31 Jan 2016 - Grace Reigns Through Righteousness - Pastor Joseph Prince Sermon Notes Online - New Creation Church Sermon Notes Online
For believers, we should view the end-times as good news, because it means that it's almost the end of all evil and corruption, and Jesus is coming back soon!
III John 1:2 - The Bible is full of evidence of God's desire for us to prosper. The verse below is one example of it.
The Apostle Paul prayed this prayer. "Prosper in all things" includes provision and finances too.
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (III John 1:2 NKJV)
Isaiah 28:21 - God sees judgment as a strange work. He takes no pleasure in carrying out judgment.
"For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act." (Isaiah 28:21 KJV)
Micah 6:8 - God loves mercy, to deal with people by grace. "Mercy" is the Hebrew word "hesed" which means grace.
God wants us to love dealing with people by grace too.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 NKJV)
Parents sometimes get angry with their child and when the child says sorry, they are quick to forgive and show love. What more our Heavenly Father?
The Bible is not so much a book of laws. We have to look beyond the shadows, types and feasts. We have to look at the substance which is Jesus.
God gives us many faith pictures in the Bible. These pictures show us how He sees us.
Psalms 127:3-5 - Your children will be in the hands of our Lord, hitting the mark.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” (Psalms 127:3-5 NKJV)
Psalms 128:3 - In Israel, having olive plants around the house signified wealth. Fruitful vine and olive plants is a picture of wealth. God wants us to prosper and be well-supplied.
“Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants All around your table.” (Psalms 128:3 NKJV)
Psalms 1:3 - Someone cared enough to plant you. God planted you deliberately, and all the time you are being supplied.
Works is the result of effort. Fruit is the result of life. God wants you to be fruitful.
"Leaf also shall not wither" refers to us being young forever and not aging.
It is also true that WHATEVER we do shall prosper.
“He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psalms 1:3 NKJV)
God will never justify sin, but He will use sin to bring about good. If God never uses sin to bring about good, there would never be a Solomon.
Solomon was born out of a sinful union - Bathsheba and David. God can turn your messes into a message!
All things will work together for good for those who love God.
Genesis 39:2-6 - Even if you have nothing left but the clothes on your back, as long as the Lord is with you, you will get it all back and more and more and MORE!
The Lord is the most important Person to have with you. The Lord can cause you to be a success and to prosper.
When heathens (non-believers) can even see that God is with you, you are indeed a blessed person.
Joseph prospered by the Lord's favor - it is by God's grace! Favor and grace are the same thing.
Joseph was good-looking, but it was not mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, because God wants us to know that it's not our handsomeness, prettiness or good looks that give us a position. It is by God's favor and grace.
“The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.” (Genesis 39:2-6 NKJV)
Romans 11:6 - Grace is not an empowerment, but grace (unmerited favor) produces empowerment. Both grace and works are antithesis.
Grace is all unearned, undeserved, unmerited favor. Works is all based on human effort.
“And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.” (Romans 11:6 NKJV)
Believers are a blessing to their companies, organizations and nations. Because we are believers, God will bless whoever we are associated with.
That's why God doesn't want us to be unequally-yoked with non-believers because they will get the blessings from us and we will get the bad things from them.
Genesis 39:6-7 - Potiphar's wife asked Joseph to sleep with her. Adultery in Joseph's eyes was a great evil and he called it a great evil. This happened even before the Ten Commandments was given.
We should stand up for the moral excellence that glorifies God!
“Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”” (Genesis 39:6-7 NKJV)
Some people say that when they declare that they are the righteousness of God in Christ, they get into trouble. Why?
The trouble is designed by God as a stepping stone. You will thrive in the midst of the trial.
Like how the flood was happening all around but Noah was safe inside the ark, the trials are around you but will not get into you.
Joseph was imprisoned and that gave him the opportunity to interpret Pharaoh's dream, and become one of the most powerful men in Egypt.
When the devil throws lemons at you, make lemonade.
As recorded in the Book of Acts, in the early church, there was no one with lack and no one sick. Great power and great grace go together. God is restoring great power and great grace.
I Kings 3:5-10 - Solomon asked God for a hearing heart, and his motive was so that he could judge God's people.
Before he asked for that, twice he said that God showed great grace to his father King David. "Mercy" and "kindness" in the verses below is the same Hebrew word "hesed", which means grace.
Solomon understood grace! Grace produces wisdom. It's not you, it's not me, it's the favor of God!
“At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.” (I Kings 3:5-10 NKJV)
I Corinthians 12:9 - The word "gifts" in "gifts of healings" is translated as "charismata" in Greek, which means grace gift.
It's by grace, not by works. The ones ministering the spiritual gifts and the one receiving the gifts, are both operating by charismata.
Both the one ministering and the one receiving should be inspired by the gift to live a holy life. Grace is the root, holiness is the fruit!
“to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,” (I Corinthians 12:9 NKJV)
God is not intimidated by sin. God is greater than sin.
There is one thing that will stop grace from flowing - What stops a revival? Self-righteousness. The devil wants to stop the favor of God from flowing.
Don't depend on your own strength. Even if you are strong in a certain area, don't think it's because of your works. Rely completely on God's favor.
Just because someone prospers doesn't mean that it is the favor of God. But the favor of God will cause one to prosper!
The devil knows that the more you try to follow the Ten Commandments, the more you will fail to do so. By following the Spirit, you will end up walking the right way effortlessly.
Romans 7:13-24 - The devil doesn't want you to declare that you are the righteousness of God in Christ.
By declaring that you are the righteousness of God in Christ, God's favor is being released.
You must not think that you are only half-bad. That other half of your flesh that you don't admit to God is what will set you up for a fall.
Many of us don't know how bad our flesh really is. Our flesh is really bad. We are not our flesh, but the flesh will hurt us. Don't pamper our flesh.
The Apostle Paul said that in his flesh, nothing good dwells. Don't trust or have any confidence in your flesh.
“Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:13-24 NKJV)
Galatians 5:4 - Grace is higher than the Law, that's why you can fall from grace. If you are fallen from grace, you are not able to receive that grace.
The prostitutes, tax collectors and sinners could receive grace from Jesus, but the Pharisees who tried to justify themselves by the Law could not receive grace.
“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5:4 KJV)
II Corinthians 5:21-6:1 - Self-righteousness means to try to do things to make yourself righteous instead of receiving righteousness as a gift.
We received our righteousness as a gift through what Jesus did for us at the cross.
It is possible to receive the grace of God in vain - it means to receive it and not produce anything of value.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” (II Corinthians 5:21-6:1 NKJV)
The moment you say "God I'll never do that again!" after you committed a sin, the devil rejoices. That is a form of self-righteousness.
Instead, proclaim that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus - that is honoring the grace and gift of God.
The greatest thing that you can do to honor God is to take your place as righteous in Christ because Jesus has taken His place at the cross for you.
Romans 5:21 - Grace reigns through the gift of righteousness! Grace can't reign when you are sin-conscious, shameful, feeling guilty and not firmly planted in righteousness.
Grace will start reigning in the area of your weakness when you start declaring that you are the righteousness of God in Christ!
“so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:21 NKJV)
II Corinthians 4:13 - Faith is believing and speaking what you believe.
“And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,” (II Corinthians 4:13 NKJV)
If you're surprised that you can commit sin, that shows that you believe that you're only half-bad.
Philippians 3:1-5 - The Apostle Paul says to rejoice in the Lord - not in ourselves. The Jewish leaders of that time called the Gentiles, "dogs".
Paul reversed it on them and called them who practiced circumcision "the mutilation". We must have no confidence in the flesh.
“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;” (Philippians 3:1-5 NKJV)
It's so easy to point at others and their faults and not at our own.
I Corinthians 12:20-22 - Eye to the hand, head to the feet - It is from the higher to the lower. Watch out that you don't have a superiority complex.
“But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.”! (I Corinthians 12:20-22 NKJV)
The flesh produces:
self-righteousness, conceit, superiority complex,
shame, condemnation, defensiveness, and inferiority complex.
These are all what the devil wants us to have.
Even when no one sees you committing sin, it doesn't mean that it is okay.
Respond well and correctly to God by embracing and receiving Jesus as your righteousness.
By doing so, you will receive at least 120% restoration in that area where you failed.
Isaiah 61:7 - You should have godly sorrow for committing a sin, but don't be self-occupied by your shame - that stops the flow of grace.
Instead, be Christ-occupied. You can be restored with double honor and that honor will overflow and swallow up the shame you feel.
“Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs.” (Isaiah 61:7 NKJV)
Isaiah 30:15 - By being Christ-occupied, in quietness and confidence will be your strength.
“For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not,” (Isaiah 30:15 NKJV)
When people are bold, it is because they are God-occupied and not self-occupied. David faced Goliath boldly because he was God-occupied (he declared that God delivered him from the lion and the bear, and that God will also deliver Goliath into his hand).
The flesh makes it hard for us to say "I'm sorry". The flesh makes us defensive and push the blame to others instead of ourselves.
There is a belief that people are brought up with: we think that if we lose the favor of a person through him/her seeing our weakness, we think that we would lose their love, so we hit back in defensiveness.
People already know about you and your flaws anyway. Don't respond in defensiveness - it's ugly.
Remember: You are where you are because of God's grace.
The devil saw a root in Peter: that his security was in his own love for Jesus. The devil told God or Jesus directly that he wanted to sift Peter as wheat.
Jesus did not pray for Peter to not go through the trial, but that his faith should not fail.
Jesus even prophesied that Peter would return to Him after the trial and be in the position to strengthen his brethren -
On the Day of Pentecost after the Holy Spirit came, Peter preached boldly and 3000 people were saved.
Peter boasted in his love for Jesus, whereas John boasted in Jesus' love for him.
Peter represents the Law - you shall love God with all your heart, mind and soul, whereas John relied on God's grace.
Only John remained at the foot of the cross when Jesus was crucified.
“And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”” (Luke 22:31-32 NKJV)
Luke 22:60-62 - Jesus was being spat on, stricken and His beard was being pulled.
It was the tenderness of the look that Jesus gave Peter that broke the fountains of Peter's heart. He went out and wept bitterly.
“But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So Peter went out and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:60-62 NKJV)
John 21:1-19 - The original translation: "Cast your net on the right side and you will find."
The right side is the side of righteousness. If you cast your net on the side of righteousness, you will find whatever you are looking for.
Like John, the people who boast in the Lord's love for them are always the quickest in their discernment.
Jesus never corrected them until He had fed them. Jesus brought Peter aside privately and restored Peter.
When asked by Jesus whether Peter had a self-sacrificial love (In Greek: agape) for Him, Peter said that he only had a brotherly love (in Greek: phileo) for Jesus and not the highest form of self-sacrificial love. Peter had humbled himself.
It is beautiful that even though Peter only had brotherly love for Jesus, Jesus still entrusted responsibilities to Peter.
Peter learnt that it's not about his love for Jesus, but it's about Jesus' love for him. Peter was restored in his heart, and also in his position.
“After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself: Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some. ” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.” Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”” (John 21:1-19 NKJV)
If you sin, the world will say that a bird with a broken wing cannot fly as high ever again.
But with Jesus, you can still be restored in your position and be caused to fly even higher than before.
If you respond correctly to your sin by taking Jesus as your righteousness and putting no confidence in your flesh, you will be positioned to receive 120% restoration.
Sin will take you further you want to go and lower than you want to fall. There are consequences to sin. Respond correctly to sin.
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