I find it puzzling, that those who believe in the forgiveness of sins past, present and future (Billy Graham falls into this camp), are disparagingly labelled as being HYPER-GRACE (this is Dr Michael Brown’s definition in his book of the same title). I mean, is this to somehow differentiate between just bog-standard GRACE and HYPER-GRACE? Is hyper-grace just a little to extreme and excessive – even for God?
The big problem in the minds of the anti-hyper-grace camp, seems to be that if future sins are already forgiven then surely there is nothing to stop the forgiven taking advantage of God and sinning with impunity – so encouraging licentiousness? Isn’t this the point though? If it can’t be abused then it’s not really grace at all – it’s mercy!
And anyway, what’s the real difference? Surely, even if every sin you commit today has to be individually confessed and repented of in order to be forgiven, then you can still go out and sin, repent, confess and get God’s forgiveness anyway – because you know the outcome; you know God’s heart to forgive!
In our own experience, we know that God never turns around and says: “I’m not forgiving today, what you did is to bad, and you’ve done it to many times.” No, we know we have forgiveness because he HAS forgiven us in Christ at the cross.
Indeed, the fact that you might have to confess every sin doesn’t stop you sinning. It’s a fact, confessing the same sin over and over again, feeling condemned and guilty, and making promises to turn over a new leaf don’t work. Why? Because, you are focusing on the sin and applying law and your own fleshly strength to control a bad sinful habit. You are rubbing salt into a wound.
Grace is so wonderful, because like medicine it stops the infection, it breaks into the sin/confess/sin cycle: (The sin/confess cycle is exactly what Roman Catholics practice in the confession booth and Protestants do privately or at communion.) However, none of this religious performance results in deliverance or holiness, just frustration, sometimes desperation and many just give up, give in and continue to sin – they become licentious.
I believe, that because, future sins are forgiven, and there is no judgement for those in Christ Jesus (even when you sin), then the result is that the believer’s eye is off themselves and their own self-effort and onto Jesus who is the deliverer.
For example: when a non-swimmer falls into a lake and someone attempts to rescue him or her, often the drowning person grabs hold of the rescuer in panic and nearly drowns both of them. A wise life-saver will knock the drowning person unconscious so that they can safely drag the inert person to the shore!
This is what God has done for us in Christ. He’s knocked SIN (noun) on the head. We’re unconscious; we died with Christ. As the word says, God is not counting your sins any longer. No longer does he see you or relate to you in the flesh. He sees you in Christ; in the spirit. Consequently, we died to the law and sin and where there is no law there is no longer any offence!
Therefore, the work of the cross is so much more than just getting our sins forgiven, it is the execution and termination of the problem: SIN (noun) in the flesh. It’s only when you realise this wonderful truth of grace and the complete forgiveness of sins, that you stop looking at your spiritual score card and start living in the spirit as God intended!
Does this mean that you can still go out and sin without fear of judgement because you are in Christ? Yes you can, but that does’t mean that there aren’t any consequences at all to continuing to sin. For Example: if I foolishly decide not to pay my taxes I may soon find myself in jail! If I sleep around as a married man I may find myself in the divorce court! Of course even in our stupidity, God’s grace abounds and grace will teach you, even in a jail cell, that continuing to sin is a dumb idea!
Lastly, the disparaging use of the term hyper-grace is a bit ridiculous really. It’s like saying that it’s wrong to call God’s love hyper, amazing, super, or abounding (terms that the Bible uses in fact in relation to grace).
Subsequently, what are the limit’s to God’s grace? Is it limited to only those who repent as (John Burton) would say. In other words, you only qualify once you repent and if you stop repenting you forfeit God’s grace. This is a horrible idea and it isn’t even grace let alone hyper-grace.
As the Bible says, God’s grace is upon all and towards all. The only restriction is that it has to be accepted; it has to be received by faith. The only way you can miss the grace of God is if you reject it, ignore it or maybe even replace it with hyper-holiness teaching!
P.S You will probably notice ,if you read the material from those who are attacking so-called hyper-grace, that they don’t believe in the eternal security of the believer either. Evidently, they need this big stick to keep their followers in line and they call this grace?
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