Michael Brown

It was John Newton, the former slave trader and the author of “Amazing Grace,” who penned the famous words, “How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.” I can relate to that personally, and that’s one reason I’m so jealous for the unadulterated grace of God, for grace without mixture, grace without leaven, grace without exaggeration.

On Dec. 17, 1971, the revelation of God’s love so flooded my heart that I told the Lord I would never put a needle in my arm again, and I was free from that moment on. No more heroin. No more speed. No more addiction to the needle. No more hallucinogenic drugs. Jesus truly delivered me!

For the previous six weeks there had been a tremendous battle in my soul—beginning Nov. 12, 1971, when I first believed that Jesus died for my sins, which was a major breakthrough for a 16 year-old, rebellious, proud, Jewish rock drummer. Prior to that, I had mocked the message of the gospel and boasted about my sin, but as the believers in a little Italian Pentecostal Church in Queens, N.Y. prayed for me, the Holy Spirit began to convict me (although I had no idea they were praying for me), and I knew something was terribly wrong with my life.

Then, after the light went on in my heart in November, I wrestled with God, shooting heroin one day and going to church the next, until that memorable service on Dec. 17. As the pastor’s wife played the piano and we sang the old hymns—hymns which sounded like little ditties to me compared to the Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix music I listened to day and night—I became overwhelmed by the joy of the Lord and received a dramatic revelation.

I saw myself filthy from head to toe, and then I saw myself washed cleaned with the blood of Jesus and clothed with beautiful white robes, only to go back and play in the mud. I was spurning God’s love, a love that was poured out on me when I was a filthy, godless sinner. I was mocking the blood of Jesus, blood that was shed for me when I was stealing money from my own father and bragging about how deceitful I could be.

At that moment, God’s goodness exposed my badness, and I surrendered my life to the Lord and said goodbye to the life I had been living. And it was not hard to make the radical break. What a Savior!

That was more than 41 years ago, and I can honestly say that I have experienced more of God’s grace as a believer than as a lost sinner. Every day of my life, I am cleansed from the defilement of the world by the blood of Jesus, even as I walk in the light (see 1 John 1:7). And when I have disappointed the Lord and grieved His Spirit (see Eph. 4:30), the moment I turn to him in repentance, he forgives and forgets my sins (see Mic. 7:17-19). What a gracious God!

But there’s still more. Every day of my life, I am empowered to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law by God’s grace (see Rom. 8:1-4; Titus 2:11-15). As Pastor David Wilkerson said, “According to Paul, we are not walking in grace until we have broken from worldly corruptions. Unless we are endeavoring through the power of the Holy Spirit to lead godly and righteous lives ... we do not know God’s grace.”

And that’s why I’m so jealous for the true message of grace. There are heretical “grace” teachers who exaggerate God’s grace, claiming that everyone will be saved in the end. And there are sincere, godly hyper-grace preachers who add mixture to God’s grace, claiming that if you ask God to forgive you when you sin as a believer, you are committing the sin of unbelief (really!).

Some of these teachers will even tell you exactly how you should express yourself to God, suggesting the right words to use to be sure you don’t say, “Father, forgive me,” since hyper-grace teachers believe the moment you get saved, God pronounces your future sins forgiven along with your past and present sins.

To me, when a preacher tells me what words to use in prayer and tells me it’s a sin to ask God to forgive me, he is mixing grace with legalism, forgetting the fact that we have a wonderful, intimate relationship with our heavenly Father who is more concerned with the condition of our hearts than with our religious formulas. And although my hyper-grace colleagues emphasize that God is always happy with us and pleased with us, as a righteous child of the Father, I have no problem saying, “Lord, I’m sorry for displeasing you. Wash me clean with the blood of Jesus, and forgive me.”

And when I say those words to the Lord, the blood that was shed on the cross is applied afresh to my heart, and that’s one reason why I live in 24/7 assurance of the Father’s love for me, condemnation free (always, without exception, for decades), eager to find out what pleases the Lord (see Eph. 5:10).

The hyper-grace message, which tells me that nothing I do will ever displease the Lord, which claims that I’m committing the sin of unbelief if I ask Abba to forgive me, and which is so quick to brand those outside of its camp as “law-keepers” and “Pharisees,” pollutes something very dear to my heart, and that’s why I continue to contend for grace without mixture.

Michael Brown is the author of The Real Kosher Jesus and the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or@drmichaellbrown on Twitter.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • Foot washing

    Shaking the Gates of Hell With a Basin of Water and a Towel

    "When I saw His foot, I knew He had come to take back territory the enemy had stolen from His ...

  • Growing relationship

    2017 Prophetic Word: The Supernatural Key to Growing Your Relationship With God

    It's vital that we understand what comes from God and what comes from the devil.

  • Marriage man and woman

    Why Marriage Is Not Just Between a Man and a Woman

    Marriage is a miracle. Let us treat it like one.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit