Yet Again, a Major Hyper-Grace Error

By Michael Brown Published on November 30, 2018

Although the hyper-grace movement is not quite the rapidly spreading fad it was a few years back, it continues to entrench itself into the hearts and minds of millions. That’s why, to this day, I get requests from leaders in America and abroad to come and address this aberrant teaching. And that’s why my book on the subject continues to be translated into different languages. The need remains acute.

To be clear, there are many wonderful truths presented by hyper-grace teachers, who are our brothers and sisters in the Lord. They are life-giving truths. Jesus-centered truths. Transformative truths. To each of these truths, I give my hearty “Amen.”

But these truths are mixed with dangerous, even deadly errors.

An Untruthful Email Message

Recently, a colleague forwarded me an email with hyper-grace teaching, asking how he should respond. He, in turn, had received the email from a friend who was quite enthusiastic about the content. Yet the content was clearly in error, making two main points.

First, the email claimed that God didn’t judge the nation of Israel for its own conduct but rather for the conduct of the High Priest. If the High Priest was righteous, the nation would be blessed. If the High Priest was sinful, the nation would be cursed.

The implication, then, is that God deals with us based on the righteousness of Jesus (our great High Priest) alone, not based on our conduct. As stated in the email, “What the high priest was before God, so was the entire nation before God.”

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Second, the email stated that, if we are truly believers in Jesus, God doesn’t see us (and our sin) when He looks at us. Instead, He sees Jesus. Consequently, we are told, “If God sees Jesus perfect, then He sees you perfect.” As a result, “you cannot lose your right standing because Jesus Christ is your High Priest.”

Are these claims true? Certainly not. In fact, whatever truths they contain (pertaining to the finished work of the cross and the Savior’s ongoing work on our behalf) are obscured because of their errors.

To respond, then:

‘Not One Verse’

1. There is not one verse in the entire Old Testament that says that God blessed the people of Israel because the High Priest was righteous (even though the nation was in sin) but then judged them when they were righteous (but the High Priest was in sin). Not one verse.

In contrast, we are told over and again how God judged the people of Israel because of their sin. Just read Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 (the blessings and curses). Where do these chapters say a word about the High Priest? (I agree that we are not under the Sinai Covenant, but remember, the first claim in the email pertained to this covenant.)

2. The High Priest made atonement for the people on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement; see Leviticus 16), but if anyone in Israel did not afflict himself that day as prescribed by the law, that person would be cut off from the people. So, the atonement did the person no good unless he did his part.

Rebukes for Sin and Calls to Persevere

3. Throughout the New Testament epistles, believers are rebuked for their sin. (Paul wrote like this, as did James and Peter and John and Jude.) Of course God sees us in all our imperfections and doesn’t just see Jesus.

And what does Jesus say in Revelation 2-3? He rebukes those He loves, calling out sin in the church (Rev 3:19). If God only saw Jesus, He would never rebuke and correct us.

Again, without a doubt, our righteousness comes from Jesus. But if we abandon Him or renounce Him or refuse to obey Him, we forfeit that gift of grace.

Does God see us as accepted because of the cross? As forgiven because of the cross? As His children because of the cross? Absolutely. Does He see Jesus, rather than us, when He looks at us? Of course not.

4. There are many verses in the New Testament that call us to persevere in Jesus, saying that if we do not, we will not be in right standing with God. Just read verses like this: John 15:1-7 (remember, this is addressing branches in the Vine, meaning in Jesus); Col 1:21-23 (note that word “if”); Heb 2:1-4; 3:12-14; 4:1-11.

If This Hyper-Grace Teaching Was Right, These Verses Wouldn’t Exist

Again, without a doubt, our righteousness comes from Jesus. But if we abandon Him or renounce Him or refuse to obey Him, we forfeit that gift of grace, hence this warning:

“Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness—without it no one will see the Lord. Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many. And make sure that there isn’t any immoral or irreverent person like Esau, who sold his birthright in exchange for one meal. For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected because he didn’t find any opportunity for repentance, though he sought it with tears,” (Heb. 12:14-17).

In short, if the teaching in that email was right, these verses would not be in the Bible.

So, let’s continue to exalt God’s grace and swim in the ocean of His grace and glory in the finished work of the cross. But let us not be lulled into a false sense of security based on hyper-grace extremes which mix life-giving truths with deadly error.

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  • Paul

    Michael, thanks for not throwing out the grace baby with the hyper-grace bathwater.

    Hyper-grace is as toxic as works-based teaching. Advocates of either position need to ignore portions of scripture or distort it to justify their beliefs.

    • Does this projection actually work or are you just that intellectually dishonest?

      Without works you have little, and do no Works of Mercy.

      • Paul

        I’m not sure exactly what you’re saying, but really this whole topic is simple: we are saved by grace, believing in Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin. That belief (or faith) if genuine involves being a follower of Jesus, repenting of our fleshly ways and allowing the Spirit to use the Word to change us, living out the commandments of Christ as believers in Him.

        We neither can be saved by grace and carry on living wicked lives, nor earn our way to heaven through good works.

        • Mere belief is meaningless as the devil believes as well. Therefore a substantive metric is needed.

          • Paul

            Yes, it is true that satan and demons believe Jesus is the Son of God, but Jesus didn’t offer himself up as a sacrifice for their sin. He did that for us people, and it is in Jesus who we believe for our salvation. Not merely believing that He exists but believing that He is the Son of God and died for our sin and was burried and then rose from the dead, making a way for us to be in right standing with God. As we read in John:

            “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

            You are also right that there needs to be a substantive metric, but that metric is not works, it is love. As Jesus said:

            “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

            Paul reminds us about this in 1 Cor 13, which I won’t fully quote here.

            And what are Jesus’ commandments? Again we hear it straight from Jesus, and there are many. But the point here is why we keep them. If we do them thinking we are earning heaven then we are fooling ourselves. Our only motive should be our love of Jesus and what He has done for us. That is the full essence of being a believer of Jesus, loving Him for who and what He is and has done, and as a result of our belief and love we follow His commandments.

          • The point is that mere belief is meaningless and carries no special substance apart from itself. Ergo the point that the devil believes in God, so what?

          • Paul

            If I understand you correctly then what you are saying here is contrary to scripture. I’ve already noted passages that address the importance of belief and faith and there are plenty more such as what Paul wrote to the Ephesians that puts faith and works in their proper order:

            “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

            Works based salvation teachers turn to the book of James to justify their ideas (and ignore other parts of the scripture as well), but James isn’t saying faith is meaningless, he is rightly pointing out that our faith must lead to good works, not merely hearing the Word but to be doers also. James addresses the folly of hyper-grace that pretends your actions as a believer are of no consequence. When he says faith without works is dead he doesn’t at all do away with faith and replace it with works. It is by hearing the Word we discover who Jesus is and what He has done for us. In that we believe and love Him, which leads us to follow His commandments doing good works.

          • William Barret Travis

            You missed the point as does Brown by conflating justification with sanctification.

            Justification is salvation from the penalty of sin (Romans 3:28, Romans 11:6, Romans 5:8). When anyone believes the basic gospel message (1 Cor 15:3-4,11) they are acquitted of guilt (justified) and thus no longer subject to the penalty of sin (Romans 5:8), assured eternal life (John 5:24, 1 John 5:13).

            Now, either the Bible is true and you received eternal life when you believed (John 3:16, Titus 3:7) or the Bible is lying and you still have work to do before it is really yours. Its one or the other, not both.

            The appeal to James 2 is a fairly common error. Nowhere in James 2, where James is speaking of being justified by works, is the wrath of God for man’s sins in view as it is in Romans 3 where Paul deals with the biblical doctrine of justification. Nowhere in James 2 is James taking about man’s condemnation before God because of his sins.

            As such, James 2 is talking about sanctification (loving our neighbor), NOT justification. Sanctification is salvation from the power of sin (1 Thess 4:3, Rom 6:14) and it has nothing to do with eternal destiny (1 Cor. 3:14-15), justification settles eternal destiny (Titus 3:7, Romans 5:9, John 5:24).

            The whole context of James 2 is not sinners under condemnation before God because of their sins. James is addressing believers regarding Christ’s command to love our neighbor as ourselves. His point is that just saying you believe in loving your neighbor isn’t sufficient, it must be accompanied by works demonstrating that. James then uses Abraham as the example of this by showing that Abraham’s belief in God’s command was proven in his action.

            James says Abraham was justified by works. In other words, Abraham’s obedience to sacrifice Isaac was the vindication of his faith, proof that he believed God’s command. In the same way, those who claim to believe the command to love their neighbor as themselves, are justified (vindicated) by actual love for neighbor. One other thing Christians commonly miss is that is James uses a completely different example of Abraham in James 2 than Paul uses in Romans 4.

          • Paul

            In your view, in Matthew 18:21-35 what debt to God do we risk losing forgiveness of if we fail to forgive our brother?

            Or when Jesus teaches us to pray in Matthew 6, what debts in verse 12 are we forgiven of as a condition of our forgiving our debtors?

            The same question about Mark 11:25-26?

            Or what about the admonition to Christians in Hebrews 3:12-19 about an evil heart of unbelief and its consequences, where exactly are we unable to enter in as a result?

            And what is 2 Peter 2:20-22 warning us of?

          • William Barret Travis

            Your first challenge is the same challenge many Christians face. If you believe that John 3:16, 18, 36; John 5:24, etc. are true, then either you received eternal life when you believed in Jesus Christ or you didn’t. If you do believe that then, by definition, how you understand every other passage of scripture must agree with what Christ said in those passages and not overthrow/undermine it.

            Put another way, if you understand another scripture as suggesting that something that is eternal (eternal life)—which, by definition, means forever—can be forfeited, you’ve contradicted the clear positive statements out of the mouth of Jesus Christ. You’re off track.

            Matthew 18:21-35 is just a lesson on sowing and reaping. If God is gracious to us we should be gracious to others (Matt 18:33). Matt 18:34 is figurative/symbolic for reaping for showing no mercy. The other scriptures you mention in Matt 6 / Mark 11 highlight the same principle, showing mercy that mercy might, in turn, be received.

            The issue in Hebrews 3:12-19 is the same as it is in the most of Hebrews. The warning is to continue in Christ and not seek refuge in the law. Notice Hebrews 3 is using the pattern of the Israelites not entering into the promised land because of unbelief (Heb 3:19). We as believers, through faith in Christ, have come out of Egypt & crossed the Red Sea, a type of forgiveness of sins. But forgiveness & eternal life isn’t all that God has for us. He has made present deliverance from the power of sin available also in Christ, that’s what sanctification is. Sanctification is salvation the power of sin.

            To enter into that promised land we must continue in Christ. As Paul stated in Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

            So, I received Jesus Christ by believing he suffered the penalty I deserved for my sins and I was justified & made an heir of eternal life (John 5:24, Titus 3:7, Romans 5:9). Now, I “walk in him” by believing that God also delivered me from the POWER of sin in Christ (Rom 8:3-4, Rom 6:14). Put another way, I put on the new man in Christ, the man freed from the dominion of sin and grace is made available by God as I do and I live a sanctified life. But, if I forsake that provision in Christ for my sanctification, I won’t partake of/enter into that reality.

            You forgot the admonitions in Hebrew 6:4-6, Hebrews 10:26-31, 1 Cor 15:2, etc. There are many passages that appear far worse than what you seem to be troubled by.

            Look at the context of 2 Peter.. He’s dealing with false teachers. Quick read looks likes he saying its greater misery to have known freedom & returned to bondage than have only known bondage & remained in that.

          • Paul

            “Your first challenge is the same challenge many Christians face. If you believe that John 3:16, 18, 36; John 5:24, etc. are true, then either you received eternal life when you believed in Jesus Christ or you didn’t. If you do believe that then, by definition, how you understand every other passage of scripture must agree with what Christ said in those passages and not overthrow/undermine it.”

            I most definitely believe those passages to be true. I also see in scripture that people can later decide to no longer believe in Jesus. Belief is something that is ongoing, not merely a thought at a single point in time. Belief is directly tied to obedience, you can see it in the verse you listed, John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” In this verse you see the opposite of belief is disobedience.

          • William Barret Travis

            lol. You just contradicted yourself and proved that you don’t believe the gospel.

            John 5:24 (NKJV) Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

            Jesus just said that at the point of faith whoever believes the gospel HAS PASSED from death into eternal life. You just denied that which means you don’t believe it.

            Ongoing belief is NOWHERE found in John 3:36, he’s saying the same exact thing he said in John 3:16, 18; John 5:24. They call what you just did eisegesis.

            According to your own testimony, you believe that there is something for you to continue to do in order to be assured eternal life. That puts you back under the law wherein perfect obedience is required for righteousness and to inherit eternal life (Romans 10:5, Gal 3:12).

            As of yet, you haven’t believed the gospel.

          • Paul

            Actually I came from this hyper grace background and used to think like you. What changed me was the scripture, not reading into it but rather reading the whole scripture beyond the verses hyper grace teachers fixate on. But if you’re right about all this then I’m just fine considering I came from that, funny how that works uh?

            I witnessed all too much the fruit of hyper grace, many people with no concern for following Jesus’ commandments or developing spiritual discipline, many completely walking away from the faith. I saw the parables of the sower happening before my eyes, lots of rocky ground and thorns. And to some extent the hyper grace message was responsible since people can simply conclude it was one and done, next stop heaven so really is of no consequence how they live their lives thereafter. But that isn’t what we find in the Bible. We hear Jesus saying if we love him we will keep his commandments. It begs the question if we don’t follow his commandments doesn’t that mean then we don’t love Jesus? And if we don’t love Him then what does that mean regarding our right standing with God? That will make for an awkward judgement day don’t you think? “Hi God, nice to finally meet you. Thanks a million for sending Jesus to die for my sins, I thought that was pretty cool. Yea I know I ignored everything else he said but we’re still good right?”

            We read about this in Matthew 7:21-23

            “21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

            It’s been interesting to get confronted on both sides of this topic. On one side I’ve got Nigel saying belief is meaningless and on the other side you’re saying belief is all there is. The Bible presents a different way, one that absolutely begins with belief in what Jesus has done for us as a free gift since none of us can earn our way to heaven or be good enough on our own, and continues to loving Jesus for what he has done for us, being good soil for His Word and bearing good fruit, following His commandments, doing the will of God, running a good race and persevering to the end.

          • William Barret Travis

            “used to think like you.” – More humor. You don’t even understand what I’ve said given that you’ve been unable to engage the scriptures cited, how in the world can you claim to think like me? Clearly, you cannot.

            What you have demonstrated is condemnations over & over of what you refer to as “hyper-grace” which you cannot even define. Your theology is a conflation of justification & sanctification both of which you’ve demonstrated you don’t understand.

            “What changed me was the scripture, not reading into it but rather reading the whole scripture beyond the verses hyper grace teachers fixate on.”

            You’ve demonstrated zero grasp of scripture, only denial of what’s plainly stated by Jesus in John 3:16, 18; John 5:24. And further in Titus 3:7, Romans 3:28,Romans 5:1, etc.

            Matthew 7:21-23

            21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

            22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

            23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

            Your appeal to Matthew 7 is more proof of your ignorance.

            What is “the will of my Father which is in heaven”?

            John 6:40
            And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

            The will of the Father in heaven is that everyone that believes in the son receive everlasting life. Doing the will of the Father is believing in the son. Those in Matt 7:22 appeal to Jesus on judgment day on the basis of their works (“done many wonderful works”) and will accordingly be condemned.

          • Kathy

            I’ve been following this thread and thought I’d contribute my two cents. (That’s all it may be worth) My understanding is if a person is truly saved, which is also referred to as born again, they will have a strong desire to please God. Love, gratitude, obedience and good works are the result. It will be a pleasure, not an obligation for salvation or done out of fear.

            If someone professes faith and belief, but does not display that love, gratitude, obedience or good works, such as continuing in a sinful lifestyle, lacking generosity or compassion for others, has no desire to learn about God through the Scriptures, etc., have they truly been born again? Are they really saved if they have not become a “new creature”?

            These people were never justified to begin with, so just saying one believes can be questionable.

          • William Barret Travis

            Hello Kathy…

            Jesus suffered the penalty for our sins in our place (Romans 5:8). He is the justice of God (Romans 3:25). He suffered the penalty you and I deserved for our sins.

            When anyone believes in Jesus Christ—the clearest, simplest expression of the gospel is in 1 Cor 15:3-4, 11—they are justified, meaning, acquitted of all guilt (forgiven) and right then and there made heirs of eternal life (John 3:16, John 5:24, Titus 3:7, Romans 3:28, Romans 5:1 “we have peace with God”).

            Justification is salvation from the penalty of sin. Put another way, when someone believes in Christ they are no longer subject to the penalty of sin because Jesus already suffered that penalty in their place and they believed that.

            Romans 5:8 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

            Paul is saying that justification is salvation from the penalty of sin. When anyone believes the gospel they are justified/forgiven the end result of which is they are guaranteed salvation from the judicial wrath of God. Put yet another way, when someone believes in Christ, the heaven/hell issue is forever settled.

            So, I don’t look to myself or something inward accomplished in me or my works to know if I’m justified because I didn’t accomplish my justification, Christ did. He suffered the penalty I deserved and I simply believed that.

            That settles justification.

            Next is sanctification which is separate & distinct from justification.

            1 Corinthians 1:30
            But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness [justification], and sanctification, and redemption [glorification]:

            Sanctification is a separate inheritance God has provided for us in Christ. He provided justification, Christ suffered the penalty for my sins and the the result was my acquittal. However, he has also provided another inheritance for us in Christ that is separate & distinct from justification and that is sanctification.

            God has not only delivered us from the PENALTY of sin in Christ but he has also delivered us from the POWER of sin Christ. Sanctification is deliverance/salvation from the POWER of sin.

            Sanctification has no bearing on whether you go to heaven or not but it does determine the level of rewards you will receive (1 Cor 3:11-15). God has delivered us from the POWER of sin in Christ (Romans 8:3-4, Romans 6:14). That means that God put an end, in Christ, to sin ruling us and thus in our daily lives. We lay hold of that inheritance by believing God has saved us from the power of sin in Christ and, as we do, we experience that freedom in our daily living and the result is good works. But, those good works do not determine our eternal destiny, they determine rewards.

            Justification settles eternal destiny. Justification HAS NOTHING to do with inward change, etc. Its strictly a judicial matter. You & I deserved punishment for our sins. Christ suffered that punishment & satisfied God’s justice. You & I receive God’s justice. Its that simple.

            People tend to blend justification & sanctification together, that is unscriptural. Justification DOES NOT involve works (Rom 3:28, Romans 5:1, Galatians 2:16, Romans 11:6, etc). Sanctification involves works (1 Thess 4:3-5).

          • Kathy

            I do understand the difference between justification and sanctification, and yes, there are people who erroneously blend them together. Simply put, from my own perspective, there are people who profess belief, yet display no sign of regeneration. I was once one of those people.

            Sparing you many details (I could write a book), a transformation has taken place in my life through the new birth Jesus discussed in John 3. I am no longer going through the motions, and have since become a committed follower of the King. I know for certain that Christ’s work on the cross is ENOUGH, and no one NEEDS to add anything to it. That would be an affront to God and the utmost display of prideful arrogance.

            However, for myself or anyone making the claim I just did, to be void of the “fruits of the spirit” makes that claim highly questionable. That’s why I say just professing belief as I had done most of my life does not mean one has truly partaken in God’s free gift of justification through Christ..

          • William Barret Travis

            “Simply put, from my own perspective, there are people who profess belief, yet display no sign of regeneration. I was once one of those people.”

            Remember, the thief on the cross showed no signs of regeneration. He simply recognized (believed in) Jesus as Christ/Messiah. Many people on their death beds have done the same and they’re all in heaven.

            So, again “fruit” is not proof of justification. Your justification was accomplished fully outside of you by God in Christ.

            Romans 4:24
            Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

            To the extent that anyone appeals to “fruit” as proof of justification is the extent to which they deny it was fully accomplished by God in Christ. As far as justification is concerned there is nothing for anyone to do but believe, that settles its, you’re justified & granted eternal life (Titus 3:7, Romans 3:28, Romans 5:1, John 5:24)

            I celebrate your transformation & your testimony will be an encouragement to others, but please don’t point to “fruit” as evidence of justification. Transformation/works belongs in the category of sanctification.

            “However, for myself or anyone making the claim I just did, to be void of the “fruits of the spirit” makes that claim highly questionable.”

            That statement basically says that claiming to be justified through faith in Christ is questionable absent some level of fruit. Again, justification is by FAITH ALONE (Romans 3:28). Don’t try to involve fruit in justification because the Bible never does (Romans 5:1, 8; Romans 11:6, Galatians 2:16, John 5:24).

          • Kathy

            You are right, William. I have often cited the thief on the cross.. as you did, his only sign of regeneration was believing that Jesus is the Messiah. Same with people concerning deathbed conversions. The parable of the hired workers comes to mind as well…some worked for the entire day, while others for only an hour or less. They all received the same payment in the end.

            I have actually asked others, especially Catholics, exactly what, how much and how often must these “works” be done to verify their salvation. Theirs is an obligation or requirement of the church, whereas I see ours as a token of love for our Savior

            I think of “alter calls” and the like, people are caught up with emotion of the moment and profess belief, yet days or months later it is discovered the seed was planted on thorny or rocky soil, not the good soil. Don’t know the exact verse offhand, but it speaks of “going out from among us because they were never truly of us.”

            Speaking of works, you mentioned rewards. I’ve wondered about that…what, how much or how often in order to obtain them or is Christ our reward for persevering in faith until the end? The concept of rewards seems works based to me.

          • William Barret Travis

            Looking for proof of justification is a waste of time. The only proof of your justification was Christ nailed to the cross. And you believed that.

          • William Barret Travis

            “It’s been interesting to get confronted on both sides of this topic. On one side I’ve got Nigel saying belief is meaningless and on the other side you’re saying belief is all there is.”

            You’ve clearly understood nothing I’ve said.

            Justification is salvation from the penalty of sin and guarantees eternal life (John 3:16, John 5:24, Romans 3:28, Romans 5:1, 9; Titus 3:7).

            Sanctification is salvation from the power of sin, INVOLVES GOOD WORKS DONE BY THE BELIEVER, but doesn’t determine eternal destiny (1 Thess 4:3-4, Romans 6:14, 1 Cor 3:12-15).

            I think we’ve found your problem. Reading comprehension.

          • Contrary to your heresy’s rhetoric, but actual Scripture is contrary to your heresy as well.

            The “faith alone” meme was created by luther because he liked how it sounded and had to make crap up because he could not speak or read Latin.

  • Ray

    I believe there may be times when God sees us as perfect, without any fault, but that is only a snapshot in time. It may be when we are truly repentant, condemning our actions which were sinful, and falling upon God’s grace and the righteousness of Christ, wherewith he may clothe us. Then, perhaps he doesn’t see our sin, but let’s remember that this experience by itself is just in a moment of time, and that life goes on.

    • God refuses to see your sin, therefore God refuses to see sinful people at all. When you get Penance, God forgets your sin happened and erases it.

      Eternity is a long time. Go to the Sacraments.

      • Howard Rosenbaum

        Eternity is MORE than a long time . Eternity transcends time , just as “the Spirit & the word” transcends your dogma & the love of God transcends the hardness of your heart. A heart which judging by your statements on these pages seemingly has NEVER tasted & seen that the Lord is good .
        Repentance from dead works is where you need to start . Something not likely to occur to you anytime soon …..

        • Eternity literally means “beyond time,” yes. It would do you well to extend your knowledge past trivia I already know.

          A dogma is a true thought, a hard position born of axioms and hard thinking. At least the ones of the Church are like that. your dogma that dogma is weak against your ego’s “personal interpretation” is self-refuting. Do more thinking and less excusing of your ego.

          I find it funny how many times your very “argument” here has been used against me by atheists, satanists, (post)modernists and whatever label gnostics have called themselves this week.

          The atheists say that “evolution” self-justifies them and that every evil they commit is somehow a “progress.” The low rank satanists say they are “happy” because they feel they can do whatever they want (the low rank ones are really just hedonists), the high rank satanists who perform rituals and the like all want to kill themselves and are not too talkative. Modernists believe Truth is relative, post-modernists do not believe in Truth at all. Rarely do I see a pure gnostic, but it happens and those guys are scary.

          Each one gives some variation of this:
          – They tell me that if God is loving, then he lets them do whatever they want and he has to accept them. Their definition of “god” is always some demon when you press them to be specific.

          – They also tell me that the Truth is nothing compared to what they “know” from what makes their ego feel good. Their definition of “know” is always that it makes them feel good.

          That you give me the same, but with a pseudo-scriptural flair tells me something about you. I do not think you are malicious and purposeful about it or even conscious of this, but it is there.

    • James Blazsik

      Not sure what you are trying to say. Christ commands us to abide in Him by eating His Body and drinking His blood. To take part in the repentance of sin and shine with our good works.
      Holiness comes with being in Christ and doing what He calls us to do.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Sure , God sees us as distinct from others , the Master Himself being no exception. Sure we as members of His body have an obligation as well as the exhortation & even the command to be found faithful , in so many words.
    Yet while there are consequences for wrong decisions we may make deliberately or otherwise , is it not the blood of the Redeemer & not that of the redeemed that affords us access to this all sufficient grace ..?
    Yeah, God is not one to be mocked by anything we may or may not do.
    Yeah , there is a price to be paid for walking along the “straight & narrow”. As I understand it , the currency is faith in God & the destination is His Grace ..!
    So yeah, God sees me IN Christ . It is the hand of faith , as such which reaches into this grace. Anything else is “lawlessness” & scripture warns us of what that will produce …

    • The Church is the Body of Christ, and you are not a port of that. There are no addendum to that because your ego rejects the idea that God isn’t your personal lackey who acts only according to your ego’s desires.

      The only thing the Cross fixed was the debt of Adam you would have incurred through lineage to Adam. your own sins are paid for by you alone.

      God sees you, or does not see you, but you are not a part of Christ as you imply yourself to be here.

      • Howard Rosenbaum

        Were I to be angry over your impetuous remarks it would be a righteous anger.
        Though rather than anger it is more a sense of revulsion with which I have to contend with in the face of your self delusional & divisive religiosity.
        it is sentiment like yours that reeks of the kind of self righteousness that the Master so hated. I hope for your sake that in spite of your theologically challenged understanding of both mercy & Grace that it will not be the words the Master spoke to those perhaps other false disciples that ring throughout eternity in your ears. “Depart from Me – I never knew you ……

        • A self-righteous anger. you keep forgetting the “self-” prefix in your totally ego-driven and ego-justified heresy. Of course that would mean giving up the plot and therefore you would no longer be able to fake Christianity when you are a self-admitted gnostic.

          you used the “self-” prefix in relation to me, as your kind thinks projection absolves you, so that tells me you know exactly what I am getting at here.

          And I understand you pretend Jesus literally is the voice in your head that keeps telling you “do whatever you want, just blame it on scripture,” but you can’t honestly believe that.

          I will not be Divinely Judged by your ego, no matter how self-apotheosized you think you have become on mere “belief” that the voice in your head is God.

          Since you go into a disassociative state whenever your ego is challenged, let me ask you a question and a simple reaction of yours will answer me:

          If all of your sins are meaningless due to “belief” alone, then why are you still here on earth to give you a chance to atone for your own sin?

          Is God not then a cruel tyrant for making you suffer here for literally no reason since you blasphemously claim you are “saved” already?

          Thirdly, how can sin exist if God merely overlooks yours as if he is your lackey covering for whatever evil you partake in? Is this superpower you claim for yourself not given to others? If your sins don’t matter, when you are willing to take God for granted and treat Him like a slave, then are not all of the killers and rapists who have actually sinned less than you do by taking God for granted not also “saved?”

          • Howard Rosenbaum

            This will be my last reply to your theologically corrupt & SELF serving response to my post. One for which you have demonstrated an incomprehensible lack of understanding & even less of a capacity for good will.
            In the words of the Master , whom you seem by your attitude & lack of scriptural intelligence to represent in any appropriate fashion ,; “ Get thee behind me Satan ..!”

          • Again, projection will not absolve you. Can you possibly address what is in my post to you, as this reply is so generic it could be for anyone.

      • Royce E. Van Blaricome

        Is that your RCC doctrine coming out? Whatever it is it is a false gospel. See Gal. 1:8-9 for more on that. It’s almost downright comical how often Matt. 7:2 is so often brought to light on here.

  • Ray

    I have to wonder, if the one who sent the e-mail in question would agree wholeheartedly at the representation of it, as given by Michael Brown, and if not, why not? If he really didn’t agree with it, could that mean that the interpretation might have been a bit off? It could also mean, that he knew he was caught in some error, and didn’t want to come clean, I suppose, yet I still find myself wondering.

    If I can not represent what someone else has said, fairly and honestly enough to gain the full approval of the one who said it, and if he was an honest man, would that suggest that I wasn’t hearing him right?

    I would like to see the entire e-mail, and some real context would also be helpful.

    • From personal experience, getting what people said exactly right causes them to fly into a rage.

      People spend so much time “spinning” to get a desired outcome, that they are offended when you can see right through their game.

  • Ray

    What about the time when God sent some judgment upon Israel for the sin of the king? That happened with David, when he numbered the people. (See II Sam 24:10) So am I suggesting anything here? Anyone want to try me on that?

    • That was in the Old Covenant, and the people of Isreal had no salvation yet and needed to learn as an example.

  • Patmos

    “you cannot lose your right standing”

    Then why did Jesus tell those he showed mercy to “go forth and sin no more or something worse will happen to you”?

    In the natural, if you were pardoned by the president or a governor, that would not mean you are free to commit the crime that got you in trouble in the first place. Same way in the spiritual.

    • You are seeing the absurdity of your own heresy. You may convert soon unless some demon in you pulls hard in the leash.

      • Patmos

        The fact that you never use scripture to back any of your repeated nonsense is a dead giveaway that you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

        Then again, if you had any sort of foundation in scripture you wouldn’t continually spew forth complete nonsense!

        Does it not occur to you that all you’re doing is making a fool of yourself? Or is trolling your goal?

        I’m leaning towards the latter at this point: Just one of the handful of useless trolls that frequent this site.

        What a life you are living!

        • Woobiefuntime

          He could be blind to that like the Pharisees of Jesus’s day .

          • The pharisees were priests who lowered the standards of the Old Covenant to claim that people could do whatever they want as long as they gave money to the temple. That is the exact thing your heresy promotes by the day.

          • Woobiefuntime

            I never said anything about tithing for salvation. And I do not believe in that. That is the Mormons and some of the Word of Faith people.

          • It is common amongst the prot heretics, and they don’t hide it.

        • And there is the demon pulling on your leash. Pity for you.

          I speak from memory and from the Magesterium of the Church that actually wrote the Bible.

          It seems strange to assert that scripture is all that is needed when your heresy uses “bibles” edited beyond recognition and with entire books taken out.

          you saw the absurdity of the belief in being “saved” by ones ego, and yet you refuse to abandon your heresy that is based on it.

  • James Blazsik

    “For all of us must appear before the judgement of Christ, so that each of us will receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Cor. 5:10
    This is the Catholic concept of purgatory, being purged of our sin nature and answering for our deeds before the judgment seat of Christ.
    We are saved by Christ pouring out His grace, but we will be judged by our works.

    • Purgatory is a literal place. It is fire meant to burn the sin away so you can be rebuilt as worthy of entering Heaven.

      Like Heaven, it is only available if you are in the Church.

      • Patmos

        “Purgatory is a literal place”

        Yes, literally invented by the Roman Catholic Church.

        Have you ever considered actually reading The Bible? You can do that now you know. They’ve been printing it for years.

        • James Blazsik

          When was it “invented” and by who in the Catholic Church?

        • Kelly B


      • James Blazsik

        The Catechism of the Catholic Church doesn’t say it is a literal place but it seems to emphasize the process of being purified. All who are in Christ will appear before the judgement seat of Christ, this is where purgatory “is”.

        • If it is not a literal place, one where you are burned of your impurities as the Church ACTUALLY says and is ACTUALLY predicted in the last books of the Old Testament, then what is it?

          How long have you been a protestant, because you have no right to claim bring Catholic with this idea you proclaim here.

          • James Blazsik

            Read what the Catechism says about purgatory. I said that purgatory is at the judgement seat of Christ. So, it is “there”, in Heaven. I use to be an evangelical for about 20 years, but returned to the Catholic Church for about 25 years.

          • your conversion was not sincere then. It happens a lot.

            protestants or new agers “convert” but keep all of their theology because the Church is stable whereas the heresies / paganism are / is self-destructive.

            If Purgatory is merely a metaphor, how do you explain people seeing Purgatory or having stuff set on fire because someone from Purgatory appeared asking for prayers?

          • James Blazsik

            You cannot judge the sincerity of my conversion. You are not God.
            I didn’t say Purgatory is a metaphor. I said it is located at the judgement seat of Christ
            Did you read what the Catechism says about Purgatory?

          • I can judge poor theology through Practical Judgement as my Rational Soul allows for reason and free will.

            I asked a question about the interactions we have with people in literal, everything is on fire crucible for souls, Purgatory.

  • John

    Dr Brown, In your opinion is is possible for an individual to be Born Again, saved, whatever you would call a right standing before God, then at some later point in their life loose by forfeiture this right standing?

    • Yes, it is called committing a mortal sin.

  • John

    Another way I could ask is: Is it possible for a person to be “Once Saved” and still go to hell when they die?

    • There is no “one saved” so it happens daily. There is no way for someone outside of the Church to get to Heaven, or for someone outside of the Church to remove mortal sins.

      Therefore at best a prot can hope for limbo if they have never committed a mortal sin (almost impossible going by how often the blapsheme).

      you were lied to, repeatedly.

      • James Blazsik

        Limbo has never been part of the dogma (truth we must believe) of the Church.
        Pope Benedict threw it into the dustbin of history.

        • It is a place outside of the pit, and is indeterminate what it is like other than God is not there; therefore the name “limbo.” Those who die outside the Church, but without mortal sin, must go somewhere but it is not damnation itself.

          Technically it is sheol, the land of the dead, the part that was not turned into a giant prison/furnace outside of existence.

          The only way to get into Heaven is through the Church, something benedict regularly denied as a youth when he was not calling Eucharistic Adoration to be “repulsive.” Not a paragon of theology, that one, would have been named a heretic in any era with standards; lucky for him, we no longer have standards.

    • Kathy

      Ignore Nigel, John. See Paul’s response to him in this thread below. Paul is answering your question with the truth.

    • Paul

      You’re asking an important and controversial question, at least if I’m reading it right. I’ve heard the term “once saved” many times, pretty much every time it is in regards to the idea of ‘once saved always saved’, which sort of makes your question a bit of a contradiction. What do you mean by “once saved”?

  • Royce E. Van Blaricome

    Thank you, Michael, for addressing this and doing a great job in doing so. The “when God looks at you He sees Jesus” isn’t contained within the Hyper-grace crowd unfortunately. This is a cliche that is often regurgitated by the ill-informed and Biblically ignorant. I’ve heard it from more than one pulpit and pundit.

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