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Official Joseph Prince Sermon Notes

Pillars For Our Church And Life

Sunday, 13 March 2022
 
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These are notes on the sermon, Pillars For Our Church And Life, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 13 March 2022, 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: God expresses Himself to the world through the church
  2. Experience the power of the Holy Spirit in the church
  3. Discover God’s blessings through the four pillars of the church
  4. Pillar #1: Christ-centered teachings bring the blessings of the new covenant
  5. Pillar #2: Fellowship in the local church brings supply and abundance in areas of lack
  6. Pillar #3: Partaking of the holy Communion brings health and healing
  7. Pillar #4: Prayer brings peace in your family and relationships
  8. Salvation prayer
  9. Closing prayer
  10. OWN THE WORD (life application)

Introduction: God expresses Himself to the world through the church

The Lord is showing us more about the treasures and riches He has deposited in the church. The church refers to the many-membered body of Christ where the power and giftings of the Holy Spirit are manifested!

“. . . they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ
— 2 Corinthians 8:23 NKJV

the churches, the glory of Christ” — God esteems the church as the glory of Christ—this shows how dear the church is to God. He does not want us to forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Heb. 10:25). During this time of the pandemic, we might have gotten used to attending church online and receiving God’s Word from the comfort of our home, but let’s look forward to gathering together physically once again once we are allowed to do so. While we can receive directly from the Lord, He wants us to belong to His church where His provisions for our every need are found.

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.””
— Matthew 18:20 NKJV

Gathered together” — This is not just a casual meeting but a gathering initiated by the Holy Spirit. This gathering of people is the church!

“Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”
— 1 Corinthians 12:27 NKJV

“For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.”
— Ephesians 5:30 NKJV

When God looks at us, He sees us as the body of Christ. Christ has a glorified body with healthy flesh and bones in heaven today, and we are members of that body! We need to identify ourselves in Christ. The more we see Jesus, the more we become like Him (2 Cor. 3:18). As He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). This is the eternal truth of God’s Word, and the truth will always outlast the facts. While it may be a fact that you are having pains in your body, the truth is that you are one with Jesus. As you keep identifying yourself with Him (e.g. saying, “As Jesus is healthy and strong, so am I in this world”), this eternal truth will outlast every temporal fact.

The church is an expression of Jesus to the world.

“And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”
— Luke 1:35 NKJV

“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,”
— Galatians 4:4 NKJV

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.”
— Acts 2:1–2 NKJV

Both the birth of Jesus and the birth of the church happened in the fullness of time, at a specially appointed time.

The birth of the church is recorded for us in the book of Acts. The book of Acts was written by the disciple Luke, who also wrote the Gospel of Luke.

Luke was a physician who noted down details (e.g. details about healing miracles) that other Gospels did not include. As a detailed person, he also recorded details in the book of Acts regarding the church.

Don’t be discouraged when you see problems in the church today. Despite how imperfect the church is, being in the church is crucial to having the needs in your life met. Many times, the Lord delivers supply to your area of need via the church. To be saved is wonderful; now God wants you to belong and be planted in His church.

In the Gospel of Luke, Luke wrote about the 30+ years of Jesus’ life on earth. In the book of Acts, Luke wrote about the first 30 years of church history. There is a parallel.

Today, the church is the expression of Jesus. He speaks and works miracles through the church.

Experience the power of the Holy Spirit in the church

“. . . All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations . . . ”
— Matthew 28:18 NKJV, 19 KJV

The Lord has given us His authority. That’s why there is power when we pray in the name of Jesus! There is power when we pray for the sick and use the name of Jesus to call forth the healing of diseases. It’s not about who we are, the amount of knowledge we have, or the walk we have with the Lord. The power lies in the name of Jesus alone!

“And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them . . .”
— Mark 16:20 NKJV

The Lord working with them” — When the disciples went around to preach the gospel and heal the sick, the Lord continued to work with them. He did not work apart from them or directly without them. In the same way, the Lord continues to work with us today through His Spirit.

Today, one of the ways the Lord works with us is through prayer. When we pray, we enforce the victory that Christ has already accomplished through His finished work, and miracles follow.

We see the Holy Spirit very clearly in the book of Acts. While the book is called “The Acts of the Apostles,” we can also see it as “The Acts of the Holy Spirit” because it was the Holy Spirit who led the apostles in their ministry. The apostles simply followed the Spirit.

“. . . the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you.”
— Acts 10:19 NIV

“The Spirit said to Philip, “Go near, and join yourself to this chariot.”
— Acts 8:29 WEB

“. . . the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”
— Acts 13:2 ASV

The Holy Spirit was continually working and guiding the apostles on what they should do. The Spirit showed them when to do the right thing at the right time (there was even once when the Spirit did not allow Paul to preach somewhere because it was not the right time (Acts 16:7)). In the same way, we should be led by the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.

What Jesus did during His ministry on earth—going around doing good, healing all who were oppressed—He is still doing today through the Holy Spirit and through His church where the Holy Spirit dwells.

“You are the salt of the earth . . . You are the light of the world . . .”
— Matthew 5:13–14 NKJV

salt of the earth” — Jesus calls us the salt of the earth. During His time, salt was used to preserve food from being corrupted. Worse darkness has been held back from the earth because we, the church, have not yet been raptured. Because of the Holy Spirit who is at work in and through us, we bring blessings and hold back destruction wherever we go. This is also true of our presence in our individual spheres of influence (e.g. at our workplace, in school).

The anointing of the Holy Spirit makes things effortlessly easy when we flow with Him.

Just like how oil lubricates creaky door hinges, there is a flow when the anointing of the Holy Spirit is upon us. He teaches us all things and leads us in the ways we should go.

“. . . but be filled with the Spirit;
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs . . .
Husbands, love your wives . . .”
— Ephesians 5:18–19, 25 KJV

Relationships need the anointing of the Holy Spirit. When we are filled with the Spirit, the Holy Spirit will cause us not to grumble or speak unedifying words to others. Instead, our relationships will prosper when the anointing of the Holy Spirit is upon us!

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
— Acts 2:4 NKJV

The Bible records that the people were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost when the church of Christ was born. They could only speak in other tongues because the Holy Spirit gave them the ability to. In like manner, we ought to depend on the Holy Spirit who gives us the ability and power to carry out God’s work!

Another parallel between Jesus and the church

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
— Luke 2:52 NKJV

“praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved..”
— Acts 2:47 NKJV

Jesus had favor with people and increased in wisdom and stature. Similarly, the church had favor with all people and the Lord brought increase and growth.

Today, God’s focus is on the body of Christ, through which He blesses the world.

Wisdom for building a strong church

The key to building a strong church filled with grace and truth is to build the church on these three foundations:

  • The Centrality of Jesus

Set your life (this includes your daily living, what you say and do) and teachings to revolve around Jesus and magnify His glory. When you occupy yourself with Christ, He puts you at the right place at the right time and guides you to do the right thing.

  • The Church

The church is dear to the Lord’s heart. We need to be occupied with what is on the Lord’s heart.

  • Israel

Pastor Prince addresses the misconception that Israel is no longer relevant today. It is faulty doctrine to deny the importance of Israel. The Bible talks a lot about Israel because it is a nation dear to God’s heart. The Lord has not forgotten or forsaken them. Also, as we read and teach the Word, it is important to discern what is addressed to Israel and what is addressed to the church.

Discover God’s blessings through the four pillars of the church

“Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in (1) the apostles’ doctrine and (2) fellowship, in (3) the breaking of bread, and in (4) prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.”
— Acts 2:41–43 NKJV

These are the four pillars of the church:

  1. The apostles’ doctrine
  2. Fellowship
  3. The breaking of bread
  4. Prayers

These pillars make the church strong and flow with the will and purposes of God. These activities, which are important for the benefit of our own individual lives, take place in the local church.

“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread . . .”
— Acts 20:7 KJV

To break bread” — The early church gathered every Sunday for the purpose of breaking bread. Even though they had the greatest preacher, the apostle Paul, their focus was not merely to listen to the preached word but to partake of the Lord’s Supper.

The holy Communion is one of the highest forms of worship unto the Lord.

“. . . do this in remembrance of Me.”
— Luke 22:19 NKJV

The holy Communion is dear to God’s heart because it reminds Him of His beloved Son, Jesus. Not only that, but the provision God wants us to receive is found in the holy Communion! We don’t need to chase after answers from the world when we can receive them by the Lord's ways.

“Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.”
— Acts 2:43 NKJV

Many wonders and signs were done” — The apostles witnessed and performed many signs and wonders as they leaned on the four pillars of the church. When we continue steadfastly in prioritizing these four pillars, we too can experience God’s abundant blessings!

“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
— Acts 2:46–47 NKJV

And the Lord added to the church daily” — As the early church continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, breaking of bread, fellowship, and prayer, the Lord added to them daily. These are the keys to experiencing God’s wisdom and favor daily in our lives.

In last week’s sermon, The Keys to Counter the Four Horsemen, Pastor Prince shared about how the tabernacle of Moses and the tribes of Israel surrounding it was a picture of our Lord Jesus and the local churches. In that sermon, he also expounded on how the four horsemen (a picture of the enemy’s attacks in different areas of our lives) would attack the tabernacle in four directions. God’s answers to countering the enemy’s attacks in our lives are found in the four pillars of the church!

From an aerial view, we see the bronze altar and laver at the east side of the tabernacle, the table of showbread at the north, the menorah at the south, and the altar of incense and the ark of the covenant at the west.

Pillar #1: Christ-centered teachings bring the blessings of the new covenant

Pillar #1: The Apostles’ Doctrine

The east of the tabernacle is where the bronze altar and laver are found. The bronze altar is a picture of the cross of Jesus Christ while the laver is a picture of us being washed by the water of the Word (Eph. 5:26). The water of the Word refers to Christ-centered doctrine. The apostles’ doctrine, therefore, refers to Christ-centered teachings based on the finished work of Christ.

Since the evil spirit of false doctrine is what will attack the church from the east, the Lord placed the bronze altar and laver there to show us the importance of listening to Christ-centered teachings. Any other teaching that devalues or omits the finished work of Christ is false doctrine.

Pillar #2: Fellowship in the local church brings supply and abundance in areas of lack

Pillar #2: Fellowship

The south of the tabernacle is where the menorah is found. The menorah represents the church of Jesus Christ, which is the place of fellowship.

The evil spirit that will attack the church from the south is famine and lack. God’s answer to countering lack in our lives is through fellowship in the body of Christ.

Wisdom for finances: sow into the house of God

Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.

— Proverbs 3:9–10 NKJV

“You have sown much, and bring in little;
You eat, but do not have enough;
You drink, but you are not filled with drink;
You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm;
And he who earns wages,
Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”
. . . “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the Lord of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house.”
— Haggai 1:6,9 NKJV

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it
.”
— Malachi 3:10 NKJV

One of the ways to be involved in the local church is by tithing and offering other forms of financial support. The verses above reveal how sowing into the Lord’s house will bring about abundant harvests in your own life. This is one of the ways to counter famine or lack.

Support and reach out to each other in the church

Another form of fellowship also includes meeting the needs of one another by gathering together around the person of Jesus.

The demoniac in Mark 5 lived among tombs and mountains; he was alone. Likewise, in these last days, a device of the enemy against the church is to isolate individuals. Some Christians avoid the church because they feel jaded or have been disappointed by failings in the church. While it is true that no church is perfect, God still calls it the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 8:23).

Let your light shine in the church—use your gifts, anointings, and revelations to serve the people in God’s house

“And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.”
— Mark 4:20–22 KJV

Under a bushel” — In ancient Israel, a bushel was a basket/container for measuring things like wheat, which were bought and sold. The bushel in this verse represents the negative side of commerce, which is the love of money. The Lord does not want us to be consumed by the hunger for money. He that is hasty to be rich has an evil eye (Prov. 28:22), and this includes any means to get rich quick (e.g. gambling). The Lord’s way is for us to increase by labor, not by dishonest shortcuts (Prov. 13:11). There’s nothing wrong with commercialism, but having a love for money will put out your light just like the candle put under the bushel.

A candle is not meant to be put under a bushel.
A candle is not meant to be put under a bushel.

Under a bed” — The bed in this verse can represent laziness or sexual immorality. This represents how such sin destroys the light that God wants to shine forth in our lives.

“No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.”
— Luke 11:33 KJV

on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light” — Once God lights you up (e.g. He gives you a revelation that blesses your life), He wants to put you in a position of influence in the church where you can shine His light and glorify Him! You can also influence others to use their gifts to glorify Jesus.

An illustration of the menorah.
An illustration of the menorah.

“. . . and it giveth light unto all that are in the house
— Matthew 5:15 KJV

“. . . there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt . . .
. . . But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
— Exodus 10:22–23 NKJV

Not only will the church be blessed when you use your light to serve in God’s house, but your entire household will have light as well!

“. . . that they which come in may see the light.
— Luke 11:33 KJV

Our light will also shine as a testimony of God’s grace to those who are observing the church.

Pillar #3: Partaking of the holy Communion brings health and healing

Pillar #3: The holy Communion

The north of the tabernacle is where the table of showbread is found. The enemy that attacks the tabernacle from the north side is death and disease. The table of showbread is a picture of the Lord’s Supper. The holy Communion counters sickness and disease in our lives.

We have received many testimonies from people who have received healing through the holy Communion.

“For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner . . . not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.”
— 1 Corinthians 11:29–30 NKJV

When we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we are to partake of it worthily by discerning (1) that His blood has cleansed our sins and (2) that He took our diseases in His body (Isa. 53:5). If we discern this, we are partaking of the Lord’s body worthily and giving glory to Jesus, and we will not be weak, sick, or die before our time.

Pillar #4: Prayer brings peace in your family and relationships

Pillar #4: Prayer

The west of the tabernacle is where the altar of incense is found. The enemy attacks this side of the tabernacle with war and strife.

The altar of incense is a picture of prayer. We overcome strife and conflict in our lives through prayer! Instead of trying to convince people with our words in an argument, the wiser thing the Lord wants us to do is to pray. It’s hard to remain angry with someone when we pray.

“. . . in the teaching of the apostles, and in the fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers.”
— Acts 2:42 BLB

The prayers” — The definite article (“the”) shows that there is a specific prayer the early church focused on. This special prayer is tongues.

“And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.”
— Acts 19:6 NKJV

The prayer which the early church focused on was prayer in tongues! As we pray in tongues, strife will cease.

This pillar of prayer includes both praying in our known tongue and praying in the Spirit.

“Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
— Acts 6:7 NKJV

As the early church continued steadfastly in the four pillars of the church, the word of God spread greatly!

We need to continue prioritizing the word of Christ. Keep on listening to the apostles’ doctrine (new covenant teachings). The more we meditate on God’s Word, the more we will see His blessings manifest in our lives!

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

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Fractured shoulders
  • Injured toes

Salvation prayer

“Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love for me. Thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ, that You are giving to me right now. I confess the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior and my Lord. And I believe that Christ took all my sins and all my diseases on the cross. And I believe that You raised Him from the dead when I was acquitted when I was justified in Him. Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior now and forever. In Jesus’ name, thank You, Father, that I am saved. I am now Your child and I'm blessed with every blessing in heavenly places in Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Closing prayer

“This coming week, may the favor, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you and your family. And may the love of God, the love that saw our need even when we didn't think about Him. That love that loves you still and will love you forever. As Jesus has described, He will love you to the end. May the love of God and the sweet friendship and communion of the Holy Spirit be with you and your loved ones now and forevermore. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.”

OWN THE WORD (life application)

“Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in (1) the apostles’ doctrine and (2) fellowship, in (3) the breaking of bread, and in (4) prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.”
— Acts 2:41–43 NKJV

Of the four “pillars” Pastor Prince shared in this sermon, is there a specific one you feel the Lord moving your heart to start doing?

  1. Listen to preaching and teaching that reveal more about what our Lord Jesus has done for you at the cross and the benefits of being under the new covenant of God’s grace (His unmerited favor). Be protected from false teaching and the lies of the enemy that cause you to feel like God is against you or like you have to depend on yourself to meet every need in life.
  2. Get involved in a local church. If the Holy Spirit is moving you to start sowing into your church with your time, giftings, or finances, follow His leading. It is God’s ordained way to deliver much of His supply and blessings to you through the local church. Be planted and watered there. Be a blessing to others with what the Lord has given you.
  3. Partake of the holy Communion often. Remember Jesus—His death on the cross and what it has accomplished for you. Discern the bread as His body that was broken for your health and step into a new measure of wholeness.
  4. Bring everything to the Lord in prayer. Talk to the Lord about the challenges and conflicts you are facing. And pray in tongues, which empowers you to pray according to His will. As you pray, you’ll see conflicts resolved and peace flow into difficult relationships and situations.

This week, take the first step to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in practicing the above. He is positioning you to receive His best blessings!

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 2022
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.


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