Controversy has always existed surrounding the issue of Grace and Works in Salvation. This controversy prompted the Apostle Paul to write to the various churches concerning the matter and summed it up in these words:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Further controversy came about as a result of Gentiles becoming believers and a polemic arose because of Jewish believers insisting that Gentile believers had to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses:
And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had
done with them. But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. (Acts 15:3-5)
As a result of this the Apostles and elders in Jerusalem met together to discuss the whole issue surrounding these Gentile converts. After much debate and hearing the testimonies of Paul, Barnabus and even the Apostle Peter, a decision was taken that was agreed by everyone and the following instruction was sent to all the Gentile believers:
For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. (Acts 15:28-29)
For this reason the Law of Moses is not binding upon Gentile believers, as the four essential things listed by the Apostles and Elders of the church all precede the Law of Moses. So it seems only reasonable that these four things should be important to God when it comes to the conduct of Gentile believers.
Paul, throughout his epistles, continues to labour this point concerning God’s Grace and the Works of the Law of Moses. When writing to the believers in Galatia we read that certain Jewish believers had persuaded these Gentile believers that they needed to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses. This prompted Paul to write a strongly worded letter of rebuke to them explaining to them that circumcision and keeping the Law of Moses would only serve to condemn them rather than justify them as they were being told by these Jews had been telling them.
Faith plus works?
Paul was adamant that a person was justified purely on the basis of faith alone without the need for works:
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. (Romans 4:6-8)
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (Titus 3:5)
Many seized upon these words of Paul insisting that now that a person is saved and that works were no longer necessary as we are all covered by the blood of Christ. Those who took this idea to the extreme indulged in all kinds of lascivious behaviour, sexual immorality etcetera. These argued that no longer being bound to the Law of Moses meant that we were no longer bound to any law whatsoever.
This group of people became known as Antinomians and their doctrine as Antinomianism. The word Antinomian is derived from two Greek words ANTI meaning against and NOMOS meaning rule or law. This teaching led to the creation of various sects throughout history such as the Antinomi (a German sect from the 16th Century), The Ranters (an English movement that arose in the 17th century) and more recently The Children of God cult (of which this author was once a member).
It was to answer this notion that believers are freed from all moral and legal restraints that James wrote:
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith
without works is dead? (James 2:17-20)
Although we are justified on the basis of faith alone without works, true faith will produce works in a person’s life. James was pointing out that if we are truly born of God then we will be unable to live selfishly and will love our brethren:
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (James 2:14:16)
Even the Lord Himself spoke of those who on the Day of Judgement would be cast out because they had no loving concern for their fellow Christians:
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me
not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into
everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25: 41-46)
Many who would fall into the camp of the Charismatic/Pentecostal churches may also find themselves facing the Lord’s rejection on that day:
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7: 21-23)
Paul answers those critics who wrongly assumed that he was preaching antinomianism:
And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just. (Romans 3:8)
Later on in his epistle to the believers in Rome Paul writes:
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:1-2)
Jude also issues a grave warning to the churches:
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men
crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:14)
What is Grace?
Grace is first encountered in Genesis chapter 6 verse 8:
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
In its context this word variously means: favour and/or acceptance.
In the context of Ephesians 2:8 it also means: favour, but it also means Good Will and/or Loving-Kindness.
So we can see that in both Old and New Testaments the common meaning is that of favour.
The term Hyper-Grace may be quite new to some people. This is a relatively new term that was coined in an attempt to explain not what God’s Grace is but rather what this Grace means in the life of the believer.
Why HYPER-Grace and not simply Grace?
 Jeremy White (Pastor at Valley Church, California) explains it this way:
For starters, you may be shocked to discover that “hyper-grace” is really the only adequate description for grace in the first place, according to the Bible. For example, when Paul wrote in Romans 5:20 that “…where sin increased, grace increased all the more” he was literally referring to God’s grace as “hyper.”
The Greek term for the phrase “increased all the more” (NIV) is huper-perisseuo which literally means “super-abounded.” Hyper is simply a transliteration of the prefix “huper” in Greek and means “above and beyond” in scope or quality. The term “perisseuo” refers to that which is “in far excess of what might be expected, superfluous or gratuitous.”
So in Paul’s description of God’s amazing grace, he is literally saying that because of the abundance of sin in this world, God’s grace has super-abounded in order to rescue us from sin! Paul literally describes God’s grace as HYPER in this passage. It is super-abundant and unfathomably plentiful and powerful. In fact, a few verses later Paul would state that the very reason sin is no longer our master is because we are no longer under law, but under this hyper-abounding grace (Rom. 6:14)!
Whilst it is true that the term hyper is used in the original Geek text it is not referring to Grace itself but to the abundance of Grace. In Romans 5:20 Paul states:
But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Thus it is not Hyper Grace but Hyper Abundance. Simply put, though sin may abound God’s Grace is greater. If it were not so then we could not be forgiven.
As seems to be the common argument amongst Hyper Grace teachers, to disagree with this teaching means that the critic is adding Levitical Law to the Gospel, thus bringing people into the bondage of the Law. Unfortunately there is something that seems to be overlooked here, that the New Covenant is NOT without Law.
The writer to the Hebrews explains the New Covenant:
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (Hebrews 8:10)
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; (Hebrews 10:16)
So it is incorrect to affirm that living under the Grace of God means living without Law.
The Old Covenant made between God and His people was the commandments that were engraved on the tablets of stone that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai:
And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. (Exodus 34:27-28)
The New Testament scriptures constantly contrast the Old Covenant with the New. Paul affirms that the Old Covenant is incapable of justifying anyone, that this Old Covenant brought condemnation and death:
by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:20)
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16)
Does Grace preclude any form of law?
Paul speaks of two forms of law:
The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus and the law of sin and death. Furthermore he states that the former frees the believer from the latter:
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)
Paul furthermore goes on to explain that this law of the spirit of life is synonymous with the new commandment of Christ:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all
the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely,
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10)
Thus we can conclude that the New Covenant contains all the elements of the Old without all the Levitical priesthood, statutes and rituals. (see Hebrews chapters 8 & 9)
When approaching any teaching it must be carefully examined and not simply accepted or rejected willy-nilly. Careful scrutiny is called for. Some unpalatable truths are often rejected on the basis of a superficial knowledge of scripture and, in a similar way, some subtle heresies are accepted upon the basis of their seeming to be true. As I have often stated, “The best lies are 90% true!”
Is it true that critics of Hyper-Grace are guilty of the kind of thing that Paul Ellis (Founder of Escape to reality) claims?
those who disagree with us would have you meditate on the law “all day long,” 
Mr Ellis goes on to state:
Such muddled thinking explains much of the confusion in the church today. “You need both grace and law. Grace helps you keep the law. God gives us grace so that we might fulfill the law.” This is a most dangerous teaching! Buy into it and you’ll curse what God has blessed, you’ll fall from grace… [ibid 3]
What is at the heart of Mr. Ellis’s statement, that if anyone disagrees with this doctrine called Hyper-Grace they are guilty of placing people under the curse of Old Testament Law, and if you accept what they teach you will “FALL FROM GRACE”!
This type of statement reminds me of what a number of cult leaders often make in order to instil fear in the hearts of their followers. Whilst it is true that Paul wrote:
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:4)
We must remember that Paul was dealing with a group of Gentile believers that had been persuaded that in order to be saved it was essential:
to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. (Acts 15:24)
In other words they must conform to Jewish tradition, in effect become Jews. These people were described as Judaizers. Now I know very few who do not espouse Hyper-Grace who are for Judaizing. They maintain that salvation is purely by Grace through Faith without the works of the Law of Moses.
In his book Destined to Reign Hyper Grace teacher, Joseph Prince, states: My friend, righteousness is a gift because of what Jesus has accomplished on the cross for you. All your sins – past, present and future – have been washed clean by His precious blood. You are completely forgiven and from the moment you received Jesus into your life, you will never be held liable for your sins ever again. You have been made as righteous as Jesus… 
It is clear from this statement that Hyper Grace theology teaches that it doesn’t matter what a believer does in the future and has nothing to fear from God even if the believer falls into gross sin.
However the writer to the Hebrews makes a very startling and sobering statement:
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath 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? (Hebrews 10:26-29)
The Apostle Peter writes:
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it,
to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (2 Peter 2: 20-22)
Joseph Prince writes:
God cannot see your sins when they are covered by the blood. 
When God looks at you, all He sees is the blood of Jesus that makes you completely righteous. 
The teaching, simply put, is that Christ’s death pays for the believer’s past sins, present sins and any future sins that he/she may commit. Since the believer has had all of their sins dealt with the person no longer needs to repent of any present and/or future sins.
In writing to the churches the Apostle John writes:
Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 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 3:7-9)
The Apostle Paul writes the following warning to the believers in Rome:
What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (Romans 6:15-16)
It is evident from these verses from the Bible that both John and Paul were of the opinion that it was not true that God is not conscious of a person’s sins once they become a believer, as Joseph Prince states. Furthermore John goes on to say:
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10)
If God no longer sees our sins then why would He have John tell us to confess them?
It says in Proverbs, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3)
The late Keith Green wrote:
The Necessity of Holiness to Please God. Hebrews says without holiness “no one shall see the Lord.” (12:14) It is true that Jesus commands us to be perfect. (Matt. 5:48) It is also true that you most likely have never met a perfect person, nor do you probably ever expect to be perfect yourself. Nevertheless, we still have those uncomfortable words of the Lord, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”!
Now, because of our dilemma in finding ourselves to be such numskulls, and seeing the demands of Jesus, we have invented some pretty interesting and caraaazzeey doctrines. Some Christians have said, “Well, when God looks at us, He doesn’t really see us anymore, He sees Jesus instead. And when there’s ever sin in our hearts, if God should happen to look at the wrong moment, He’ll see a smiling face of Jesus there, instead of seeing our sin. So God sees me as holy – even though I’m not! But…I really am…er, well, you know what I mean!” (I don’t happen to believe that God is that easily fooled, not even by Christians.) 
The Apostle Paul also warns the believers in Ephesus of the consequences of sin in the life of the believer:
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it
not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. (Ephesians 5:1-7)
Even the Lord Himself warned the believers in Asia Minor:
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:7-8)
This Doctrine of Hyper Grace is as divisive and destructive as is the Doctrine of Lordship Salvation.
Nowhere in the Bible is Grace taught as being Hyper; Grace is simply called Grace. Grace is God’s favour towards men, and it is poured out abundantly on all those who believe. Even so it should not be assumed that Grace is something to hide behind:
As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. (1Peter 2:16)
Throughout the New Testament there are severe warnings about the consequences of sin in the life of the believer:
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)
Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. (Rev 2:20-23)
It is plainly obvious from reading Jesus’s messages to the churches in Revelation that Jesus could see the sins of the believers and that they were commanded to REPENT, contrary to the teaching of Hyper Grace.
Jude warns us concerning such teachers:
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:14)
Such are the proponents of Hyper-Grace, preachers such as;
Joseph Prince (senior pastor of New Creation Church in Singapore)
John Crowder (Christian Mystic and founder of Sons of Thunder Ministries & Publications)
Tullian Tchividjian (grandson of Billy Graham and author of Jesus + Nothing = Everything) &
Elyse Fitzpatrick (author of the parenting book Give Them Grace, and a counselor in the biblical counseling movement).
4 Destined to Reign: The Secret to Effortless Success, Wholeness and Victorious
Living by Jospeh Prince, Pub. 2007 Harrison House (pg 28, 29)
5 Ibid (pg 209)
6 Ibid (pg 251)
7 What’s Wrong With The Gospel? by Keith Green, pub Last Days Ministries
By John Hayworth 2015