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Official Joseph Prince Sermon Notes

Find Freedom From Every Bondage And Addiction

Sunday, 3 September 2017
 

These are notes on the sermon, Find Freedom From Every Bondage And Addiction, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 3 September 2017, Live at MegaFest. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!

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Overview

  1. Introduction: Let the Lord serve you first
  2. When you see Jesus in the Word, faith is imparted to you
  3. Believe that you are made forever righteous through Christ’s obedience
  4. Grace gives you the strength to reign over every sin and addiction effortlessly
  5. Focus on His grace, not your failures
  6. It is God’s superabounding grace that will give you victory over your weakness
  7. Knowing you are fully known and fully loved by God frees you to love Him and others
  8. Live with the sense of God’s immense love for you and see sin lose its power over you
  9. Closing: When you know how much you are loved by God, you will live a life of true holiness
  10. OWN THE WORD (life application)

Introduction: Let the Lord serve you first

The Lord is here and He wants to love you. He wants to serve you, refresh you, heal you, and take care of your house.

Everything in the Old Testament points to Jesus. In Exodus 21, right after God gave the Ten Commandments in the previous chapter, God told Moses to write down the laws concerning Hebrew servants.

Context: The law states that when a Hebrew servant has served his master for six years, he is free to leave in the seventh year. However, if he is married with children, he cannot bring his wife and children along when he leaves. His wife and children would belong to the master (Exod. 21:2–6).

The servant is a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ, who assumed the position of a servant. Jesus came from heaven, manifested in the flesh, and He lived among us. But He had a choice: to stay a servant and sacrifice Himself for us at the cross, or to return to His Father in Heaven. He could have gone free, but because He loved His master (God) and because He loved His children (us), He went to the cross, He was pierced, and He remains a servant forever.

John notes in the book of Revelations that even in His resurrected form, Jesus was “girt about the paps with a golden girdle” (Rev. 1:13 KJV). The girdle is the equipment of a servant.

In heaven today, Jesus dons His golden girdle. He came to serve, and now that He is glorified and back in heaven, He is still serving us.

When you see Jesus in the Word, faith is imparted to you

After Jesus rose from the dead, He walked with two of His discouraged disciples on the road to Emmaus. And the Bible says that the Lord restrained their eyes from recognizing who He was (Luke 24:13–35).

Jesus could have revealed Himself to them with His nail-pierced hands, but He did not. And the Bible says that Jesus called them “foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!” (Luke 24:25).

Those are the two reasons people remain discouraged today: either they are foolish (ignorant, lacking knowledge) or they are slow to believe. What is the cure to foolishness and slowness to believe? Seeing Jesus in the Word.

Beginning at Moses, Jesus began to expound to the disciples all the things concerning Himself. Not the laws, not the Ten Commandments, but things concerning Himself. At the end of the journey, the two disciples remarked to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32).

A ministry that unveils Christ and ministers Christ to the people will cause hearts to be warmed with His love and presence.

Jesus hid His identity from the disciples’ eyes because it was more important for them to see Him in the Scriptures than in the flesh. Today, we also have the same opportunity and privilege.

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
— Romans 10:17 NASB

It is the unveiling of Christ in the Scriptures that will impart faith to your heart. The more you hear Jesus unveiled, expounded upon, and pointed to in the Scriptures, the more faith is imparted to your heart that you might believe.

Believe that you are made forever righteous through Christ’s obedience

“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
— John 1:17 NKJV

Truth is on the side of grace. Is the law true? Yes, but it is not the truth that sets us free (John 8:32).

The law demands righteousness from sinfully bankrupt man but it does not lift a finger to help him. Grace provides righteousness as a gift to the most undeserving. The law says, “Take off your shoes. The place you are standing on is holy ground” (Exod. 3:1–5). But grace says, “Put shoes on his feet. My son has returned. He has a right to stand in My presence” (Luke 15:22–24).

Under the old covenant, when God gave the law, 3,000 people died at the foot of Mount Sinai (Exod. 32:28). Under grace, on the day of Pentecost, God gave the Spirit, and 3,000 people were saved (Acts 2:41). This goes to show that the law kills, but the Spirit gives life!

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”
— Romans 5:19 NKJV

We sin because we are sinners. We don’t become sinners because we sin. We were made sinners not because we sinned, but because of another’s sin—Adam’s disobedience. In the same vein, we are now righteous because of Jesus’ obedience. We are righteous by His obedience, not by our own.

If no amount of doing good could undo your state of being a sinner, how can committing a sin cause you to undo what the Son of God did, and cause you to lose your position of being righteous through Christ before God? We are righteous because of Jesus’ obedience and that truth is irrevocable!

Just as Christ was made sin at the cross despite having done no wrong, you were made righteous in Christ despite having done no right. Today, God treats you like Jesus—the most favored one, the most blessed one.

VIDEO: Pastor Prince shares an animation video of a man in ancient Israel offering a sin-offering.

Today, we are like the man who brings the lamb to the priest. We come before God with our blameless Lamb—the true Lamb, the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. This is the gospel of grace. There is no other gospel!

Grace gives you the strength to reign over every sin and addiction effortlessly

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.”
— Galatians 1:6 NKJV

a different gospel” — The apostle Paul makes it clear that whatever that is not the grace of God is a different gospel.

“The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
— 1 Corinthians 15:56 NKJV

Why is there death? Because there is sin. Why is there sin? Because the strength of sin is the law.

Under the law, our best efforts to change or to stop a bad habit still fall short. But under grace, our part is to rest and to receive all that Jesus’ finished work has done for us.

When we rest, He works. The work has been finished, the price has been paid. Today, as believers, we pray and we fight from the victory that Christ has already won for us.

Face your challenges knowing you already have the victory.

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”
— Romans 5:17 NKJV

gift of righteousness” — Righteousness is not a reward. It is a gift. And the greatest way to honor what the Lord Jesus did at the cross in becoming your sin is to stand tall and own the fact you are righteous in Him.

When you believe and confess, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ,” you receive these two gifts: the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness.

The key to reigning in life is receiving the abundance of God’s grace and His gift of righteousness.

When you reign in life, the devil doesn’t. When you reign in life, your addictions don’t. When you reign in life, your bad habits will not dominate you.

The devil will try to attack this teaching on the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness because he knows when you receive them, you will reign.

Our ministry has received many testimonies over the years of people being delivered from years of bondage to addictions, including pornography. Years of trying by their self-efforts and willpower to kick the habit only resulted in failure time and again. But when they started to believe and confess their righteousness in Christ even in the midst of their struggle, they began to see God’s grace transform that area of their lives effortlessly.

It is a misconception that believing in righteousness by faith will give people the license to sin. The apostle Paul makes it clear that being born-again in Christ and being dead to sin, it is impossible for us to continue in a lifestyle sin (Rom. 6:1–2).

In the midst of your struggle, even if you give in to the temptation, believe and say, “Lord, I thank you that I am still Your righteousness in Christ.” Declare your righteousness in Christ and receive the abundance of grace.

True change happens from within. The gospel is not about behavior modification. It is about heart transformation.

It is grace, not the law, that empowers us to overcome every sin and transforms us from the inside out!

Focus on His grace, not your failures

It is so important for us to preach the gospel of grace that the apostle Paul pronounced a double curse on any minister who does not preach it:

“ . . . which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”
— Galatians 1:7–9 NKJV

gospel of Christ” — The gospel of Christ is the gospel of grace. There is no other gospel apart from the gospel of grace.

The gospel of Christ is perverted by the introduction of the law. Jesus said you cannot put new wine into old wineskin. The new wine will ferment and break the wineskin, and you will lose both (Matt. 9:17). In the same way, you cannot put the new wine of grace into the old wineskin of the law. You will lose both.

The problem is mixture. We are not saved by grace only to return to the law. Paul says, “Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3).

There is a false belief that if we do not preach the law, believers will not live holy lives. But we see from the lives of Abraham and Joseph, who lived before the law was given, that they were deemed holy by God.

How could Joseph turn down the advances of Potiphar’s wife when she was very likely a beautiful woman, and it would have been beneficial to be in her good books (Gen. 39:6–10)? Joseph lived before the Ten Commandments were given but he had a walk with God. He knew the presence and the love of God for him, and that empowered him to overcome the temptation.

Some think that as Christians, we begin in grace but we mature by practicing the law. Nothing could be further from the truth. In Galatians 4:3, the Bible says, “when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.” The word “children” in Greek is “nēpios,” which means “an infant.”

When we were infants, God kept us under the law to guide us. But when grace came, when Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead for our justification, we became full-grown sons. This is not referring to spiritual growth. Once we are born-again, we receive this Spirit of full-grown sonship through Christ.

When Israel was an infant, God gave them the law as a guide. Just like how we would tell our younger children, “Don’t touch the stove!” or “Be careful not to touch the knives!” But to tell that to an adult would be an insult to them. In the same way, a believer who has been saved is no longer under the law (a child who requires guidance and rules) and does not need to be told not to sin. Grace is the teacher who teaches and guides believers from the inside without needing the law from the outside (just like Joseph was convicted to do the right thing even before the Ten Commandments were given).

Grace is not just the starting point. Grace is the whole journey from start to end. Stay on the path of grace!

It is God’s superabounding grace that will give you victory over your weakness

God sees you righteous. As sure as Jesus became sin is as sure as you are righteous in God’s eyes.

It is not about whether you feel it or not. It is about choosing to believe and accept what Jesus has already done for you. That is not being hypocritical. Hypocrisy is pretending to be who you are not.

Throughout the gospels, we see how Jesus was severe on hypocrisy. Why? Because you’ll never know how much God truly loves you until you know that He knows everything about you and still loves you.

We see this in His interactions with Nicodemus in John 3 and the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4.

In John 3, when Jesus spoke to Nicodemus (a Pharisee, a religious leader and teacher of the law), He cut through all of Nicodemus’ religious airs and told him that with all his erudite learning, he needed to be born again to be saved.

But when it came to the woman at the well in John 4, who had five husbands and was living with a man who was not her husband, Jesus was gentle in the way that He revealed her sin. He wanted her to know that she was loved in spite of all she had done.

Nicodemus took a while to become a follower of Jesus. On the other hand, once the woman at the well encountered the Lord’s unconditional love, she became an instant evangelist.

Grace is not natural. The law preaches, “Do good get good; do bad get bad.” Grace teaches that you can receive good you don't deserve because another, Jesus Christ, has received all the bad He did not deserve. It takes the Holy Spirit to teach that. It takes the Holy Spirit to unveil the loveliness of Jesus and to extol on His beauties and excellencies.

“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
— John 1:17 NKJV

The law was given by a servant, Moses, but grace was given by the Son, Jesus Christ. The law is holy but it cannot make you holy, and it cannot make you righteous.

Some of us have the idea that when we were first born again, we were saved by grace but thereafter, we have to make sure that we strive with all our own efforts to keep the law. If we fail, that will be the end of us. But this cannot be further from the truth!

The Bible says, "Where sin increases, grace superabounds" (Rom. 5:20).

Again, that is not to say that we should sin in order for grace to superabound. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a British theologian, said, “The true preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone always leads to the possibility of this charge being brought against it. There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel of salvation than this, that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this, that because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at all what you do; you can go on sinning as much as you like because it will redound all the more to the glory of grace. This is a very good test of gospel preaching. If my preaching and presentation of the gospel of salvation does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel.” (The New Man)

Knowing you are fully known and fully loved by God frees you to love Him and others

Let us take a look at two of Jesus’ closest disciples, Peter and John:

Peter was the disciple who boasted of his love for Jesus (Mark 14:29). John was the disciple who boasted of Jesus’ love for him. The Lord loved all the disciples, but John knew it and made Jesus’ love for him personal.

At the last supper, John was the one resting on Jesus' bosom (John 13:23). By his actions, John was typifying himself as the one whom Jesus loved. He even called himself “the disciple whom Jesus loves” multiple times in his gospel, the gospel of John. Peter, on the other hand, typifies believers who say, “I am the one who loves the Lord.”

We can’t find a single person in the Bible who could truly love God with all their heart, all their soul, all their strength, and all their mind. Even the best of them, like David, failed. Finally, God when mankind utterly failed to do this, God showed us how He loved us with all His heart, all His soul, all His strength, and all His mind by sending His Son to give His life for us on the cross.

The law condemns the best of us. Grace saves the worst of us.

“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
— 1 John 4:10 NKJV

not that we loved God” — The greatest of all the commandments is to love God with all your heart. But under the new covenant, it is no longer about us loving God but God loving us. It is important that in all our preaching, we put the focus on how much God loves us, and not on how much we love God.

Are you boasting in His love for you? Or are you boasting in your love for Him?

Our love for God rises and falls but God’s love for us is constant. Fix your eyes on what is constant and unshakable, and you will be stable and strong in His love for you.

Experience God’s love for you personally. Like the disciple John, make it personal for yourself.

See yourself as the special one whom the Lord loves.

The apostle Paul made this truth personal for himself when he said, “ . . . the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

The sun shines on every blade of grass in a field. But if you put a magnifying glass over one particular blade of grass, it will focus the heat from the sun over that blade, and that blade of grass will start to burn. Likewise, put a magnifying glass over your life and imagine God’s love being focused and concentrated on you.

When you live each day knowing how loved you are by Him, it will cause you to love the Lord more, and it will give you the strength to love the people around you as well (1 John 4:10-11). Those who are loved best will love best.

Live with the sense of God’s immense love for you and see sin lose its power over you

There are two occasions where God the Father opened the heavens and said, “This is my beloved Son. This is the Son that I love.”

One was in the River Jordan, the lowest place on Earth (about 1,400 feet below sea level), where Jesus was baptized. As Jesus came out of the waters of baptism, the heavens parted, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, and the Father said to Him, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11).

The other time Jesus heard those words was when He was on Mount Hermon, the highest point in all of Israel, where He was transfigured in the presence of Peter, James, and John (Luke 9:35).

  • Peter — “petros,” which means “stone” and typifies the law
  • James — “yakov,” which means “to supplant or replace”
  • John — “yohanan,” which means “grace”

If we put their names together, we decipher this truth: the law is replaced by grace. This is what would happen at the cross. At this point, the Father opened the heaven and said, "This is My beloved Son."

In your highest and lowest moments in your life, hear your heavenly Father saying this over you: “You are My beloved child; In you, I am well pleased.”

Even if you don't feel it, believe in His love for you. The Word says that we have known and believed the love that God has for us (1 John 4:16).

When Jesus came down the Mount of Transfiguration, a large crowd ran towards Him (Luke 9:37). Jesus’ glory shone from within and attracted people. It was a glory that told them, “Your sins have been put away. Draw near to Me.”

It wasn’t like the glory of God that shone on Moses’ face when he came down from another mountain, where “the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end” (2 Cor. 3:7 ESV). Moses, who typifies the law, had to put a veil on his face because the glory of the law was too much for sinful men.

Today, you know you have an accurate perspective of God when you sense His love and grace for you that draws you near to Him.

After Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, He went into the wilderness and was tempted by Satan. The tactic that the devil used to try to tempt Jesus was this: he left out the word “beloved.” He said to Jesus, “If You are the Son of God . . . ” (Matt. 4:1–11). The devil knew that all his temptation would come to nothing if Jesus knew that He was the beloved Son of God.

It is counter-productive for him to remind you that you are not just a child of God but you are His beloved child. Because when you know how loved you are by the Father, it will empower you to resist temptation and to reign over sin.

Temptations cannot succeed against you when you know you are the one whom Jesus loves.

Closing: When you know how much you are loved by God, you will live a life of true holiness

The first time Peter met Jesus, he was more conscious of Jesus’ holiness than His love (Luke 5:8). Out of fear, he told Jesus to depart from him. It is natural for man to shun God because of His holiness. But it takes the Holy Spirit’s revelation to truly know Jesus and know His love for us.

A few years later, after Peter had denied Jesus three times with cursing and swearing, he came face to face with Jesus again. At this time, Jesus had restored Peter privately for his failure (Luke 24:34), and Peter was more conscious of Jesus’ love for him than he was conscious of Jesus’ holiness. He made a beeline for Jesus instead of running away from Him.

If Peter had been more conscious of Jesus’ holiness, he would have run for fear and shame. Yet even after his failure, it was the sense of Jesus’ love for him that compelled Peter to jump into the waters and swim straight to Him in spite of his failures.

True progress in your Christian walk is becoming more and more conscious of the Lord’s love for you.

It is important that we continue to unveil the love of God more and more. As we are consumed with His love, true holiness will be a natural fruit that we bear from having that intimate relationship with God.

VIDEO: Pastor Prince shares an animation video of what happened to Jesus on the cross.

Own The Word (life application)

If you are struggling with a bad habit, addiction, or feeling trapped in a cycle of sin, the answer is not in you trying harder to break free. The answer is in the finished work of Jesus that has made you irrevocably righteous—this is the truth that sets you free!

Friend, the Lord knows everything about you and loves you still. You are fully known and fully loved, and He has proved this by going to the cross for you to receive the punishment for all your sins so that you can receive His righteousness.

In the midst of your struggle, stand tall in what He has accomplished for you at the cross by declaring, “Lord, thank You for making me righteous in You. I am the righteousness of God in Christ. Not because of what I do, but because of what You have done.”

And in the midst of your struggle, sense the Lord’s personal love for you. Temptations cannot succeed against you when you know you are the one whom Jesus loves. Say to the Lord, “Lord, I am the one whom You love. You have given me the victory. Therefore I believe that You will cause whatever I am going through to work together for my good.”

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 JosephPrince.com 2017
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.

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