Tag Archives: hyper-grace

New Book – Forgiven.

Forgiven – How do I know?

I’ve just finished and published my fourth kindle book on Amazon called Forgiven – How do I know?

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Endorsement

Forgiven Book CoverPaul Noble is like a stick of rock …. There is a lot of talk about values today.

Values communicate what is important, they indicate what you stand for, what really matters, what is worthwhile and you really want more than anything else.

Each one of us has own set of values.  Values such as health, friendship, success, integrity, financial independence and loyalty. These values determine our direction, behaviour and provide the basis upon which we make our decisions. Our most important value is the one which is written though us.

In this sense, Paul is like a stick of rock… and the word embedded in every fibre of being is grace.  God’s unconditional acceptance and longing for a loving relationship with us is at the heart of Paul’s writing.  Discovering grace for himself, changed everything for him.

Now, Paul has become an advocate for this kind of grace: the grace which breaks down the walls we have erected and use them to build bridges to God. Paul’s message is one worth listening to; because those who understand the truth of God’s grace experiencing what it means to be free for themselves. May we all be sticks of rock with this word of grace written through our lives.

Rev Sean Blackman, Church Leader at Freedom, (Exec) AMBA MBA, PGDipTh, BD (Hons)

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The forgiveness of all sin

The Forgiveness of all sin

hyper-graceDoes believing that God forgives future sins take the grace of God too far? Surely this is super risky on the part of God? I mean what’s to stop the believer carrying on with sinning in the knowledge that he or she is already forgiven? Look at the alternative though: If past sins are only covered, then you are forgiven up to the point of your confession or repentance only. Meaning of course, that every time you sin – you are no longer forgiven by God!

Under the OT

sacrificesUnder the Old Covenant this was indeed the case. Basically every year at the day of atonement the previous sins were covered by the blood of an animal. Atonement (which means to make amends) was made with an animal sacrifice by a priest and you were forgiven (to send away or let go.)

Leviticus 4:35 “and the priest shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed, and it shall be forgiven him.”

Three things needed:

Three things were necessary for forgiveness of the sinner: a priest, a sacrifice and a death (the shedding of blood). Jesus was all three:

Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness)”

Hebrews 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

Therefore, it is very clear that the atonement of sin and forgiveness are linked together strongly. You can’t have one without the other. God doesn’t just paper over the cracks and pretend. If he is to let go (forgive) then it has to be on the basis of an atoning sacrifice.

Jesus died for the sins of people not even born yet!

are all sins forgivenWhat Jesus did at the cross then, through the once only and never to be repeated sacrifice, was that he atoned and bore the sin of believers who sinning was yet future.

Hebrews 9:28 “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

Therefore all my sins were future at that moment when on the cross he cried: “it is finished.”

All my sins were future when he cried out: “Father forgive them for they know what they do.”

1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

So, if you believe in Jesus Christ you believe the fact that 2000 years ago before you were even born Jesus took all your sins (all of them from birth to death) in his own body on the cross. Hallelujah!

Forgiveness is a done deal!

If that is the case why is so hard to believe that you are forgiven all your sins past, present and future – as the price is paid?

Indeed, forgiveness is nearly always presented in the New Testament as a single event completed in the past at the cross:

Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Note: If God was still forgiving sins then this passage should say even as God for Christ’s sake forgives you.

Here are a few more instances in the New Testament of how forgiveness is a one off event in the past:

Colossians 2:13 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”

Romans 4:7 “Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”

By the way, Paul only mentions forgiveness once in the whole of Romans where he quotes Psalm 32 as above.

1 John 2:12 “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.”

Therefore my friend you can rejoice in the fact that your sins are forgiven!

What happens when I sin?

What happens when you do sin though? Are you still forgiven or have you notched up a debit in your account? For example, say this morning you were doing 95mph down the motorway – in a rush to get to work on time. Did heaven go into lock down and the angels on standby because of the wrath of God directed towards you. Do you need God to forgive you?

Well firstly, Jesus is not going to come back and die on the cross so that you can be forgiven. He’s died once for sin; the atonement is complete. Jesus is no longer on the cross!

1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”

Secondly, God isn’t reckoning or counting sins any more:

Romans 4:17 “blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin”

However, what you are doing (driving at 95mph) is dangerous and foolish and has potentially serious consequences: when you sin you are making it much easier for the devil to defeat you and your maybe endangering others lives also. What you need right now is an intercessor or advocate else you may get to heaven quicker than you anticipated!

The good news is that Bible tells us what happens when you sin and its not 1 John 1:9. Its 2 John 1:

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”

Therefore God is not passive when you sin – Jesus is acting on your behalf. However, your coach and other advocate the Holy Spirit is going to be whispering or maybe even shouting: “slow down!”

Consequently, If you hear that voice then respond and admit or confess that what your doing is wrong – and of course slow down! That’s all you need to do – you are forgiven already. It’s that simple.

What about 1 John 1:9?

What about 1 John 1:9 which seems to imply that we only receive forgiveness when we confess?

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.

The problem is that this verse has been quoted so many times out of context  that we read into it what it isn’t saying. It doesn’t say this:

if we sin and confess our sins – then he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us form all unrighteousness”. 

If we read it in the flow of 1 John 1:8 you will see that the if statement is not making forgiveness conditional but is contrasting between those in verse 8 who claim to be sinless (probably gnostics) and those in verse 9 who freely admit or confess their faults (believers).

1 John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins… 

Indeed, what is interesting is that the tense of the verbs to forgive and cleanse are not continuous as is confess but are in the greek aorist tense (a single event again referring back to the cross).

Summarising

Summing up then and making sure you understand the benefits of this comprehensive New Covenant agreement:

The payment for all your sins was made before you were born (1 Peter 2:24 ) around AD 30 by the Son of God Jesus Christ.

You are forgiven of all your sins of you have committed and will ever commit because forgiveness and atonement are linked together. You can’t have forgiveness without blood being shed and that has and will only happen once (Hebrews 9:22).

Note: The danger of believing that past sins are covered only by the cross: is that every time you now sin you can never be forgiven because Jesus isn’t going to die again for you.

How is all this received?  Only by faith in Jesus Christ.

Acts 13:39 “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”

Read More:

A driving analogy

Stop saying sorry!

Are future sins forgiven?

Total forgiveness

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Kindle book – Christ the End of Law

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What’s all the fuss about hyper-grace?

hyper-graceI 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.

hyper-graceIndeed, 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).

hyper-graceSubsequently, 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?

New Creation Church Gosport

Escape to reality – Paul Ellis

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Christ the End of Law
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Can a believer lose their salvation?

can a believer lose their salvationA few Pentecostal teachers today, such as Dr Michael Brown, are attacking so called ‘hyper-grace teaching’, by writing articles in Charisma magazine claiming that those who believe that future sins are forgiven are introducing heresy into the Body of Christ.

Consequently therefore, those who believe that only past sins have been forgiven, believe that you need to ask and receive forgiveness for every sin that you commit from the point of salvation. In extreme cases, some believe that if you die without confessing your latest sin, you may go to hell!

So, can a believer lose their salvation? 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 or oversight in confession. I mean, what are the chances of anybody getting saved? This is a doctrine of life-time insecurity! Its hardly peace with God!

Of course, it gets even more complicated when you get down to the detail of individual sins we might commit, because there are not only sins of commission but there are sins of omission. In addition, there also sins we are not even conscious of at all!

James 4:12 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.”

To cap it all, Paul declares in Romans 14:23 :  “what is not of faith is sin”. This makes it virtually impossible to ever list, confess and repent of  all your sins! Maybe then, it would  be better to confess all known sin and then commit suicide quick so you go straight to heaven – unfortunately suicide is a sin so, that won’t work either!

Fortunately, this idea, that a believer can lose their salvation through unconfessed sin, is not true. If it were true, then the work of the cross is not sufficient to save the believer completely but is only completed by the endurance of the saint.

It means also,  that unconfessed sin can cause the believer to become unrighteous, unjustified, unborn again, unredeemed or even lose eternal life – which doesn’t make sense if its eternal!

What preachers such as Dr Michael Brown are afraid of I believe, is that if future sins are forgiven, then there is no motivation for holiness and the believer will simply abuse grace. In other words grace is a license to sin! I wonder though,  how much of this angst  comes from a genuine concern for their congregations or rather,  that if God’s grace is this good,  then they no longer have a big stick to scare their sheep into behavioural change!

In fact, if there is no possibility of abusing grace, then what is being preached is not grace at all!  If real grace is being preached, then this question should always come up, as it did in Paul’s exposition of the Gospel 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 God abounding in grace towards the sinner?

Salvation therefore, is not some kind of probation: in other words you get a free ticket to heaven but make one false move and your out the door without a parachute!  Neither, are you paying for passage on this salvation voyage by working for God as one of the ship’s crew. No, he has paid for everything up front and there is nothing to pay back ever. Your in a first class!

This then, is the ‘to good to be true news’ of the Gospel. Can a believer abuse this grace? Yes, but would a genuine believer want to? So, I believe the answer to the question: “Can a believer lose their salvation?” ,  is a resounding NO!

Further Reading:

Is it possible to preach to much grace?
Eternal Salvation
The dangers of the holiness movement

 

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