This set of sermon notes covers the main points of the sermon, Hear Your Way Out of Every Weakness. We encourage you to listen to the full sermon to find out more, and receive God’s Word in season for yourself!
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“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”
—Romans 6:14 NKJV
“Dominion” — The Greek translation of this word is “kyrieuō”, which translates to “lord.” This means that sin will not lord over us or have power over us when we are under grace.
Many think that the way out of sin is through trying to stop the act of sinning, or by trying to do more of what is right. However, the reason why we fall back into sin is because of wrong believing, not believing that our old man has been crucified. Our “old man” refers to our flesh, our old nature that has the propensity to sin. As believers, this part of ourselves (the flesh) was finished at the cross of Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:6). Today, we are no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit (Rom. 8:9)!
The enemy will always try to make us identify with our flesh, but this is a false identity. Instead, the Lord wants us to take on our new identity in Christ. We are born again in righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:24)!
Right living begins with us focusing on our Lord Jesus, and not on our self-effort. Grace is the answer to overcoming sin, and the way to lead a life that is holy and pleasing to the Lord. This is why the gospel of grace is so powerful, and it’s no wonder that the enemy would want to cast doubts on this life-transforming teaching of 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
This means we fall from grace when we try to justify ourselves through the law, when we try to keep the law in order to be righteous.
There is nothing wrong with the law. The law is holy, but it cannot make us holy. When we come under the law, we end up relying on our own self-effort to earn our justification and right standing with God. Yet, we as spiritually bankrupt men will never have the strength to justify ourselves through the law.
Pastor Prince reiterates that he is against sin and it is important for us to live holy and moral lives. However, the only way we can achieve true holiness and moral excellence is by the grace of God, and not by us trying to keep the law through our self-efforts.
The enemy does not want us to reign in life, nor to enjoy the abundant life that our Lord Jesus came to give us. Instead, he wants to keep us in a place of defeat, self-condemnation, and guilt.
The enemy wants us to depend on our own efforts to deal with our “old man”, or our sinful nature, to obtain righteousness. However, when we do that, we end up experiencing the futility of our fleshly effort to keep the law that the apostle Paul shares about in Romans 7.
God’s heart is always for us to depend on His grace. We see this in the story of Exodus, during the Israelites’ journey from Egypt to Mount Sinai.
When God brought His people out of Egypt all the way to Mount Sinai, no one died, even though they were sinful. This is a picture of His grace for His people.
Under the covenant of grace, the children of Israel experienced God’s unconditional faithfulness toward them.
He was faithful to them not because they were good but because of the covenant of grace that He had established with Abraham.
Even though it was God who provided for the children of Israel, their confidence was in their flesh and the work of their hands. Even before hearing God’s commandments, they said, “Everything God can command us, we will do it.” This is almost akin to signing a contract without first seeing the terms.
Because they presumed on their strength, God distanced Himself from the Israelites and gave them the Ten Commandments. God gave the law to bring them to the end of themselves and show men that the only way we can be established in righteousness is through grace.
Ironically, immediately after their boastful declaration of their ability to keep all of God’s laws, the Israelites sinned against God—they built a golden calf (Exod. 32:1–4), breaking the very first law of the Ten Commandments, which was to have no other gods before God (Exod. 20:3). And subsequently when the people complained, they died. This shows us that when we depend on our own strength and ability to justify ourselves, it leads to sin (Rom. 3:20).
We can learn from this story about being under law and grace that God’s heart is for us to depend on His grace and faithfulness, just like how He was faithful to the children of Israel throughout their wilderness journey.
Continuing the story of the golden calf in Exodus 32, let’s take a look at how it came about:
“. . . saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods to go before us; as for this Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ And they made a calf in those days, offered sacrifices to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.”
—Acts 7:40–41 NKJV
When recounting this story of the Israelites, Stephen says that they “rejoiced in the works of their own hands.” This means more than idolatry, the golden calf represents the Israelites’ confidence in their own works instead of God.
“Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!”
—Exodus 32:1–4 NKJV
Notice how Aaron used golden earrings which he received from the people to build the golden calf. The golden earrings symbolize “divine hearing.” This means that the Israelites gave up the hearing of redemption, the hearing of the Word of Christ, in exchange for the works of their hands. As a result, the Israelites ended up sinning against God. This shows us again that all our fleshly efforts to keep the law are futile; we will never have the ability to, in and of ourselves.
And not just our justification, we cannot receive our miracles nor breakthroughs through our own self-effort. Look at what it says in Galatians 3:5:
“Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
This verse tells us that our breakthroughs and miracles come through the hearing of faith! Today, the enemy wants us to give up the hearing of the Word of Christ and rely on our own works. He does not want us to receive the Word of Christ because it is what brings us the power to overcome every weakness in our lives, and to reign in life.
“Supplies” — The Greek translation for this word is “chorēgeō”, which refers to the leader of a choir in charge of supplying “all things necessary to fit out (the) chorus.” Today, our Lord Jesus is supplying us with the Spirit, and this supply is constant! If there is an area of need or weakness in your life, turn to the Lord and rely on His abundant supply of grace!
Pastor Prince cautions us of naysayers who attack this teaching of grace, saying that it’s not enough for us to be saved by grace, and that we need to abide by the law. This is far from the truth! In Matthew 9:17, our Lord Jesus tells us not to put new wine into old wineskin. The new wine will ferment and break the wineskins, and you will lose both. In the same way, you cannot put the new wine of grace into the old wineskin of the law; we will lose both doctrines. In fact, wrong belief in a mixture of law and grace brings about death and destruction in our lives.
So why is hearing the word of Christ so important?
Romans 10:17 (NIV) tells us that “ . . . faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” This shows us that faith comes when we hear the preached Word about our Lord Jesus!
When we hear the preached Word, it stirs up faith in us to believe and receive our breakthroughs and miracles. We see this exemplified in the Gospels—during the Lord’s ministry on earth, the Bible records that He was always going around preaching, and healing all who came to Him (Luke 5:15, Luke 6:17–19, Matt. 4:23).
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.”
—Matthew 4:23 NKJV
Notice the divine order and the Lord’s priority: teaching and preaching, and then healing those who were sick. Look how the people received their healing after they had heard Jesus preaching. Likewise, when we keep hearing the Word of Christ, healing breakthroughs and miracles will abound in our lives!
God’s heart is for us to be healed and whole. Today, He wants to do the same for us! If you need healing today, start hearing again the works about Christ and receive your breakthrough!
Pastor Prince leads the congregation into a time of healing ministry and prays for these conditions:
In the areas of our lives that are dear to our hearts, such as our family, health, or career, it can be so easy to look to ourselves to provide for, to protect, and to do all we can to see them flourish. But what if I told you the first and most important thing that we need to do is to hear?
Hearing God’s Word is not just a feel-good activity that helps to ease your mind or soothe your flustered emotions. Romans 10:17 tells us that when we hear the Word about Christ, faith is stirred up in our hearts. Faith to overcome any obstacle. Faith to lay hold of His promises. Faith to be patient as you continue looking to the Lord for your breakthrough.
As you’re reading this, can you think of an area of your life that you're concerned about or that is troubling you? Here's what you can do about it. Head over to our YouTube channel and find a sermon that speaks to your situation. As you continue listening to the Word about Christ and see the Lord’s heart for you, you can expect to experience His miracle-working power in your life!
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These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.
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