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.