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Universalism vs. the Universal Goodness of God: Exploring Hyper-Grace.

By Robin Smit



I love the book of Romans. The apostle Paul clearly lays out a beautiful message of the inclusion of all mankind in the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s such radical good news!! It’s the Gospel of Grace! Paul called it hyper-grace… meaning the extreme favor of God that extends over, beyond, and more than enough. What a beautiful word. 


But for most, it is a scary word. Eight years ago, I heard a message about hyper-grace, and while it was incredibly beautiful and sounded almost too good to be true, at the same time, it scared me. Why? Because, like most people, I was terrified of the danger of slipping into universalism. But universalism has nothing to do with hyper-grace. Instead, it is the belief that all roads lead to Heaven apart from Jesus Christ. Hyper-grace is all about Jesus. He is Grace. And the writer of Hebrews says He is Much More. It sounds to me like Jesus is Hyper-Grace.


We want to balance grace. But Paul doesn’t talk about grace needing to be balanced. As a matter of fact, he uses strong, over-the-top, out-of-balance words to describe how big and far-reaching God’s grace is. 


Paul's Description of Grace


  • In 2 Corinthians 9:8 and Romans 5:17, he talks about grace abounding or in abundance. He uses the word perisseia, meaning superabundant, exceeding all boundaries. His grace is a boundless reservoir.

  • In Ephesians 2:7, he talks about the surpassing riches of God's grace using the word huperballo, meaning surpassing, transcending, to excel. It is the excessive, immeasurable, limitless, extraordinary wealth of His grace.

  • In 1 Timothy 1:14, Paul says this grace was abundantly poured out on him. The word he uses is huperpleonazó, which means beyond counting what can be numbered, super exceedingly plentiful, or abundant. 

  • In Romans 5:20, he adds the prefix huper (or hyper) to perisseia to describe abounding grace. In other words, he added the words surpasses, excels, and transcends to superabundant.


Most of us can barely comprehend God's grace being superabundant, and Paul just keeps adding to it! It’s as if he’s saying—if you only see grace as superabundant, you don't understand grace yet. 


Paul preached an over-the-top, more than-you-can-imagine, limitless hyper-grace.


It’s as if he’s letting us know that when it comes to God’s grace, we cannot exaggerate it enough, and we can never be in danger of overstepping by not balancing it! It cannot be balanced, and it’s beyond our ability to find words to define it! Whatever magnificent word you use to describe it, keep going because it’s so much more! It’s truly incomparable! 


The Limitless Nature of God's Grace


I would venture to say that we haven’t gone far enough in understanding just how big God’s grace is and how inclusive it is. In fact, Paul says the mystery of the Gospel of Grace is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Notice that he didn’t say Christ is only in those who pray the sinner’s prayer or those who attend church. He was talking about the Gentiles, the ones the Jews considered not in covenant with God… the Jews were the “us,” and the Gentiles the “them.” In our modern terminology, Gentiles would be the unbelievers, the heathens, and those not in covenant with God because they didn’t pray the prayer. 


Jesus is the Savior of the whole world; all are in Christ, and Christ is in them. This reflects the universal scope of His redemptive work, as completed on the cross ("It is finished!"). This is the objective truth of the Gospel of Grace—absolute and immutable, regardless of human realization or acceptance. Realizing it doesn't make it true; it simply allows us to experience it. We look at the world around us and make salvation a subjective truth based on our feelings, perceptions, and opinions. We believe that grace is extended to those who repent and turn to God. That's putting a limitation on grace. Jesus teaches the exact opposite of that in Luke 4 when He's talking about Namaan, the Syrian, experiencing God's grace (but that's for another blog post!).



The journey to fully understand and embrace the magnitude of God's grace is ongoing and transformative. As revealed through Paul's teachings, hyper-grace isn't just a theological concept; it's a profound reality of God's nature—His nature as Goodness and Love defies our conventional limits and expectations.


As we reflect on the vastness of God's grace—with terms that stretch our imagination—we are called not to limit this grace but to accept it in its overwhelming fullness. Inviting us to let go of narrow interpretations and fear-based doctrines that limit our spiritual experience and to embrace a grace that is as boundless as it is inclusive.


Paul said in Romans that it's the goodness of God that causes us to repent or change our minds. By grasping God's goodness, I was able to reevaluate deeply held beliefs and let go of doctrinal errors I had been taught... things like penal substitution atonement, 'original sin' (mankind being born with a sin nature), and eventually no eternal conscious torment in hell. Before that, I wasn't even willing to question those wrong teachings and I definitely wasn't able to accept the truth of the inclusion of all mankind in the Incarnation of Christ for fear of falling away from God and into universalism. 


Now, I can see that God's grace is more inclusive, loving, and grace-filled than I ever thought possible. His grace extends beyond traditional boundaries—it does not discriminate between "us" and "them" but envelops everyone in its transformative embrace. 


Metanoia, or changing our minds about things ingrained in us for years, takes time. But the good news is God is not in a hurry. Just keep beholding Jesus, looking into the face of the One who is Hyper-Grace in you!


Let go of the balancing act and fall headfirst into His goodness and grace!



 

Dr. Robin Smit is a gifted author and teacher committed to the message of the Finished Work of Jesus Christ. She has a ThD and an MA in Theology and Biblical Studies. Dr. Smit is an unparalleled voice in the message of grace, highlighted by a wide array of contributions. She is the founder of The Writer’s Society Publishing and a co-founding partner of Grace Awakening Network TV.


Her teachings have inspired and empowered countless readers, helping them deepen their understanding of God's grace and its life-changing impact on their spiritual journey.


She and her husband reside in California.

2 Comments


reeves_marshall
May 02

Right on Robin!

For the Grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.


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lisa.couture777
lisa.couture777
Apr 28

Thank you Robin! You always write so clearly and Christalogically. Jesus's atonement was clearly universal. We know people can resist and walk blind to it but this is why we proclaim the message of reconciliation. Paul uses a lot of "alls" in his gospel to the gentiles. It is interesting that people seem to be ok with a first Adam who was a "created" being to effect all of mankind, but the "last" Adam who is Christ and God was unsuccessful in effecting all mankind. You make it easy to understand the goodness of God.

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