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The Hyper-Grace or Contemporary Grace Movement has infiltrated many of the Charismatic/Pentecostal ministries I pay attention to (by my wording you can see that I consider this a negative). This movement is focused on what Christ has done for us, which is good, but insists on too strong a division between law and grace.

Since Paul’s letters are essentially the sole source of Hyper-Grace teaching, I thought it would be interesting to see how many do’s and don’ts (laws or commandments) Paul wrote in his letters. Using my Bible software I searched for imperatives per letter, wrote the number down, and then subtracted out things that we wouldn’t consider general commands like “Greet John” or “bring my scrolls.” I came up with 336 do’s and don’ts in Paul’s letters. This isn’t a scientific study, the numbers might be too high in some letters and too low in others, this is intended to give a general sense.  For some perspective here, there are 613 commandments in the Mosaic Law. To be clear, Paul does not teach adherence to the Mosaic covenant. He does, however, tell believers what to do and what not to do, over and over and over.

Now when you hear people condemning a certain preacher for teaching do’s and don’ts you can confidently respond that the preacher is following the Apostle Paul’s example.

Imperatives Exceptions Do’s and Don’t’s
Romans 62 23 39
1 Cor 99 3 96
2 Cor 25 8 17
Gal 21 9 12
Eph 41 0 41
Phil 26 3 23
Col 29 6 23
1 Thes 21 2 19
2 Thes 7 0 7
1 Tim 28 5 23
2 Tim 30 6 24
Titus 14 2 12
Philemon 4 4 0
Total 407 71 336

 

 

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