“Wait. What? Grace can go too far?”

Hear me out.

What I am NOT suggesting is that we can extend grace too broadly. Scripture makes it clear that God’s grace is available to all people, no matter who we are or what we’ve done.

As someone who prefers to see the world through a Wesleyan theological lens—a lens that heavily emphasizes the vital importance of God’s grace to all people—at times I have seen the pendulum swing too far. What I mean by this is that sometimes people lose sight of the fuller definition of God’s grace that we, Wesleyan Christians, hold dear.

That is, grace is an undeserved gift from God that is given freely to a person, but that’s just the beginning! We also view grace as the ongoing power of God to transform our lives from that point forward.

Ironically, in an effort to emphasize the unconditional nature of God’s grace we often preach and teach about the gift of God’s grace to the neglect of the power of God’s grace.

Grace goes too far when we lose sight of the power of transformation. Grace goes too far when we allow each other to merely receive the initial gift of God’s grace and not trust God’s grace to actually change us.

Here’s the deal: God’s grace has the power to change you.

Simply accepting the gift of God’s grace and then choosing to live your life as you always have is like receiving a free gym membership and never working out.

Friends, transformation IS possible. The reason it’s possible is because it’s not out of your own power. If it were, then you may have already changed! Genuine transformation of our selves is only made possible by God’s grace.

The question is, “Do you trust God’s grace?”

If you don’t trust that the exercise equipment at the gym has the ability to affect physical change to your body, or you just don’t care to try, then you won’t experience any change (trust me). In the same way, if you don’t trust that God’s grace has the ability to actually change you as a person, or you just don’t care to try, then you’re guaranteed to remain in your current state.

On the other hand, if you do trust in the power of God’s grace, then you better watch out because it WILL change your life. You just have to be willing to let it.

Grace goes too far when we forget the power of this message. God’s grace is not just a one-time “get out of jail free card.” It is a life-long gift of power, straight from the source of the One who created you, to be freed from the things that are holding you back from living into the fullest version of YOU, just as God designed for you to live—a version of you that reflects and embodies the image of your Creator.

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2 thoughts on “When Grace Goes Too Far

  1. Others take it too far with an idea I have heard some call hypergrace. Dr. Michael Brown, a Messianic Jew has done excellent writing on this. To me this hypergrace idea is using grace as a crutch. I have amazingly heard folks say that the New Covenant didn’t start till The Cross and that everything before that is Old Covenant, which we do not need to listen to. I do not know what to say to this other than oy vey; it is to me so far outside the realm of orthodox Christian faith I cannot accept that.

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    1. Thanks Brian– I just looked up Dr. Brown’s stuff. This is exactly the idea. Bonhoeffer called it “cheap grace” (though a slightly different concept). I think you hit it on the head with “using grace as a crutch.” In my opinion, this view that is supposed to emphasize the greatness of God’s grace actually limits the power of God’s grace (or at least it limits our trust in that power).

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