I love the quote (in my previous post) by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I’ve never heard or read Pastor Prince or New Creation Church mention it (maybe they have?), but if they haven’t they should! Pastor Prince, however, quotes from Lloyd-Jones in his book “Destined To Reign” (2007, p. 253-254). Let me quote it here as it’s good too:
The apostle [Paul] is asserting that if we are Christians, your sins and mine – past sins, present sins and future sins – have already been dealt with once and forever! Had you realized that? Most of our troubles are due to our failure to realize the truth of this verse. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus’ is so often understood to mean nothing more than that past sins have been dealt with. Of course it means that; but it also means your present sins; even more, it means that any sin you may ever chance to commit has already been dealt with. You will never, you cannot ever, come under condemnation.
…But why does the apostle say this, and on what grounds does he say it? Is it not a dangerous thing to say? Will it not incite people to sin? If we tell Christians that their past sins, their present and their future sins have already been put away by God, are we not more or less telling them that they are free to go out and sin? If you react in that way to my statements I am most happy, for I am obviously a good and true interpreter of the apostle Paul.
(Romans – The Law: Its Functions & Limits: Exposition Of Chapters 7:1 – 8:4, p. 272-273)
This quote really complements the previous one. I can say a lot more about the above quote, but I won’t here. Let me just say that the reason why I’ll be quoting many different authors is not because I think quoting the Bible is not enough. I think the Bible is more than enough. It’s perfect and authoritative. But unfortunately I also realize that many people have different views on what the Bible says. We all differ in our interpretation of the Bible. Equally godly, intelligent and wise Christians differ on so many biblical issues!
So I’m not going to go through a Bible study on Romans and Galatians to demonstrate why I believe New Creation’s message on grace is biblical. I could do that but that would take too much time. One thing I want to show through these posts on grace is that there are many respected Christians who would agree with New Creation’s message on grace. There are many Christians who believe that the moment one has faith in Christ, even future sins are forgiven. There are many Christians who believe that if you’re a Christian, you’ve already been forgiven of all your future sins even before you’ve confessed them. There are many Christians who believe that you won’t go to hell if you die with unconfessed sins – because your sins have already been forgiven (past, present & future) from the time you put your faith in Christ. And there are many Christians (in addition to Paul) who would proudly preach the kind of gospel that people would criticize as antinomian and dangerous.
In fact, I would go so far to say that the whole Protestant Reformation was built upon this belief, but has been corrupted in many ways since then. Just as Paul would have been accused of being an antinomian, so the Protestant Reformers were accused of antinomianism by the works-centered Roman Catholic Church.
Knowing the above, I think it’s sad to see Singaporean Christians singling out New Creation Church as dangerous. Now, if they are fundamentalists, I’d expect that of them. Fundamentalists would take shot at everyone – including themselves. But it’s sad when you see the non-fundamentalistic, charismatic Churches criticizing New Creation’s message of grace. It’s sad because I think it just goes to show how far we’ve deviated from the Protestant Reformation’s view of justification by faith alone.
It is quite funny to say that when people criticize a postmodern megachurch’s theologies, they must be “fundamentalists”.
“Fundamentalists” seems to have a negative connotation, however you have correctly pointed out that even other megachurches criticize NCC too, so strangely, does it make them “fundamentalists” too?
Obviously, something must be wrong as so many “fundamentalists” criticizing that particular church. Would you like to comment on the health thru holy communion doctrines which is said to be even better than botox?
I didn’t say that other mega-churches that criticize NCC are fundamentalists. Most mega-churches are not fundamentalistic at all. However, yes, I would strongly disagree with their criticism of New Creation’s message of grace if they label it Antinomian. And I believe that’s their main disagreement with New Creation. Not its view of the Holy Communion as it relates to botox or whatever.
Regarding New Creation’s view of the Holy Communion. I don’t think I’ll agree with everything they say regarding this. I don’t go to New Creation and accept every single word that’s spoken from the pulpit. However, I would say that I have a high view of the Holy Communion. I view the Holy Communion as more than mere remembrance. On the other hand, I don’t treat it as some sort of magic potion – not that New Creation does so! I do, however, believe there’s a link between the death of Christ, the Holy Communion and our health although I probably won’t be able to articulate it out well.
Hi, I happened to stumble upon your blog. ;)
Just wanna to say that Ps Prince has mentioned once or twice regarding Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ message. But it was really an amazing tale of how he stumbled upon the passage. It seems that years back, he was feeling discouraged and down about the negative feedbacks regarding the Grace message he was preaching when he stumbled upon a book by Martyn Lloyd-Jones and read that very passage!
Of course, I may be wrong about the story cos I cannot remember which sermon did Ps Prince mention it.
In any case, the same Holy Spirit dwells in the believers and He is the Teacher who will lead and guide us in all things.
But, as you have shared, sometimes when Abba God speaks to us, the same message will be filtered through our own belief system and that is when the message may change from the Truth He is trying to get to us.
Have a blessed year ahead, Bro!;)
Yup, Pastor Prince did mention the story of how he stumbled upon the Lloyd-Jones quote in his book Destined To Reign. Thanks for commenting. God bless! :)
Problem here is, you have not gotten into specifics. Let me play the devil’s advocate and see how you get around this.
Basically, the grace message can potentially lead to the following.
Take z christian who rapes another christian daughter. Now, he shouldn’t feel guilt nor condemnation because, jesus had died and paid the penalty for his lawlessness—-past, present and future sins. (Hallelujah!Praise the Lord!)
The christian whose daughter been raped by another christian then proceeded to report the matter to the police. The police arrests the rapist. The sinner turns up in court and the judge sentenced him 10 years in jail plus mandatory caning. As he walked the judicial hall of shame, he was reminded repeatedly by the holy spirit in him not to feel guilt nor condemnation because, Christ has borne all his sins..past, present and future. Since his mind is absolutely focused on Jesus blood, he ignored strangers hurling verbal abuses at him. Christ is his righteousness, he affirmed. God is grace and grace is God. He is blessed forever because of the finished work of Christ. Though the judiciary may CONDEMN and imprison, my abba father does not condemn me and since no one is greater, wiser, more perfect in judgment than God, all others must be wrong, he mused.
Hallelujah! He is like the proverbial monkey who see no wrong, hear no wrong and speak no wrong because …there is now no condemnation in christ!!
The story ends with…released from prison, he being without guilt nor condemnation and in love with Christ, repeats his lawlessness.
The good news is ..no more rape but murder?
The bad news is…there is really none because the christian whose daughter been raped forgives him because…all sins have been wiped away and therefore, the proverbial monkey lives another day?
Thanks for your comment here Sword. You’re right, I didn’t go into specifics. Reason is because I’m trying to keep my posts short for purposes of readability. And also, I hope to get into the specifics in future posts.
But your question is a valid one and one that many people I’m sure have in their minds.
I’m not going to reply it now because my mind has been on my work and other matters at the moment. However, I promise I’ll respond directly to your question/challenge. Most likely, I hope to quote it in full in one of my posts and let others respond to it before chipping in with my thoughts. I’d like to see how some of my readers respond to what you said before doing so myself.
clean. but i am not sure whether your readers are as honest or even level headed as you?
even crooks and honest con men are imperfect.
you see where the problem lies?
I’m not sure what you mean by your comments. Regarding the readers of this blog, whether they are level headed is subjective. But I’d be careful to question their honesty.
And no, I don’t know where the problem lies.
I dunno if i’m capable of replying to your comments but i’m gonna try with the little understanding i have but the help & wisdom from the HS because my heart hurts for the unfairness you feel coming from the grace message. Your fear is greater than your knowledge of who God is and what He can do.
Basically, it doesn’t take the grace message to give man the license to sin. Man doesn’t need a license to sin, does He? You fear for that kinda of scenerio because you are aware what Man is capable of thinking. Like the proverbial monkey. If you can, what more God? Doesn’t God knows Man’s heart? Isn’t His ways & thoughts much higher than ours?
But one thing i believe is this, that ‘it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes,… for in it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed, from faith to faith as it it written, ‘the just shall live by faith’.
What is the gospel? It is the good news. What kinda news makes a good news? That Christ came to take our place for the punishment we deserve; that He didn’t deserve on the cross. As much as it’s unfair for us to escape the punishment we deserve, it is also unfair for Jesus to take the punishment for the sins He didn’t commit. And that’s the ultimate prove of God’s love for us.
The power in the gospel is the power of His love. That when sinners come to hear of this good news, the power of God is activated in his/her life. It may take a short time or for some, a even longer time but once it is activated, His unfarthomable grace is at work.
But do we because we fear man will take advantage of God’s grace that we dun preach the good news to them? I believe the more man hears the good news, the more he/she will be freed from the captivity of sin. Not because we preach it but simply because God’s power is at work.
So instead of fearing what the grace message is capable of doing (negatively), we should just do what the Bible tells us to do. Our job is to tell the world. Not ensure that the fruits are produced cos that’s the work of the HS.
I’d like to reply with some thoughts to the rapist theory. The bible says in Titus 2:11-12 that grace teaches people to deny ungodliness. It is absolutely impossible for someone to encounter the pure love and grace of God without repenting. Our culture doesn’t know that love is a more powerful motivator than the desire to please self. Paul says in Romans 2:4 that people esteem God’s goodness lightly because they don’t understand that it’s the key to holiness through repentance. And lastly, John 4:19 tells us that the way to love God more (in action) is to be firm in our belief that He loved us first. No understanding of God’s love? Little to no loving him back. It’s very simple and it doesn’t seem effective. But oh it is!
So, based on scripture there can only be 3 explanations for this man’s ungodliness. Either he is mentally impaired, or he is not a Christian at all or (more likely) he never received the grace of God. If he truly walked through the halls ignoring insults and meditating on God’s grace a love BEFORE doing the same thing day in and day out for the next 10 years, it would have been physically, mentally, physiologically, spiritually, and humanly impossible for him to come out repeating the same lawlessness. Impossible. If you have a difficult time believing that, I dare you to get a full revelation of how much your Father gave to be with you, how far of a limb he climbed out for you with no guarantees that you’d accept him, how vulnerable he made himself to be stepped on by you over and over and over again. Then after that, let us know if you’ve become more obedient by accident. Let us know if your consciousness of your sins has nearly disappeared. Let us know if you’ve reached a level of intimacy with the Lord you didn’t know was available. I dare you.
Here is where I have a bit of a difficult time with what you are saying of which is very articulate and well put together… If God’s Grace is as big and grand as we so often hear about, wouldn’t it cover even those who do not receive it? It seems as though (in the posts above) when people talk about this grace they eliminate man’s part (of which I understand) and magnify what God did through Jesus on the cross… But if Grace is what people say it is, why do people have to receive it in order to experience the rewards or benefits that it brings… Please help me understand… Thank you…