Pastor Prince, Pastor Brown, and the Grace of God
When I learned about grace–unmerited favor—from Pastor Joseph Prince, I was hesitant.
When reading the Bible free from the commentaries and opinions of others, though, I realized that indeed the Gospel is grace:
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1: 6-7)
Jesus is Grace personified:
“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17)
One vocal critic of the “grace message” is Dr. Michael Brown.
I have a great deal of respect for him. He is outspoken about his faith in Jesus Christ. He confronts contentious issues.
He has outlined his concerns with “the Grace Movement,” including some of Pastor Prince’s statements. Read his book Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message for more of Dr. Brown’s arguments.
To his credit, Brown did what every Christian brother should do: He met with Pastor Joseph Prince!
Read about their meeting printed in this edition of Charisma Magazine.
I was really touched that Dr Brown admitted not reaching out to Pastor Prince to get permission and clarity on key points. Second, I was so impressed to see that they have many fields of agreement on grace, the Gospel, and the goodness of God.
I immediately thought of this verse:
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)
Then I honed in on their specific points of disagreement:
He also wanted to make clear that he strongly differed with the positions of some of the others I quoted in my book, and what grieved him was not that I misrepresented his position when citing him but rather that he was cited side-by-side with some others whose views he strongly rejected.
Prince emphatically rejects the arguments that grace justifies sinful behavior, or a lax, lazy, and fleshly lifestyle. He has affirmed that truth in many of his sermons.
Grace produces empowerment!
Then came Brown’s chief disagreement:
Our principal area of disagreement remains his teaching that the moment we are saved, our future sins are already pronounced forgiven (in contrast with the idea that our future sins are paid for but sin is not pronounced forgiven until it is committed and brought to the Lord).
So, what is my take, or rather my responses to Dr. Brown’s chief concern about grace?
Here are my questions to Dr. Brown
- Where were all our sins when Jesus died on the Cross?
They were ALL in the future! Of course all our sins are forgiven.
Second question: Is Jesus’ blood worth less than that of a bull or a goat?
Under the Old Covenant, the blood of bulls and goats covered the conscience of the offerer, which atoned for sin for one year.
I hope no one would dispute that the blood of Jesus far exceeds the blood of any animal!
“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4)
How does one define sin? Does Dr. Brown recognize sin as both a noun and a verb?
Sin as a noun throughout Romans, which indicates its deeper scare of the death and separation imputed to man through Adam, dead and separated from our loving Father.
Question 4: How does Dr. Brown respond to this verse?
“1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2)
Notice that Jesus is our advocate when we sin, and He is forever the mercy seat not just for our sins but the sins of the entire world! It’s not based on whether we confess our sins, but that Jesus is our Mercy Seat.
Every person in the world has a High Priest Forever serving as their Mercy Seat.
But … every son of Adam must believe to receive.
“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6:29)
Paul the apostle later wrote:
“[I]f thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10: 9)
Another a key dynamic missing from Dr. Brown’s discussion of grace?
Jesus took care of our “sin” problem and our “dead’ problem.
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” (Colossians 2:13)
Man is dead in his trespasses. He needs life!
Notice that phrase “all trespasses”—that means “all of them”, Dr. Brown.
We are fully cleansed from sin by His blood, and His Spirit dwells within us!
By allowing Jesus to live in and through us, His favor flows!
This revelation puts aside refutations of those who claim that they are under grace, but embrace sloth.
Jesus did not just die for us and as us. He desires to live in us and through us!
1Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
2For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. (Isaiah 66:1-2)
Perhaps someday I can meet with Dr. Brown and hear further from him on these wonderful matters.
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