The term Hyper Grace has been thrown around but what does this really mean? I would like you to consider today teachers that are currently promoting what could be called hyper grace. For those that hold this position they may balk at this term, but suffice it to say the term does help to paint the picture well.
I have chosen to look in at three men that I have found that are preaching and teaching a similar style of error. They are Joseph Prince in part one and Andrew Farely along with Jeremy White in part two.
Many may be drawn to their grace like gospel talk at first glance but one always needs to consider the fuller body of a person’s theology or work. The reason is that these men teach things further down the road that contradict their “grace” message.
So first let’s consider some quotes from Joseph Prince. He is a preacher that can be found on TV. Here are some telling quotes from him.
“There is no other qualification for being forgiven of your sins. The old covenant was based on justification by works (obedience to the Ten Commandments).You had to perform to be forgiven. But the new covenant of grace is based entirely on justification by faith (believing in Jesus Christ).”
― Joseph Prince, Destined To Reign
(The first thing to notice with all three of these guys is that there is apparent error concerning exactly how people were saved under the Old Covenant. Prince says clearly here that he thinks that one had to perform in order to be forgiven. However, Abraham (Rom 4) was justified before God by faith alone. Then we see in James 2 that it was also mentioned that Abraham was justified before men by way of testimony relating to his works. But remember that his forgiveness was granted by faith.)
(Prince makes a very lordship works oriented statement. It appears that he does actually still say that performance is required. He has just tacked it on the backside of salvation like most lordshippers. This statement is contrary to grace. God’s grace is unmerited.)
“I don’t believe for one moment that a believer who has truly encountered the complete forgiveness of Jesus and the perfection of His finished work would desire to live a life of sin. It is His grace and forgiveness that gives you the power to overcome sin. Apostle Paul said, “Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”4 When you are under God’s grace and His perfect forgiveness, you will experience victory over sin.”
― Joseph Prince, Destined To Reign
(This statement continues the previous error. Prince may be surprised to find that many of the believers -actually saved people- mentioned in the New Testament lived lives full of sin. We will expreience victory as believers not automatically but when we specifically walk in the Spirit applying the truth revealed to us by God’s Word. There is a big difference.)
“Because Jesus’ blood continually cleanses you, you cannot bounce in and out of the light of Christ, in and out of being seated in the heavenly places in Christ, in and out of being forgiven, justified, and made righteous, or in and out of fellowship with God. It is not a sometimes-yes-sometimes-no salvation, but a salvation that has secured a YES to all of God’s promises because of the blood of Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 1:19-20)!”
― Joseph Prince, Grace Revolution: Experience the Power to Live Above Defeat
(Similar to what we will see with the next two, Prince makes the mistake of equating ongoing fellowship with God with our positional place in Christ. While yes were are saved eternally as believers, we can still find ourselves needing to deal with sin in our lives that displeases our Lord. This is why I consider this view hyper grace. It extends the grace of salvation itself to practical daily living. So to understand, on one hand they say faith will perform, but on the other they say well it doesn’t matter if you mess up because you are always perfectly right with God no matter what. Though if one does too much sinning then supposedly you are not really saved… which negates grace just as much as any lordship “doctrine”. I will say more about fellowship in part two.)
The fact is that the Bible mentions repeatedly believers that the Lord had something against. The message in Revelation 2 to the believers at the church of Ephesus says in part: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”
These believers risked the loss of their church if they did not repent (change their mind) and do the first works that were pleasing to the Lord.
Staying in chapter 2 we see a warning from the Lord to the church at Pergamos:
“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.”
Remember that these believers were eternally saved people. They were eternally as positionally righteous as Christ is righteous but in practice they were displeasing the Lord by doing things that the Lord hates. You could say the ones in danger of being fought against with the sword of His mouth were not in close fellowship with Him. They needed to repent of their errant ways and deeds.
Take a look at the rest of chapter 2 and Revelation chapter 3 and see the kind of things that believers were doing that displeased the Lord. Take note also that These churches are actual churches (bodies of believers locally assembled) from that time. Some try to say these are only types of churches throughout the ages but that view has to be read backwards into the text. So I don’t hold to it.
Let’s also consider Hebrews chapter 10. This is written to believers. We know from the text that they were positionally sanctified. The writer of Hebrews includes himself with them and says in verse 10: “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” The writer goes on to clarify their position in Christ and challenges them to draw near with a true heart, hold fast their profession, consider one another, and to provoke others unto good works not forsaking the assembling of themselves together. Then we see a warning to the same saved people in verse 26. The willful sin was to as believers spit in the face of God’s grace and go back to law keeping and sacrifices. God reminds us here the He will judge His people. For believers we are talking here about physical consequences in this life and / or loss of potential reward in the next.
2 Cor 7 is also a good reminder of believers being called out for sin. Paul had previously rebuked them and then in 2 Corinthians says to these believers beginning in verse 8: ”
“For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”
Paul made them sorry with a letter. A hyper grace advocate would not recommend doing any such thing to make believers sorry for their sin. They would say well it is all under the blood so don’t even bring it up. But we see here that this sorrow was a good kind of “godly” sorrow. This godly sorrow is something believers can have in the Spirit. This repentance was to salvation. It was not salvation from hell but salvation from earthly consequences and spiritual fallout as in tarnished testimony or loss of rewards. (See other scriptures for examples.) The point is that this repentance done by believers in response to rebuke provided them a great clearing of themselves before the Lord in their practical walk with Him. They had been cleared in the matter. This is where a verse like 1 John 1:9 would be a parallel. In order to see the continual progression of ongoing cleansing in our lives as believers we need to honestly deal with God when confronted with our sins and failures. If you as a believer can’t admit there is a problem them you are actively resisting the Spirit’s work of progressive sanctification in your life. You’ll still be saved but it is tough to bear much fruit that way or be full of joy in your Christian experience.
Hyper grace robs people of the very concept of believers getting right with God in their personal walk with Him. I am glad that the Corinthians listened to Paul and not the advice of the likes of Joseph Prince.
In part two we will consider quotes from Andrew Farley and Jeremy White. As always beware of falsehood. Test everything with scripture and don’t let hyper grace suck you in.