I tried to piece together what’s happened here and I’m not even sure at this point. I also don’t understand how to reply to two people so if you could alert Teren of this post that would be great. These comments I’m making are definitely not towards you, just thinking out loud to the whole conversation last few days with everyone. All I know is I like Renee and agree with her teaching of the gospel and repent. I have never listened to Joseph Prince so not sure on him either. I hate the term “hyper-grace” and “easy believism” because to some they mean something different then they do to others. If one is saying “Hyper grace” is in play just because someone is not including their own works into contributing or maintaining their own salvation (such as stopping sinning, or turning from sin) that’s completely wrong to label them as such bc those things aren’t part of the gospel and it is all about Gods grace towards us. Ones failure to include something of their own effort into the gospel, is not “hyper” grace. It’s either works or it’s grace, it’s never a mixture of the two. It’s literally one the other. (And only one saves).
Now I can see easy believism possibly meaning just believing Jesus existed, but not truly understanding what he accomplished on the cross. Just having more of a historical understanding and belief in Jesus as a man to me would not be having saving faith. So if this is what one means by the label “easy believism”, I agree. However, if one is using that label for someone just bc they are believing we are sinners in need of a savior and trusting in what Christ did for us, APART from any works, then this use is wrong. If they are saying it’s “too easy” because I’m not “working” in some way to obtain it, they are just preaching a false gospel. To me compared to having to fulfill the whole of the law (which of course is impossible and only Christ has done), it is easy. So I really don’t like the term.
See my back ground was for many, many years only believing Jesus existed and thinking that was “believing” in Jesus. However for years I didn’t grasp the weight of my sin or what Jesus did for me on the cross- but I thought I was saved. (That was Easy believism- maybe?). I saw Jesus more as a genie in a bottle who could help me obtain things in earth. Which of course was wrong but I see this more as a prosperity gospel that is prevalent in word of faith, NAR etc.
Then I started listening to Paul Washer, Ray Comfort, and an exhaustive list of preachers saying you must repent “of your sins”, and “turn from your sin” to be saved. I certainly understood this at the time as “stop sinning”. So I tried, VERY hard. I wrote down every sin I could ever remember committing and asking the Lord to forgive me, I saw this as my “clean slate”. then I tried my best to never sin again. But the more I tried not to sin, the more I did. (Now I understand that’s because the law gives power to sin). It became evident to me, I couldn’t do it. And I became depressed and convinced I was going to hell. This is when I reached rock bottom and prayed for the Lord to help me understand, because if I had to stop sinning to go to heaven I couldn’t see how anyone was getting into heaven including me. That’s when the Holy Spirit showed me in scripture (in Timothy) that the purpose of the law was to show the NEED for Jesus! Right then for me it clicked! I right then understood what Jesus did for me and believed in the gospel for my salvation. I believed he died, was buried, and rose again on the third day for remission of my sin. And this to me is true repentance- realizing you CANT get to heaven any other way except by Christ and what HE did. That’s why he is the way, the truth, and the life. That’s also why the way is narrow and few find it, because it’s ONLY him. Not because it’s “hard” or takes effort in our flesh to achieve. I finally had changed my mind from any other means of salvation except him. And that’s when I found salvation and forgiveness. When I humbled myself and trusted in him as savior, he showed me grace. I’m honestly shocked when people say they turned from their sin as part of their salvation. I think to myself they must be completely dishonest with themselves if they don’t think they still sin. I mean we might be able to improve or stop some sins, but I know I fall very short of perfection and I am no where even close to following the law perfectly, nor could I ever. And I just refuse for my effort into trying to not sin become part of the gospel, bc it’s not.
The crazy thing is a false gospel preached by many (especially Paul Washer and Ray Comfort), actually did start me on my journey to true salvation. I had to get serious about salvation and the preaching about sin, the law, and going to hell for my sin really shook me. To put it frank, they sacred the heck out of me! But if that false gospel had ended there in my mind and I somehow actually thought I was achieving my own righteousness, then I would still be lost and on my way to hell. Me realizing I couldn’t meet the mark and then the Holy Spirit leading me to understand the rest of the gospel, (leading me to the resolution to my sin problem, my savior Jesus) is how I finally reached salvation. I think many start the way I did but haven’t completed the journey into true faith. They are stuck at one if two junctures- either the trying to earn it themselves stage or at the “well I believe Jesus is real so I’m saved” stage. Only the Holy Spirit can help someone complete that journey in my opinion and only those that can see they are sinners through and through and can’t follow the law, are ever going to reach true salvation. Otherwise they are stuck in works of the flesh thinking they are achieving something they never really are and are just as guilty as the Pharisee, they haven’t trusted in Jesus as their SAVIOR.
Again, not that this is directed at you or Teren really, I just wanted to further explain bc I believe someone out there needs to read this.
This article really explains what I’m saying beautifully and highlights the proper use of the law and highlights both heresies I was once caught up in… worth a read