Hyper-Grace and Apathy

There is a sickness of apathy in the church. 

It is caused by an extreme resting on Jesus’ work, so much so, that you do not work yourself. This would be at the kernel of the hyper-grace movement. “Jesus is an over-payment.” They say, meaning, He died not only for your sins, but also for your prosperity. 

Get your good job, good health, and keep your family safe.

Jesus died so that you can have all of the things!

Hyper-grace puts very little emphasis on our sin. Those who preach it often misquote the bible to say this.

He died once and for all!

Romans 6

9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Sounds like a good and solid stance on hyper-grace to me, but if you continue reading Paul gives you a “therefore” verse meaning, this next part is connected!

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Hyper-grace skips verses 12 and 13. “Let’s just move on to verse 14,” they say, “We are not under law but under grace.” 

They seem to forget the verse about “not presenting your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness”. Just word-of-faith-it up, meaning, lie to yourself that you are free and then through that lie (which hyper-grace people call faith) God will magically fill you up with grace…

Oh, and don’t read any further in the chapter! Please! Ignore the parts of Romans that speak on obedience.

15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 

If you ignore the sinful parts of you, and how your members might become slaves to that sin, well, this leads to even more sin. You can lie all that you want, but in the end the judgment of God will ring true. Without His true grace which turns you away from sin, you will be neck deep in it. 

You can’t produce fruits of the flesh and call yourself set free from the law? An orange tree produces oranges. What it produces is what it is.

If Jesus’ grace is meant to do it all, then what do you do? Sit in your chair and watch TV I guess. No need to do any good at all.

Resting on Jesus to this extent leads to apathy. 

When I had left this movement, I had a final conversation with the leader of the house group. He went on and on about being, Christ conscious, which turns out is a New Age doctrine. He kept saying that I should remember the first touch of Jesus in your heart. Go back to that touch!

But I knew that I needed way more than ONE touch from Jesus. I need a daily relationship with Him. I need Him to judge me when I’m wrong and discipline me, to encourage me, and to consistently love me. I am a leaky, sick-hearted vessel in need of a Savior.

I responded to this house group leader, “But won’t this lead to apathy?”

He mustered up his charisma, “It leads to joy!”

But his joy was not the joy of the Lord. I knew very well where it led: apathy and then soon after that… depression.

He Cleanses Us from ALL Unrighteousness!

Another commonly misquoted verse is found in 1 John:

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

The infamous hyper-grace teacher Joseph Prince loves to misquote this verse. He always puts an emphasis on the word all, “… cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness!” Then he goes into this little bit, it’s very cute. He says something like, “Do you know what all means in Greek? It means ALL!”

And so he says that AAAALLLL of our sins–past, present, and future–are forgiven. So we only need to confess them ONCE! Because (remember) Jesus died ONCE FOR ALL! “Don’t be sin conscious but be Christ conscious!”

What does the next verse say?

10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Who are the “we”? Was it none-believers that John was writing to? He does include himself in that “we” right? Is he an unbeliever who needs to confess his sin ONLY ONCE, as Joseph Prince loves to proclaim?

John the apostle is saying that if he and fellow believers in Christ (this includes us) say we have no sin in us… we call Jesus a liar and His word is not in us. He writes this right after the verse concerning confession… 

This means we must confess our sins over and over to the Lord. No amount of charismatic shouting can change this fact.

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