Every summer we rent a spot at our larger than average county fair to give grace material to passersby.
Yesterday, someone asked, “Are you hyper-grace?”
Hyper-grace is a term that became renewed recently in holiness circles as some teachers got a hold of grace teaching and started teaching to people who had been herded by the holiness “have-to-do” teachers.
The refreshing sound of grace is liberating for those living in a grace desert for fear of becoming Calvinist, or worse, licentious. So, a controversy was born over how much grace is too much in order to keep the herd from spending too much time at the drinking hole.
Is it too much grace to say all our sins are forgiven without the work of confession?
Is it too much grace to say that we are sanctified without works?
Is it too much grace to say that you can’t be unsaved by your works?
Is it too much grace to say we are not under the law of works?
All these questions and more are being discussed in the renewed teaching of grace affecting holiness groups.
Do I Teach Too Much Grace?
When I was asked whether I was hyper-grace, I knew immediately I was dealing with a someone prepared to protect the necessity to do works to maintain their salvation.
The conversation was doomed from the beginning. It didn’t matter how many Bible verses I quoted or how plainly I explained why Paul’s gospel of the grace of Christ was superior revelation to the law teaching of Hebrews and the red letters. Nothing satisfies the holiness herder until Christians are lassoed with at least one “have-to”.
To him, I was hyper-grace. I was taking grace too far.
I didn’t know there was such a thing as “too much grace” in the dispensation of God’s grace (Eph 3:1-2). Let’s review how Paul describes how God operates today:
We are saved by grace (Eph 2:8-9).
We walk by grace (Rom 6:14).
We stand in grace (Rom 5:2).
Grace is needed to teach us to live godly (Titus 2:11-13).
God is “able to make all grace abound toward” us (2 Cor 9:8).
God’s grace is sufficient in weakness, pain, and suffering (2 Cor 12:9).
The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant to save (1 Tim 1:14).
Our speech should be alway with grace (Col 4:6).
We have the riches of God’s grace (Eph 1:7).
We who are saved receive an “abundance of grace” (Rom 5:17).
Grace abounds “much more” over sin and the law (Rom 5:20).
God’s grace reigns today (Rom 5:21).
When grace is exceeding, abounding, reigning, all sufficient, and necessary for salvation and life in Christ then I don’t know how you can have too much, when God has given so much. It seems God is being hyper-grace today, or at least exceeding abundant-grace.
Can someone teach too much grace? Only if you believe the lie that grace gives permission to sin. This is contrary to the grace of Christ.
Where Does Hyper-Grace Come From?
Michael Brown asks the question in his book “Hyper-Grace” about where this doctrine came from.
The simple answer is that it came by revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ to the apostle Paul as a mystery kept secret since the world began.
It is only when the Hebrew epistles and Jesus’ ministry to the circumcision are mixed with the pure Pauline message of grace that people start to limit the grace of God so that it is received piecemeal and only upon good works and confession.
Consider verses like Heb 4:12, 1 John 1:9, and James 4:6 that give grace upon those who respond to God obediently and gives it only when they ask.
What these passages all have in common is that they are not Pauline. They were written without knowledge of the dispensation of the grace of God given first to the apostle Paul.
To the poverty stricken third world, every American is hyper-rich. Perhaps hyper-grace was coined by those in grace poverty who have not deposited the unsearchable riches of Christ into their spiritual understanding (Eph 3:9).
“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” – Eph 3:8
God’s grace is free and available to all, but you must know where to find it in God’s word. Mixing law with grace makes grace disappear.
Am I hyper-grace?
I am Pauline, as Paul was the apostle of the grace of Christ (Rom 15:15-16).