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Official Joseph Prince Sermon Notes

Death Has Been Defeated

Sunday, 31 March 2024
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These are notes on the sermon, Death Has Been Defeated, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, March 31, 2024, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!

This sermon will be available for free as a Gospel Partner episode on April 4, 2024. You can get access to this sermon now through a Gospel Partner subscription or simply purchase the sermon.

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  1. God’s original plan for man
  2. The enemy’s deception and man’s fall
  3. The Father’s redemption plan for man
  4. Death has been defeated!
  5. All we need to do is choose to receive

God’s original plan for man

“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
—Genesis 1:26 NKJV

Man was lovingly created by God. He chose to make man the last of His creations so that all the first couple had to do was enjoy everything that God had created. The garden that God created for man to live in—Eden—was a perfect place where man could live in perfect harmony with God and everything around him. It was where man was abundantly provided for, with no sickness and no death.

God designed man differently from all His other creations. He fashioned man after His own likeness and gave man authority to rule over all the Earth and creation. While the plants were created by God speaking to the ground (Gen. 1:11), and the fish were created by God speaking to the sea (Gen. 1:20), God created man by speaking to Himself (Gen. 1:26).

And just as God consists of three parts—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—man is also a tripartite being—body, spirit, and soul. Man is so much more than just a body, a mere physical entity. While the body is designed to connect with the physical world, the soul is intended for engagement with the emotional and intellectual realm, and the spirit is where our connection to God and the spirit realm is. Thus, we often find that we can sense things in our spirits long before our understanding can grasp them.

God’s creations were designed to draw sustenance from where they were created—so when vegetation is cut off from the ground or when fish are taken out of the water, they die. Likewise, man, who was created in God’s image and brought to life with God’s breath, needs to draw sustenance from God.

When man is cut off from God because of sin, death comes not only to the body, but is also experienced by the spirit as well.

Beloved, God fashioned you to be the apple of His eye. His plan from the start was for you to enjoy His abundance, to thrive and reign over life’s challenges, to co-exist in complete harmony with others and with the environment, and to live loved by Him. You were uniquely designed and carefully crafted to reflect His image. Even today, God sees you as precious and beloved.

The enemy’s deception and man’s fall

So how did we go from being created by God to live in a perfect world with Him, to such a broken, fallen world?

Our Lord Jesus gives us the answer here:

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy . . .”
—John 10:10 NKJV

Satan hates God and seeks to oppose the Almighty at every turn, corrupting and destroying all that God holds dear. Because the devil cannot get to God directly, he targets man, who was made in God’s image and is the object of God’s affection. So the enemy comes to kill and destroy man. But before he can kill and destroy man, he has to steal something from man.

The two main things that the enemy seeks to steal from us are:

  1. Our good opinion of God
  2. The Word of God in our lives

1. The enemy wants to steal our good opinion of God

Even though the garden of Eden was filled with trees, and God instructed man to freely eat from them, the devil directed man’s attention to the one tree in the garden they were forbidden to touch—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

By portraying God as stingy and unwilling to fully bless man, the devil deceived Eve, sparking her curiosity and desire to eat from the forbidden tree. And when she actually plucked and ate the forbidden fruit and gave it to her husband, Adam, to eat, sin and death entered into the perfect garden and into humanity.

Similarly, one of the ways the devil steals from us is by tarnishing our good opinion of God. If he succeeds in this, he can make us doubt our heavenly Father and distance ourselves from Him, allowing the enemy to isolate us and ultimately, to kill and destroy us.

2. The enemy wants to steal the Word of God in our lives

“My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass.”
—Deuteronomy 32:2 KJV

As spiritual beings, we are intended to draw sustenance and nourishment from God’s Word. Just as plants are sustained and refreshed by the dew and the rain, we are to receive and live by Father’s wisdom, leading, instructions, encouragement, and corrections contained in His Word.

Our Father is so kind and gentle that He imparts His word, His teachings, in small, easy-to-grasp portions. He ensures that even the smallest rain benefits the tender plants (representing children and young believers), while the showers nourish the grass (representing more mature believers). Our Father’s wisdom and knowledge is so vast, that like the rain, it is impossible to release everything, the whole volume, all at one go. This thoughtfulness just goes to illustrate our Daddy God’s infinite care for us.

Notice that the recipients (“tender herb” and “grass”) of the rain and showers are singular words, while “raindrops” and “showers” are plural nouns. This shows how lavish, how abundant, our Father is in His provision for us.

Beloved, today, the enemy still seeks to steal from us. Remember, if he can rob us of our good opinion of God and of the Word of God in our lives, he can destroy us. Conversely, he cannot steal, kill, or destroy us if we are aware and we safeguard these areas.

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
—Genesis 2:17 NKJV

As a result of the enemy deceiving Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, sin entered into man and man died. Not only did his spirit experience death due to his separation from God, but sickness, poverty, and all sorts of abominations entered the Earth. This is why the world we live in today is nothing like how God created it. It became full of hatred, bitterness, brokenness, sickness, and death.

If such devastation was because of eating from that one tree, why then did God put that tree there in the first place?

God created man in His image; He did not create an automaton, a soulless doll or robot. God gave man free choice and He wanted man to personally choose to spend eternity with Him. That one tree was placed in the garden to allow man to exercise his free choice. If all trees in the garden were good, what choice would man have, between obeying God or disobeying Him?

Because of the devil’s deception and man’s fall, man began to doubt God is really for him and to blame God when things go wrong. What man doesn’t understand or remember is that God gave him dominion over the whole earth, and man abdicated this authority to the devil when man believed the enemy and ate from the tree.

So that brings us to where we are today, where the devil runs rampant here on earth and there are wars, earthquakes, famines, pandemics, and all sorts of abominations, and where man is enslaved to sin, struggling with sickness, bitterness, loneliness, toilsome labor, and finally death.

But our story, or rather, His story, is not done! God had a plan to redeem and restore us, and to bring us back to His side.

The Father’s redemption plan for man

Despite God’s immense love for humanity, He cannot simply take back control from the enemy without a righteous reason and process because God is not only a God of love, but also a just and righteous God.

When Adam, the first man, sinned, he yielded authority to the enemy. This original sin resulted not only in man’s separation from God, but also in death, for the wages of sin are death (Rom. 6:23). Because of His righteous nature, God could not simply overlook sin and forgive man without addressing its consequences.

Sin had to be dealt with, and someone had to pay the price. However, there was no way for fallen, bankrupt man to repay this debt. Another man, one who was perfect and without sin, was needed to redeem what was lost. Hence, Jesus, the Son of God, willingly came to Earth in human form as the last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45) to pay the price for sin by dying on the cross on our behalf.

Through His death, Jesus regained control over the Earth, providing a new and living way (Heb. 10:20) for man to be reconciled with God.

God displayed His ultimate love for us by offering His only Son, Jesus, as payment for our sins. This redemption plan cost us nothing, but it cost God everything. Jesus came to Earth as a human baby, born in humble surroundings and laid in a manger, with the ultimate purpose of sacrificing Himself for man’s salvation and redemption.

Through faith in our Lord Jesus, we can receive the gift of salvation, experience reconciliation with God, and restoration of all that God originally intended for us.

Death has been defeated!

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
—1 Corinthians 15:55 ESV

Ever since the fall of the first man, Adam, the world and mankind have been plagued by the effects of death. Despite our technological advances, the world remains filled with hatred, bitterness, poverty, and different forms of suffering. And the days just seem to be getting darker and darker. There has never been a time when humanity has been plagued by so many pestilences and sicknesses, with mental health challenges and suicides at their all-time high.

Death was never part of God’s plan for humanity. When God created man, He intended for man to live forever in communion with Him. However, with the entrance of sin, death became a constant companion for humanity. This is why God views death as an enemy, and He sent Jesus to overcome death through the cross, so that all who place their trust in Him can be saved (John 3:16–17).

It’s important to understand that Jesus wasn’t forcibly killed—He willingly gave His life. When the Roman soldiers came to arrest Him in the garden of Gethsemane, they all fell to the ground when He declared “I am” (John 18:6). In doing so, the Lord also affirmed His divinity (Exod. 3:14). Although He had the power to escape, He chose to surrender Himself, demonstrating His determination to die for and save us.

In His Passion, His suffering and death at the cross, our Lord not only paid the price for sin on our behalf and conquered death, but He also provided for a divine exchange with us—our bad for His good.

1. Redemption from toilsome labor: In Gethsemane, Jesus experienced such immense stress that He sweated blood. This is significant because Adam received the curse of strenuous labor and stress back in the garden of Eden. When Jesus’ divine blood mingled with His sweat as He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, the curse of toilsome labor inflicted upon humanity was reversed. Today, man can work without stress, thus restoring God’s original intention for work to be enjoyable and to bring pleasure to man.

2. Redemption from sickness and death: Jesus endured a brutal scourging at the hands of Pontius Pilate’s soldiers. The whip, laden with broken glass, bones, and hooks, tore His flesh to shreds until He could count His bones (Ps. 22:17). His stripes fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 53:5, which says, “By His stripes we are healed.” Jesus bore these stripes with our healing in mind, knowing that each stripe represented a healing for us. He paid a heavy price for the healing of our body, soul, and mind so that today, we can know with certainty that God wants us well, healthy, and whole. We can trust Him for healing even if we are afflicted by sickness and disease.

3. Redemption from slavery to sin and restoration of dominion: By dying on the cross, Jesus paid the debt we owed for our sins, breaking the devil’s power over us. He descended into Sheol or Hades, reclaimed the keys to this world that were originally given to man from the enemy, and rose bodily on the third day (Rev. 1:18). Today, Jesus is not only seated with God in the third heavens, but He has also brought all those who believe in Him alongside Him to be seated with Him in heavenly places (Eph. 1:20, 2:6).

Beloved, today, the Lord Jesus’ resurrection is proof, the receipt, that the price for sin has been fully paid and that our redemption is complete and irreversible. When He rose from the dead, He conquered the ultimate enemy—death. Through His redemptive work, we can be reconciled with God, experience communion with Him, walk in His divine life and love here on Earth, and reign with Christ over “all principality and power and might and dominion”!

Our heavenly Father wants us to understand that a divine exchange occurred on the cross. He took all your sins and placed them onto Jesus. And He credited all of Jesus’ righteousness to your account.

At the cross, God treated Jesus as if He were the worst sinner. And today, He treats you as if you are the most precious, righteous person ever walking on Earth, showering you with His blessings and favor.

All we need to do is choose to receive

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
—John 10:10

As a spirit being, like God and the devil, man needs to have an eternal dwelling place, either in heaven or hell. Before the Lord came to redeem us, man’s spirit could not ascend to heaven because of sin, but hell, which was originally created for Satan and his fallen angels, is not where our heavenly Father wants us to end up.

Now that our Lord has redeemed us from death and hell, we must exercise the gift of free choice that God created us with to choose where we want to spend our eternity (Mark 8:36). When we choose to receive all that our Lord Jesus has done for us at the cross, and to accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we are choosing an eternity with our heavenly Father, we are choosing a life more abundant.

Now, we need to understand that although we have the freedom to make decisions, we cannot control their consequences. Just as one cannot place their finger in fire without experiencing burns, and Adam and Eve’s choice to disobey God led to their separation from Him, it is the same for the choices we make regarding “life and death, blessing and cursing” (Deut. 30:19). Our Father places these options in front of us and implores us to “choose life.”

In a world cluttered with misinformation and half-truths, it’s crucial to grasp and hold on to the truths that our Lord began to reveal to us in the Last Supper and through the apostle Paul. God not only desires for us to embrace the truth of His love, but also to delve deeper into the new covenant revelations that will empower us to lead victorious lives as His children.

That’s why it is so important to understand and establish a firm foundation in the teachings covered in this year’s theme, the Year of Living in the Upper Room. You can find out more in these sermons here: The Year of Living in the Upper Room, Live With A Heavenly Perspective, and Live Led By The Power Of The Spirit.

We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.

© Copyright 2024
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.

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