The 3 Most Dangerous “Grace Movements” In The Church Today & How To Spot Them

We as Christians have all embraced grace on one level or another – that’s what makes us Christians! The problem however, is that not everyone knows what grace is and how to apply it to their lives.

I’ve noticed over the last few years a lot of prominent (and not so prominent) leaders highlighting some major concerns in the church as it pertains to grace.

Because I’ve received a lot of requests to weigh in on this – I have decided to talk about the 3 most dangerous “grace movements” in the Church today and how you can spot them easily.

Please Note: While these 3 movements all exist individually, what you will probably find is that the majority of churches which fall into one category tend to have a strong mixture of all three!

False Grace Movement #1: Elevates Works Over Faith

This movement’s ignorance of what grace is causes them to spend all their time trying to become more holy. They believe that God will relate to them based on their good works.

They pay lip service to the fact that God has forgiven all sin – but really they don’t believe it because they live constantly in fear of sinning.

Here are some ways you can spot this false grace movement:

GraceFalse Movement
God completely forgives all sins and no longer deals with us based upon our actions.God has forgiven us but our actions determine the depth of relationship we can have with Him.
God has made you righteous and holy, as you focus on this truth, your conduct will come into alignment.In Christ, God sees you as righteous and holy but you are still a sinner beneath the surface, you must try to become more holy and righteous.
Understands that the law was a temporary covenant to show us that we couldn’t please God by our actions and that God has created a new covenant – Christians are no longer under the law.Requires a constant study of what is right and wrong (most sermons will be about what you should do, not about Jesus). There is lots of shame, guilt and subtle punishment in the form of “discipline” when you fail to do what’s right.
Says – “I am a saint”.Says – “I am a sinner”.
Identity is rooted in God’s word.Identity is rooted in our actions.

Further Reading:
What’s The Role of the Law In The New Covenant
The Christian life is not about becoming more holy!

[Tweet “Grace got you in the Kingdom… don’t fall into the trap of thinking it won’t keep you in!”]

False Grace Movement #2: Talks About Jesus’ 2nd Coming More Than Jesus’ 1st

This movement’s ignorance of what grace has given them causes them to fixate on the 2nd coming of Christ to an extremely unhealthy degree.

By doing so, they effectively communicate that they are not happy with the job Jesus did the first time round and would like Him to come back and do what they really want this time.

Here are some ways you can spot this false grace movement:

GraceFalse Movement
Believes that God has a plan to bless the Earth and that we as His children are a part of that.Believes that the world is an awful, dirty place that God wants to waste away and eventually be burned to a crisp.
Creates a heavenly mindset of overcoming the world and reigning in Christ.Creates a victim’s mindset that is scared of the world and the devil. Causing Christians to hide, praying and fasting in an effort to look busy as they wait for Jesus to come back and rescue them.
Believes that Jesus did a mighty work the first time He came and it was more than enough to bring total transformation in our lives.Believes that Jesus only did a partial work on the cross and that we are waiting for Him to come back and finish the job.

Further Reading:
The Better Coming of Christ… I Mean… The 2nd Coming of Christ

[Tweet “Are you more focused on Christ’s second coming than the fact He lives IN you?”]

False Grace Movement 3: Focuses On Our Attempts To Be Intimate With God

This group sounds really good, right? I mean, this is the very foundation of Christianity – it’s why Jesus died for us! So we could be made one with Him.

But this movement’s ignorance of grace causes them to focus on intimacy as something to be attained rather than something we already have which can be enjoyed today.

Here is how you can spot this false grace movement:

GraceFalse Movement
The Christian life is all about abiding in Christ. By Christ’s death on the cross we have been made one with the Godhead and can enjoy union with God 24/7, entirely by God’s initiative, not ours.The Christian life is all about getting closer to God. We must try to grow closer in relationship with God, which is a 24/7 job.
We need only believe and we get to enjoy intimacy with the Father.We must become more hungry and aware of how much we lack God so that we can press in, by prayer, fasting and trying to be more holy – so that we can start to grow closer to God.
Is satisfied with the fullness that Jesus has given us, all the while, remaining excited about the journey of experiencing it more and more every day.Is desperate for more of God, never satisfied and constantly aware of a lack.
Is focused upon a growth within God that comes from abiding, a growth IN all He has given us.Is focused upon a growth towards God that comes from striving, a growth from lack towards less lack but never complete.
Believes that Christ IN us is the hope of Glory. We have been made the temple of God, the holy of holies. Have access to the presence of God 24/7.Believes that God’s presence only shows up when we corporately please Him, with our worship, prayers, fasting and combined hunger.
Focuses on the habitation of God.Focuses on the visitation of God.

Further Reading:
Warning: Trying To Grow Closer To God Is Bad For You
Come Holy Spirit

[Tweet “Desperation is not a good indication of a healthy relationship with God!”]

The simple formula to spotting all false movements

I know personally how hard it can be to spot these movements – I’ve been involved in all 3 at some point in my life to pretty serious degrees! I even preached some of this stuff!

These are just what I believe to be 3 of the biggest false movements in the church, there are many, many more though. For that reason I want to give you a very simple formula that will help you know if you are being deceived or if you are enjoying all that God has for you as a Christian. I would hate for you to embrace a “false grace movement”.

GraceFalse Movement
Your relationship with God, standing before Him and personal development has NOTHING to do with your conduct but everything to do with Christ’s gift of grace to you and your free and simple acceptance of that gift. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.Your relationship with God, standing before Him and personal development is deeply tied to your conduct. You thank Jesus for His gift of grace and acknowledge that without it you would be nowhere but then try to add to that grace by doing your best to change, grow closer to God and improve yourself. It’s mostly fruitless, extremely difficult and frustrating.

Or more simply put:

If your holiness or relationship with God is solely reliant on Christ = Grace

If your holiness or relationship with God is in any way reliant on you = False Movement

There you have it – these are the 3 most dangerous “grace movements” in the church today and how you can spot them. As well as my simple formula to spotting any others that are out there.

What’s next?

If you go to a church or are around a lot of other believers who are wrapped up in these false representations of grace you might want to watch this video: Being Gracious about Grace

If you yourself think you might be misunderstanding grace and are only just realising it, I strongly recommend you read the further reading recommended throughout this article, and check out some of the in depth video resources on The Grace Course which I believe will help you especially!

Enjoy the post? Share it…


  1. Great article as usual!!! I just have a question for you. I’ve been hearing more about what is been coined “inclusion ism” doctrine. I’ve heard some “grace teachers” slam this idea/doctrine if it is one. Do you have insight in this? My thought is that the earth and everything in it belongs to God and every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. That sounds pretty inclusive to me. The opposite is exclusion which doesn’t sound like Father God in the light of Jesus. Apparently it’s a “Adams work” vs “Jesus work” and is Jesus work better – does it save everyone? Hmmmm

    • Hi Kristen,

      I will probably blog on this at some point. It’s a complex topic that there are strong scriptures for both extremes and everything in between. The result is that a huge bunch of people believe very different things.

      • Simply put, God’s work through Christ on the cross was completely inclusive… all were included in that work of forgiveness and acceptance. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world.
      • However, our response is not so inclusive… we can be very good at excluding ourselves.

      So while all have been saved from their sins and have complete acceptance from the Father. Not all will accept that and therefore will not receive the fullness of what Christ has for them, eternal life, the fullness of the Spirit etc.

      That’s my very basic take on it but there is a LOT to be said and it’s much more complex than just the basics I’ve laid out above… hopefully they help a little though.

      Great question!

      • I wonder where comments like “…there are strong scriptures for both extremes…” come from.. Is it just the “people pleasing” effort, of not wanting to just come out an tell them what it says? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ (Gal 1:10), as it were… The current batch of “inclusion” says, as I understand it, basically, Everyone is saved, but not everyone knows it yet. People will be in a “hell”, but, since if I make my bed in hell and He is still there, “hell” is really just a suburb of “heaven” anyway.. Everyone is saved, but only those who realize the truth get to enjoy it today. Perhaps there are other variants that I have not heard of, but these are the ones I run into. But, as for “string scriptures for both extremes”? Not at all. Phil, your summation is correct, I believe. I don’t believe in Calvinism’s “Limited Atonement”, but, Mark 16:16 says it well.. whoever believes will be saved, whoever does not will be damned. Or, take John 3:18, 2 verses after the famous John 3:16… Whoever believes shall not be condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already because he did not believe in the name of God’s Son.

        The fact that GRACE people get off on this error, in my mind, is one of the most telling facts that their particular “Grace” message is wrong. One of the main points of the current Grace message is that God killed our sinful nature at the cross. Since the Cross is an Eternal event, slain from before the World, if this destruction of the sinful nature applied to everyone with or without belief, would mean that no one at any time in history has ever experienced a sinful nature, because it was dealt with at the cross. Since this is the work of the cross, it must have already been done. The two messages simply cannot co-exist together. The rabbit trails are endless on this one.

        But, to claim that there are strong scriptures in support of it? Not at all.. I’d question you for even one… And the Psalm about “though I make my bed in hell…” It uses the preposition “I”, meaning the Psalmist, a believer, and speaks of Jesus who did make his bed in hell… Yet, because of His faithfulness, God visited Him there, and broke him out of the jaws of death. Not so the wicked…

        • Glad to see we agree on something Benjamin :)

          I think it’s clear from reading many writings on their views that even full blown universalists have some great scriptures to support their arguments – heck people that want to kill children do! There are comfortably a good 10-20 verses I’m sure I could bring to mind and I’m not even that well versed :)

          Doesn’t mean I’m advocating it or in anyway supporting them. I’m just saying we shouldn’t be so quick to attack as these people have great hearts and simply don’t know the truth – just as we don’t know the truth in every area.

          • … Yes, I’m sure they do quote 10-20 great verses… Every verse in Bible is great, and the fact they twist them to support lying doctrines doesnt change that… In that the verses are great, we do agree. But, first, I would point out that I attacked no one personally, merely their beliefs. On the other hand, I have no problem doing so. In that they are, most of them, born again, they have new.hearts which God gave them which are great. So far as their doctrine goes, they are given to deception of a high order, such that they preach “another Gospel”, and are under a curse. But, there are lesser and greater errors. To disagree on something’s is fine. But, when it comes to the door, and them saying people do not need faith, they could be damning people to hell because of their “message”. It is well beyond orthodoxy, denies, and just because you can porport to say a verse supports it does nothing if it is outside the full counsel of scripture. Very clearly, whoever believes is saved, whoever does not is damned. Mk 16.16. This isn’t me or Jesus condemning them, they already are. Apart from Christ, in faith, they are dead. You say “they have great hearts”. Prove it. Great hearts believe and follow the truth, and God Himself judges the unbelieving sinner as worthy of an eternal hell. Compromising the only Eternal Gospel doesn’t sound like a great heart to me… It sounds like sheep bleeting in my ears.. Saving the best to “sacrifice”, instead of utterly destroying all.

          • haha – thanks for this article.

            Poor Benjamin, I certainly understand where he comes from. I was there for 26+ years of my ministry.

            But over the past two years Grace has impacted this old religious zealot for revival in so many ways. I even had to write books to contain all that my mind and heart were experiencing! Keep up the good work Phil!


          • The cross of Jesus Christ is the invitation to all into the kingdom. Not all will accept that invitation.

      • Thanks so much Phil. I totally see what you are saying and completely agree with that. I’m looking forward to your blog on that.

    • every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord that will be an established fact on Jesus return but many will say Lord Lord,and he will say away from me i never new you.

    • While it is true that Gods desire is for all people to be saved, he doesnt disregard our choices. If we reject his offer of salvation in Christ, that is our choice, espically when the scripture says that God “command all men everywhere to repent” I think the scripture is clear that if we have Jesus in our lives we have life, if we dont the wrath of God remains upon us. As creator of all things Jesus spoke to people that if they refused to repent and be saved there was no other means of salvation, espically those who relied upon the Law given to Moses.

  2. That´s a great article right there! Helped me to get things straightened out I had in my mind for a while but didn´t know how to articulate it. Great! Thanks!!

  3. Great insight. There are a couple more specific false grace movements worth mentioning.

    1) There is a network of churches primarily in America but have also spread internationally called Grace Churches. They technically are not a denomination, but look very much like one. John MacArthur is the founder of this movement and he espouses a very angry, fundamentalist, and unloving form of teaching. A biblicist, his teachings are very academic, focusing more on doctrine, right beliefs, and laying a claim on the truth and interpretation of Scripture. Contrary to the name of their churches, they seem to show a lack of love and grace to those both inside their churches and to those on the outside. Many have come out from these churches mentally, spiritually, and emotionally scarred. Claiming that this movement of churches exercises an extreme view of church discipline, control, and authority. I, for one, have attended these churches and immediately observed the serious nature of their services, where joy and grace were seemingly absent.

    2) Sovereign Grace Ministries seems to be another one worth mentioning. Despite the fact that the word “grace” is in their name, they have shown very little grace within the church, especially to those they have abused. Allegations of sexual abuse run rampant within this church, and the leadership have shown very little grace and understanding. Dismissing the claims or turning the tables onto the victim claiming they are the ones at fault. There is no accountability on the leadership in this movement, nor any repentance on account of those who have committed crimes and abuse. Sadly, this has drawn into a long legal battle that is only making the Body of Christ look bad.

    So, don’t let the names of churches fool you. Just because they may have the word “grace” in their name, beware… there may in fact be no grace at all.

    • That’s a great point Greg – just because you see the name “grace” don’t just assume it means a good representation of grace…

      Much like “church” doesn’t always mean there are a group of believers there! I once was part of a church where the only believer in the church was the pastor and his wife – my mum and dad, and the treasurer. We were transfered there by the denomination and found that all the people there, just attended because that’s what they had always done.Those were interesting times!

      So yes, just because it says it on the label doesn’t mean you don’t want to give it a taste before you tuck in!

      I can’t speak to either of these movements specifically as I’m not familiar with either although I have read some of John MacArthur’s stuff.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Greg. Was encouraged by your comments about those fundamentalist graceless churches. I know exactly what you ‘speak’ of. Cheers.

    • Hi Elizabeth – while there is no reason for a born again Christian to have to stay addicted to cigarettes they certainly won’t end up in Hell for that.

      This way of thinking comes from thinking that Hell is for bad people and Heaven is for good people.

      Heaven is for those who accept Jesus’ free gift of grace. Nothing more, nothing less.
      Hell is for those who don’t.

      In fact Heaven and Hell will both be full of good and bad people.

      As Robert F. Capon said – “Heaven and Hell are both full of forgiven sinners”

      You can read more about that here on the blog – just use the search feature at the top of the page :)

      • Phil,
        I agree with your posts on false grace movements and so is with Greg D’s additional two, I just want to comment on your quotation on Robert F Capon, “Heaven and Hell are both full of forgiven sinners.” First let me clarify that God’s grace unto salvation does not only refer to salvation from hell(if we are referring to a certain place), but refers to our salvation in our daily operation of our lives here on earth. The reason why many “forgiven sinners” are also candidates to hell, is when they DO NOT BELIEVE in the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
        There is a movement that is way beyond this “grace wars” on cybernetics and within the churches, that leads the saints to repentance(changing of minds) I mean teachings about the soul and conscience that blocks the belief system of the non grace and hype-grace churches. I believe also that a proper teaching and understanding of Romans 5:21 will keep us healthy in our grace churches today.

        • Absolutely COGM,

          Thanks so much for sharing! I also agree that a misunderstanding of rom 5:21 leaves a lot of the body hurting – I have a video in my resources called “the gift of righteousness” on this very topic.

          It’s exciting to see so much of the church waking from their slumber though and recognizing that this has always been about God’s gift of grace and our acceptance of it!

          Thanks for sharing my friend!

    • Hello Elizabeth, I’m glad you asked this question. Many years ago, as a new Christian, I really struggled with smoking and was condemned for it by other believers. One day, I saw a vision of Jesus from the chest up, with His hands nailed to the cross. Only, the nails coming out of the palms of His hands were not nails at all. There was a lit cigarette nailing each of His hands to the cross instead. At first I thought “Oh noooo….. I’m crucifying Him afresh!” But He lovingly corrected that religious notion. In reality, what He was saying to me was: “I’m taking care of this for you. I died for smokers too!” I wish I could tell you I never smoked another cigarette after that, but I did. Then, I began doing something that made people laugh at me. I would take out a cigarette, hold it up and speak to it. I’d say things like “Cigarette, I don’t need you. I’m not addicted to you. I’m stronger than you are. I hate you. etc.” Then, I would light it and smoke it. Guess what! One day I woke up completely free of any desire for smoking. I mean I had ZERO desire for it. In fact, I could no longer tolerate even looking at them any more. That was more than 25 years ago and I’ve been free ever since. I hope my testimony helps you not to condemn yourself and to just cast the care of it over on Jesus so He can help you overcome. Blessings, Doreen > P.S. To answer your question, NO. You will not go to hell for smoking. The only people who go to hell are those who have not believed in Jesus for their salvation.

      • Doreen,

        That is such an awesome testimony! It reminds me of Joyce Meyers’ testimony… She used to run out after her meetings and lie down in the back of her car to smoke a cigarette so embarrassed – all the while she would say “I am not addicted to this filth and Jesus has set me free” I think her transformation came suddenly too! Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!

      • Thanks for posting this….I too am a smoker…I so want to be able to quit…I dont want to strive to quit…I just want Papa to take it away from me. Thanks for your testimony…

    • Elizabeth, Christ hates behavior that keeps us bound up to it. We are free to do all things, no behavior will send a believer to hell. We are way more focused on our behavior than Christ is. He dealt with our flesh and has moved on and is wanting us to move ahead with Him. He SIMPLY wants our available body so He can live through us to love the world. His ability to do this has NOTHING to do with our behavior, we give ourselves too much credit when we think our flesh is capable of keeping Him from loving the world to Himself through us. By the way, when you are having a cigarette He doesn’t close the door and say, I will speak to you again when you are done with that filthy thing. He is right there talking to you about His big plans while you are smoking. While we were yet in our sin He trudged into that mess and rescued us, why would He leave you on your own to deal with this thing that you think you have to bow to. He is not mad at you, He wants to fight this battle for you. And it starts in your mind, let Him renew it with His word, let go of that misplaced guilt and just enjoy His life in you. And don’t call yourself a smoker, your identity is not in some fleshly behavior, you wear the label of righteous, not smoker! Before you know it you will look back and not recognize yourself.

      While a member of a very legalistic, law-abiding religion, I truly believed that as a “smoker” a “sinner” I truly would go to ‘hell’… until the Holy Spirit taught me otherwise.

      As I grew in my relationship with Jesus, the Spirit enabled me to stop smoking or lay it down easily… I read the “Easy Way to Stop Smoking”… that book had ‘come to me’ several times, so I decided to listen to the ‘still small voice’ and just read it. I couldn’t WAIT to quit. I moved up my ‘quit day’ several times and haven’t looked back. I can easily say that because of reading that book and truly ‘resting’ in HIS GRACE, my flesh wasn’t ruling me… and I had no need to smoke. I hope you can find after reading this book and trusting that He does fully equip us to do all things , you too can lay it down easily.

  4. Great post Phil! Number three is the one I see most misused. It’s a subtle shift from “more” of uncovering what we have been given and “more” because I don’t have enough so let me do a little dance so you’ll show up.

    Personally, I’m tired I’d he “straw man” arguments that attack the grace message as permitting/condoning liscentiousness.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Rick. Yes No. 3 is a biggy!

      The straw arguments are rife for sure. So many people are trying to pull grace through the dirt but their arguments are so ludicrous it’s terrifying how people can take them serious.

      It’s like saying “anyone who mentions grace is wrong… because the entire grace movement believes red is blue.” All the while the entire grace movement is thinking, “who the heck says red is blue”?

      You can exchange red is blue with any of their popular things to say :)

      Very sad but exciting to see for every person who is duped by their terrible teaching of grace there are two who are starting to question it!

      • Exactly! I see the same thing with the aforementioned leader of a big church here is SoCal. He is hosting a conference called strange fire and they do the whole red blue argument.

        PS: in regards to repentance mentioned in another post. That word doesn’t mean what most Christians think it means! Metanoia is a turning and going the opposite direction because your mind has been changed. I would link stuff but I’m on an ipad! First world problems.

        • Yup it’s very frustrating to hear repentance thrown around left right and center by people who clearly have no concept for what it means!

  5. I really appreciated the article Phil! I have been struggling with understanding these ideas and putting them into practice. It’s not easy! Especially when many people have with some or all of these false beliefs.

    I’ve heard Timo Hack speak about tension on his podcast, and I wonder what your thoughts are on the topic. While we have the fullness of Christ in us, the Spirit still can manifest outside, or in seemingly different or random ways.

    I guess my big struggle is that I fall into the thrid false grace movement: attempts to be intimate with God. If Spiritual intimacy and authority in the Spirit has nothing to do with our conduct, why do I hear many people speak about incounters with the Spirit after locking themselves in their room and asking (begging/ demanding) the Spirit to come, for example?

    So maybe what are your thoughts on being baptised in the Spirit?

    • Hi Weston,

      Great question. As I said in the article I think there is a very real development of relationship with God. While we cannot get “closer” and there is no distance between us. We are on a journey of renewing our minds to that truth and also on a journey of discovering who He is. There is a constant growth within all we have. So I think there is nothing wrong with encountering God nor desiring those encounters. My goal however is to desire those things from a place of satisfaction and union not from a place of lack and desperation.

      Does that make sense?

  6. I have just experienced the latter one, intimacy with God… which has caused me personal damage, and total lack of confidence in who I am in Christ and what God has already done in me and through me, in my personal relationship with God, in my gifts and calling, in fact in every area ….. I am still recovering, even though I have been a Christian for many, many years….. what can I say? it is dangerous…it damages you on the inside in a way that you cannot explain. Thank you for sharing this article.

  7. great article… there’s a couple interesting ones – ‘God has forgiven us but our actions determine the depth of relationship we can have with Him.’ to a certain degree i would say this is true.. not pertaining to our identity as a son…however he does not give us all the same anointing/revelation. It’s for our benefit as we learn to steward his presence, he leads us into greater encounter…? surely our relationship with God/personal history with God does need to be cultivated and is determined by how we think/act/manage time/etc etc

    • Hi Dan, as I said in the article and in a comment above…

      I think there is a very real development of relationship with God. While we cannot get “closer” and there is no distance between us. We are on a journey of renewing our minds to that truth and also on a journey of discovering who He is. There is a constant growth within all we have. So I think there is nothing wrong with encountering God nor desiring those encounters. My goal however is to desire those things from a place of satisfaction and union not from a place of lack and desperation.

      However a lot of your language in your comment is not based on scripture but on Christianise. For example “anointing” what do we mean by that – the word only appears 4 times in 3 passages in the NT. The scriptures say we have the FULLNESS of the anointing, have already been anointed and it matches the anointing of Christ. You can read more about that here – – despite that though we talk about different anointings and pressing in for more. We NEVER see this demonstrated in the NT.

      I agree that we grow in what God has given us… but that journey is us growing WITHIN all He has already given us and the union we already have. Not gaining more from Him or growing any closer to Him in proximity. It’s a journey of self discovery.

      Hope that helps.

      • thx for the reply! i find all this really interesting – you have to excuse the words i use as i’m just trying to communicate the best way i know how in this context. Interesting point about the word anointing – i guess i meant it in the way that when Smith Wigglesworth would pray, only he was able to remain in the room due to the overwhelming presence of God. Only he could steward what God was doing in his life, that same ‘anointing’ or measure of holy spirit resting upon him would destroy another. Maybe it’s the difference between holy spirit ‘in us’ (which doesn’t change) and holy spirit resting ‘upon us’ (in which we learn to steward more and more).

        Been reading your articles for a while and love them! hopefully have time to comment more :)

        • Hey Dan, no worries at all – I think we are all guilty of using our “christianise” – it’s the framework we’ve been given growing up in the church.

          I just like to try point out when some of the things we talk about so much just aren’t what we think.

          Even the topic of the spirit upon people.

          That’s a very hard topic to find in the NT after acts 4 aside from people getting saved… The language of the OT is “spirit upon” the language if the NT is “spirit within”

          Just some thoughts although there is a very real experience of the spirit being tangible in a room and upon us it is never in Paul’s writings as something to chase or go after but rather he focuses on our responsibility to focus on the internal dwelling of Christ.

          • You still avoided Dan’s questions… Whatever you want to call it.. Anointing, Spirit on him, open heaven, whatever, God dealt with Smith in a very special way, such that, when he prayed, men had to leave the room to “survive”. I want that. I don’t care what you call it (I call it anointing), but I am not satisfied with a life merely lived. That man, Smith, had a measure of God on his life, and Hebrews says that if I imitate his faith, God is no respect or of persons, so I can have similar. Like Elisha to Elijah. If you’re content to just have a sermon and maybe a few people with back pain healed, and a leg or two grow out, have at it. I want none of it or anyone who walks that way. Unequally yoked for sure. But, I want the crazy… In the name of Jesus I say to you rise up and wall, and 19 years crippled are restored immediately. I want that, and I don’t have it. And everyone who has ever touched a realm of that has done it through prayer and a holy life. Without exception. So… I guess, you can have all the doctrines you want, but in the end, its whether or not you have the power. Call it what you want, and don’t strive for it if you don’t want to, but it says covet to prophesy, and earnestly desire spirituals….

          • I think I answered Dan’s question just fine here – We do have that. We just aren’t walking in it… I’m advocating the journey – I’m just saying don’t take it towards God as if He is somehow miles away but rather dive into the depths of all you have, uncover the fullness that has already been given you.

            I think you are very much reading into what I’m saying as a lazy lifestyle, but I assure you I produce a tonne of fruit and have not problem saying so… the evidence is all around me. I say it not to brag in myself because as you can see… I keep saying over and over again… it’s NOT me! It’s all Christ in me. That’s why I’m so passionate about this topic.

            I’m every bit as passionate as you guys about experiencing more such as Smith describes… but the difference is I refuse to work for it, to try and drum it up or twist God’s arm to give me it. I just focus on the fact that I have it and enjoy the ever increasing experience minute-by-minute, day-by-day.

          • So, if I understand, you’re saying we still need to pray, attend church, read our bibles and all that in order to grow in Christ… If all you’re saying is God’s not far away, you could have done that with just one word, Immanuel.

            But, in general, the doctrine here is lopsided and spotty at best. You did say, “God completely forgives all sins and no longer deals with us based upon our actions.”. That’s truth and error.. He does treat us according to our actions, at the level we are capable of. 2 for 10:6, punishing every disobedience when we get an are right. We reap what we sow, and that is God. You said, “God has made you righteous and holy, as you focus on this truth, your conduct will come into alignment. “. That’s nice theory, and partly true, but we must resist Satan. Further, James 4 itself instructs us to “draw near to God.” and He will draw near to us. And while we no longer have a sin nature, just like Adam didn’t, we still have our flesh, which is why Paul talks about putting to death the misdeeds of it through the Spirit.. Watchman Nee details this well in The Spiritual Man.

            all in all, what exactly is the point you’re trying to make? Again, Smith had something you and I do not… A manifestation of the Spirit, and a dispensation of something we do not. While we do have the same Spirit He did, there is something lacking in my experience of it, and the problem is me.God loves me, enjoys me, treats me fine, but I will not stop being the persistent widow, cuz the Word says God may not come just cuz He’s my friend, but He will come because I’m annoying. Sorry, that’s how Jesus taught us to pray.

            But at the end of the day, David Hogan puts it best… Hentalks about the real deal.. Its all great to have a discussion up until someone you love gets sick.. Its easy to have a doctrine of faith, but when someone is dying, and whether they live or not comes down to whether you have prayed and fasted enough, knowing its not you but that is the vehicle God ordained, and you want to have a doctrine about it? That’s stupid and inhumane. Say what you want about grace… Go study Daniel Nash. Heaven came and people didn’t go to hell because he knew how to touch heaven. Finney knew where his power came from, Nash. If Nash hadn’t prayed, how many wouldn’t be saved today? And we make stupid pet doctrines about not having to pray 30 minutes a day?

            But, again, your doctrine is opposite of scripture… You said the admonition of scripture was NOT to focus on the outward manifestation, but rather the inward dwelling. Allow me again to point out “covet to prophesy”, and “earnestly desire spirituals, especially that you may prophecy”. Your statement and these are quite opposite.

          • Bless you Benjamin – I feel like we are going in circles here so I’m going to bow out from our various conversation for now. I have a lot of different things to do and can only commit so much of my time to these discussions here in the comments.

            Thanks so much for sharing though – appreciate your thoughts and I’m sure many people who read them will as well :)

  8. Hey Phil.

    Enjoyed the article. I had a question though. Do you have scriptures tied to your bullet points of ‘Grace’? Just curious about some of the point you make.

    I’m also interested to see how your bottom line, “holiness and relationship with God is solely reliant on Christ” works in tandem with Matthew 7:24-27; John 14:15-24; and 1 John 5:1-5.

    • Hi Kelly I didn’t want the article to get unmanagable because it was already extremely long. There are however well over 100+ articles going into this topic in depth here on this site as well as hours of teaching on this walking through chapter after chapter of the bible in context.

      Holiness has a fruit. Fruit does not make you holy.

      Frequently the writers of the NT point out the fruit that will come of our holiness… never do they tell us the fruit that will make us holy (because it doesn’t exist)

      Holiness is not something you do, it is something you are. I recommend reading the articles I linked to on this article.

      • thanks for your time.

        I guess I wasn’t as interested in the holiness aspect. It is clear in scripture that we’ve been given a new nature. It is more how you make the claim that there is nothing entirely we do that affects our relationship with God (for better or for worse). I’m just wondering how you see the verses I mentioned which suggest that we don’t actually love God unless we obey Him– requiring a response from us to His commands. Jesus even makes it clear that if don’t obey Him, then we don’t love him. And that those who obey Him, do love Him. So, it does seem to me that there needs to be response on our end, other than just receiving and mediating on the truth of grace.

        I believe that grace compels us to obey, but there is action that is required in order to actually obey. For example, if I believe that Jesus provided healing through the cross and that his provision was complete, then I should pray for healing. And if at first a person isn’t healed, I should pray again, etc. My faith informs how I am to act, but I do need to act. Meaning that grace compels me to do the works of the kingdom. Not that these works can make us more more loved by God, but the way I am called to love God is through obedience. So, yes, Jesus fulfilled the law. And His burden is light, but the apostle John also tells us that His commands aren’t burdensome (see 1 John 5:1-4).

        • Hi Kelly,

          Those scriptures don’t say do those things and you will love Him. Nor you have to do those things to prove you love Him but … if you love Him it’s obvious that you will do those things.

          There is no pressure to do them but it’s a matter of fact thing. If you aren’t doing them then the problem is not the fruit… it’s the lack of love.

          I think this will address what I’m talking about here. –

  9. Hello.

    So you know where I’m coming from, I overall disagree. That said, I have a couple of questions pertinent to your satirical three groups. I am fairly well acquainted with what you are presenting as your “grace” message, and understand you are basically saying that anyone who understands Grace differently is, well, wrong.. Don’t we all do that?

    First, concerning movement #1, how do you differentiate between the Hebrews 6:1 “dead works” which we are to repent of, aka, those not coming from faith, and the James 2:6 faith without works being dead. You put up a fairly “slim” argument, which is obviously defeatable through scripture, that stressings works for salvation is wrong. Some might even call it the “straw man” tactic. Yet, Jesus said that if you love Him you will obey Him. Since “works” must be a part a valid Christian walk, as even Matt 10:42 and surrounding describes, or else you are none of His, where is your differentation between the striving works which are dead and the gracious ones Christ described?

    In movmement #2, while I agree on certain aspects of the thrust of the position, if the 1st coming was “everything”, why follow it up with a lack-luster performance which is deemed unnecessary.. That is, if the 1st was perfect, which of course it was, but if it was what you describe, why have a 2nd coming at all? What is the purpose and the “blessed hope” of His 2nd coming? Further study on this would include when the full “adoption” really is. While we have received the “spirit of adoption”, we have not been fully adopted until the resurrection of our bodies, according to scripture. But, again, agreeing with much of your point, what then *IS* the Biblical hope and expectation of the 2nd coming? Since the Bible speaks so much of it, and it does, what is it’s importance of stressing it, in the midst of the thought that so many stress it for the wrong reason?

    And, #3… I think you’re stretching your point beyond due measure. Tell me, does everyone willing to admit that “Jesus is Lord” go to heaven, or does it depend upon their “behavior” at all? Before you answer, I would encourage you to review Matthew 7:21 and following.. What of Romans 8, where Paul is clearly speaking to the “brethren” (v12), he says that if you live according to the flesh you will die (v13)? Again touching on the “works” issue, the contrast between the dead and the gracious works, what of passages such as Colossians 1:10, where it clearly lists some of the ways to “please God in every way”, which include abounding in every good work, growing in knowledge of Him, etc.. Clearly, out of the place of love (or reverence), we are to Or, perhaps, take the more direct and forceful look with verses such as 2 Tim 2:19, “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.””

    You see, it’s easy and fun to post a little jab article like this. And, perhaps you do have a few points in there too.. There is a right understanding of God’s Grace, or unmerited favor.. But, Titus makes it clear that the character of this Grace, a Person, really. Titus 2:11-12 says that the Grace of God teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly desires. Does your grace do that? In didnt’ see that in any of your post.. But, James also instructs us that there is a “greater grace”, or “more grace”. James 4:6, “there is a greater grace”. And, what are the instructions for obtaining that greater grace? Absolutely everything directly against your point #3… Humility. Resisting evil. Drawing closer to God (intimacy). Repentance. Mourning and weeping. And humbling yourself to let God exalt you. This is the Biblical formula for “Grace”.


    • Hi Benjamin – yes we certainly do all do that.

      Sorry you disagreed but that’s ok :) As I said, if you disagree and want to find out more there are linked articles in this post.

      Here are my quick answers to your questions however – I’m afraid it’s all I have time for as I deal with all your points in quite some depth in the articles linked within this article as well as many others.

      1) This article will help you –

      2) As stated in the article and the one linked – we are super excited about the second coming but an unhealthy elevation of the 2nd coming to any of the fruit I described is extremely dangerous.

      3) I absolutely agree – if you live according to the flesh (according to your works – attempted obedience) and not the spirit (walking with Christ in you – grace) then yes you will die. That’s what I’m talking about you will note anywhere in the NT there is a list of works it is either prefaced or followed by who those works are to be done… by resting in Christ, not striving to produce the work but to allow the Spirit to produce the work within you.

      Again like I said – the article contains a short point, pointing out some major flaws. If you want some more comprehensive reading there are articles linked within this article that go into much more depth, along with 100’s more on this site and dozens of hours of audio/video messages. You are welcome to dive into them a bit more :)

      Sorry you didn’t agree, but that’s ok – I like to disagree it’s always a good sharpening exercise… I’m always wanting to learn as I’m sure you are.

    • Wow Benjamin, thanks for articulating the points that needed to be raised concerning grace and works. May I borrow that for a friend who is caught up in the new unbiblical formula for grace?Ever consider writing your own blog?

      • Dean. All I tried to present was the Word. Use the double-edged sword for whatever you want, just be aware, it’s alive. It’s subject to interpreatation by it’s original author, who will use it however He wants.. And, Yes, while I am not here to advertise myself, I have three blogs currently.. :)

  10. Thank-you.

    You covered my thoughts regarding point #1 fair enough in the other article, although I do not think you carry it through, nor represent the Titus 2 portion fairly, “eager to do good works.”

    Again, Point #2, I didn’t have as much problem with.. I think it will be better than the first coming, but for entirely different reasons.. To live is Christ and die is gain. In that, I would continue to disagree with your point. This world, and all that is in it, is corrupt. The ONLY good in me is Christ. I am in, but not of it. As John 12:26 says, if you love your life, you will lose it. If you hate your life in this world, you will save it to Eternal Life. And, elsewhere, if you love the world or the things of the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. Again, you seem to take the worst case scenario for these arguments, which of course, are easily defeatable.

    And, for #3, I certainly don’t want to get into an argument over words, as that destroys the hearers.. But, I would like to offer you this… If we look at Matthew 5:19, taking only two phrases from this verse, it uses the phrases “least in the Kingdom of Heaven” and “greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven”. We could look at the qualification of these phrases at some other time, but these phrases alone illustrate the point I am trying to make.. There are those who are greater in the Kingdom and those who are lesser.

    You said, in your summary, that our “relationship” and “personal development” have nothing to do with our conduct, but, if it doesn’t, then it would make Jesus an idiot when it came to this phrase. It has to do with the “doctrine of rewards”, as some have termed it. As Paul wrote, some build with gold, silver, and precious stones, and some with wood, hay, and stubble. Each man’s work is tested with fire, and only those things which remain are which are “rewarded”. Now, we know God is not materialistic. The only things that remain are faith, hope, and love, that is, everything God has towards us is on the basis of Relationship.

    Now, we see that there are different rewards, and there are different positions in the Kingdom. Whether James and John were right in the request, there will be someone at His right and left hands, but it wasn’t Jesus’ to dispense those roles at that time. Someone will be “greater” and someone “lesser”. And, this “reward” or “greatness” is not great in man’s eyes, but is everything to do with “relationship”, and being closer to Him. Even as Jesus described, when picking His apostles, “that they might be with Him and that he might send them out…” Mark 3:14. The first thing of being an apostle is closeness.

    So, since it remains that there are greater and lesser in the Kingdom, and it seems that this “greater” has only to do with one thing, namely love, which is servanthood, which is all about “personal relationship”, that the notion of “personal relationship” is intricately tied to what you do… That is, the reward and hence relationship with God is dependant upon how much you give Him of yourself. Now, further, if this “greater” and “lesser” had nothing to do with how we respond, I would not count it terribly just.. Granted, God does what He wants, but the overwhelming evidence of scripture is that this “greater v lesser” is dependant upon our response and reception of the Word, the seed planted by the sower.

    Jesus explained what it takes to be greater and lesser in His Kingdom, greater and lesser in love. Not like modern people talk about “love”, because what you hear sung about on the radio isn’t love (1 John 4:7-8). But, if what you do doesn’t determine how “great” or “least” you are in the Kingdom, first of all, there would be no point in talking about it if you were Jesus, and second, it wouldn’t be very just, since we are rewarded, according to Rev 20, on what we have and haven’t done in the body. The fact is, even as Col 1:10 says, it is what we do that determines our experiential relationship with God. Just like a wife.. Go ahead and try it.. After you consumate the marriage, you are “one flesh”. It’s a done deal. But, try taking your approach with her. You’re already one, and that is your standing, no matter what. And, does that mean you don’t have to anything to develop that relationship with her? Being one, even then, your relationship and personal growth most certainly come back to what you do… Which, of course, should be motivated out of love, and not “duty”…

    All this to say, the idea that our _standing_ before God isn’t based on our behavior is absolute in the Wrod. Any solid, Bible believing church should adhere to this. However, to say our “relationship” with God and our “personal development” have nothing to do with it is just plain ignorant of the scriptures. The first 5 chapters of 1 Cor clearly show that Paul, not demeaning them at all, said they were babes in Christ. They were not mature sons. This is relationship and personal development, that Paul was discerning, was determined solely upon the basis of their behavior–quarrelling, factions, etc. And, what did Paul say? I labored more than them all, yet not I, but Christ’s strength with in me.

    You see, it’s both, and it’s all God.. From our end, we labor, yet that labor comes from us. But, properly teaching people to pray and to seek God is the correct approach. As we read in Acts, after the day of Pentecost, the devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, the fellowship, the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Even Jesus, being one with the Father, withdrew often to pray… It comes back to point #1, which is what all of this boils down to… Works without faith are dead (Heb 6:1), and faith without works is dead (Jam 4:6). So let faith inspire works… So, it is both “right” to say that you don’t have to do anything “in particular”… But, it is just as “right” to say, if you don’t do ANYTHING at all, you’re damned.

    But, taking a small step out of this narrow little alley, the general argument is simply just wrong.

    Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9

    Paul said, “do these things, and God will be with you”. You say, “God is with you, you don’t have to do anything”. Both cannot be right.

    • Thanks for continuing this discussion with me Benjamin – unfortunately with my bad wrists I’m not able to write huge volumes just now especially given how many comments and emails I’m getting.

      I will say this through – I have nothing against works. I plan to say what Paul said himself to the Corinthians “I outwork the other apostles, but not me, Christ in me”

      I have no problems with what you are saying about reward etc. but we must remember that God despises our works (Isaiah 64:6, Phil 2/3) it’s His works in us that He is interested in rewarding.

      So really I don’t see it as a reward of works but rather a reward of our walking in the gift of faith he has given us.

      I have no problem with people being more blessed than others in their experience because people make their own choices and walk in whatever degree of faith they wish to.

      We are saying the same thing about so much here, i think the only difference is I’m trying to emphasis as strongly as possible that the fruit must come from the right source… God wants the fruit of the spirit – not the fruit of Phil or Benjamin:)

      Bless you my friend – thanks so much for contributing!

      • In my estimation, you confuse the doctrine of justification and that of sanctification.. They are all faith from start to finish, but your words exemplify my “objection”… You said,

        “because people make their own choices and walk in whatever degree of faith they wish to”

        This echoes what Paul write regarding reward, and this is precisely what I am getting at. It is precisely _our own choices_ and “whatever degree of faith” we choose to excercise. Based, both on how much He has given us and how much we enter into. He is the “author” and the “finisher” of our faith.. Yet, somewhere, in the midst of that, our choices and degree of exercising both determine our eternal destiny and that of others.

        You are correct. We are not interested in the works of Ben or the Works of Phil–these are worthless. As one current speaker says, God considers anything that He did not originate, done as service to Him, as abominable. What are those things? Anything that does not come out of waiting on the Lord. But, the key is, as we DO wait on Him, we DO hear from Him. As we do those works, they are His works, and THOSE works ARE rewarded. They are not our works–they are His! And, through your own words, it is people’s choice and the degree of excercising of that faith He has given us..

        And, as Paul wrote, it is good that there are distinctions and factions among us, so we can tell whom God favors! This is the point, and is in contradiction of what you did say… That we can do nothing to improve our personal relationship with Him. Quite the contrary.. We can make choices, and excercise our faith. This determines the measure of pleasure God has with us, and our measure of growth in Him, as we do what pleases Him. As always, these are His works, but it is distinctly our response that determines this. Our standing as perfect in Him remains unchanged, but His measure of pleasure and our growth is dependant upon our response, unequivacably.. To claim anything else is merely a social gospel.

        The door is narrow AND the way is hard that leads to life. It is EXACTLY what you quoted from Paul.. It is God’s GRACE excercised through our own HARD MORAL EFFORT, not I, but Christ in me, in which we see things change. Any other Gospel is a false Grace, a hard road that never leads to fruit, and is merely an excuse for complacency…

        Jesus had no sinful nature, but He labored in the garden before the coming of the prince of this world.. To do what? To submit His will to the Father. That is the only way to life, for, if you love Him, you will do what He commands….

        I appreciate your time to respond. There is a right grace, but as I said, Titus says it teaches us to live different. And, “teaching” us, implies we have a responsibility to live it out, not in our own effort, but again, as you said, in the strength of the Spirit within.. And, even as Paul wrote, it will feel to our flesh quite often that it is OUR effort doing.. The point being, WE have to do the work.

        • Not at all trying to sound condescending, but I think Benjamin ought to write his own blog. It seems he is highjacking this discussion thread.

        • Benjamin, If I may interject. I know exactly where youbasre coming from, I was right there with you. Maybe the little piece you are missing is this. Works FLOW big time when one understands that they are a FRUIT of resting in this Grace. It seems like it’s backward but in Gods system the harder YOU work the less you will produce, but fruit naturally flows, you don’t see trees forcing fruit to come out they just do what comes naturally because they are apple trees. Here is the kicker, WORKS are proof of His Grace working in us, we don’t strive to do works to prove we have been changed by His life in us. Trying to prove we have faith by works is backward, our effortless flow of works, while having joy and loving what we do proves that it’s Him and not us. He is not impressed with how hard we try but how well we rest in Him. And the rest is an attitude, not laziness. Hope this helps!

  11. Excellent article, My Pastor has just been teaching a lot about people’s misconceptions and abuse of grace or the word grace. Your article has just clarified some the issues I have been wondering about. Thank you

  12. #3 is the one that I’m pondering.
    It’s all about what we emphasise. You and Benjamin are so near to each other, but the difference is emphasis.
    I’ve never observed a body of believers who live out the grace you speak of, only varieties of your three groups, mainly the third. Can you point me to a body of believers who live and work out this way of thinking you espouse, who would totally agree with what you’re writing?
    Reason being that I am into orthoptaxis as well as seeking orthodoxy. I like to see how an idea plays out when it is lived out. So the fruit is visible and the truth is made clear.

    • Hey Dave – yeah it is rare unfortunately – I’d say of all the places I go only about 10-30% have this way of living (at least before I get there – I’d like to think I start the ball rolling!)

      There is actually a great place up in Sale just up the road from you! You need to check out Kingsway Church!

      I’ll be there at the end of November – come join us! I’ll be teaching for 3 days in the school and there church service is in the afternoon so you could even come after your morn service if you like :)

  13. Thanks Benjamin. I agree. It’s very difficult to explain spiritual truths like this. Cor: tells us it’s spititually understood.
    For me Grace is very simple to understand:
    Grace is a verb (a doing word) Grace helps, see Heb. Everywhere in the bible you find grace, write “Gods ability” & you’ll see what I mean.
    It’s undeserved favor. Everywhere in the bible where people had Gods favor, God did something for them. “if i have found favor in your sight… then do…….” was always the case.
    We also confuse grace with mercy.
    Come to the throne of grace to find mercy & grace to help in time of need. Why do I need grace? to help me not to do what I need mercy for . Mercy triumphs over judgement.
    Where sin abounds grace does more abound. No matter how bad & how much I sin, there is always more grace …..abounding grace to help me not to sin.
    Law came with Moses, grace & truth with the Lord Jesus. Why? it’s to give us grace (His ability) to walk in His truth & truth is the person of Christ Jesus. Grace is a verb…it DOES something, it’s not passive like mercy. I can recieve it in vain….not respond to gods motivating & help coming from within or without.
    God did’nt write the huge bible with all the stories, examples & instructions to wipe it all off & give us the present teachings of hyper grace.
    In my opinion, if you’re not obedient to God, you will not experience His grace. From the start, repent (Godly repentance), believe, baptism & receive the Holy Spirit are choices I make by Gods, grace (God helping me)
    I won’t even go into the biggest deception in the church since the reformation…the thing called the ‘ sinners prayer”. no repentance….ask jesus into your heart????!!!!! where in the bible? etc etc
    repentance, believe, baptism, making Christ Jesus Lord of your life are all life transforming actions to live in, not a simple prayer. This is the start of it all going wrong.
    Sit in you chair, pray & God does it all. We don’t need the bible with all it’s teaching, encouraging & correction for that. now sit back, believe & God does the rest till He comes.
    I know this is not exactly what you mean Phil, but this is the result if the whole (or some) balance is not included as Benjamin has attempted to do. With respect Phil, the grace you teach, or the way, or presentation you give is not correct or helpful to move folk into obedience & intimacy with God
    People grab what they want to hear, unfortunately.
    The present grace thing focuses on what God has done after I repented, believed (big discussion here) got baptized & received His Holy Spirit. This teaching does not address the …”what now?”…. the “going on unto perfection” correctly. The everyday practicality of what I do in this salvation. The whole bible was written for that purpose. EVERY LINE of it
    Be Blessed

    • Thanks for sharing Ian.

      As you pointed out, most people don’t know that Greek word for grace is the exact same Greek word for grace “Charis” is the same word for Favor. As I’m trying to strongly articulate here it’s NOT our efforts and works but HIS efforts and works that matter.

      I really don’t think we are disagreeing all that much – primarily in focus and our wording. The way I see it is that I rarely see Christians who use the language yourself and Benjamin are using not fall into the trap of trying to do it themselves, fall into the flesh as they try to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

      My passion is setting people free from that so they can accept God’s grace and walk in freedom so they can live the Holy lifestyle they have been given.

      As a side since you mentioned repentance a few times.

      That topic is something that ties into this greatly but that people don’t seem to grasp at all…

      People seem to think repentance is something you do. Of course that’s astonishingly incorrect in the original Greek as we find it in the NT. It was never something you did but something you believe… what you did simply came from the change of belief.

      I mean the very word “metanoia” means – “change your mind” it’s made from “meta” – change and “nois” – mind – and yet our primary definition of our English word for repentance is “to change what you do in order to please God.”

      So yes I even agree on your point there – but so long as we recognise that repentance is a word of belief. It’s a work of accepting our free gift of grace and allowing it to work in us.

      This 4min video I made might help clear up that topic:

      • Rob Rufus says what you say as well Phil. That repentance means Metanoia, which means change the way you think. But he also adds in the Hebrew it means “Teshuva” which means return to grace! Isn’t that fantastic? Change the way you think and return to grace? So every time we mess up, and feel bad about our decisions/choices, we are to change our thinking and go back to how God sees us! As righteous because of the cross. Beautiful! After all these years of having repentance shoved down my throat, mistakenly as penance, I can now rest in the finished work of the cross. I have to say, I fight feelings of anger towards what all my old churches have taught me. (Even though I know I had a bible too and could have found it out myself.) It’s supposed to be the good news! If all people ever heard were the other gospel, not this message of grace, why the heck would they want to come to Christ? I mean, what would entice them? Nothing! If it was based on rules and more rules….whats good about that? What would be the attraction? I certainly wouldn’t. Which explains a lot of what is happening in our world today. I am to just believe. Then watch religion go bankrupt. Hallelujah!

  14. Phil you wrote
    There is no pressure to do them but it’s a matter of fact thing. If you aren’t doing them then the problem is not the fruit… it’s the lack of love.

    Then how do I get that love?

    • It’s freely received – He loves us unconditionally. While we were still sinners He loved us.

      So regardless of our actions or where we are today, however far along the journey. We can always stop and turn our affection towards Him and receive His unconditional love.

      After all… we can only love as He first loved us :)

  15. Thanks Phil for this great article. Our Lord Jesus himself explained what’s real grace all about in the parable of the Lost Son. The son who returned to his father after squandering all he demanded was actually more than willing to be one his father’s servants just to be accepted. But contrary to his expectation, his father came running towards him, gave him a ring-restoring his sonship, a robe-restoring his honor as a son, and a sandal-restoring all what he had. The son was trying to explain, but the father was so caught up with joy upon his son’s return.

    I am glad that our God requires no explanation, everyone who come will be accepted lovingly. Grace is undeserved love of God freely given to those who will come to him. And when you receive grace, you’ll continue to experience it throughout your entire walk in Christ.

    Eventually, we will still fail God. But the grace of God will continue to work through our lives until we are perfected in Christ. His grace actually is like a magnet that will keep us intact with him. All we need is come to him. His grace is sufficient.

    God bless you Phil.

    • Beautifully put Allan! Thanks so much for sharing that and thanks so much for your encouragement – glad you liked the article!

  16. Sorry Phil but for me your answer doesn’t cut it. Firstly His love for us is not in question.

    you said
    We can always stop and turn our affection towards Him and receive His unconditional love.

    That statement is, i think for 99.9999% of Christians pie in the sky. Phil, it simply doesn’t happen. I don’t say never, but after 45 yrs in church some as a pastor, I still haven’t seen it other than a very few to whom God revealed Himself in a special way, it’s not the norm. I wish I could do it just as you say.

    This was written by Albert Schweitzer late 19th century

    He came to men who knew Him not. He speaks the same word “follow thou me” & sets us to the tasks which he has to fulfill for in our time. He commands. And those who obey Him, He will reveal himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they shall pass through in His fellowship, and, as an ineffable mystery, they shall learn in their own experience who He is.

    OT Jews saw His works, Moses knew His ways now we, NT are to learn who He is.
    The bible will teach you intellectually who He is, prayer will enhance that & build your spirit but doing what Albert said above with that, will bring God to life in your living experience & getting to know someone like that grows love for Him. I don’t believe for a minute it will happen if you “turn your affections” to Him. I don’t say we mustn’t do that as well as I can, but I can only do it to the degree that I know Him, Albert told us how

    • Bless you Ian – I guess all I can say is it’s working great for me and those I connect with who put it into practice.

      If what you are saying is what’s working for you, then I can’t argue with your experience I can only explain what I see in the scripture and how it works for me.

  17. Thank you for this excellent article. I am a full time Christian counselor and see clients who adhere to one or more ot the three false viewpoints you have put forth. The last one, about striving and working to get more of God, is so “American” in its precept because that’s what we like to do … work at stuff. People end up striving and feeling condemned trying to get something that we already have. You see that view also reflected in some of the worship songs that we sing in church and this error gets reinforced.

    • Hi Donald,

      It’s not often I meet counsellors who have this mindset, I would imagine you have a really powerful ministry of setting people free!

      Totally agree that we LOVE to do something… we love to work on something and see progress. And I think in one sense that is a God given desire, but how we tend to apply it by then relying on our own efforts rather than focusing on how we can let God work through us can be so damaging.

      Thanks for sharing man! Great to meet you!

  18. Every person who has studied the revivals since the reformation will have a real problem with your simplistic interpretation of repentance. read the revivals AND THE RESULTS & you will see.
    I find it significant that you don’t answer any biblical question, specifically Benjamins. Your answers are all the same general….Gods grace will do it for you, don’t do anything, sit back & just believe.
    This teaching is very dangerous & is loved by folk who want to hear that.
    Go ask a few of the men & women who have done mighty things with God, & they laugh at this. I done it.
    This teaching you’re advocating is good for preachers, it sounds good, easy, no hassle, blessing etc etc while the good soldiers for Christ “fight the goof fight of faith”, pressing forward to apprehend that for which they have been apprehended. Nothing to do with salvation, but just going “about the masters business”. Doing it like Paul, by the grace of God in him in all kinds of torments & struggles.
    I still think ALL scripture is good for doctrine, reproof, correction & instruction in righteousness& the study thereof (Old testament was referred to here) will make you a disciple ready for every good work.

    This teaching will ensure a person lots of preaching points, people love to hear it.

    • As I said Ian – you want to do it that way – it’s entirely up to you :)

      I’m not interested in arguing back and forth and I’d only be going round and round in circles so I’ll leave things there.

      Bless you my friend.

      • I would just add that I agree w Ian on many points, and think this is merely a fad teaching destroying many. Luke 3 and Acts 3:19 qualify what metanoia does. To a Greek, action always comes from the mind, so that is their vocab. For the rest of the story, turning to God for His affection, I say, Phil, you rarely do that. Your life is built upon the applause and credos and even prayers of those above and around you. It sounds good, but every man of God, in the Bible at least, is called at some point to stand completely alone… In that day, when everyone hates you and is against you, will you be able to shut out the roar, focus on His face alone In opposition to hell, and “receive His love” then? I hope so, pray so, but Peter fell on His face the first time too.. Your doctrine is untested by the fires and storms of life, is lived under the shadow of those above you (bethel), and disagrees with the historical accounts of Gods move. As Ian said, you avoided deliberately most of the pertinent Biblical objections. And, whenever I called you on an inconsistency, bowed out immediately.
        Regardless, the way to deeper love is obeying the truth, and that involves both an increase of faith and a removal of all.that hinders love. A Gospel that says that is all.Gods job is sadistic, as it then blames God for every failed Christian life, when, in fact, it is precisely what you said.. Choices and failed exercise of faith. Yet the way up is down, and His path is the one that digs deep, is grieved even by the tiniest sin, and so seeks God for His Kingdom to overcome it and the world.. Miracles at that point are just signs. Have a good day.

        • Hey Benjamin,

          I don’t want to seem disrespectful but I’ve tried very hard to engage with you on this blog… I’ve spent quite a couple of hours today replying to various objections you have posted here on this blog as well as that of others people and many many emails I get of the same nature.

          I have no problem doing so… However I don’t have time to put up with people making sweeping statements based entirely on nothing, given you don’t know me or my ministry.

          This is my website. It is by my permission that I let you post here… Please do so respectfully. I don’t need to spend time writing to you and frankly I’m quite busy enough that I could justify not doing so at all… It is a token of good will that I’ve done my best to answer your questions as best I can with the time frame I have. I have to dictate every message so forgive me if i don’t spend hours of my day writing in depth responses when you can find them elsewhere on this page (and you don’t seem interested in them anyway)

          You now we aren’t going to agree and nobody has ever been argued into the others opinion on a blog comment so we know that’s not going to happen.

          I seriously mean it when I say bless you – but I also am quite genuine when I say I’m not interested in further discussions of this nature, nor with your attitude on this website.

          Thank you for taking the time to share your opinion. :)

    • Hi Ian,

      It almost sounds like you are saying in your posts that you cannot be a New Covenant facilitator of miracles, healings, repentance and salvation in this world without you kicking your own butt (with God’s help). Is it you doing it or is it Christ in you?

  19. Salvation is three dimensional , as is the following
    Father – Son – Holy Spirit = God
    spirit – soul – body = Man
    past – present – future = Time
    gas – liquid – solid = Matter
    Good – acceptable – perfect = will of GOD
    Outer court – Holy Place – Most Holy Place = Tabernacle of Moses
    The types are many more in number but I pause here to say :
    I am saved = spirit = Free Gift
    I am being saved = soul = the outworking of salvation with works
    I am waiting to be saved = body = Full redemption = death swallowed up in Life

    This is of course my view and I both agree and disagree without contradiction
    with earlier comments.
    I discern through rightly dividing for clarification the Word that applies
    to each dimension of my being …

    • Thanks for sharing Randy – I think you will know from reading some of my articles that while I agree in part with you I do not agree with your perspective of “being saved” or sanctification. That’s ok though – I am sure you will find no shortage of people who do agree with you as this is probably one of the most prominent views of the church in the last few hundred years :)

  20. I find myself identifying with a mix of all 3, which God has been delivering me from those bad belief systems. My brother and I were both scarred emotionally by condemnation and trying to work to be enough. So much that my brother no longer follows Christ because he felt so condemned all the time. I have seen more freedom in the last 2 years, just walking my faith out and not worrying about sin, guilt, and condemnation. Holy Spirit does lead us into all truth, i knew deep down by moments and experiences with God that i had His approval all along. Getting the true revelation of Grace will change everything, and so much weight lifted off of our shoulders. One thing i have noticed about the above conversation concerning praying more and pressing in for more in God, is that trying to do this for most people , besides the obvious exceptions, never works, it just leaves us frustrated, broken down and condemned because we arent “Wigglesworth” type super Christians. I dont think the Lord intended for this to be as complicated as man has made it. Thanks Phil for getting the word out, otherwise this kind of doctrine will continue to keep the saints down for the count!

    • Thanks for sharing Brock. So glad to hear of the freedom The Lord had brought you into and I’m praying for your brother that he would see your peace, joy and love and be inspired and drawn back to The Lord as he sees a better way!

  21. Phil I have been trying unsuccessfully to download your book. You do not have a sinful nature.
    Is it a hassle to email it to me?
    Unfortunately ij not too good with computers & my grandson who usually helps me is away.
    Be Blessed

  22. Hey Phillip great article. many people try to come against this message of grace. I get this myself sometimes. Most of us grace teachers Used to believe the same thing That they’re still preaching from the pulpit. they don’t understand we don’t argue with their interpretation of Scripture. We understand that grace needs no defense. We don’t measure ourselves by how far We are from Egypt. the measurement is Jesus Christ, the finished work, the promised land. We simply don’t look back, and we definitely won’t go back to Egypt.

  23. I would love someone who said they are now free because they understand the grace message, articulate clearly why they now feel so free as opposed to before hearing the grace message.
    Not you Phil :)

    • It was a few years ago that I began to understand that God’s grace was not just for salvation but for everything after that. In essence the freedom came from no longer believing I (ME) had to work hard to gain God’s favor…I already have it because of Jesus’ finished work. If you have not spent 50 years in good evangelical churches that unconsciously have drifted into legalism, then you will not recognize its significance. There are many doctrinal areas that I am willing to reconsider, but grace for daily living is not one of them!

      • You are incredible Tom! I love your heart to let the Holy Spirit lead you into all truth and allow the word to shape your life and not your life shape the word!

  24. Ian, I believe I can be of some help and offer you that testimony. It’s entirely up to you if you feel like it’s valid enough, but it’s my life, so I feel like it’s valid.

    Before hearing the Grace message, I was a complete mess. I went to church every Sunday, frequented Bible studies, even served on leadership for my college group. I had times where I felt at my best, or “most holy”, but they would eventually be shot down by lots of gloomy “dark nights of the soul” moments where I dealt with a lot of fear and anxiety dealing with my past mistakes. I kept wondering when God was going to send a car to unexpectedly hit me on the street because I didn’t want to live on earth anymore if I had to deal with so much fear, thinking that God had kept in mind every single little sin that I had done since I was a kid. And when I would reach out to friends on what it meant to “be closer to Jesus”, there responses were “constant praying, constant fasting, lots of crying out for His presence, etc., etc.” Before I had even heard the Grace message, I knew these ideas didn’t seem right, even though they were well-intentioned. Believe me, I tried them all, and I gave them up quickly because they went nowhere.

    When I got involved with a community that preached the Grace message, I couldn’t believe how simple they put things, and how more free my mind became. I didn’t have to live in fear from my past mistakes because God doesn’t even remember them. I didn’t have to constantly strive to fast and pray to be in His presence, because I am already one with Him. Repentance, which I had taken to mean “saying sorry” for the longest time, became “change your mind from your old way of thinking to the mind of Christ” which I have complete access to because He lives in me! I can have joy knowing that I am a perfectly altogether new creation, with no faults or stains from my old self. I can have peace knowing that I don’t have to get on my knees and pray for God to move because I carry Him inside of me and wherever I go, He goes. I also don’t view prayer as something I HAVE to do to become closer to God, but something that I do simply because I want to have a conversation with the one I love. It’s simple, effortless.

    This has freed me from a long time of anxiety, fear, and depression. I am now the happiest and most free than I have ever been!

    • Thanks for taking the time to write this Ryan! Awesome stuff – I imagine it’s very similar to what many people would say who have taken the same journey – I know that it’s almost identical to mine!

      Hope that helps Ian.

  25. I battled with many issues including on going anxiety and depression. I constantly enrolled in deliverance courses and would experience a reprieve only to be plagued yet again. I had a revelation of God’s love for me and of His desire to be in relationship with me. I took my eyes off my many “sins” and focussed on Him. I woke up one day and realised I was no longer in bondage. I could never maintain it through my willpower alone. I would fall and suffer severe condemnation. But Christ does the work while we keep our eyes on him and all that is good and pure. It has been a few years now and what Christ did in me is a work done……He is now working on other stuff in me whilst I rest in Him. ….been my experience…hope it helps…..

  26. “I would love someone who said they are now free because they understand the grace message, articulate clearly why they now feel so free as opposed to before hearing the grace message.
    Not you Phil ”

    The first time I ever heard someone preach grace was at a christian youth camp that newfrontiers has in Uk (I am from Sweden) called newday. I loved the message, but as soon as I came home, the other christians around me didn’t understand what I was talking about when I talked about grace.

    My second time i did hear someone talking about grace was a preach on youtube called “God’s lavish grace by Terry Virgo”. I loved it. Actually now afterward I would say that Grace did empower me to stop sin. While when I tryed to follow all this rules and laws I just started to sin more. And I have come to the conclusion that I can’t do anything in my own strengh, I just need to walk in the spirit and in God’s presence, then I know I can do everything.

    When I started to do my bible school here in England, I did some sozo things, but I didn’t really like sozo. So I did the course “freedom in christ” by dr neil T anderson and Steve Goss, they both talked about grace, how we are free from condemnation and about our idenity in christ. How we don’t have our identity as sinners anymore. And when I had that revelation how we are not sinners anymore, how we are dead from our sinful nature. I can say that I became even more free from sin etc. I also started to see more fruit in my life while I started to get more of a “harmony” with my relationship with the spirit and how I could walk in the spirit more.

    After the freedom in christ course I was so free and I got free from so many addictions. I only have one addiction left, and that is Jesus Christ. Haha and I love it.

    To be fair, I didn’t know you could be this free, I didn’t know you could feel God’s presence this powerful and I had no idea that you could see God break in with his kingdom this much. To live under grace is a KEY thing, to have in Jesus christ is an adventure and absolute freedom. To get revelations about what Jesus already have done for is, changes us and sets us free.

    Jesus is awesome. //Swedish guy in UK.

    • That’s awesome Max – thanks so much for sharing! I say the same thing too now… I have an unbreakable addition – He’s called Jesus! :)

    • Jesus is indeed awesome! Check out for some great songs from the book of will love the way God’s word comes alive through the music.or check you tube for some of their songs.

  27. My Father has been trying to get the message of the finished work of the Cross and abiding in Him all my life and I’ve been to thick headed to see it. The first time I got behind a pulpit to share the Word it was from John 15, “I am the vine, you are the branches, I was 19 and I’m a long way from 19 today.

    In retrospect, I realize that the denomination I was in preached a mixed covenant message, and the subsequent churches weren’t any better. Even in the midst of that, Father was still trying to get me to see that I was seated with Christ in heavenly places.

    When I took my job as a pastor I was led to teach through Colossians and learned much, but not enough. Later, I caught a glimpse of the finished work of Jesus, yet the dual covenant religious message I grew up with still stuck in my mind and heart.

    I bounced from one church/ministry to another looking for that something that stirred and yearned in spirit, but never quite found it. Eventually I became disillusioned and my life sunk to lows I would never have imagined myself doing. Even in the pigpen I conscious of God, but my perception of Him was not a true representation of who He really is.

    It was through Facebook that I began to hear the message of God’s grace and I finally realized that God is not now, nor was He ever mad at me. It’s still a struggle at times for me to not try, and just be, but it’s sinking in more and more. The message that I stood up to preach so many years ago about abiding in Christ is beginning to make sense, finally. I know I want God’s best for me, but I must confess I don’t know what looks like at the moment, however I’m sure He will reveal that to me in His good time.

    I used to fear God revealing a shortcoming in my life, because I didn’t trust Him as being good, but He has shown me that when He reveals something in my life He also extends the grace and power to me to affect that change.

    So that’s my story thus far!

  28. “I would love someone who said they are now free because they understand the grace message, articulate clearly why they now feel so free as opposed to before hearing the grace message.
    Not you Phil ”

    Mine is new and fresh. And in the works as we speak; well as I type (and edit).

    I’m a 21 year old student at UCF. I’ve been lost with loneliness. Been lost with my passion to live for God, wondering why it fades when I’m not around people. Upset at myself for my wish-washy faith.

    Thus I placed a self pressure to try to be the best person, best Christian I personally could be. Basically the most proficient Jimmy I could be. In speech, in thought process, in listening, in general awareness, in witty remarks, in being funny, in being friendly, in being liked by people, in physical fitness, in work ethic, in academia studying, in reading God’s word, in prayer, in steadfast faith towards God. A constant pressure I placed upon myself to be the best person I could be, and when I didn’t achieve it, achieve it to my likings, I failed. I felt like I failed God. I failed the people I could’ve reached. I failed my family (mostly nonbelievers). When I failed, I felt despair, depression, failure, like a no life loser. In hopes to motivate myself to be the best person I could I ingrained voices in my head, “Only if you could have done better. You failed. God is upset with you. You did not choose God. You keep on choosing yourself. You failed. Think about all the times you chose yourself over God. Think about the man you could’ve been if you chose God all those times. You failed. God is displeased with you cuz you didn’t become the best person you could’ve been.”

    To be honest, I’m still struggling to see God’s complete love of me. No matter what I do, no matter if I become the best Jimmy possible or not, God still loves me 100. The most He could love me the day He created me. He created me in the midst of seeing all the right and wrong I would do in my life.

    God’s been teaching me this concept, this paradigm, of His complete love for me in so many areas of my life. And I need all of it. I continuously need to hear how much God loves me. Anyways one of the main ways has been through Christian counseling. I do not say this lightly, counseling has been the greatest investment I have ever made. Through it I have been able to be me (what I want to say next is, “What God has made me to be,” but it sounds cliche and I truly don’t know what God has made me to be. I’m just trying to be me). I have been able to be who I am without the constant pressure of having to be who I want to be (actually a lesson learned yesterday at counseling—I’ve been grasping and resting and wrestling in my new perspectives of God’s love and grace for me). Freedom is word. Freedom to be me. Freedom to live for my Lord.

  29. For “the Swedish guy in the UK.” Thanks for sharing your story/testimony of how you came to know and understand grace. For me, I grew up Baptist, old Southern Baptist, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a beautiful thing, lots of fond memories of going to church down old bumpy roads with my grandmother and her boyfriend to Saturday night “singings” as they were called. They were pretty boring as church was as well back then to me, but I look back with fondness since it was the building of the foundation that would become my true understanding of God. Learning what I learned then gave me a reference point as I see it. Coming into Grace from never experiencing church at all wouldn’t have been as good of an experience for me I don’t believe. The churches back then, along with the people involved, had great intentions, good hearts, but there was damage done to the way I thought of God, and the way I thought of myself. I left church feeling sick most times, feeling like I was doomed for hell. I felt tarnished, guilt laden, scared, and overly aware and worried about sinning, When I first heard the Grace message, I almost ran. It was too simple, seemed like a hoax, a show of sorts, a fad which is why I can totally see why some people see it as such. But they just haven’t given it time. They haven’t opened their mind to it. Why? Well, people run from the truth which is GRACE because it is something new to many of us. It’s not the way we were brought up, not the way we were taught, “Aint the sort of church I grew up in sonny.” You see, new things put us into uncomfortable places, but that’s exactly where we learn. There’s this thing called cognitive dissonance. It’s a type of psychological phenomenon that is basically the discomfort we feel when there’s a discrepancy between what we already know or believe, and any new information that’s being presented to us. It’s uncomfortable yes, but it’s necessary for us to become open to new information or ideas. For me there was my current beliefs and then there was the truth, the reality of Grace, oh, and the huge gap between the two that was causing my discomfort, bringing about the cognitive dissonance thing. Since I had already been through the church orientation 101, “learned” the Bible, God, Salvation, etc. So, in my head, I basically had to go through a disorientation. I had to deconstruct what I had learned, wiping the slate clean and starting over. I had to open my mind to Grace orientation. That was hard because even though I didn’t particularly like what I’d been taught, I’d bought it. I was committed to what I’d been taught. I was scared, and I didn’t want God to be mad at me for taking on this new line of thinking, didn’t want Him to get mad at me for letting go of the fiery brimstones I’d been carrying around for years. How stupid now that I think of it. Why would I want to worship a God that would want me to carry the fear, the guilt, the self-image and shame I carried? IGNORANT! It’s people like me, those of us who are deeply committed to that prior knowledge they are likely to resist the new teaching of Grace. But, my education is in education so I understand why there’s a blockage here, with adults especially. Adult learners don’t like being uncomfortable or embarrassed, and we’d like to be seen as somebody that knows everything. But, this is why God speaks of humility. In order for me to receive the new message of Grace, I had to not only open my mind to the knowledge, but I had to humble myself to the fact that I didn’t know, I simply was ignorant about this message. I’d never heard it before so why be embarrassed? Human nature….period. I’m so glad something or Somebody held me in my seat enough times/long enough to get the truth. Now I walk without those fiery brimstones that were a constant reminder of my ultimate fate no matter how good I TRIED to be. I don’t dwell on the past and all the stupid things I did. I don’t let the things others did to me make me feel anything less than the beautiful creature God created me to be. I do snarl at the lines on my face occasionally, well daily. But when I really look at myself I see the beauty in me. I don’t walk around tripping over the sins I comment minute by minute, but instead, I’m constantly communicating with God. About what? Well, several prayers here and there as I think of all the people that need them, lots of thank you sentiments for the little miracles that happen throughout the day. Often times I just find myself saying things like; “God, that is a really cool looking butterfly you painted.” Then sometimes I scream; “God, I’m 51 for God’s sake (is that wrong of me) please hurry up and send me a man!!!!” Then I laugh and tell Him, “I know, I’d probably take up way too much of my closet space, and I’d have to start watching the History channel again.” LOL I do get mad. I do get sad. I do get disappointed. But the thing that’s hugely different now is that my initial emotional reaction is about a 3 on a scale of 1-10 when it use to be a 9 or 10, and now I get over it pretty quickly. I look at people and love them right past their faults. I walk into places where I use to feel fear and now I’m at peace. I carry God’s love and kindness with me everywhere I go, and so far, it’s been a very powerful weapon. Grace has taught me so much. I, like most of you said, could write a book, and I almost did here. So, I’ll leave with blessing to all. Keep talking, keep sharing, for testimonies are POWERFUL!

    • Thanks so much for this Julia! That’s for sure a huge deal… We hate to be wrong, embarrassed or have to change! Accepting the grace of God requires all those things on one level or another… And it sucks! Haha so worth it though and once we take the plunge it doesn’t suck at all! :)

  30. Hi Phil ! I do not know quite what to make of your article here. I do agree with much of the ‘grace’ descriptions you give here, however I want to ‘encourage’ you, if I may, to be careful not to run down people ignorant through immaturity, those just still learning and growing in Christ. I have learned that not everybody who calls himself a ‘brother’ is one and not everyone who claims to know Jesus actually does. My bible teaches me that not everyone who commends himself is approved, but who Christ commends. 2 Corinthians 10: 18 Many people today profess to know the Lord, but in Matthew 7: 21 – 23 Jesus declares that not all who says Lord, Lord to Him will enter the kingdom of God. I say Jesus is the best person to ask if He knows you. He either does or He does not and believe me He will answer you if you ask Him. Knowing Him is having a relationship with Him. In my humble opinion it is best to ask Him now while there is still opportunity to get to know Him than to hear Him say ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, …’ Grace is everything God has done for us independent of ourselves and faith is our response to what He has done for us. We were saved by grace THROUGH faith. Go study James and you will find that faith requires ACTION! Now it is not action that saves us or gives us eternal life as it is done already by the GRACE of God. However it, eternal life is appropriated by our ACT of faith in receiving Jesus and confessing Him as Lord and believing in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Does GRACE require them to call? Whether they do or do not, GRACE has made it possible for them to call, however to be saved they have to call on the Lord. Through believing they put their faith into ACTION when they DO call on Him. Apart from that, You and I HAVE to abide in the doctrine of Christ according to 2 John 9 to have both the Father and the Son. What then is this doctrine of Christ? To what I find in John 13: 34 we ought to love one another as Jesus loved and loves us. You mentioned that you also believed things you say the ‘false church’ believed and even preached it yourself. Many people are sincerely ignorant and just growing. We must not condemn them, but love them and reflect Jesus to them. One thing we all must remember is that God sees one’s heart and knows what is in it. He reveals Himself to those truly and sincerely seeking Him. This ‘seeking’ is not about working or to gain eternal life through what you DO, but in developing your relationship with the Lord. One gets to know somebody through spending time with one another much like marriage. Stop spending time with your wife and eventually your relationship will break down and cease to be. We do not shoot our children for lack of understanding and being ignorant, but rather teach them lovingly and correct them in love because we love them. Rejecting those that does not believe as you do is not Christ and knowing Jesus is doing the will of His Father in obedience. Jesus spoke to all the CHURCHES in revelation and said that He knew their WORKS and to Laodicea that they are neither cold nor hot, but because they are lukewarm that He would vomit or spit them out of His mouth. This speaks of those that were part of His body (saved) and then He spits them out (not part of His body anymore). GRACE? No. By GRACE through FAITH as in Ephesians 2: 8. GRACE and FAITH is not independent of each other. It all comes down to your love-walk in Christ. Your faith only works in love (Gal 5: 6) and without love you are nothing BUT lukewarm. Without love we only make a noise as 1 Corintians 13: 1 states. Love is the fulfilment of the law. Also, allow me to leave you with this statement that the grace of God is not to be received in vain as found in 2 Corinthians 6: 1. Grace is something to be USED. This should bring you and all those claiming to know what grace is to again consider what grace really is and to SPEND time with Jesus our Lord and let His Holy Spirit teach us each INDIVIDUALLY what grace is indeed! God bless you! Ronald

    • Hi Ronald – I totally agree – you will notice I tried to be very careful with my wording making sure people knew I consider these guys as brothers and sisters in Christ… I even called these false movements of Grace rather than false church or heresies because at the end of the day I see them as you say – ignorant.

      In fact that’s why I make sure i say in each type that it is an ignorance of grace that is the cause.

      I totally agree with what you are saying and love your heart! Ignorance needs love and truth not condemnation :)

      Thanks for sharing!

  31. I go along with most of the testimonies bbut Ryans concerns me most.
    If I come to Christ in repentance of a Godly sort, with fruit of repentance

    2Co 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that you were grieved, but that you grieved to repentance. For you were grieved according to God, so that you might suffer loss by nothing in us.
    2Co 7:10 For the grief according to God works repentance to salvation, not to be regretted, but the grief of the world works out death.
    Zaccheus repentance is a good example. Just a change of mind doesn’t describe repentance correctly. One needs to see what was said regarding repentance in the bible, not just the word used.

    Then believe as described in many passages, not just a mental acquiescence to a doctrine.

    Then be baptised. See biblical examples. If you believe you will be baptised immediately as you will understand the implications of it in dying to self….part of repentance, not baptised a year later after much cajoling from friends etc.

    Then receive the gift of the Holy SPirit.

    the Bible then says:
    Heb 9:9 For it was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices that could not make him who did the service perfect as regards the conscience,
    Heb 9:14 how much more shall the blood of Christ (who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God) purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
    Heb 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because the worshipers, when they had been once for all purged, would have had no more conscience of sin.

    The blood of Christ WASHES us from all sin. It’s not a mind game thing, its a spiritual reality having fruit in my soul.

    Now read
    Gal 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
    Rom 8:15 For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father!
    Rom 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.

    I have all the confidence i will ever need if my salvation is true.

    The biggest deception since or even before the reformation is this demonically devised “sinners prayer” where people are deceived that if they ask the Lord jesus into their hearts & to forgive them their sin they are saved. THAT IS NOWHERE IN THE BIBLE. That I believe is the crux of the dilemma in the churches today, so deceived folk struggle to have any relationship with God & desperately sweat it out to try have it.
    The answer is to get soundly saved by His Grace… ie. His inner working in your life. not to learn a new doctrine. More teachings will come after salvation.
    we then have more unbiblical nonsense in a teaching called “assurance of salvation” NO man can tell you if you’re saved or not. the above scriptures show how we know. Only God knows them that are his, no man except the person himself
    For example, if i am taught to tithe & I don’t think I have enough money to & feel guilty & someone tells me the bible says I don’t need to tithe & I believe it, of course I will feel free, liberated by the new teaching on don’t tithe.
    So if do nothing in my relationship with God & am told I don’t need to as God will do/has done everything, of course I will feel free & i will love it. Sit back & enjoy the ride. Why read the bible? it just tells me what to do & that aint grace!!!!????
    Thats the danger here. At salvation I should have had all the guilt you all talk about removed, having been washed by the blood.
    Now it’s not the washing of the blood of Christ that removes guilt but a doctrine.

    Heb 6:1 Therefore, having left the discourse of the beginning of Christ, let us go on to full growth, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
    Heb 6:2 of the baptisms, of doctrine, and of laying on of hands, (to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit)

    Do you see the principle here…. No sinners prayer nonsense. This principle is described over & over in the scriptures

    I have repented from my dead works at the start of my sonship in God. That’s where the real problem lies.

    Anyway, good night all & Be greatly Blessed

  32. Folk do the sinners prayer bit, think they’re saved, don’t read & study the bible, listen to all the motivational, prosperity & name it & claim it, prosperity preachers & others too many to mention, & never experience the real life of Christ. Now a new teaching comes that absolves them of doing anything at all & they STILL don’t study the scriptures to check it out.
    Proof of this is the rhetoric answers given to legitimate biblical questions. I challenge you all to read Benjamin s posts & answer each question logically from scripture.
    Friends you CANNOT use one scripture to cancel out another. ALL scripture is profitable & every verse needs to be given the same weight of importance, simply because it’s all Gods word.
    Check them out.

  33. Phil, I just saw your site for the first time today. Thanks for preaching about grace. Grace is not preached as much as it should in the christian church. With that said I want to caution you that the apostle Paul several times, specially in Romans 7 and Galatians 5 about the war between the flesh and the spirit in the believer. This is because Christ has removed the penalty for sin, the condemnation, the curse of the law. From this perspective we are free from sin, not because indwelling sin has been removed, but because the condemnation or consequence of our sins has been removed. So obviously I have concerns about what you call false grace movement number 2 which you say focuses on the second coming. Let me quote some scripture:

    Romans 8:23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

    This is why Paul just two verses prior in Romans 8:20 teaches that the whole creation was subject to futility so that are your hope is not in this world.

    Romans 8:20 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope

    You see we only have the first fruits. Our hope is not in this life as the Apostle Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 15:19 , otherwise we are more pitied than the unbeliever. Paul writes: “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

    And finally believers are more conscious of their sin than the unbeliever. The unbeliever doesn’t care about sin. Yes it is true that the unbeliever as you mentioned is convicted of sin by the holy spirit, but the unbeliever rejects the holy spirit, does not embrace Christ’s righteousness, and goes on with life not caring about sin. The believer on the other hand is very conscious of his sinful nature and holds onto Christ’s righteousness. And this is a work of the holy spirit in the believer, where the believer is reminded of his sin daily by the holy spirit and then pointed to the remedy, Christ and his righteousness. You see this is clear in the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector. The pharisee, an unbeliever, does not recognize his sin. And worst than this pharisee thanks God for making him righteous, he thanks God for his grace. The tax collector a believer recognizes his sin and all he says is “God have mercy of me a sinner”. God have mercy on me a sinner, Luke 18:13. This is why believer pray in the Lord’s prayer “forgive us our trespasses” while the unbeliever doesn’t care about his trespasses. You see the Saints are conscious of their sinful nature, while sinners (unbelievers) are not.

    • Hi Bill, thanks for your message.

      I don’t think we are quite on the same page but that’s OK.

      I actually write pretty extensively about this topic in quite a few articles as well as have numerous audio and video messages.

      You may really like to read my thoughts on Romans 5-8 here –
      And this video may really interest you regarding walking in the flesh/spirit –

      Thanks again for sharing.

      • I don’t know Phil I’m a lutheran and although I love your preaching of grace I still think you make a mistake by saying those that await the second coming and resurrection of the body are enemies of grace. I will quote some more scripture in addition to what I have already quoted to back it up, we as christians are truly pilgrims waiting for a better world. All the scripture points in this direction. Your view of life is way too optimistic compared to what the reformers Luther and Calvin taught.

        1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
        Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
        John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

        • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Bill – I don’t disagree that the second coming is very exciting – I eagerly look forward to it. I am talking about doing so at the expense of Christ getting what He paid for! I.e. On earth as it is in heaven!

          While I love the reformers and have been shaped by their theology greatly I refuse to elevate their opinions above clear teaching in scripture and the early church fathers who had an extremely optimistic view of the the end times and the transformation of the world… Perhaps that’s why they were so good at actually doing it! :)

          Just my opinion though. You are welcome to your own.

          For more thoughts on the end times I HIGHLY recommend the free (but extremely high quality) book by Jonathan Welton called raptureless – you can download it at

          If you want a hard copy you can get one or you can check out Sean Edward’s “the end of days” which is equally good.

  34. I read the original article by you, Phil, and saw that it was thoughtful and well written. You also made the concepts that you are talking about accessible to people without a formal theological trained background. I appreciate how well your article ministers to your audience. Good job!

    I have to say that the comments are quite engaging or enraging, haha. I would like to point out that irregardless of what our pet theological nuances are, that we all recognize that it is by the spirit of Christ we are united, not by agreements to one another.

    How a minister ministers is from the depths of their heart/soul and the result stands for itself. To that I direct the rhetorical question to the gladiators in the comment melee, “Do your comments portray accurately the condition of your heart/soul of goodwill of God towards Man and do they promote goodwill to one another?” If you claim to speak for God; listen better than you speak, and speak shrewdly.

    • Thanks for sharing that Zach – firstly thanks for your kind words. While I do have more in depth articles I do try not to get to complex for the people who read this blog so I appreciate that you recognized that and think my point was well articulated.

      Secondly, I do try my best to let people share their opinions and talk with them about them gracefully. I can definitely put my hand up and say that I drop the ball a lot! Probably much more than I realize which is always the case right? Haha

      Thanks for having a level head and asking a good question to give perspective.

  35. Phil, one other question for you. I really appreciate by the way how you take the time to reply and share the gospel news. So, we have to embrace God’s grace daily, we rely on Christ’s righteousness daily, not just once at conversion. But whether at conversion or thereafter this grace is nothing else but the forgiveness of sins, God accepts us as we are on account of Christ’s work at the cross. According to our Lord forgiveness is our biggest need. If we are not sinners, then forgiveness and Christ’s righteousness are irrelevant. You see what I’m getting at, christians are both sinners and saints at the same time as Luther taught,, simul justus et peccato. It is correct to point out as you do that God sees as Saints only and not sinners because of Christ mediating work on the cross. But we as christians were to ever stop seeing ourselves as sinners, or stop noticing our sins, then our need for a Saviour would stop as well and we will not embrace Christ any longer. If we see ourselves as righteous, then there is no more need for Christ’s righteousness. Thoughts?

    • Hi Bill,

      Personally I think you are looking at it in the wrong way.

      We don’t consistently “need” a savior. Just in the same way as a sick person doesn’t consistently “need” a doctor.

      The purpose of a savior is to do just that… to save. Now we are saved we don’t need to be saved again. To treat Christ’s work like that says it is an incomplete, temporary work that consistently needs to be added to.

      We consistently NEED Jesus. But salvation is a one time event. You are saved and go from a sinner TO a saint. If you are still a sinner then Jesus didn’t do anything to you. He just blinded God to who you truly are.

      This article might help you –

      We rely on Jesus’ grace every day… but we must remember that grace is a lot more than just salvation from sin but a full transformation of who we are and an empowerment to walk it out. That is what we rely on – not to be saved every day (as if we can put JEsus on the cross again every day) but rather that everyday we would say “not I but Christ lives”. And let Jesus work in and through us by the power of the Spirit in the will of the father.

      Hope that helps.

  36. You see Phil, let me put it another way. The reason I love God so much is because he sees me as a Saint, perfect, while in reality I’m imperfect, I’m a Sinner. You see it is no different as when a husband tells his wife she’s perfect. The wife then says, my husband loves me so much. Why? Because she knows, she’s imperfect but her husband calls her perfect, he accepts her with all her imperfections and sees her as perfect the way she is. The wife knows that in actuality she is imperfect, but her husband that loves her sees her as perfect. But the key here is the wife knows she’s imperfect. With christians is the same, we know we are sinners, but we also know that God sees us as Saints. Would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks Phil.

    • Hi Bill,

      I replied to another comment of yours just a minute ago with my thoughts. To believe that Jesus’ blood left you a sinner and causes God to see you as a Saint says one thing:

      Jesus’ death on the cross did nothing to you and instead blinded God to being able to see who you truly are.’

      The truth of course is that Jesus CHANGED who you were from a sinner TO a saint. That is a foundational truth of the gospel.

      Hope that helps.

      • What then is it called when I lie, slander,or worry.or get very angry at the guy who cut me off, or when I have selfish thoughts,etc?

        • I think the technical terminology is called, “Being a turd.”

          I was just one today when a client was trying to stiff me $180 and was insulting me on top of that. I don’t feel like my salvation was in jeopardy despite assaulting my steering wheel while enraged. When I was done with my man-tantrum, I called the client up and apologized, I let him know that I require the entire payment and we negotiated. I got to a point in the conversation where I made him aware that I thought he was a quality family man and outstanding person despite our face-off in the morning. We compromised and he is going to pay me in two parts. And we still get to be friends.

          In the end, I don’t believe it was sinful (I think by your question you are asserting, “What then what do I call sin?”) to be angry and be a man-baby for an hour and punch stuff. Of course we can all screw up. And it is a bummer when we miss out because of it.

          I don’t think sin hurts God’s feelings at all. It is apparent to me that God’s final and completely unchanging statement on sin is the Cross. It is by the faithfulness of Jesus by which we are saved; not by how good of a boy I can be.

          The grace of God is the freely given empowerment for transformation. Its not by our hand that we are transformed, but by the faithfulness of God. Amen. I have officially preached myself happy tonight.

          • Hey Zach, I appreciate your response well thought out and compelling. Why though do you suppose great theologians from centuries gone by and those alive today got it wrong for so long? Supposing they are wrong. Thanks for your input.

          • Hey Dean! You are too kind, sir.

            I would definitely be foolish to dismiss the monumental contributions of theologians that have devoted so much time, love and energy to edifying the Church and shoring up good theology to live from. I’d say, in a super broad sense, that there is a strong history of the sovereignty, aseity and immutability of God, total depravity of Man, irresistibility of grace, and the perseverance (also a work of God in the saved) and regeneration of the saved present in Reformational theology and throughout most of its history.

            I find that there are many great 20th century theologians from many different backgrounds that have been emphasizing a Christ-centered (Christocentric) systematic theology that further elevates and magnifies the work of God in mankind. There are also some interesting reads from the perspective of the Holy Spirt (a pneumatological) systematic theology out there as well (Personally, I believe that a strong Christocentric Theology from a Reformed-charismatic [ yes, that exists ] perspective is probably the most personally-relieving, joy-giving and infectiously-celebrating God-rejoicing foundation to live from). Unfortunately, books like these probably won’t be popularized in Christian pop culture or found at most Christian bookstores. Most books we find are eschatologically-sensational (End times prophetic doom books) or self-help improvement devotionals. The self-help books elevate the work of Man (anthropologically-centered theology), self-effort, self-help, deliverance, soul-clensing, fasting, pray-harder-ing, etc. to make ourselves feel better about our own strength to improve ourselves before God; in essence, self-justification before God. Unfortunately, in my experience, the Pentecostal/Charismatic and Evangelical book supply seems to emphasize the work of Man (Anthropologically-centered theology), either obviously or subtly; but that is changing. I think there are many Christians from those streams coming to know the rest of God and being able to accept things like the irresistibility of Grace, and things like the work of God in the believer, the work of God in the unbeliever, the completeness of the work of the Cross and more.

            To that I say that if my own ability is required for me to be saved by God, I am utterly doomed. But instead, I believe the Gospel and rejoice in the works of God.

            God’s unchaning sovereign goodness so evident in the person of Jesus and the resposne of the Cross as an answer to my life and the fallenness of the world, the presence of His Spirit, evident and hidden, in my life and those around me. It is astonishing.

          • Thanks for sharing Zach – and asking Dean – great chat.

            To me whether we label it sin or not is kind of immaterial in my opinion… I tend to refer to these things as “sin” because it’s been the language of the church for centuries, it is the language people will understand.

            To me the reason it doesn’t matter if we still “sin” is because that sin, long before we even did it, was forgiven on the cross… it’s not creating a huge barrier between God and you and it does not define you. It is a fruit of believing lies.

            The issue is the lies one believes, as you so eloquently put it Zach… “being a turd” :) That is what we are supposed to be focusing on!

            Thanks again for sharing so well Zach :)

          • Zach, there’s a lot of truth in what you say. I’m a lutheran and super big on grace. I also share your concern that most evangelical and charismatic churches today don’t get grace. I totally believe that grace is unmerited favour, that we are forgiven on account of Christ work on the cross only, and that the perfect righteousness of Christ has been imputed to us. I also believe that all things work together for good for those that trust in Christ Jesus and were called according to his purpose. And any blessing I receive whether health or wealth or relationships, or any other material blessing is due to God’s grace and not something I earned. I also believe that grace flows from the cross, from the work of Christ by which we were infinitely forgiven, when we realize that we are not guilty, when we are guilt free from sin, only then can we be healed.

            Now here is where we disagree though. Grace is simply the forgiveness of sin. We still sin daily, if you want to call it being a turd, that’s fine. As long as you admit you are a turd or a sinner I don’t care. My problem is with those that don’t admit they are a turd or a sinner. Because if anybody is a turd willfully or sins willfully has put himself out of the faith as Hebrews 6 and Hebrews 10 teach. Proverbs 28:13 says the same::

            Proverbs 28:13
            “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”

            So the issue is if somebody says, well God has forgiven me, so now I can steal and commit adultery and do anything. A person that willfully and consciously does so with no remores is not a christian, but an infidel that the fire of hell will consume.

          • You see Zach, just further to my post above. You realized you were being a turd and you apologized to the customer. To me this is perfect. In biblical language it means that you sinned and you repented.

            Now if somebody were to say I’m a turd, and I will not apologize. I will continue doing it because I’m forgiven and god doesn’t see my sin and I can do whatever I want. Now that person is not a born again christian, and I don’t care what they profess to be. They turn the grace of God into lasciviousness Jude 1:4 or Galatians 5:13 were the apostle warns that just because we are free we should not use our freedom as an opportunity for the flesh.

  37. Grace is what saves and through that grace you discover you desire to do good works. Because you become less self absorbed in your own small world and realize that is what Christ has been an example of during His human-life. Your works are by no means a way to get closer to God, they are a natural outpouring of true faith, otherwise they are merely a way to hold yourself up and say to the world look at me!

    But don’t think that the Law is destroyed (not one tidle sp? has been changed), in fact it was fulfilled by His first coming. But prophecy in the New and Old Testament is very clear there is a Second Coming (it will not be cum-by-ya experience either, the goats and the sheep will be separated ) & a first coming & full presence for the deceiver Satan. He will bring many appealing things to the World and many will be tricked in to following him as their savior.

    The prophecies are not complete. He is coming back sometime (maybe sooner then most would expect). To disregard that would be throwing 1/3 to half of the Bible out the window and to not prepare the Church for it is just as dangerous. Be aware many of the Birth pains are happening now for example in my entire life I had never heard of a beaver killing someone, now I have. See Rev. 6:7 which warns of pestilence, war & death by wild beast…

    I am not so wrapped up in this that I can not function, but I do believe I have a duty as a watchman to warn others and this teaching on the surface sounds good but when you boil it down it becomes Come as you are stay as you are. A relationship is a 2 way street and both parties have responsibilities with in that. To say “God completely forgives all sins and no longer deals with us based upon our actions.” is basically ridiculous. Is that how you relate to others? Their actions no longer affect how you relate to them? No that is not complete or it was poorly written.

    • Mike, I hear you. Even though there is a lot of positive in Phil’s teaching. The preaching of grace is so lacking in churches today, that who can not be excited by the message of grace that Phil preaches. Nevertheless the law, specially for Christians it is imperative that it’d be preached every Sunday. Not for condemnation, because there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus Romans 8:1, but to point us and remind us that Jesus is our only hope for salvation, to remind us of our sinful condition and need for a Saviour, to prevent us from boasting about ourselves (like the pharisee did on the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector), to humble us and with the tax collector utter the words “God have mercy on me a sinner”, we also need the law to rebuke and discipline us Hebrews 12 and Proverbs 12:1 “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”. I can’t imagine a Christian that doesn’t love the law, specially after the condemnation has been removed by the gospel, the law is the will of God for our lives. Even though we will never be able to obey perfectly, not even remotely, and we thank God for his mercy towards us. This is why Christ teaches on the Sermon on the Mount:
      Matthew 5 verses 17 to 19:
      17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

      So even though I love Phil’s message of grace, I simply can’t understand this disdain for the law, specially as I said when it does not condemn the believer. The christian loves the law, the unbeliever hates the law, he sees it as a restriction to his freedom to sin. The law works wrath in the unbeliever, but only because it condemns him, the christian on the other hand is free from the law’s condemnation and as a result love God’s commandments.

      The other thing that’s worrisome is this disregard for the second coming. The blessings we receive from God in this life are temporary and although we thank God for all that he gives us in this life, a christian knows that all this pales in comparison to our eternal reward and the hope in the resurrection of the body that Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians chapter 15. Because at the end of the day our life in this world doesn’t last long, it’s passing just like this world 1 john 2:17 . On the Sermon on the mount Christ warned us no to lay up treasures on earth.
      Matthew 6:19 to 21
      19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

      And again in 1 Timothy verses 6 to 10 the apostle Paul reminds us that we brought nothing into this world and we will leave this world with nothing. So eternal blessings are perishable unlike our eternal reward which is unperishable, and this is why we await anxiously the return of Jesus Christ.

      1 Timothy 6 verses 6 to 10
      6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

      The book of Revelation ends like this Revelation 22:20 “He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

      And the last thing is I don’t understand why this infatuation with man not being sick. We glory in tribulation. When Satan with God’s permission took away Job’s property, his family and relationships, and his health, Job was afflicted with sickness and yet Job’s faith didn’t waver. He praised God for all the calamities that afflicted him:

      Job chapter 1 verses 20 to 22:
      20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said:
      “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
      And naked shall I return there.
      The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
      Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
      22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

      And after Satan with God’s permission struck Job with painful boils from the top of his head to the soles of his feet, this is what Job said in Job chapter 2 verses 9 and 10:
      9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
      10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

      Now this is what a godly man does, he is not a lover of God when he’s healthy but he also loves God when he’s afflicted with cancer and terminal illness as a result of God’s will. And he loves God for afflicting him, as Job did.

      • Now I should have also said that the unbeliever sometimes does not hate the law, but simply misuses the law to justify himself and to condemn others.

        Also I wrote in my post just above this one:
        “So eternal blessings are perishable unlike our eternal reward which is unperishable,” instead of
        “So earthly blessings are perishable unlike our eternal reward which is unperishable”

        I thought I’d mention that to correct the previous post.

      • And why did Job’s faith in adversity? Why did Job in sickness praise God, why did Job glory in his sickness and did not ask God to remove the pain? Because his hope was not in this world. See his hope was in the world to come after death. Only Christians can view sickness as a blessing, because they have hope in something better in the world to come. Because a Christina wants to meet Jesus. This is how our faith is tested, through tribulation. And we need to teach this, else if our hope is in this world, in our health and wellness, a lot of people will lose their faith when they are in their deathbed and perish eternally. Let’s see where our real hope is as Job chapter 19 teaches:

        Job 19 verses 25 to 27
        25 I know that my redeemer[c] lives,
        and that in the end he will stand on the earth.[d]
        26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
        yet[e] in[f] my flesh I will see God;
        27 I myself will see him
        with my own eyes—I, and not another.
        How my heart yearns within me!

  38. I have a question about your teaching of grace. I watched a video where you said that God does not convict believers of sin and this is the same thing that Joseph Prince teaches. Do you subscribe to Joseph Prince’s teaching on “grace”?

    • I don’t agree with everything Joseph preaches (I don’t agree with everything anyone teaches – I’d probably cease to be human if I did) but on the whole I think he is one of the finest teachers on the planet.

      Hope that helps.

    • As enticing and sweet as Joseph Prince preaching on grace is, I am sure Joseph Prince wakes up in the morning with some sort of ache on his back or knee and goes to bed not feeling 100%. The bottom line is this, Joseph Prince feels sickness in his body. Joseph Prince also sins daily because he is a human being and is a sinner by nature. His old Adam is still alive, every human being is affected by sin and sickness daily. However, we look at Christ and despite our afflictions we rejoice. 2 Corinthians 4:16 “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”

    • You see further to what I just wrote, we all sin, Joseph Prince included. As a matter of fact because we know are our own daily sins and others don’t know our every thought, word, and deed we can say with the apostle Paul that we are worse sinners than anybody else, each and every one of us should confess that we are the chief of sinners, 1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” Now the good news is Romans 4:8 “blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin”. You notice that the apostle Paul doesn’t say blessed is the man that doesn’t sin, because we all sin, it’s impossible not to sin. Instead Paul writes blessed is the man whom the Lord does not impute his sin. We depend on God’s mercy, his forgiveness of our daily sins after conversion. The good new is that because the christian has trusted in Christ’s finished work on the cross his sins are forgiven, but he still continues to sin daily, we should not confuse that our sins are forgiven with “we sin no longer and do not depend on God’s forgiveness any longer”.

      • To be fair in counterpoint and quoting Biblical verses, I say, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” – 1 John 3:9.Prior to that John says that the one who practices sin is of the devil. He is not speaking poetically, allegorically, futuristically, or hyperbole; but as an Apostle writing a letter to a church community. The language of that verse does not afford much wiggle room to campaign and fight for the advancement of sin theology within the saint. A saint cannot sin because of from whom they were born from; conversely, a person who sins can never be a saint simultaneously because the devil ≠ God.

        Now, I am not speaking directly to you Bill, but if a person finds themselves to be a sinner, is constantly sinning, all that they see is sin, and the sin of others; perhaps that person needs to have a divine intervention towards salvation to know the joy of the Cross and the One who bore it. Just food for thought.

        Speaking from a personal perspective, I used to have a Christo-cynical worldview where I would critique the message and the person whoever called themselves anything better than a sinner, thinking they we’re misinformed or thought better of themselves than what they really should. What was really going on in me was a subtle form of pride in myself for being more “lowly” or “humble” in calling myself a nobody and a sinner when other people claimed they were something more. I shouldn’t be provoked to scrutinize my brother for what they say; I should be provoked to greatness. Is it humble then, to agree to my own understanding or reasoning on what I can observe as a mere human, instead of affirming what the Bible says about the nature and identity of persons found in Christ? It doesn’t take faith to call someone a sinner. I don’t see that modeled in the ministry of Christ or the Apostles at all; Paul included.

        • Zach, it’s funny how your false grace teaching turned to legalism so easy. As reformed theologian Michael Horton has pointed out legalism and antinomianism (those that teach that the moral law does not apply to the christian) are two extremes that seem to be distant but they really are the same. They are two sides of the same coin. You and Joseph Prince may talk grace, but neither of you understands it. There’s a legalist hiding under the preaching of grace. And legalism just raised its ugly head with your interpretation of 1 John 3:9.” Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” What this passage means is that those that do not repent of their sin can not possibly be christians. And I actually said that earlier, that those that willfully and consciously continue in sin, no matter what they profess, they have never been born again. But First John is talking about the person that continues in sin, the person that does not acknowledge his sin, does not confess it, and turns to Christ alone by trusting solely in Christ for his forgiveness. 1 John 3:9 as Calvin and Luther taught teaches exactly the same as First John 1:9 if we confess our sins he is faithful and forgives us. You see your interpretation of First John 3:9 is utterly legalistic and relies on human performance, good works for salvation. But First John 3:9 does not refer to good works, which can”t possibly gain us acceptance with God, but with stubborn unrepentant sinners that have not turned to Christ and him alone for salvation.

        • Who is right Martin Luther or Joseph Prince? You better believe it Luther who taught we are simultaneously just and sinners is correct, simul justus et peccator. So that you know lutherans every Sunday confess they are poor and miserable sinners deserving nothing but temporal and eternal punishment. If a christian refuses to make this confession I say he’s no christian at all and the wrath of God abides in him. First John 3:9 applies to those that refuse to confess their sin, they are of the devil and continue in sin. This is the biblical teaching and see below what lutherans confess every Sunday:

          In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

          Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We justly deserve your present and eternal punishment. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.

          (from Lutheran Service Book, Divine Service, Setting One)

          O almighty God, merciful Father, I, a poor, miserable sinner, confess unto Thee all my sins and iniquities with which I have ever offended Thee and justly deserved Thy temporal and eternal punishment. But I am heartily sorry for them and sincerely repent of them, and I pray Thee of Thy boundless mercy and for the sake of the holy, innocent, bitter sufferings and death of Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to be gracious and merciful to me, a poor, sinful being…Amen.

          (from The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941)

          Almighty God, our Maker and Redeemer, we poor sinners confess unto thee, that we are by nature sinful and unclean, and that we have sinned against thee by thought, word, and deed. Wherefore we flee for refuge to thine infinite mercy, seeking and imploring thy grace, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.

          O most merciful God, who has given thine only-begotten Son to die for us, have mercy upon us, and for his sake grant us remission of all our sins; and by thy Holy Spirit increase in us true knowledge of thee and of thy will, and true obedience to thy Word, that by thy grace we may come to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

          (from Service Book and Hymnal, 1958)

          Holy and merciful Father, I confess that I am by nature sinful, and that I have disobeyed you in my thoughts, words, and actions. I have done what is evil and failed to do what is good. For this I deserve your punishment both now and in eternity. But I am truly sorry for my sins, and trusting in my Savior Jesus Christ, I pray: Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner…Amen.

          (from Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal, WELS)

  39. Thank you for noticing the gross legalism above; I hardly doubt you thought it was funny though. I wasn’t actually preaching any sort of grace there at all but how legalism really should logically play out and infuriate anyone who confesses themselves a sinner.

    I think that you’d agree that attempting fulfilling the law to be impossible; therefore making the perfect example of Jesus unattainable by any person; Joseph Prince, Zach Mann or Mr. Bill included. That being said, it is reprehensible to create a self-loathing, false humility, legalistic I’m-just-a-sinner whip to beat oneself with and then to call that true fear, reverence and godliness only to push said burdensome whip onto others. I will not preach sin, I will preach Christ in you, the hope of glory. I will not preach Job, I will preach Jesus.

    From the beginning, you have been very insistent on Christians calling themselves sinners, contradictory with the theme of the author’s blog post and have been generally unpleasant. If you want to preach sin and law, by all means! Go get a website, learn to use WordPress and get after it! Get involved in a discernment ministry webpage or something, but seriously, you have been rude to hijack the conversation and turn it into your own platform. The internet terminology for that is ‘trolling’ (as in, under the bridge).

    Bill, I am not going to beat myself with that whip. It is familiar to me. If that makes me not a Christian, I’ll be super sad.

    • Well Zach, if you are not going to beat yourself with that whip it means you are not repentant. You don’t want to repent of your sin, you don’t want to acknowledge you are a sinner. Even though Paul teaches in Romans 3 that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (not just unbelievers but all, believers have sinned and fall short of the glory of God as well). You see the reason this view that christians don’t sin ought to be challenged is because it is not taught in any of the main historic christina denominations whether Catholic or Protestant (lutheran or reformed). The church is viewed by both catholics and protestants as a hospital for sinners. As a matter of fact Paul says Christ came to save sinners of whom Paul says of himself he is the chief of sinners. Christ did not come to save those that don’t need a physician. Yes christians are Saints, but there is a paradox here, only those that consider themselves sinners are Saints. Those that do not acknowledge their sin remain unrepentant, they remain in their sin. Christians are cleansed and forgiven of all sin, but this does not mean that they don’t sin, if they did not sin there would be no need for cleansing and forgiving. The argument that we’ve been forgiven all sins past, present, and future at conversion far from proving christians don’t sin it does the opposite it proves that christians sin and this is why they need forgiveness not just for sins prior to conversion but for all their sins after conversion. Did David sin when he killed Bathsheba’s husband and committed adultery with her. Of course he did. Did Peter sin when he denied Jesus, yes he did. Some after that sin, Peter did not sin further. This is wrong Paul in Galatians teaches that Peter sinned after Pentecost as well, Peter refused to eat with gentiles for fear of the jews Galatians 2:11 – 15.

      • I almost don’t even need to reply anymore. I am only doing so now to point out the extremely obvious fact that you have no interest in engaging in conversation but would rather talk down at everyone including the owner of this website. Its crystal clear to anyone reading this blog, or anyone who will be in the future, that you are really quite passionate about sin. You’re really precise, Bill. I hope the Lord uses you mightily. I personally hope that you have such a wild, pentecostal, charismaniac (not a typo) experience that Luther himself will be steeped in envy (sin?) in heaven at the Father’s blessings upon your life. I sincerely mean it in the best, “creepy grace” way when I say that. Thanks Bill. It’s been a conversation to remember.

  40. Hahaha! This to me also sounds like a false grace movement. Just a little feedback, you have to look at the scripture not base on your on interpretation and fitting them into what you believe it should be. You don’t pick and choose one side, you have to take embrace all different facet of the scripture and what Christ has done or is doing or is coming to be done. Don’t live in 1 dimension. =)

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts JC – you will find if you look around on this site or even the articles I reference that I don’t err away from scriptures. Most of my audio messages are at least an hour long and frequently involve me reading multiple chapters of scripture in context to argue my point.

      Thanks for sharing all the same :)

  41. I lived under all three “false graces” at one time. They burned me out so badly that I thought God was a selfish jerk who basically used the carrot-stick method(Jesus loves you) to hook people into a life of miserable slavery(be good or else). It got so bad I was contemplating throwing out my bible and becoming an agnostic(believes there is a supreme being but that everything else is suspect). I did not want to be there. I craved all the promises that I had been taught but never received because I could not be a “good enough” Christian to get them.
    Now after having learned about grace, the real kind, my life has been turned upside down. It has been 3 years of amazingness. My family could see the difference. It has changed everything from how I look at myself, my parenting, and the stresses of this world. The sins that entangled me, pulled me down and made me think God hated me because I could not beat them have disappeared, slowly at times, one by one. Nothing changed in regards to my personal strength, desire to not sin nor did I receive some kind of special methodology to kick the sin out. I simply rested, trusted and listened to God.

  42. There is more harm in removing such large portions of scripture under the covering of grace than there is in living to understnad the whole of God’s Word in and through the context of the whole of God’s Word… (there is as much grace in the Old Testament as there is the New)… a lot of grace teaching does away with scripture under the new juristicion of grace… grace now becomes the “Law of Interpretation”… Grace is God’s power employed on beahlf of our weakness accomplishing for us and in us that which we could never accomplish in and by our own strength or righteousness… providing for us redemption through the Body and Blood of our Lord jesus Christ…. The over emphasis on grace is becoming out of proportion to its use in the New Testament… Paul never wrote to anyone and asked them “How is your grace?” He was definitely concerned with their faith and the possibility that his labor had been in vain… I Thess. 3:1-5… and in verse 3:10 his goal was to perfect their faith not their Grace!!! Grace always empowers us in our weakness enabling to complete and to fulfill God’s purpose in our life… II Corinthians 12:8-10… It is the power of His grace which we rely upon by faith to enable us to have walk worthy of His calling… Eph. 4:1… I know that moment you mke any mention the word “works” as it refered to in the New Testament, grace teachers shout law…. Yet the same Paul you quote on grace had a lot to say about works in his grace teaching… For me personally through 32 years of pastoring, I find it better to encourage people to live by the whole counsel of God’s Word… The Old testament is a treasure chest spirtual riches.. the Apostle Paul in his Epistles quoted it over 128 times and even declared i his own defense that according to all that is wriiten in the law and the prophets, that is how he worshipped… Acts 24:14 and 26:19-23… and preached works befitting repentance… That’s all I will say for now… Blessings in Christ and be empowered by His grace to do all that He has called you to do in your labor for Him!… ps after all these years there is one thing I have learned to be true and that is that there is error and excess in every camp of teaching. When man tries to give his final opinion on a Living Word he just errored… A.W. Tozer preached a sermon once on the God who is bigger than words… powerful truth! Whatever words we can use to describe Him or to explain Him, He is bigger… fintie words will give full expression to an ifinite God… Shaloam!

    • Thanks for your input Don – I absolutely agree. We need to preach the OT just as much as the NT… however the NT does give us a lens through which we can understand the OT and what God was building up towards in Christ. I know plenty of people in every movement of Christianity that completely take scripture out of context and bend the word of God and their interpretation of God to fit what they want as a religion.

      I assure you that while I know there will be areas that I’m misinterpreting scripture – I think it’s folly for anyone to imagine that they don’t – I do my best to look at scripture as a whole counsel and frequently use the OT to teach from.

      As for Paul never talking about perfecting your grace… well that’s kinda a moot point I guess… given that grace is from God and perfect already. It’s not really something we can do anything with aside from receive… and we receive it by faith… that’s why He focus’ on faith. The danger is that we turn that faith into a work, which was a concern that Paul brought up a few times.

      Anyway – all that to say, thanks for sharing. I totally agree :)

  43. Thanks Daryl! Appreciate you so fearlessly preaching the truth and leading people into the knowledge of the truth not just by your words but by your actions! You are truly an inspiration!

  44. yet more division. Let’s just focus on Christ. The dogma and the like allow Holy Spirit to reveal, to each who have the ability to hear Him for themselves. Why is the thumb critiquing what the pointer finger is doing? as long as they are not TOTALLY out there and claiming to be the literal messiah or that Christ does not save, lets move on.

  45. This post is dangerous and unbiblical. That is probably why you did not quote any scripture. I am not saying this to be rude, I am saying this because it is a serious subject. Did you pray before you wrote this? Who did you pray to?

    What we think doesn’t matter. What we feel doesn’t matter. What matters is what was spoken. What did Jesus say about the subject? What did our Heavenly Father say about the subject?

    It’s plain as day for those who have ears to hear. You should pray before you even think of responding because what I am saying doesn’t matter. What matters is that we will all be accountable for every word we preach. You better make sure you are preaching the right ones.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jen. I can assure you that nothing I post on here is without thought – nor is it without extensive Bible study. I expressly say in the article that people who want to look into the points I make in more depth can do so via the relevant links. There is plenty of in-depth scriptural analysis on these topics scattered throughout the website and the purpose of this website was not a Bible study (each of these individual points could have dozens of books written about them) – in fact the reason most of these movements exists is because we choose to quote scriptures here and there without context! I refuse to be a part of the problem by merely quoting one or two out of context scriptures to support my points.

      If you want more scripture I’d encourage you to check out the links or even better watch or listen to one of my sermons – usually they have about 50-300 verses of scripture in them per hour of teaching :)

      Thanks for your message though. I have no doubt you mean well but I can assure you that I’ve just as much scripture to support my arguments as you do to support yours and I continually pray into what I’m putting on this blog.

      Be blessed :)

    • For someone to condemn another for not using any Scripture I would say you fit the profile of a Pharisee as you didn’t even quote one Scripture.

  46. Out of curiosity, what would you say about the Universal inclusion grace movement? Do you perhaps have a blog/article on that one? I am curious to hear your opinion in light of this article. Good post me btw! :)

    • Hi Joey – this is my view on salvation –

      I hope the universalist are right :) I think God does too! But there certainly seems to be some strong scriptures that suggest they aren’t (just like there are strong scriptures that support their view (isn’t God frustrating that He won’t give us a simple black and white rule-book!)) and we certainly all know many people who don’t seem to accept Jesus – again, we just don’t know what happens in people’s last minutes or even frankly after those last minutes.

      So all that to say, I’m not a universalist (see the article above for my views) but I sure hope they are right!

  47. I know the Apostle asked us to work our salvation.We don`t do this by your write ups.We fast and prayto come against satanic forces roaring about.

    • Hi my friend – I’ve addressed both those things on this blog quite extensively

      Regarding spiritual warfare that’s a bigger topic than I can address here in this comment so I suggest you check out these articles I briefly wrote:

      Regarding your quoting Paul saying “work out your salvation” we must remember the context. He told us that if we were working out our salvation we should be fearful and trembling because it was God that works in us.

      The context of the passage in Phillippians is warning people to NOT work out their salvation, not encouraging them to do it. But as always we will take anything out of context if it takes the emphasis off Jesus and the cross and puts the burden back on our shoulders so we can boast in our own works.

      Hope that helps :) Thanks for asking.

  48. Firstly, I am no theologian, and I truly enjoyed reading your article. One of my favorite sermons of my entire life came from my pastor about a year and a half ago, wherein he spoke about the fact that we cannot ever add to the Gospel. It’s not “Christ + (fill in whatever blank you wish)”, it’s solely Christ and nothing more because we NEED nothing more. I do have some questions about your article, and again, I am not asking in a condescending way because I am no expert in the matter. I try to compare what I see and hear to the Biblr for accuracy and go from there.

    Are you saying that we have no more sin nature? I have been taught my entire life that as much as I have Christ, this world is still fallen and my flesh still dwells within me, so to abide in Christ seems to require some sort of grace-driven effort on my part. Make no mistake; I would never have come upon this effort on my own, but only Christ who lives within me. So it is a daily struggle to “hate was is evil and cling to what is good”. I’m sure I completely missed the point, but were you saying there was zero effort involved? I agree that there was zero effort in my ability to redeem myself and therefore receive grace, but there is most certainly effort to abide in Christ when my flesh tells me to go in a completely different direction 100% of the time. Without that effort, I would be a sedentary blob that knows what is right, but just follows my own heart’s desires every time, which would most certainly be self serving a great majority of the time. We are fallen. Because of Christ, we have been justified to the Father; however, until we finally arrive home, we will struggle with that nature. Why else would Paul state that when he knew what was right, he did what was wrong, etc.?

    To say that my relationship with God is in no way dependent upon me seems wrong, but again, I could have been told lies my whole life. If you have a relationship with someone that you wish to nurture and grow, you spend time with that person, and so it is with God. Is His faithfulness to me in any way contingent to my faithfulness to Him? No. But if I wish to know Him, that doesn’t just happen overnight, just like you cannot come to know your spouse or a good friend overnight. Again, I am not saying I could be loved any more or any less by God. That would be truly incorrect. What I’m saying is that the Spirit lives in me, but if I wish to grow and know the heart of God, I should try reading His word, which yes, requires effort on my part.

    • Hi Nate – thanks so much for your message. I could write so much on this to answer your question but I have some more concise and yet still comprehensive answers already available here on this site.

      Firstly, I’d love you to check out my free ebook (it’s only about 30 pages or so) “You Do Not Have A Sinful Nature” – I think it’ll really help you see where I’m coming from and help answer your questions about the flesh and Romans 7 – You can get it for free here – (you have to sign up for my weekly newsletter to get the link but feel free to unsubscribe once you get the link – I won’t be offended)

      Secondly, I would really encourage you to watch (preferably after reading the free book above) my video “Christians Are Not Under The Law” this goes much deeper into the topic of our nature and the reason we sin… as well as how we can experience an effortless relationship with Him. –

      I have lots more articles on the website but those would be the first places I recommend. If you have any further questions feel free to ask via email or here on the website :)

  49. One of the Best, Simplest and most Straight forward presentation of ” GRACE ” for me bro. Phil. My God…… the Scripture doesn’t get any Clearer than this. Why do we complicate things with our ” One Liners “, Out of Context Verses, perhaps, that’s our Nature and not Sin. I’d like to add that, it’s our Motive/Objective of doing Good WORKS, that is the key in ” Faith without Works is Dead ” Notion. I believe that once we understand that ” We are SAVED by GRACE through Faith and NOT WORKS “, lest any man should Boast, then we’ll see much clearer. By this I mean that we perform Good Works having accepted the Gift of Grace ( Gifts are not to be Paid or Worked for ), Grace being the driving force, Not Works. The problem lies in people doing the opposite, doing Good Works to receive the Gift, thereby defeating Christ’s Finished Work, hence the Purpose for which He came.

    • Absolutely Jonathan! Good works are great but we frequently fall into the trap of putting the cart before the horse! I know I’m guilty of that even to this day sometimes!

      Thanks for your kind words – glad you liked the post!

  50. Hi Phil. I need some more understanding on all this.
    There is a passage of scripture in Heb.10:26-31 that seems to say God expects us who have received the cleansing of our sin to live sinless lives. He doesn’t expect us to live in any willful sin. If we do then there is no further sacrifice for that sin because we have “trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”

    And the Apostle John said in 1Jn.3:1-10 that if we sin, we’ve neither seen God or known God (v.6).
    And “8 He that committeth sin is of the devil…”
    And again in 1Jn.5:18 he says “18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.”
    This too sounds like something WE do.
    V.9 seems to say that if one is born of God he can’t sin wilfully, which contradicts the Heb. passage above.

    And in v3 John says “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
    Sounds like this is something WE do.
    He emphasised it again in v7 “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.”
    Again this sounds like this is something WE do.
    I understand Jesus righteousness is imputed to us when we put faith in His work on our behalf, but it seems we are expected to live righteous lives from that time forth, as an act of our will. If we don’t, then Heb. says we will face judgement.
    Thanks for your help here.

    • Hi David,

      Unfortuatnely this is far too big a topic for me to really deal with here in the comments but this is a great question.

      Regarding the Hebrews passage it’s VERY important we understand that this passage has nothing at all to do with losing salvation when read in the context of the surrounding verses/chapters and indeed the whole book.

      For more on the concept of losing salvation and this verse in particular I’d encourage you watch these two very good videos! &

      Regarding living a righteous life – absolutely – I talk all about that through the website. In no way is “doing the right thing” required but that’s kind of a moot point because when we believe correctly righteous living comes naturally – that’s why John and Paul hit this topic so hard. They continue to say that while it’s possible to sin it’s technically impossible while you believe correctly. So every area we sin in our lives merely points to an area we need to renew our mind to the truth and be transformed.

      I’d encourage you to look around on this site for more on that – a good place to start might be this video –

      Hope that helps – sorry for the delay in getting back to you!

  51. Do you know how to get people to believe a lie? Just mingle enough truth around the lie, and people will swallow it hook line and sinker. Just like your definition of grace is. The 10 commandments are our instructions. Try making a cake, or change the oil in your car without knowing the proper instructions. Better yet try curing cancer without the proper instructions from the proper teacher. God is holy, do you think that there is sin in heaven. And one does not have to get into frustration, just repent, very simple, and stop doing what gets you in trouble. I am sure that a person who claims to be a christian cheats on his taxes or steals his neighbors wife will have God’s wink. God does forgive but you forget about the consequences. A result of a reaction good or bad to an action, in case you don’t know what a consequence is. The NT is full of unreconciling consequences and the enemy has your ear. He can only do what he sees our Father do, extending grace, but there is always a deadly twist, of inserting the lies to tickle peoples ears. And you wonder why we do not look anything like Christ. Christ would not do what we do, and are we not commanded to imitate Christ?

    1 Peter 1:14-16 obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”…
    For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new.( 2 Tim 4:3)

    When people flock to certain doctrines like white on rice, then you know there is a false teaching being taught. These scriptures along with many others are in the NT. If your loved ones treats you with contempt, they run the risk of losing a relationship with you, God is no different other than He is long-suffering and does put up with our shenanigans longer. So why not do what is right in the first place, anybody can be bad, it does not take a special person to be bad, but it does take a special person that wants to do the right thing, regardless if they do miss the mark, they are so quick to repent and go on. NO SWEAT.

  52. What I read here is a warning against movements that for some reason didn’t appeal to you. Each of these supposed ‘false’ grace movements has a worthwhile message which addresses a lack in the church’s overall message. And the second column is styled (should I say spun?) to impugn them, to my mind unfairly. The first column could be easily styled by some the same way to make a whipping boy out of your angle on grace the same way you have done.
    1) Grace plus Grace plus works. Obviously James, (“Faith without works is dead”) and Jesus (“if you love me you will obey my commandments”) could be brought in to make this discussion a bit richer and less neatly cut and dried. How does grace save us? I think the idea of partnering with God and engaging our will and action is all part of the package with no clear lines. “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back” I think is a much closer analog to faith than our modern idea of belief. And that means action.
    2) The Second Coming is one of the most precious promises in the Bible. Please don’t make it sound like people who love his appearing are all somehow earth-hating defeatists. (it honestly looked like you went out of your way to find a extra one here to round your number out to 3)
    3) Intimacy. Here’s one that people really need to listen to but you seem to want to innoculate them against. God is forever unchangingly good and his approval of us rooted in both his creation and redemption is never in question. But He also manifests his presence variably partially based on our openness to him at any one time. Even Jesus experienced this reality in Nazareth, where the Son of God himself could not do very many miracles because of their lack of faith. It’s evident that we are somehow part of the equation. If we don’t make it a matter of “If I can’t feel him, he doesn’t like me,” this is one much of the church as seen great benefit from and more benefit is waiting if we will but invite him.

    To me it looked like you grabbed the wayward extreme of each of these movements and tarred the whole movement with that brush. The same could be done to a strong grace emphasis. Please, there are many movements in the whole wide church. So many perspectives on vital doctrines. I don’t agree with all of them. But do we have warned off of them as if they were all ravening wolves? Lots of them are simply different branches of the family.

    • Hi Ray,

      I think we are very likely to have to agree to disagree.

      Personally what I’ve laid out over the three points I’m quite happy with what I’ve said. I’d say looking at how many people commented positively and shared this article I’m certainly not alone – although that doesn’t by any means mean I’m correct!

      Additionally it seems to me you misunderstood me on each point – this might be due to missing out on the additional resources I linked to. For example – I felt I was very clear in saying I’m not against the second coming of Christ in fact I’m very much looking forward to it! But it IS any way we cut it a secondary message of the gospel to the first coming! That is the trap many people fall into – elevating the second over the first.

      I’m sure if you looked further into what I was saying we’d be a lot more on the same page than you might think although I’m very sure we would disagree on some things :)

      Regarding the way I wrote pointing out the extremes of the different movements – that’s kind of the point. The whole point of the article is to be a plot twist to point out the fallacy of attacking one side of the fence when there are perversions to grace in every movement.

  53. Grace is scarey & risky, almost like our good Lord, it takes faith to go out of the boat. We all need a focus, the
    King of Kings is a good focus., Phil u’re article is right on grace vs. works!

  54. ‘It’s mostly fruitless, extremely difficult and frustrating’. That’s true, God bless you for the encouraging article. Having said that, resting can be very, very difficult when we try too hard! I know because I do that sometimes…

    • Absolutely Gabriel! Resting is hard work! haha – I’m terrible at it. I think that’s why the author of Hebrews says in chapter 4 – strive to enter into His rest… I think he’s saying “If you have to work at least work on resting!” haha

  55. Phil, Bless you from all the Down Under Aussies reading this and those I’m about to repost this to now! Your article was wonderfully written! Furthermore your extreme patience, respect, effort to respond and transparency beyond belief in keeping all the replies posted here, amazing! I look forward to reading your articles and sending them out, especially to men! Your thoughts are well founded by freeing in their simple outline! Keep up the great work Vonny x

  56. Why did St. Paul “buffet his body daily” lest “after preaching to others he might become a castaway?” Are you saying St. Paul didn’t understand Christ’s true teaching?

    I have often heard well-meaning Christians insist that one cannot expect to be “saved” without first “receiving” Christ as personal Savior. Here is the proof-text often used to make the above point: (Jn 1:12-13 (NASB)…
    “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” However, these scripture verses read in context fall short of making the point intended. Christ actually identified with the doubters who failed to “receive him” and claimed them as “his own” (see vs. 11).

    Notice, too, the surrounding context teaches that ALL human beings have “received” God’s grace, as follows:.. “FOR OF HIS FULNESS WE HAVE ALL RECEIVED, AND GRACE UPON GRACE” (John 1:16 NASB).
    How wonderful to realize that all humanity “receive” free gifts of grace from the God of Love without asking him, or even knowing him, e.g., life, breath, sunshine, oxygen, intelligence, spirit, sustenance, relationships, love, and best of all ‘eternal life’ fully paid for by the Savior of the world: “God was reconciling the world [not just Christians] to himself IN CHRIST, not counting men’s sins against them [even the sin of not knowing him or asking him]. And he has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:19).

    (An excerpt from a new book, Grace Nuggets Uncovered, by Ivan A. Rogers. See also Rogers’ website at:

  58. Without taking a whole lot of time to explain here, the basic element that many are missing about grace and the Finished Work of Christ is that there are two sides to redemption. There is the legal side, and there is the vital side.
    From the legal side of the ledger, Christ did a complete and finished work and it was once, and for all, period. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 makes it clear that God is not holding men’s sins against them for He has reconciled Himself to man through what Christ did on the Cross. Everything the New Testament says about our redemption in Christ is stated in the past tense. Such as “by His stripes we were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24.
    But, the vital side of the ledger is what is most important for us today, we must receive what Christ has done which is a settled legal reality in Him. God still has to honor our choice. He will not force his grace on anyone. But, when we receive it, it becomes a living reality, a vital truth, in our lives and we are recreated in Christ Jesus! That is what the new birth accomplishes vitally in us when we receive Jesus as our Lord.
    If Jesus had not done a complete and finished work of redemption through his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension then there would be some aspect of it that we would have to perform. But, since He did it all and did it for us and on our behalf, all there is to do is to receive it! That is grace, amazing grace, and it is available to all who will receive it!

  59. A sign of a false Christology is the false belief rooted in violence that the bloody murder of an innocent being results in anyone’s salvation. The belief in or practice of scapegoating and murder of the innocent does not lead to salvation. It is evil itself and a false teaching from a savage past. False Christology designed to salve the conscience of the guilty and relieve them of moral responsibility for their own lives is a perversion. True Grace is a proper endowment and nature given as a gift. It does not come by violence, blood sacrifice, devilry, demonic invasion, or savagery. Touch not the evil gift. Salvation does not come by blood and horror for anyone. It comes by the grace of proper endowment alone.

    • Amen, the cross is the final nail in the coffin of the argument that God works within economies of exchange. Violence being the most anti-Christ form of exchange.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *