A new wave of teaching that emphasizes the grace of God to the exclusion of other vital teachings such as repentance, confession of sin, and judgement by Holy God has infected the church over the past two decades. Hyper-grace teachers maintain that all sin, past, present, and future, has already been forgiven, so there is no need for a believer to ever confess anything to God. This unbiblical approach to Christianity says that, when God looks at us, He sees only a holy and righteous people without possibility of fault. Hense, the ultimate conclusion to which one must arrive is that we are not bound by Jesus’ teaching, even as we are not under the Law; and that believers are not responsible for their sin.
Kind of sounds like people are given a free pass to do whatever they desire, with absolutely no possibility of consequences, doesn’t it? This ideology is further proof that many churches are turning from the plain teaching and truth of the bible to whatever is currently viewed as acceptable by the current culture. After all, entitled, spoiled, irresponsible people want to stay entitled, spoiled and not responsible for anything.
Jude, the once unbelieving brother of Jesus, who later repented and became a follower and biblical author, addressed this exact same problem in the first century.
3 Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. 4 I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives (Jude 1:3-4)
Jesus’ own words strongly contradict the idea that Christians never need to repent. To the church at Ephesus, Jesus said, “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place” (Rev. 2:4). Jesus also rebukes five of the seven churches in the letter of The Revelation through John, and demands repentance from them (Rev. 2:4, 6, 20; 3:3, 15–19). According to Paul, no believer is unaccountable for their sin, they must answer to Jesus for their disobedience (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Modern psychobabble counsels that we are a product of our environment and therefore, we are powerless to change certain aspects of who we are. If we are victims, we are not to be held responsibe. Therefore, we are entitled to a free pass in life as we lay the blame on other than ourselves. Hyper-grace teachers have perpetuated this ideology in the guise of Christianity, because most people today are looking psyhological solutions to life and living rather than biblical solutions to their sin problem.
Hyper-grace teaching is a good example of mixing truth with error, while neglecting what Paul called the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” If we are to confess our sins to each other, why would we not need to confess them to God, since every sin is ultimately a sin against God (Psalm 51)?
Every legitimate disciple of Christ has felt the overwhelming conviction of the Holy Spirit when he or she has sinned. We know that truth trumps feelings every time. We are sure that God is a loving and gracious, but likewise, that he is righteous and just. Truth telling is far more valuable than speaking words that do not produce changed lives. It is not better to be nice than to be truthful. God will sort the wheat from the tares, the sheep from the goats, the true sons and daughters of God from those who are pretenders.
God’s grace is deep, wide and amazing. However, it is not a license to sin, nor is it to be taken lightly. We need God’s inspired truth, not human inspired psychological talk. God calls us toward holiness and sinlessness. It is only a repentant heart surrendered to his grace that will win his approval.