Dr. John Hartmann

Proclaiming the Whole Counsel of God

Dr. John Hartmann header image 2
Cialis online

Confronting False Teachings about Grace

March 7th, 2013 · 10 Comments

Confronting False Teachings on Grace in a Time of Apostasy
A few thoughts on confronting false teachings about grace in this time of apostasy:

The New Testament teaches that Jesus atoned for sin, once for all, and that His Blood cleanses those who repent. Thank God for His Cross! We are justified, reconciled, and saved from wrath through the precious Blood of our sin-bearing Substitute. In all that follows I build on this premise: that when it comes to atoning for sin and reconciling us to God, Jesus did it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow. Neither is there salvation in any other, for His Name is the One under heaven by which all must be saved. I believe that salvation belongs to the Lord, that all things are from Him, through Him, and unto Him, Who alone receives the glory. There is no such thing as “self-salvation”. Only through Jesus and His grace may we be saved from both the penalty and the power of sin.

The New Testament also teaches unequivocally that those who follow Jesus must deny themselves, take up their Cross and lose their lives for the sake of Jesus and the Gospel. He who loses his life for Jesus’ sake, and the sake of the Gospel, will gain it; he who seeks to save his life will lose it (Mark 8:34-38). So there is another cross, the one we carry, without which we cannot hope to gain eternal life in the age to come. It is not self-salvation. But the Lord clearly teaches that we must follow Him in order to be saved. God is asking criminals and rebels to surrender and come under His Lordship. Those who do will be the objects of abundant overflowing and transformative grace.
The New Testament also teaches that the way is narrow that leads to life and that few find it (Matt 7:13-14; Luke 13: 23-27). Jesus taught in no uncertain terms that unless ones righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees one will in no wise enter the kingdom of God (Matt 5:17-20). We must grow in holiness if we are truly in the grace of God. Examine yourselves to see whether you are really in the faith, the true test being whether Jesus Christ lives in you, unless you prove, after testing, to be reprobate (2 Cor 13:5). Jesus also said that the posers who continue to practice lawlessness and who do not do the will of the Father will be exposed on the last day as frauds and be met with surprising condemnation. Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but who inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Many will be shocked on the day of judgment and will make appeal to their gifts of prophecy, healing, and exorcism. Ah, but Jesus will say to them: Depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness, I never knew you (Matt 7:13-23). Yes, this is all interconnected: a narrow and broad way, false prophets who fleece sheep and lead people astray, condemnation on the Day of Judgment.
Paul teaches that believers participate in the Lord’s death and resurrection life. Not only did Christ die in our place, for us; we also died with Him and through union with Him in death were released from servitude to sin. This is not novel; it is the clear, plain teaching of Romans 6. What Paul teaches in Romans 6 concerning the believer’s union with Christ in death and resurrection is a powerful but much ignored truth that, if understood, lays the foundation for holiness in the church, the community of the redeemed that is called to be the dwelling-place of God’s Shekinah glory in the earth (2 Cor 6:14-18; Eph 2:20-22), the New Temple that is the precursor to the New Jerusalem where the Tabernacle of God is with men (Rev 21-22).

It is entirely impossible to reconcile what Paul so plainly teaches in Rom 6 with the view that Rom 7 describes the life of a believer, an endless cycle of bearing fruit for death, instead of bearing fruit for God unto eternal life. This is not to say there is not a struggle to mortify the flesh and live in the power of the Spirit so that we bear fruit for God. But it is untrue to say that the believer is “sold into bondage to sin” (Rom 7:14) when Rom 6 clearly states that the one who has died with Christ has been released from the power of sin, which will not have dominion over you because you are “under grace” (Rom 6:6-7, 14).
It would seem that we have ignored much of the teaching of the NT concerning the liberating power of the Gospel, the nature of our calling, and the goal God has set for us as the Bride betrothed and one day to be presented to Jesus. Just look at the language used over and over to describe God’s goal; its everywhere in the NT. Here are but two examples:
“that the Lord would cause you to increase and abound in love for one another and for all men … so that He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints” (1 Thess 3:12-13).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before Him, having in love predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His Grace which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:3-6).
To be honest: one has to ask “what on earth have we been thinking, and what Bible have we been reading”? Grace is much more than forgiveness of sins, or some mythical covering for us when we go on sinning against the Light. We need to repent and change our thinking and get back in touch with the pure teaching of our Lord and His Apostles. The contemporary teaching that we are just “sinners saved by grace”  and that “grace” is nothing more than a provision of forgiveness as we go on sinning is a falsehood that will in the end damn many. it is not really even what the Reformers like Luther, Zwingli, or Calvin really taught. Read what Jesus said in the Gospels about the life of a true disciple, the narrow way that leads to life. Then read what Paul teaches in Rom 6 and 8, Col 2:11-15, 3:1-4, Eph 2:1-10, just to get started. One cannot read these things and come away thinking that the present church ethos or the perverted teaching about “grace” is even close to Biblically sound.
God has called us, as the true Church, to something much higher; a calling so great it is nothing less than being fulled with all the fulness of God (Eph 3:16-19). We will give an account to Him at the judgment seat of Christ, and the main question will be whether we walked in a manner worthy of such privilege. Let us by all means shake ourselves from the dust, awaken from sleep, cast off the deeds of darkness (laziness, sexual promiscuity, backbiting, etc) and put on the armor of light (Rom 13:11-14). The vision of the Church as the dwelling-place of the Shekinah Glory is brilliantly pictured in 2 Cor 6:14-18. Get this vision and there will be no questions about whether holiness is required of the Church. It will also open up the full Biblical message about the liberating and transforming power of Grace. God has given us exceeding great and precious promises that by them we may be partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust (2 Pet 1:3-4). Let us add to this growth in virtue (1:5-7). If we do these things we will never be unfruitful or stumble, but will gain an abundant entrance into the eternal kingdom (1:8-11).
Pure and simple, the Gospel announces the rule of the King and issues a corresponding call to repentance, without which there is no salvation.
People have been sold a bill of goods. If the righteous (those who by grace live righteously before God) are with difficulty saved, what will be the outcome for the ungodly and the sinner?
We may close this brief blog with this thought. Paul’s vision of the church as the dwelling-place of the Shekinah Glory in 2 Co 6:14-18 is followed by an exhortation to cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (7:1). I would encourage every sincere believer to think long and hard about what the apostle is saying here, and, in light of it, begin to do two things: 1) contend in prayer and practice for the true church, the dwelling of God’s glory, to come together in unity for the rebuilding of the House of God, 2) make a deep commitment from this day forward to live your life in a manner worthy of this calling, with 2 Cor 7:1 and Eph 4:1-3 certainly being a good place to begin.
Dr. John J. Hartmann

Tags: Teachings

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 hotblogce1 // May 18, 2013 at 11:29 am


    This article is really good, people do not be apprehensive of the author’s writing situations. I want to introduce it to more people, so the more the body will be such a good feeling….

  • 2 myblogqw3 // May 19, 2013 at 10:22 am


    Have a great day!I’m very pleased when see your post.I quite endorse your viewpoint.I will continue to following on your blog.I sure that the future I will see more about your ingenious views….

  • 3 1mashengl8r // May 23, 2013 at 6:59 am


    A okay article will widen one’s horizon because the article is true, make us move and laugh. When I catched sight of this article, I deem I can bring in these….

  • 4 espmyblog65 // Jun 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm


    I sympathetic your article.Your article is like a big tree, so that we can squat in your tree, feel yourself a real. I feel very touched, very blessedness….

  • 5 kingmaxennt // Jun 5, 2013 at 5:57 pm


    This article is really good, a friend gave me a look. I looked, I would like to express the feelings I looked. Others did not feel that I do not mind, at least now I show myself….

  • 6 johnhartmann // Jun 5, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    I am pleased that you enjoyed this blog. There is much more that needs to be said on this topic. I plan to write more extensively on this in the near future. God bless.

  • 7 johnhartmann // Jun 5, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    I am pleased that you enjoyed this blog. There is much more that needs to be said on this topic. The New Testament clearly teaches that those born of God will bear good fruit, walk in love, practice righteousness. A tree is known by its fruit. I plan to write more extensively on this in the near future. God bless.

  • 8 johnhartmann // Jun 5, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    I am pleased that you enjoyed this article, I plan to write more extensively on this important topic in the near future.

  • 9 johnhartmann // Jun 5, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I am pleased that you enjoyed this blog. There is much more that needs to be said on this topic. The New Testament clearly teaches that those born of God will bear good fruit. The book of 1 John offers a series of “tests” by which we may know a true Christian: practicing righteousness, walking in love that is revealed through tangible deeds of mercy, etc. A tree is known by its fruit. I plan to write more extensively on this topic in the near future. God bless.

  • 10 johnhartmann // Jun 5, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Pleased that you approve. I hope to write more extensively on this important topic in the near future. In the meantime, consider a study of 1 John as a summary of the basic “tests” by which we know true Christians and hence true Christianity. Peace.

You must log in to post a comment.