Recently, a certain Dr Michael Brown has written a couple of articles in Charisma magazine attacking so called ‘hyper-grace teachers’ and claiming that they are bringing a dangerous heresy into the body of Christ because they preach that all sins, including those in the future that a believer may commit, are already forgiven.
Where is this reaction coming from? Firstly, it is coming from the age-old heresy that a believer can lose their salvation because of un-confessed sin. In other words, the work of the cross is not sufficient to save completely but is only completed by the endurance of the saint.
Well if this is true and un-confessed sin can cause us to become un-righteous, un-justified, un-born gain, un-redeemed and un- baptized in the holy spirit or even lose eternal life (which doesn’t make any sense if its eternal), then really there isn’t much risk of anybody getting saved and making it into heaven really. I mean, even a lack of faith is defined as sin in Romans 14:23 – so what chance have we got!
Did God really design salvation to be that uncertain and precarious? If what Dr Michael Brown is saying is correct, then none of us can sleep safe at night, as at any moment we may be in danger of being plunged into hell for a brief lapse of faith!
Secondly, these anti-grace preachers believe that if its true that future sins are forgiven, then there is no motivation for holiness and the believer will simply abuse grace – it’s a license to sin!
In fact, if there is not the possibility of abusing grace, then what is being preached is not grace at all! If grace is being preached, then this question should always come up, as it did in Paul’s exposition of the Gospel of grace when he wrote Romans 6:1:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”
If therefore a believer can be lost because of un-confessed sin, then tell me: how he can continue in sin so that grace might abound? How is losing salvation abounding in grace!
But enough of that, what do the scriptures say? (Romans 4:3!)
Romans 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
So are future sins forgiven? This verse is pretty unambiguous – happy is the man the Lord will never (double negative in the original) impute (reckon, account) sin.
Therefore, the believer is accounted righteous (justified) because he believes not because he works (performs) or even confesses his sins!
Let me repeat that. Blessed is the man the Lord will never impute sin!
Col 2:13 He made you alive together with him having forgiven us all our transgressions. Having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us which was hostile to us; and he has taken it away having nailed it to the cross.
ALL our sins HAVE been forgiven. Every fault, every accusation HAS been nailed to the cross. Our certificate of debt HAS been cancelled! That is why Jesus could cry out on the cross, “It is finished!” Think about it, when Jesus paid for our sins, all our sins were in the future. Before we were even born, Jesus laid down his life and atoned for all our sins. Hallelujah!
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
We HAVE been redeemed (bought back) with the price of his blood. We now belong to Jesus; we’re his possession. Do you think he is going to lose us or let us go?
In fact, this forgiveness is so complete, that God remembers our sins no more. There is no record anywhere of your sins in heaven or earth, like data on a disk they are completely erased never to be retrieved.
Hebrews 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
That is why, for the believer there is NO JUDGEMENT for sin, now or ever! God is not judging you or taking account of your sin today, tomorrow or at some point in the future. Why? Because you are in Christ.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.
So, because you are in Christ, not only has your sinful behaviour been judged at the cross but your sinful nature or old man. God does not repair or renovate the old man, he kills him off.
Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Therefore, when Jesus was crucified we were crucified. When Jesus died we died. When he was buried we were buried. That is what we are celebrating in the funeral service we call baptism.
The wisdom of the cross, is that nothing we can do, can undo what has been achieved. You are freed from sin. You are dead to the law.
“Romans 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.”
Romans 6:11 “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
You are now dead to sin and alive to God. This means that God is no longer relating to you on the basis of your old man – only the resurrected born again spirit man! Therefore, if you sin, it is no longer you that is sinning it is your sinful flesh (soul and body). Your nature (spirit) has been changed or born again and CANNOT sin:
1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
Sin is no longer your identity:
Romans 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
This is wonderful, because it means that a relationship with God can never be broken. A believer can always come to God because God is not focused, obsessed or even interested in your sinful flesh, like many sin focused believers are. As far as God is concerned, the whole issue has been dealt with thoroughly and completely in the cross of Jesus Christ for ever!
Today, you can have complete peace with God because perfect love casts out all fear – including the fear of losing your salvation!
So, I hear you say, does continuing to sin matter? Yes it does. For a start, if you continue to live in sin you’ll probably get to heaven faster than you anticipated. Secondly, sin will affect your ability to experience everything the Father has for you and will still give you plenty of negative experiences. You won’t inherit the kingdom.
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
God wants you to renew your mind and live righteous because that is who you are now. Your identity is Christ.
Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Andrew Wommack on Romans 4:8
Billy Graham on forgiveness
Grace a license to sin
Is it possible to preach to much grace?
The dangers of the holiness movement – Dr Ironside
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