping out and hearing this great message of grace, acknowledging that he believes it, then saying, “well back to work.”  Is that the proper result of receiving God’s grace?

For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, [was] not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.  For if they which are of the law [be] heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:  Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, [there is] no transgression. Romans 4:13-15.

As Paul stated previously, justification by faith does not void the law; however, following the law as a form of justification does void faith.  Abraham received the promise by faith before the law was given to Moses.  Reliance on the law voids God’s promise and brings His wrath. 

We see how God justifies us through faith in Christ, and how His sacrifice satisfied God’s anger and the requirements of the law.  Why did we need Christ’s sacrifice to satisfy God’s anger and wrath associated with the law?  Because the law does exist, Paul tells us so here, and tells us that Abraham received the promise by faith before the law was established.

For where no law is, [there is] no transgression.  We have mentioned before that even though no law (of Moses) existed in the pre-flood world, it is apparent they had violated some law of God.  God would not just destroy mankind without showing them their sin.  The fact remains that we do have the law, and you cannot throw it away because you miss the theme of Paul’s point, which is that the promise came by faith not law. 

He is not saying if we burn our Bibles and eliminate all writings of God’s law and purge our minds of its memory there will no longer be any transgression, that’s absurd.  He is saying that His promise to Abraham was not based on the law but faith. 

Paul teaches in chapter two of Romans that those without the law still perish without the law.  That is, ignorance of the law excuses no one.  Every nation has some form of dealing with murder, and even if you are ignorant to this crime and commit it, they will punish you regardless of your ignorance; and God’s law is higher than mans’.

Taking a verse out of context is what a hyper-grace believer does.  Paul’s context is found in his discourse on faith versus the law as it relates to the promise of God.  A person who knowingly violates the law is responsible to God for his transgression.  A person who does not know the written law will be judge by the innate law written on his heart by God.  This is the only way to account for the pre-flood judgment, else this verse would forgive their sins; or for that matter, anyone that doesn’t know the law, including those not exercising faith in Christ, and they too could not be charged with sin. 

You see, to make this mean no knowledge of law equals no sin (oh happy day!), also means those who do not know God at all are without sin.  Incidentally, is that the next step in the hyper-grace insurgency, universalism?  “For where no law is, [there is] no transgression” there was no salvation either for those who violated natural law.  The law was added to expose sin and show the need for Christ.  Those who had no law still perished without law.

Therefore [it is] of faith, that [it might be] by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,… Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Romans 4:16, 5:1-2.

As anyone can see, Paul is explaining his message throughout, which is that the promise is of faith by grace for all, not, “to that only which is of the law.  Paul is not anti-law.  Do you know how fast he would have been stoned in Israel for trying to abolish God’s law? 

The contrast is that faith in God caused people to keep God’s law as opposed to thinking that a praiseworthy keeping of the law is all that is required.  We are not just trying to avoid sin through the law.  We are fellowshipping with God through a faith that is dead to the world and sin.

Someone told me one time to always pay attention to the word “Therefore” when you see it in the Bible.  They said it always points to the most important topic of the conversation.  When you see the word “Therefore” ask, what is it “there for?”  In this case it points to faith; faith is the theme of Paul’s message as the means of justification.  Paul’s message uses radical contrasts to hammer home the point that through the law no one is justified, it is by faith only. 

Paul is dealing with the fundamental doctrine of justification received by faith, not sanctification (the process that makes justification a reality).  God’s justification by grace is being expounded upon by Paul not to simply show our salvation, but that justification serves a purpose here and now.  It brings benefits to the believer. 

Two of those benefits are peace and access.  Peace with God is granted to us, the rebellion is over, and the rebel has surrendered to God.  The peace of God is an absence of conflict, a tranquility of soul, and peace that passes all understanding.  The Bible says there is no peace for the wicked.  Is it possible to have a false peace?  You bet, read Ezekiel chapter 13.  The most astounding thing about Ezekiel 13 is that people were lulled into a false peace by false prophets. 

Is that happening today?  Well, either the hyper-grace preachers that allow followers to stay in sin while giving them a false peace with God are right, or God’s word that says there is no peace to the wicked is right.  Have you seared your conscience?

We also have access to God, into His presence, after we are regenerated.  The sinner does not have access to God.  This access denotes a privilege of approaching, or being introduced into the presence of someone in high station, especially a person of high or divine rule.  The redeemed can come before God.  This access is meant for fellowship and prayer to mature us into His image of holiness, to help us prevail against the enemies we encounter which are the Devil, the world, and our flesh. 

A faith that does not utilize these benefits to continue to grow in God and overcome sin is a dead faith.  I would not even call it a faith; it does a disservice to the word.  It is a selfish existence that says I am not going to even try and conform to His image but enjoy the pleasures of the world.  I could respect it if you went off somewhere and just said I am going to live for myself; but to box and sell such a selfish way of life and even equate it to the grace that God speaks of in His word is criminal.  You’re a lazy sluggard to take God’s grace and continue to live a life unto yourself, and worse, convince others that it is the way to go.  I hear a millstone calling you.

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