On a regular basis, I hear reports about believers who have been transformed through the ministry of Joseph Prince, and I thank God for every one of those good reports.
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Without a doubt, his message of grace is liberating many from legalism, performance-based religion and a spiritual inferiority complex, and for all of this, I am grateful.
In 1992, God spoke to me to do a fresh study of grace, and the results of that study were eye-opening, to the point that one of the chapters in my 1997 book Go and Sin No More is called “It’s All Grace” while another is called “The Letter Kills.”
So as much as I have been known as a repentance and holiness preacher (which is correct), my preaching flows out of and into God’s grace as it is expressed most fully in Jesus.
It is because I am so jealous for God’s true grace (see 1 Pet. 5:12) that I wrote Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message, and while agreeing with many things that Pastor Prince teaches, there are strong area of disagreement as well. (For the record, a mutual colleague of ours delivered a signed copy of Hyper-Grace to Pastor Prince, but I have been unable to secure a personal audience with him.)
Critics of Hyper-Grace have accused me of misunderstanding or misrepresenting their message, despite the fact that I quote the relevant authors, pastors and teachers directly throughout the book, fairly and in context.
But since we all agree that clarity and humility are of the utmost importance in our interaction and that we should strive for unity and understanding wherever possible, I submit these questions for discussion.
My intent is not to stir up ugly debate, nor is it to mock. It is to understand where we truly differ and where we don’t, so here are my questions for you.
1) Does God require anything from you as His child? Is there anything He says that you must do as His child other than receive His grace? If so, are there spiritual benefits that come through obeying these requirements and spiritual losses that come from ignoring them?
2) The New Testament writers often exhort us to live in ways that please the Lord. Does that mean that it is possible for us to displease Him? We agree that He relates to us as His beloved children, but is He always pleased with us? And since Paul urges us not to grieve the Spirit, does that mean that we can, in fact, grieve Him?
3) Is there anything you can do to disappoint the Lord? If the Lord always sees you as perfect in His sight, is there any way for you to disappoint Him? I’ve heard it said that we can only grieve or disappoint Him by not trusting His grace, but according to your message, hasn’t that sin been forgiven as well?
4) If God has pronounced your future sins forgiven in the same way He has pronounced your past sins forgiven, why do Paul and other New Testament writers address these very sins in their letters, and why does Jesus address them in Revelation 2-3? We know that God doesn’t bring our past sins up to us, since He has forgiven and “forgotten” them. Why then does He bring our present sins up to us in the New Testament, even warning us about the dangers of walking in those sins, if they have also been forgiven and forgotten in advance?