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Official Joseph Prince Sermon Notes

No Longer A Slave To Fear

Sunday, 1 November 2020
 

These are notes on the sermon, No Longer A Slave To Fear, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 1 November 2020, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!

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Overview

  1. Introduction: Being righteous in Christ puts you in the position to receive health, provision, and every other blessing
  2. In Christ, you are a son of God and freed from the spirit of slavery causing you to fear
  3. Jesus came to reveal the name, “Abba,” so that you can experience the love of your Heavenly Father
  4. As you experience a close relationship with your loving Father, He will lead, protect, and commune with you
  5. Closing Prayer

Introduction: Being righteous in Christ puts you in the position to receive health, provision, and every other blessing

Pastor Prince shares about his latest book, Give Me This Mountain. In this book, he expounds on the secret to Caleb’s strength that caused him to be as strong at 85 years of age as he was when he was 40 when Moses sent him as a spy into the promised land (Jos. 14:11 ESV). In this book, Pastor Prince also reveals the secret to Caleb’s faith and the “different spirit” he possessed, which set him apart from his peers (Num. 14:24 NASB).

Pastor Prince shares that we celebrated Reformation Day yesterday, on October 31. This day commemorates the restoration of the gospel of grace to the body of Christ through the ministry of Martin Luther. The gospel of grace—the true gospel—had been held in the bondage of darkness and ignorance. This ignorance separates us from the life of God within us and prevents us from experiencing it.

But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”
— Galatians 3:22–26 ESV

But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.” — When faith is mentioned in the New Testament, it usually refers to faith in Jesus Christ, i.e. justification by faith.

The scripture “the righteous shall live by faith,” which is the essence of the gospel, is what Martin Luther read and believed. This is the foundation of the reformation.

The gospel we preach today needs to have the righteousness of God revealed in it.

justified by faith” — In the Greek, the word “justified” is the word “dikaioō,” which means “declared righteous.” We are declared righteous by faith.

God’s people in the Old Testament were under the law until Christ came to set them free from it. The law served as a guardian over them.

In the past, wealthy Greek, Roman, and Jewish families would engage a guardian (“paidagōgos”), who would serve as a child trainer. The child trainer would bring up his master’s child and be charged with ensuring the child’s physical well-being and moral education.

In the same way, the law was our guardian until Christ came. Once Jesus died for our sins at the cross and introduced righteousness by faith, we stopped being under the guardianship of the law (righteousness by works).

As believers who are righteous by faith in Jesus Christ, we are called sons of God (Gal. 3:26) and we are also called “Abraham’s seed” (Gal. 3:29). Abraham is considered our father because he was the first man to be righteous by faith.

“And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
— Galatians 3:29 NKJV

“For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”
— Romans 4:13 NKJV

God gave Abraham a promise that he and his seed would be blessed.

heir of the world” — The word “world” in Greek is “cosmos” and refers to:

  1. A beautiful, orderly arrangement of the universe, when everything works out in the way God wants it to.
  2. The privileges, riches, rule, and influence of the world.

God had originally made Adam the ruler of the world, but Satan became the god of this world after Adam committed sin against God and bowed his knee to Satan, giving him authority over the world (2 Cor 4:4 NLT).

God had to righteously and judiciously take the authority back from Satan since Adam had passed it over to Satan. So God made a covenant with Abraham and Abraham’s seed that they would be the heirs of the world. To do this, God allowed a test to prove that Abraham could fulfill his part of the covenant. Abraham proved himself to love God by not withholding his son from God (Gen 22:12), creating a precedent for God to not withhold His Son from us. This covenant relationship cannot be challenged by the enemy.

All the promises of the covenant are to Abraham and his seed.

Abraham’s seed is primarily Christ. Because we are in Christ, we are Abraham’s seed too, and therefore we have the promise of being the “heir of the world” (Rom. 4:13).

Being the “heir of the world” includes the lesser blessings of health and provision. How can you be the heir of the world if you are sick, flat on your back, and in lack? This promise of being the heir of the world includes being healthy and well-provided for.

But most importantly, when you are the “heir of the world,” it means you have right standing with God.

How do we experience this promise of being the heir of the world?

“For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
— Romans 4:13 NKJV

This promise that God made to Abraham and his seed is not obtained through keeping the law but through the righteousness of faith!

Why are so many in the church sick and lacking? Why are they not experiencing the blessing of Abraham? Because they are trying to get it through the law (by earning it), not through the righteousness of faith (by receiving it through Jesus’ finished work).

Pastor Prince reiterates that he is not against the law. He is for the law for the reason that God gave the law. It was not given for man to justify himself by, but it was given for every man to recognize his guilt before God and see his need for Christ (Rom. 3:19–20).

Now the law is good, holy, and just, and the adoption of the law is beneficial to any country. However, the effect of keeping the law is outward behavior modification, not inward heart transformation. As soon as law and order break down, the true heart of a person is revealed and anarchy ensues.

The more you try to keep the law, the more the flesh is stirred up by the law (see Rom 7:7–8, 13 KJV). This is no fault of the law; it is merely the effect of it on our flesh. The flesh is the sin principle in all of us.

In and of ourselves, we have no power to do good. The answer is the cross, where we have died with Christ to sin and the law and we are no longer under it (Rom. 6:11). Instead, we have a new life with Christ where we bear fruit to God (Rom. 7:4).

That’s why it is so important for us to understand our death in Christ and that we are also raised with Him and seated with Him in the heavenly places.

God sees us in our true position today: righteous, holy, and blameless in Christ!

“For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.”
— Romans 4:13–15 NKJV

faith is made void and the promise made of no effect” — What causes believers to forfeit the promise of being the “heir of the world”? When they try to obtain the promise by keeping the law, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect! We certainly do not want this to happen in our lives.

God’s good promises can only come to us through the righteousness of faith, not righteousness of works.

The enemy’s tactic is always to convince us that we can keep the Ten Commandments. However, the moment we try to do so, we are putting ourselves back under the law, which stirs up the flesh and leads to sin.

Holiness cannot come about by trying to keep the law. When Paul was under the law, he brought forth fruit unto death. But when he was dead to the law and married to Christ, he brought forth fruit unto the glory of God (Rom. 7:4–5).

Just because we are not under the law doesn’t mean that we will start sinning without control or become licentious.

Pastor Prince shares a parenting tip: Contrary to popular belief, we do not need to use the Ten Commandments to teach our children. Instead, we teach our children based on their identity in Christ. Tell them, “A Jesus boy/girl speaks the truth,” or, “A Jesus boy/girl is a protector and not a bully.”

“And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.”
— Galatians 3:29 ESV

The Jewish people are the descendants of Abraham, but they are not considered “Abraham’s seed.” That term is reserved for Christ and for believers.

However, there are two examples of Jewish people in the gospels whose faith arose when they met Jesus, allowing them to inherit the promises of God (healing and positive life transformation) as the offspring of Abraham:

  • The woman bowed down for 18 years: In Luke 13, there was a woman bound by infirmity for 18 years who was listening to Jesus teach in the synagogue and faith arose in her heart. Once she had faith, Jesus saw her as a daughter of Abraham and loosed her from that condition. When a Pharisee criticized Jesus for healing her on the Sabbath, Jesus answered that as a “daughter of Abraham,” she ought to be loosed from her bondage immediately (Luke 13:16).
  • Zacchaeus the tax-collector: In Luke 19, Jesus met Zacchaeus the tax-collector, who had cheated people and stolen their money, and showed him grace by visiting his home and eating with him. Zacchaeus experienced genuine heart transformation that led to him giving half his goods to the poor and restoring fourfold of what he had stolen. Then Jesus said, “Today salvation (Yeshua) has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham” (Luke 19:19). When Zacchaeus realized that Yeshua Himself, Jesus, had come to his house, he believed, and he became a son of Abraham.

In Christ, you are a son of God and freed from the spirit of slavery causing you to fear

“And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father.
— Galatians 3:29-4:2 ESV

as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything” — The son of a wealthy man is the legal heir to, and owner of, everything his father owns. However, when he is a child, he is no different from a slave because he is not able to drive his father’s cars, play golf with his father’s golf clubs, or enjoy any of his father’s other riches.

as long as he is a child” — The word “child” is the Greek word “nēpios” which means “an infant, minor, or young child.”

but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father” — This date refers to the“bar mitzvah,” or the sonship ceremony when a son comes of age. Following this ceremony, he enters the sonship of his father (the position of being a mature son) and is no longer considered a child. Therefore, he is able to enjoy all the privileges of being an heir.

In the Old Testament, God considered the children of Israel as infants who were under the law until the appointed time. When we come into righteousness by faith through Jesus, we are no longer infants but are now full-grown sons of God. We have a new measure of maturity.

Just as we as adults do not need to be told basic rules such as, “Be careful with the knives!” or “Don’t touch the stove!”, in the same way, a believer who has been saved and is no longer under the law (a child under guardianship) does not need to be told not to sin.

To say that believers will commit all kinds of sins when we’re not under law is to insult the maturity that we have when we receive God’s gift of righteousness.

“In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”
— Galatians 4:3–5 ESV

elementary principles“ — This is the Greek word “stoicheion,” which refers to the first principles, the letters of the alphabet, or the fundamentals. The Ten Commandments are considered the elementary fundamentals for children (Heb 5:12 NASB).

However, Christianity is not comprised solely of the Ten Commandments, but rather encompasses a journey of maturity, including the progress from a child all the way to adulthood.

God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” — Jesus was born under the law to redeem those who were under the law (you and I) so that we might receive sonship.

The moment you believe in Jesus Christ and embrace righteousness by faith, this is the “sonship ceremony” and your status has now changed from being a child under the law to now being a mature son.

adoption as sons” — The word “sons” is the Greek word “hiyos,” which is different from “nēpios” (child). The “adoption as sons” refers to the transition from a boy to a full-grown man of maturity. That is what the sonship ceremony is about; it is not about adopting an outsider into one’s family.

Jesus came to reveal the name, “Abba,” so that you can experience the love of your Heavenly Father

“And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
— Galatians 4:6–7 ESV

The word “Abba” is the most intimate term for “father.” It is like “Daddy” or “Papa,” depending on which culture you’re from. It is the easiest, most natural way that a child can call his father.

The Holy Spirit left the word “Abba” untranslated because it captures the love, intimacy, comfort, and assurance that we have in our relationship with our Daddy God.

Although God is the Almighty God who knows all things and should be revered, above all else, the name of God that Jesus came to reveal to us is the name “Abba” (see John 17:26).

Only when we understand the name “Abba” can we experience the true love of God that eradicates fear.

The 144,000 in the last days will have the Father’s name on their foreheads for protection (Rev 14:1). This represents the consciousness of the Father’s love.

When we look at God, He wants us to see Him as Father, Abba, Daddy.

“And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
— Galatians 4:6–7 ESV

When you pray, know that you are talking to your Father who loves you deeply. Don’t be afraid because you’re not a slave. You’re not a slave who is constantly afraid of having done something wrong or having not done enough right.

The truth is that your Abba Father can dispense with your busy service, but He loves your company.

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!””
— Romans 8:15 ESV

but you did not the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear” — The spirit of slavery is the root of all fears and causes you to have the wrong type of fear of God.

If you come to God with a spirit of fear, the Holy Spirit (who is the Spirit of truth) cannot bear witness to that. But when you come to God with a spirit of sonship, the Holy Spirit bears witness with that because it is the truth. And that’s when you receive your miracle.

The spirit of sonship is all about coming to your Abba Father, your Daddy God, and letting Him love you. Even if you don’t have any words for a prayer, just sense His nearness to you. You can just come to God saying, “Abba, Abba, Abba,” and let Him love you. Sense that closeness and your Father's love for you filling all the empty places of your heart.

The love of your Abba Father casts out all fears and worries in you. When your Father is so close, what is there for you to worry about?

As you experience a close relationship with your loving Father, He will lead, protect, and commune with you

This privilege of intimacy with your Heavenly Father is something that the old Testament saints never enjoyed. They revered God from far away with many rituals, but we can come to God through an open veil and worship God directly face to face.

We are closer to God than the angels are

Did you know that angels only refer to God in the third person? They never address God in the second person as “You.”

The only ones who address God as “You” are His children, the redeemed ones.

“Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying:
You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.””
— Revelation 5:8–10 NKJV

In the book of Revelation, only the 24 elders (who represent us, the redeemed) were able to worship God in the second person as “You.”

On the other hand, this is how the angels worship God:

“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice:
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!””
— Revelation 5:11–12 NKJV

Unlike us, angels were never redeemed and are unable to say, “You have redeemed us to God by Your blood.” The angels are only able to refer to the Lord in the third person, as “the Lamb who was slain.”

Just as there is an order to everything in royal courts, there is order in the House of God. The ones seated nearest to God are the redeemed, not the angels. This is why we praise God directly and can refer to Him as “You.”

Friend, don’t entertain the lie that you are still a slave when in truth you are a son of God!

When you have a need, you don’t have to always ask someone else to pray for you in order for God to answer you (although there is nothing wrong with asking for prayer!). But know that your Abba Father wants to hear your voice. He is close to you, longing to hear your words. He says your words are like honey and milk (Song of Songs 4:11).

“The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.”
— Psalm 23:1–3 NKJV

Psalm 23:1–3 represents the good times we go through. Here, it is as though we are talking to someone about the Lord, referring to Him in the third person as “He.”

The “paths of righteousness” are actual paths that Israeli shepherds would lead their sheep on:

The paths on which shepherds would lead their sheep up a hill or mountain to graze at the top are called “paths of righteousness.” They are gentle slopes that go round and round the hill or mountain. These paths make it easy for the sheep to make progress upward so that they don’t get tired or discouraged, as opposed to walking straight up the mountain at a steep incline.

The sheep do not even know they are making progress as they trot along the paths of righteousness. Before they know it, they will have reached the top of the mountain.

Every time pastors and leaders (shepherds) preach the gospel of grace, they are bringing people (sheep) up the paths of righteousness, which results in them making progress in life without even realizing it.

Pastor Prince shares another parenting tip: Instead of telling our children what the final goal is and demanding it from them, we can lead our children in a circular path slowly towards the destination, correcting them along the way to ensure they stay on the path of righteousness. Though it may feel as though they are going in circles and getting nowhere, eventually they will reach the green pastures at top of the hill or mountain.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;”
— Psalm 23:4 NKJV

the valley of the shadow of death” — These valleys speak of trials and tough times. However, in the valley, the “shadow of death” cannot hurt you because Jesus has conquered death. This is merely the appearance of death.

In the day time, Israeli shepherds would lead the sheep from the front of the flock with their sheep following from behind (this can be applied to parenting as well—set the example that you want your child to follow, instead of doing one thing and asking them to do another). The sheep follow their shepherd and they know his voice; they find comfort in hearing him and seeing him.

But at night, the shepherd walks in the middle, in the midst of the flock. This gives them a sense of comfort in knowing that their shepherd is close to them.

I will fear no evil; For You are with me”— the Lord is closer than you can imagine when you’re going through a trial. He is there to carry you, provide for you, and love you through it.

You are with me”— During a trial, we refer to God in the second person as “You” instead of in third person as “He.” This is because when we are going through a dark season, we experience Him being closer to us.

While you can always seek prayer support from others, it is most important to have direct interaction and communion with the Lord. You don’t need to pray perfect, eloquent prayers. Just talk to Him candidly and honestly. Address Him directly and know that He is with you and loves you! Just say, “You are with me, Lord. You are with me, Father. You are my shepherd, I will not lack.”

By the way, there is no mention of the shepherd breaking any sheep’s legs so they don’t go astray. So don’t let any of these thoughts creep in—they are not scriptural.

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
— Psalm 23:4 NKJV

Your staff” — In Bible times, the shepherd’s staff was used to stop a sheep from falling (e.g. it could be thrown ahead of the sheep to prevent it from falling into a ravine). The staff was also used to pull fallen sheep back to safety. The Lord knows that we will fall here and there, and He has His shepherd’s staff to bring you back to where you’re supposed to be.

Your rod” — On the other hand, the shepherd’s rod was used to scare away wolves and lions that attacked the sheep.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.”
— Psalm 23:5 NKJV

You prepare a table before me” — The shepherd brings the flock to a flat piece of land to rest and feed, which represents the table of the Lord’s Supper, the holy Communion, prepared for us today.

in the presence of my enemies” — The phrase “in the presence of” is the Hebrew word “neged” which means “against.” This tells us that the table of the Lord, the holy Communion, is prepared for us as a defense/counterattack against our enemies.

You can fight sickness, depression, addiction, or whatever enemy you are facing today with the holy Communion—the greatest weapon there is!

When you come to God, don’t worry about what words to say. Just come to Him as a son, knowing He is your Father who loves you. Even before you come to Him, know that He is ready to receive you and He is eager and yearning to hear your voice and see your face.

God doesn’t look for perfect prayers. Even the cry, “Abba!” is a prayer.

Repossess the spirit of sonship today and sense your Abba Father’s closeness to you.

Our emotions can lie to us and cause us to feel like God is far away, but hold fast to the reality that your loving Father is so near to you, enveloping you with His love all the time.

Today, you no longer have the spirit of a slave that the Holy Spirit cannot confirm or bear witness to. Instead, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your heart, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Gal. 4:6–7 ESV).

When you embrace this spirit of sonship, the Holy Spirit of truth will bear witness to it, confirming it with signs, wonders, and answered prayers!

Pastor Prince closes the service by praying for people with these conditions:

  • Addiction, particularly to sleeping pills
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Condition in the right shoulder blade
  • Ankle injury
  • Film over eyes
  • Skin lesions

Every healing can stand the test of medical science. Pastor Prince encourages those he prayed over to go back to their doctors to verify their healings. Only stop taking your medicine when your healing has been confirmed by medical reports. Then please write in to share your testimony!

Closing Prayer

“The Lord bless you and the Lord keep you. The Lord bless you with the blessings of Father Abraham, and the Lord keep you and your families throughout this week from the COVID-19 virus, from every infection, from every disease, from every danger, harm, accident, from all the power of the evil one.

The Lord make His face shine upon you and your families throughout this week. Amen. Doors of favor will open up to you and the Lord lift up his countenance on you and grant to you and your families His shalom peace in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.”

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 2020
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.


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