Is Grace A Licence To Sin? Or Is It God’s Power To Overcome Sin?
by Christine Egbert
Nearly two millennia ago, the author of Jude urged those to whom he wrote to earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. He warned them about ungodly men who’d crept in and were perverting God’s grace, turning it into a license to sin. Today, after nearly 1,700 years of claiming the law (not the charges against us for breaking it) got nailed to the cross, this demonic heresy is reaching a fever-pitch. The blasphemous lie has birthed a bastardized doctrine known to it’s detractors in the Christian Church as “False Grace.” This is why in many churches today it is considered far worse to call someone out for sin (which Scripture defines as transgression of the Law) than it is to commit sin.
Joseph Prince, the senior pastor of New Creation, a mega Church in Singapore, is famous (infamous) for assuring his itchy-eared congregation that God would be unholy if he punished a believer for sin. Prince assures them that because Jesus was already punished for sin, all sin (past, present, and future), God would be “unholy” were He to punish them, which is why there is now no more condemnation.
Ear-tickling is quite lucrative.
As of October 2014, Joseph Prince became the tenth richest pastor in the world. His net worth according to richlifestyle.com is 6.4 million. Crefro Dollar, that Rolls Royce-driving prosperity-gospel televangelist, told his congregation: “If Christians want victory over sin, they should have nothing to do with the law, not even the big ten.”
The False Grace Doctrine teaches that since Christians are saved they are exempt from the penalty of sin and, therefore, certain parts of the Bible no loner apply. They’re exempt, removed from any responsibility to be holy.
While searching on the net for information on this False Grace movement, I came across a very disturbing article written by a millennial named Phil Drysdale (PhilDrysdale.com). Based on the title of his article, “The 3 Most Dangerous ‘Grace Movements’ In The Church Today & How To Spot Them,” I foolishly assumed it would expose False Grace. But it didn’t. It exemplified it.
This ear-tickling millennial posed four questions at the opening of his article. The fourth one asked, “Why isn’t Christianity as easy as it seems in the Bible?”
Easy? Really? Tell that to Timothy, who was poured out like a drink offering, to Paul, who was thrown into prison, to John who was exiled on the Isle of Patmos. Young Phil must not read the same Bible I read.
Here, copied from his website, are the signs that you are in a church where “false grace” is taught, according to Phil.
|The Christian life is all about getting closer to God.|
|We must become hungry and aware of how much we lack God so that we can press in with prayer, fasting, and trying to be holy – so that we can start to grow closer to God.|
|The Christian is desperate for more of God, and never satisfied…|
|Is focused upon a growth towards God that comes from striving.|
|Believes God’s presence shows up when we corporately please Him with our worship, prayers, and fasting.|
Phil Drysdale’s final description of what he considers false grace teaching is this:
“Your relationship with God and your personal development are deeply tied to your conduct. You thank Jesus for His gift of grace and acknowledge that without it you would be nowhere, but then you try to add to that grace by doing your best to change, to grow closer to God, and to improve yourself. It’s mostly fruitless,” he says, “extremely difficult, and frustrating.”
According to his website, Phil Drysdale traveled 191 days in 2012, when the article was posted, and has tickled ears with his view of true and false grace in 213 meetings. Now, here it is, Phil Drysdale’s message of grace, the simple Christianity he finds in the Bible, and I quote: “We need only believe and we get to enjoy intimacy with the Father.”
But is that what Scripture teaches?
If you think faith is just believing–a purely mental activity with no action required–then PLEASE read my article “What Is Scriptural Faith?” Now, before we delve into what the Bible actually says about God’s grace, I want to share a poem written by Dr. Paul Brown during the Brownsville Revival.
Pablum From The Pit
Cootchie, cootchie, cootchie-coo,
God loves me and God loves you!
Smile sinner, don’t be sad;
God’s not angry; He’s not mad.
Even when you leave the path,
There’s no hell and there’s no wrath.
So don’t you fear, just do your best.
Judgment Day won’t be a test.
God sees your heart and that’s enough.
The Judgment Seat won’t be that tough.
For you can’t sin away His grace
Or take that smile off His face.
’Cause God is love, and love is good:
He’ll treat you like you think He should!
Just trust me, sinner, to the end.
My name is Satan, and I’m your friend.
Now let’s see what Scripture actually teaches about grace.
God’s grace brings obedience of faith:
“… through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations.”
God’s grace reigns through righteousness:
“…so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness, leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
God’s grace makes us sufficient to abound in good works.
2 Cor 9:8
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”
God’s grace is fruitful.
I Cor 15:10
“But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace toward me has not been without fruit, but I labored more abundantly than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.”
God’s Grace empowers us!
2 Tim 2:1
“Then my child, you be empowered by grace in Christ Jesus.”
God’s Grace provides us help.
“Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and we may find grace for timely help.
God’s Grace allows us to serve Him with reverence and awe.
“… let us have grace, by which we may serve God pleasingly, with reverence and awe.”
God’s Grace empowers us to patently endure suffering.
1 Pet 2:20
“For what glory is it if you patiently endure while sinning and being buffeted? But if you are suffering while doing good, and patiently endure, this is a grace from God.”
God’s grace is always sufficient
2 Cor 12: 9
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness”.
In closing, let’s remember that we keep God’s law, not to be saved, but because we are! We keep it, even the big ten, to show Yeshua our love, for he said, “If you love me keep my commandments.” And we know that Yeshua’s commandments are His Father’s commandments, for Yeshua came only to do the Father’s will.
Those who have been swayed by ravenous wolves like Prince and Dollar, should read what Hebrews 10:26 says: “… if we willfully sin after receiving full knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment…”
Hebrews 10:26-27 refers to habitual sin, a lifestyle in which there is no repentance. Believers seeking to please God do struggle with sin. But there is a big difference between struggling against sin, and thinking a sinful lifestyle is okay, so long as you believe! You said the prayer, so now you’re covered. You can’t live in unbridled sin without paying a consequence. Don’t be deceived by some wolf in sheep’s clothing. God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows, he will reap! To the flesh: corruption. To the Spirit: life. (Gal 6: 7-8)
Obedience is NOT legalism!
1 John 1:6-9 says this:
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and we walk in darkness, we lie and are not practicing the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of His Son Yeshua the Messiah cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous. He will forgive us the sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Romans 8: 1-4 is the really good news . . .
There is therefore now no condemnation to those in Messiah Yeshua, who do not walk according to flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the Law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yeshua set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, to condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteous requirements of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.