For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, - Titus 2: 11-12 (NIV) One of the more abused doctrinal concepts today is the grace of God. The Bible warns us that wolves would rise up from amongst our own and would not spare the flock so it should not come as a great surprise that we see the devil use the hyper-grace message to distort something as beautiful as the actual grace of God. Because the actual grace of God is the core of what we believe. It is central to our doctrine. What can be more insidious than the devil using grace itself to confuse people into false conversions or to lead lives completely bound to sin. I have listened closely to hyper-grace preaching and its crowned king, Joseph Prince. I get why it is so attractive to our flesh. How badly we want to not worry anymore about sin. About how we just want to bask under the waterfall of God's grace regardless of how back-slidden we become. It is the Rob Bell's "Love Wins" argument dressed in more pious rhetoric. It is just as heretical though and potentially will lead far more people into hell. Yes beloved, hell. There is a real cost for many people who choose to follow the wrong teachers. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. - 1Timothy 4: 16 (NIV) This is the Apostle Paul speaking to his protege Timothy. He is warning him as a preacher he needs to guard his life and his doctrine closely because through that - he can save his hearers! Joel Osteen might very well be able to motivate someone into living their best life now but that is going to be quite disappointing on the Day of Judgment and they are on the outside of salvation looking in. This life is a vapor but eternity is forever. As we turn to the key verses for today we see that grace is at the heart of salvation. It is only because of the grace of God that we can enjoy salvation at all. Without the grace of God we would be consigned to an eternity separated from God. But His love was so endless and His grace was so boundless that He sent His only Son to die a criminal's death in our place! Hyper-grace seems to want to acknowledge the amazing nature of grace without acknowledging the wretch was us! As the key verses teach, it is the grace of God that offers salvation to a lost and dying world. What is more interesting however is the remainder of this portion of Scripture because it turns hyper-grace preaching on its ear. Hyper-grace teaches people they do not need to concern themselves with the law anymore. I have seen it preached as far as to say that Christians should ignore the Ten Commandments. But what does the Scripture show us here regarding grace? It says that true grace actually teaches us certain things. The first thing grace teaches us is to say "no" to ungodliness and worldly passions. Wait a minute. The definition of ungodly is sinful! What are worldly passions if not sinful? So the grace of God does not mean we forget about sin. The grace of God does not mean we become sin-unconscious. If anything it means we become hyper-conscious of our own sin. Not in a condemning manner but in a reverent awe as to how much God has already forgiven us. That is what hyper-grace preaching gets wrong so often. Their view of the law as being negative is in that they only view it in terms of the Day of Judgment. On that day, the law will be used to judge those who are not found in Christ and yes, that will be very negative for them. But the law itself is not a bad thing. God did not give us the law as punishment. It is for our own good that we strive to live godly lives. Heartache is found in sin not in the law. I remember recently watching Creflo Dollar preaching hyper-grace and he gave an analogy of those who may have broken speeding laws to get to his service that night but he missed the larger point. The law exists for a purpose - it has a reason. That purpose and reason is not a negative beloved. It is a positive. We have speeding laws for example to protect us and those around us. Suppose one day your state promised you that they would not prosecute you for violating any speeding ordinance. Did that eliminate the law from existence? Absolutely not. Did it eliminate the dangers associated with breaking those laws? Absolutely not. So there we stand, with a promise from the grace of God to not be prosecuted for our failure to keep His laws. Does that mean we should stop striving to keep them? The Bible says we are supposed to be transformed into the image of Christ daily. What was Jesus if not sinless? You see that person who is exempt from prosecution for breaking the speeding laws has two choices. He can strive his best to adhere to the laws, maybe slip up from time to time knowing that he is under grace or he can decide that since he has the grace he may as well discard the law. The result is that eventually his reckless behavior will catch up to him. A man reaps what he sows. Eventually he will crash. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not next year; but eventually. Maybe he takes his family out with him. Or his neighbors and friends. That is what happens when we discard the law and treat grace as a license to sin. God was not done yet though. The key verses also demonstrate that grace teaches us how to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age. I like the fact that God acknowledges the difficulty of living in this present age. What is the dominating strand connecting self-controlled, upright, and godly? Sin. I have heard the ridiculous argument that the church focuses too much on sin. That is simply absurd. There is no discussion of sin in prosperity churches, purpose driven churches, seeker friendly churches, or emergent churches. Within hyper-grace churches sin is discussed only to discard it. The society as a whole is moving further into the end times as sin becomes the new normal. The Pope even recently said that it is not the role of the church to interfere in the spiritual lives of unbelievers! Dear Lord, what is our role then? Beloved do not fall for snake oil salesmen in thousand dollar suits telling you that the grace of God means you can turn a blind eye towards sin. If we do, we will see the devil have a field day in our lives. The key verses today are crucial for exposing the hyper grace lie. The grace of God first and foremost offers salvation to all people but then it becomes our teacher. It teaches us how to say no to sin and to live the lives God intended for us. Not a life ignorant of the law but rather a life that honors God by honoring His entire Word - recognizing that no condemnation does not mean no law. Rev. Anthony.