7 September 2016


By John Ollis

If I have learnt anything from my Mentors and College Lecturers when it comes to Theology, truth MUST be held in balance. From the first century heresy has been a problem within the Church. Of course there has been some crazy outlandish teachings, but the majority of heresies have contained much truth, but truth taken to extreme becomes heresy.
I believe the Reformation was the beginning of God restoring Truth to the Church that had slowly been lost over hundreds of years. Sadly, virtually every truth that has been restored there has been a pendulum effect, and some parties take the truth to extreme. (sadly many rejected the restored truth as well). Fortunately over a period of time the pendulum slows down and a greater degree of balance comes into play.
Let me highlight some extremes in this last century, that I have personally seen in the Pentecostal Movement.
God has  wonderfully restored  those Gifts to the Church, as recorded in 1 Cor. 12 but some began to teach, and some still do that unless you speak in tongues you are not a Christian.
Some Pentecostals saw truth in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and rejected the truth of the Trinity.
A great emphasis came on Worship, (and it was an awesome time) but to many  it became central and exclusive to everything else, and not just part of the whole Gospel message..
A fresh emphasis came on the power of demons, and every weakness became a demon that needed to be cast out, Some  Christians didn’t take responsibility for weaknesses.
A fresh emphasis came on confessing the Word of God, and letting the Word  (Logos become a Rhema Word). but again it was taken to extremes.
An emphasis came on inner healing, and healing of the memories, an awesome truth, but the need for healing is often the result  of our reaction to something or someone, and in some places there was no emphasis on repentance and restitution.
An emphasis came on the “times of refreshing” that comes from the Lord, and letting the Holy Spirit touch us in any and every way he desires, and people would begin to laugh or cry, or shake or fall down, all wonderful in themselves but not the basis of building a mature Christian life or a  local church, these are and were  simply a stepping stone into a deeper intimacy with the Lord.
Most of the above has levelled out to a great degree, but caused much frustration and angst and confusion and rejection  at the time.
In almost every generation there comes a fresh emphasis on THE GRACE OF GOD, and this is what I want to talk  about in this blog, but all the above was necessary before we tackle this subject.


Legalism often develops because the way to live for God is to DECIDE (God helping us) NOT do certain things, many of these things are clearly spelt out in the Word of God, and then  preachers also  start listing the things we should NOT do, and this brings believers into bondage and condemnation.

A very popular “Grace” preacher has been quoted (for example) as saying “Now you are a Christian you never need to ask for forgiveness ever again, because all your sins were dealt with on the Cross”. Remember me saying that heresy is mostly truth but taken to extremes.

It is  wonderfully true that Jesus dealt with ALL our sins (past, present and future) when He died on the Cross, and when we receive Him into our life as our Lord and Saviour we are forgiven. But the Apostle John writing to Christians  says “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9.

So, when we are born again POSITIONALLY we know  all our sins (past, present and future) have been dealt with in Christ, but we must do as John when writing to Believers  says and confess any sins that we have committed each day. I personally pray EVERY DAY King David’s words in  Psalm 139:23-24v “search me O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”. I often pray David’s words in Psalm 51:10-12 “create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me, Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me by your generous Spirit.”

The Psalmist says in Psalm 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear”.

The N.L.T. says “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened”.

The Message says “If I had been cozy with evil, the Lord would never have listened”.

The N.I.V. says “If I had cherished sin in my heart the Lord would not have listened”.

When we were born again, God gave us a “new heart’ but unfortunately we still have a  heart that is very easily deceived  by our flesh and the evil one (Jer. 17:9).

It may be old age, but often on a given day I can’t remember if I have violated God’s will, His way, or His Word,  so I even list those areas that we can sin in:

In thought

In word.

In deed (action)

In reaction

In Omission

In acting not in faith

The mixture in my motives and attitudes

In wilfully sinning.

And if I have sinned in any of these areas I ask for His forgiveness.

And so I ask the Lord in the light of His COMPLETE work on the Cross, let me know that I am clean before Him, and let  His peace and joy flood my  heart, and I then know PERSONALLY AND EXPERIENTIALLY, what He did on the Cross 2000 years ago, I declare afresh I want to seek to walk  clean before the Lord.

I do not believe I have a “sin consciousness” but seek  by His grace, not to sin, but to live above sin.

Some may disagree with the above,but I thank God every day for His grace, and refuse to see it as a licence to sin, but the ability to seek to live above sin. I believe I am holding this awesome truth of Grace in balance.