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The hyper-grace movement has infiltrated many churches. This is a doctrine that justifies bad lifestyles, no matter how egregious. "God loves sinners. Sinners all go to heaven. Accept everyone." Hyper-grace does away with the need for personal responsibility, repentance before God, or being regenerated. It conflates the love of God, which is an unalterable, with the standards of God, who eternally hates lying and evil.

God upholds justice. He has values, standards, and ethics. His kingdom is one of righteousness. To avoid the appearance of judging, hyper-grace causes some preachers to side with sinners, not with a holy God. Although it seems attractive, hyper-grace is warped thinking. It is nicer than God. It is fundamentally flawed.

Let's put the reality test to it. Consider hyper-grace in the context of family. Is this the way you raise your children - no boundaries, no right or wrong? You'll quickly see that this is not a good idea. Children need to be trained or else they grow up damaged. Parents must approve good conduct and punish bad conduct.

Let's put the logic test to it. If there is no such thing as sin, then we wouldn't need to be saved. Without sin, we don't need a Savior. Therefore, Jesus dying on the cross was a terrible waste.

Let's put the "Where's the beef?" test to it. What's the fruit of believing hyper-grace? It defies "cause and effect"; the way the universe works. Karma exists. What goes around, comes around. The Bible's term is, "Whatever you sow, you reap." In that context, the Scriptures say, "God cannot be deceived." You can't trick God. You can't lie to God. The fact is, you will always reap what you sow, just more of it. The tree with bad fruit (i.e.- visible results) grows from the seed (sinful deeds) you've sown. There are inevitable consequences to sinful behavior.

The spirit of this age re-imagines God to be like itself: a-moral, valueless. The world redefines grace as, "You can't judge me!" It claims, "I have a right to... lie, cheat, slander, resist police, commit immorality, murder babies, steal property, disrespect religion, be a pedophile, not work, intimidate, disrespect authority, etc." You name it, they think they can do it with impunity in the name of ultra-liberalism. Under hyper-grace, you can't even criticize them. If you judge them, you're the bad person, not them. "How dare you impose your standards on me!"

Grace is no excuse for lawlessness. Grace is not antinomianism (against all law). Grace is a gift to those who receive Jesus, not a cover-up for sin. Grace is God's power saving us from sin. Grace enables us to cease from (habitual) sin and obey the Lord.

"Everyone who sins is breaking God's law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is." (1 John 3:4-6 NLT)

"He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life." (Titus 3:6-7 NLT)

Only a God of supreme love could have dreamed up such a thing as grace. Imagine, Jesus giving us his Spirit so that we can become obedient children of our heavenly Father.

--Ron Wood is a retired pastor and author. Contact him at [email protected] or visit www.touchedbygrace.org or follow him at Touched By Grace on Facebook. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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