A recipient or a participant?

*Note: This article is not meant to be an exhaustive refutation of the hyper grace message. Though it largely needs refutation this is just some observations I’ve had that could clear up confusion on certain issues, namely salvation and sanctification. Enjoy! 

What many new (or hyper) grace teachers fail to realize or acknowledge is that most Christians do not advocate a works based salvation. I say this because most of their criticism is slanted at traditional denominations for being “under the yolk of having to work for salvation”. We (meaning the vast majority of evangelicals) know that salvation comes by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. But what the hyper grace teachers oftentimes do is confuse or misrepresent our stance on salvation with our views on sanctification. 
Let’s start at the beginning; God first extends His invitation to us for salvation. Once we accept this free gift God imparts his new life to us (regeneration) and we obtain our legal standing before God as righteous (justification). Once this occurs we become children of God (adoption). This is all done work-less by us. The only thing we need be is a recipient. Now, the fruit of a genuine salvation experience is repentance and I do not believe that one can have faith in Jesus and receive Him without repentance taking hold (by this I mean the Spirit of God at least beginning to convict and work this out in us). It is important to understand though that all sin does not automatically fall out of our life. This is where sanctification comes in.

Sanctification is altogether different. It is the progressive work of God in man to make Him more like Christ. This requires WORK! It requires we submit to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. Whereas the progression of salvation is by the grace of God alone to save us, sanctification is by the grace of God and the participation of man to use us! It is a daily submission to God by examining oneself, repenting, and acknowledging His claim over ones life. It is the pruning found in John 15.

The most important thing to remember is that true salvation produces a desire for sanctification. If after being saved one has no desire to become more and more like Christ, then there is something terribly wrong with him! He is not normal. This could mean that he was not genuinely saved or it could mean he did not receive the whole Gospel when he was saved.

Where the hyper grace teachers go wrong concerning this

Many of these new (or hyper) grace teachers rightly observe that salvation is by grace alone but they go wrong by projecting this logic on the entirety of the Christian life. This free gift is true of salvation but not of sanctification. Though the Holy Spirit empowers us to walk a life of progressive sanctification we have complete control over whether we leave this earth a baby in Christ or a mature adult by what we yield or refuse to yield to God. If we allow the Holy Spirit full access to our life we will walk in progressive sanctification but if we close off our hearts, we will stay in a state of spiritual infancy. This was occurring with the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 3). Let us not confuse the two; In salvation, we are a recipient but in sanctification we are a participant.

2 comments on “A recipient or a participant?

  1. Hi there,

    Thanks for taking the time to read. Just to be clear “salvation” is not progressive. Scripture does tell us to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” but the progressive work I speak of is a life long process called “sanctification”. I apologize if it was not clear but salvation (though there is many things going on) is not really progressive. The invitation, regeneration, justification and adoption happen all during one experience and we are “sealed for the day or redemption”.
    Sanctification is the progressive joint effort of God and man to make us more like Christ (and by joint I really mean all we do is willingly give over pieces to God for His shaping, we don’t actually do the shaping). This could be breaking off hidden sin, changing our character, praying more, giving up things in our life, etc.

    Hope it brought some clarification !

    In Christ,
    Nick

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s