These are notes on the sermon, Release His Glory In Your Life, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 1 August 2021, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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Today, we are continuing the sermon series on how to experience the Lord’s eternal, abundant life flowing into every area of your life.
God’s heart is for His people to possess eternal life. Eternal life (zóé life) does not just refer to living forever. It refers to the life God Himself lives by—His eternal, abundant life that you can experience right now, right here on earth. This zóé life includes wholeness, strength, and vitality for your entire being!
As believers, we don’t need to wait until the rapture, when our bodies will be transformed into glorified bodies like Christ’s, to enjoy God’s zóé life. We can enjoy eternal life the moment we believe in Jesus.
When the abundant life of Jesus flows in you, there will be moral excellence that flows out of you. This is the fruit of the Spirit.
Being born again means that our spirit man has been resurrected from our state of being dead toward God, and we are now alive in Christ. As believers, we are resurrected beings in an unresurrected body. While we are living in an unresurrected body (a natural body that can still experience weaknesses), we can pray and ask God for more of His zóé life that can quicken, strengthen, and bring life to our natural bodies!
“If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life . . . There is sin that leads to death . . .”
— 1 John 5:16 NIV
“pray and God will give them life” — We can pray and ask God to restore life in the area where death has come in.
When Jesus comes again, there will be a generation that will be alive and remain (1 Thess. 4:15). To be alive and remain denotes power, for it means that you know how to keep sickness and disease at bay, prolonging life itself.
There are more prophecies in the Old Testament about the times we’re now living in (that describe events all the way to the millennium) than about the first coming of Jesus. Based on Bible prophecy, we are the generation that will see Jesus, and God wants us to be alive and remain till Jesus comes for us!
Our position as believers is to look forward to the coming of our Lord Jesus instead of looking toward the grave. On that day, we will receive our glorified bodies that will never decay, never grow old or lose their strength, never feel tired or fall sick, and never get bored ever again. We can look forward to that (Phil. 3:20–21)!
We know that the rapture will happen soon because we are seeing many of the end-time prophecies happening (e.g. pestilences). When it comes to the COVID-19 virus, remember that God is not the one who sent the virus. This virus has just shown us how the wisdom of man can come to an end by something so small. This is how much we need the Lord’s hand of protection upon our lives. Every breath we take is from Him (Dan. 5:23).
Today we are learning about how to experience more of the abundant life the Lord came to give us (John 10:10)!
Today there are people who believe that God has only promised us a lifespan of 70–80 years. However, they get this idea from Psalm 90, which is a psalm written by Moses about the children of Israel in the wilderness when they were under God’s wrath.
“For all our days have passed in Your wrath;
We finish our years like a sigh.
The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Who knows the power of Your anger?
For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.”
— Psalm 90:9–11 NKJV
“seventy years . . . eighty years” — This scripture has been misinterpreted by many people who believe this is the limit to the length of years God promises them.
“Your wrath” — When we look at the context of this scripture, we can see that it is talking about the Israelites who were living under God’s wrath. They had refused to believe what God had said and instead believed the lies of the enemy, which resulted in them wandering in the wilderness. They were also under the law.
Before God gave them the law, no matter how much the Israelites murmured and complained, no one died. But at Mount Sinai, when the Israelites boasted in their ability to keep God’s law by telling God to bless them based on their obedience, everything changed. From then on, after the law was given, those who murmured and sinned died.
Psalm 90 is talking about people who were under the law, which is the old covenant. Today we are no longer under the old covenant of the law but we are under the new covenant of grace!
“Who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
— 2 Corinthians 3:6 NKJV
“ministers of the new covenant” — To be under the old covenant is to be under the law, and to be under the new covenant is to be under grace. It is important that we are people who are preaching the new covenant!
“the letter kills” — This refers to the law (the Ten Commandments) that was given on Mount Sinai, which was written and engraved on stones and regarded as the ministry of death (2 Cor. 3:7). When the law was given on Mount Sinai, 3,000 people died.
“the Spirit gives life” — On Mount Zion (known as the mountain of grace), when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, the Holy Spirit came upon the people and 3,000 people were saved! This is why the Bible clearly states that the letter kills but the Spirit gives life!
At Mount Sinai, people proclaimed their own good works. But on Mount Zion, people proclaimed the wonderful works of God (Acts 2:11)! The law is man-focused; grace is God-focused.
Praying in the Spirit
When you pray in tongues, you are magnifying God (Acts 10:46) beyond human grammar and vocabulary. You are also edifying every part of your being:
“He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself.”
— 1 Corinthians 14:4 KJV
“edifieth himself” — When you pray in tongues, it’s not only your spirit man that benefits from it but your entire being, including your soul and body. When you pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit builds up your spirit man, sending shalom peace to your soul realm and building up your physical body. This is one way the abundant life of God flows from your spirit to your soul and to your body!
The Bible states clearly that the ministry of death (the law) produces death, and we can see this to be true when we compare the lives of people who lived before the law and people who lived after.
The law was designed to shorten the life of evildoers and to stop the destruction they brought on others.
Because of Jesus, who came to fulfill the law for us, we are no longer under this curse if we fail to fulfill the law. Instead, we are now the righteousness of Christ when we believe in Him. The more we believe we are righteous in Christ and keep receiving His gift of righteousness, the more we will reign over sin and see His life produce the wonderful fruits of the Spirit in us.
“But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.”
— 2 Corinthians 3:6–9 NKJV
“the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones . . . ministry of condemnation” — The law is not about the observance of festivals (e.g. Passover) or the killing of sacrificial animals. The ministry of death and condemnation here refers to the Ten Commandments that were written and engraved on stones (the law).
“ministry of the Spirit . . . ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory” — Every believer is a minister. This term is not reserved for pastors and leaders. When we minister righteousness to people, we are telling them of their righteousness through Christ alone. When we proclaim that instead of ministering condemnation through the law, the Spirit gives life!
From the time of Adam to the time of Moses, the law had not yet been given. So even though sin had already come into the world because of Adam’s sin, people lived long lives when there was no law because sin and condemnation were not imputed to them (Rom. 5:13). There was one man called Methuselah, whose name means “death will be sent.” His name indicated that when he died, judgment would come. And God made Methuselah the longest-living man on earth—he lived longer than Adam, to an age of 969 years! This is how much God does not wish for any to perish.
When the Israelites came under the law, they came under God’s wrath, and their lives were cut short to 70–80 years (Ps. 90:10). This shows that being under the law brings in condemnation that kills and ultimately cuts short your life.
Before God gave the Ten Commandments, the people spoke with pride saying they could keep all of God’s law. Right after that, they brought out the golden calf (an idol) and worshipped it, which violated the first commandment. Although they had good intentions, they could not fulfill the law of their own accord because the law was designed to bring out sin (Rom. 5:20). We were never meant to fulfill the law. The law was given to show man’s need for God.
Today, because Jesus has fulfilled the law on our behalf, God sees us in Jesus’ righteousness. Jesus is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes (Rom. 10:4). We are not made righteous because of our own works, but we receive righteousness when we believe on Jesus. We are no longer under law, but under grace (Rom. 6:14)!
What is righteousness apart from works?
“. . . Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven . . . Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”
— Romans 4:7–8 KJV
“will not impute sin” — God will not impute sin to you today because of what Jesus has done for you at the cross. On the cross, God put all your sins on Jesus’ body and condemned Him. Because God is holy, He cannot punish the same sins that Jesus was already punished for. That is why God’s holiness is on your side today, demanding your acquittal and righteousness.
Even though we are under the new covenant today, there are some believers who are living with an old covenant mentality, with the wrong belief that God is out to get them for their sins. It’s important to know that we are to live life under the new covenant of God’s grace. It is God’s goodness that leads us to repentance!
As we have established, Psalm 90 was written about the Israelites under the law and under God’s wrath, and the result was that they had a shortened lifespan.
“For we have been consumed by Your anger,
And by Your wrath we are terrified.
You have set our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
For all our days have passed away in Your wrath;
We finish our years like a sigh.”
— Psalm 90:7–9 NKJV
While Psalm 90 gives us a picture of life under the law, the very next chapter, Psalm 91, gives us a picture of life under God’s grace! Psalm 90 describes people under the old covenant while Psalm 91 describes people under the new covenant.
“With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”
— Psalm 91:16 NKJV
“With long life I will satisfy him” — Here in Psalm 91, instead of the lifespan of 70–80 years (Ps. 90:10), God promises us a long life that is up to our individual satisfaction! Under grace, your lifespan depends on what you are satisfied with.
Psalm 91 begins like this:
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
— Psalm 91:1 NKJV
“the secret place of the Most High” — This is not an exclusive place for people who are especially close to God, neither is it something ambiguous. It is the secret place of being in Christ, in the Messiah. As believers, we are all in this secret place. Today we are “in Christ,” and this is the fulfillment of Psalm 91:1.
Faith is released when you declare God’s promises over your life. So speak forth the promise of Psalm 91. Just like God spoke the earth into existence, we too can speak forth this blessing of long life and expect it to happen!
In our church, we like to proclaim the blessing of long life over ourselves—that we will live to be 120 years old. This is also part of a blessing that the Jewish people confess over each other. But even this number of 120 was given as a judgment on man before the times of Noah and the flood that covered the earth (Gen. 6:3).
If a lifespan of 120 years was actually a judgment from God, this tells us that we can ask the Lord for more years of life—to our satisfaction—and not settle for less. If you’re believing God to live till 120, go for it! If you’re believing Him for an even longer life, go for it!
We are living in prophetic times. There are many prophecies being fulfilled in our generation. We know that after the rapture and the seven years of tribulation, there will come the millennial rule of Jesus Christ. But there are more prophecies about the times we’re living in now than prophecies about the coming of our Lord Jesus.
The Bible tells us clearly that there is a delay (2 Pet. 3:3–4) for the Lord is not coming as soon as expected. In these last days, the Bible prophesies that mockers will say, “Where is the rapture?” But as believers, we can be confident that it will happen, and it can happen anytime.
“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
— 2 Peter 3:8 NKJV
“one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” — God lives outside of time and space. God created time, and He is not bound by time. He lives in what can be described as the eternal present. This is why Jesus says, “I am the door” (John 10:9), “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11). Jesus didn’t say, “I will be,” or “I was,” but He said, “I am.”
When Lazarus had died and Jesus arrived at his grave, Lazarus’ sister, Martha, told Jesus that if He had been there (in the past), her brother would not have died (John 11:21). She also told Him that she believes her brother will rise again in the resurrection at the last day (in the future) (John 11:24). However, Jesus is the I AM. He told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).
Why does there seem to be a delay in the rapture?
The reason God is delaying Jesus’ coming is that He is not willing for any to perish (2 Pet. 3:9). He wants many more people to hear the gospel of grace and be saved. However, man needs to respond to Him of their own free will to be saved.
“After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.”
— Hosea 6:2 NKJV
“After two days” — With the Lord, a thousand years are like one day to Him (2 Pet. 3:8). When we look at the Gregorian calendar, we are in the year 2021, which signifies 2,000 years have passed since Jesus’ death at the cross. For God, it signifies that two days have passed since the death of His Son.
“On the third day” — We are the generation that has crossed the 2,000-year mark and are now on the third day. We know the third day is significant, for Jesus’ first miracle was done on the third day (John 2:1) at a wedding. And on the third day, there will be the marriage supper of the lamb—a marriage feast where Jesus is married to His bride, the church of Jesus Christ (us).
In John 4, Jesus met the Samaritan woman (a non-Jew/Gentile) by the well and revealed to her that He is the Messiah (John 4:26) though she was living in sin. This woman, whose life was changed after meeting Jesus, went on to tell everyone about Him (John 4:42).
“Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee.”
— John 4:43 NKJV
“after the two days” — During these two days, Jesus was among Gentiles. His main focus was on the Gentiles because Israel had rejected her Messiah (John 1:11–12). This portion of the story speaks of our times where for 2,000 years, the Lord has focused on the Gentile church. But despite Israel’s rejection, God has not forgotten His covenant with Israel. Now after 2,000 years, we are the generation that has seen Israel come back together as a nation after being scattered and despite all the odds being against them.
When Martha and Mary sent messengers to Jesus to inform Him that their brother, Lazarus, was dying, Jesus didn’t get up immediately and go to them. The Bible tells us that because He loved them, he stayed “two more days in the place where He was” (John 11:5–6).
The same way Jesus had a special love for Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, He has a special love for us. While God loves the whole world, He loves His church specially. Believers are loved with a special love, which is greater than the love God has for the world.
By the time Jesus went to Judea, Lazarus had died. However, the reason Jesus delayed His arrival by two days was so that He could reveal a greater measure of God’s glory.
“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to Him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’”
— John 11:23–26 NKJV
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” — This portion refers to believers who have died and also the rapture generation who will not die.
“whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” — This portion is a prophecy about the generation that will experience the rapture and will never die, and we believe this is the generation we are in!
We go back to 2 Corinthians:
“But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones (‘lithos’) was glorious . . .”
— 2 Corinthians 3:7 NKJV
“stones (‘lithos’)” — Notice the specific Greek word used for “stones” here. There are many Greek words in the Bible that refer to stones or rocks, but the specific word “lithos” is used here to describe the Ten Commandments (the law).
This word “lithos” also appears in Lazarus’ story:
“Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone (‘lithos’) lay against it.”
— John 11:38 NKJV
The Gospel of John is a book of signs. The stories in this gospel carry meanings beyond what just happened. More than just the event itself, God wants us to see what the event is showing us.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone (‘lithos’).” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”
— John 11:39–40 NKJV
“Take away the stone (‘lithos’) . . . you would see the glory of God” — The stone here was standing between Jesus and Lazarus. In a way, it was “blocking” the miracle. Before Jesus commanded Lazarus to come forth, He commanded for the stone to be removed. This is a picture of how in these last days, God wants the stone—the law, the Ten Commandments—rolled away from His church. As long as the stone is not rolled away from the church, the church cannot see the glory of God.
We cannot see the glory of the Lord if we’re living life condemned by the law, preaching and sharing the law, or even mixing grace and the law (because you will end up losing both). Before you see the glory of God in your life, in your health, in your family and relationships, you’ve got to roll away the law.
In John 11:39, Jesus didn’t roll away the stone in front of Lazarus’ tomb by Himself. This shows us that the ministry of rolling away the stone (removing the law) has been given to us to do. When we roll away the stone, the glory of God will resurrect dead areas and flow freely into our lives and into the lives of our loved ones—and we will see them glorious, beautiful, alive, and healthy!
We are talking about removing the law from the church. We are not talking about removing the law from people who are not born again, people who are unrighteous, people who are dead in sin. For a world with unrighteous men, they need the law to help upkeep morality and it is right and good for governments to uphold the law.
If the law is removed from people who are not born again, people who are spiritually dead, we will just see the results of stinking flesh. Sin will be rampant. But when the law is removed from people who are spiritually alive, that’s when the resurrection life and glory of God can be seen! For the church, for those of us who are righteous in Christ, the law is only hindering the life of the Spirit in us! When you roll the stone away from people who are born again, life will come forth and the glory of the Lord will flow into their lives for all men to see.
When Jesus looked into Lazarus’ tomb, He said, “Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11:43). When Lazarus came forth, he was still bound in graveclothes (John 11:44), so there was no way he could have walked out on his own. This means Jesus’ power had levitated Lazarus and brought him forth. This is a picture of how our bodies will come forth during the rapture in future.
“And he who died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him, and let him go.’”
— John 11:44 NKJV
“graveclothes . . . Loose him, and let him go” — These graveclothes signify bad habits, signs of death, and the sinful habits that people who are born again may still harbor. That is why we have a ministry of righteousness to carry out—we want to help our brothers and sisters in Christ through the preaching of the true gospel! The more the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness are preached, the more the graveclothes will fall off and the resurrection life of Christ will be seen!
There are no insignificant names in the Bible, and many times, discovering the meanings of names in a story will help you bring out the treasures that are hidden in the context of that story. The Hebrew name for “Lazarus” is “Eliezer,” which means “helper.”
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper (‘Eliezer’) . . .”
— John 14:16 NKJV
“Helper (‘Eliezer’)” — When Jesus was in the upper room, He promised His disciples that He would send them a Helper. The Hebrew word for “Helper” in this verse is the name “Eliezer.” This Helper here is referring to the Holy Spirit, the One called alongside to help us.
In Lazarus’ story, Lazarus can be seen as a picture of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit wants to manifest in your life, and the only thing that hinders Him from doing so is the stone of the law. We need to roll away the stone!
“Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they said among themselves, ‘Who will roll away the stone (‘lithos’) from the door of the tomb for us?’ But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large.”
— Mark 16:2–4 NKJV
“stone (‘lithos’) . . . for it was very large” — The word used for the stone that was rolled away from Jesus’ tomb is also “lithos,” and this stone was very large. In this situation, Jesus Himself rolled away the stone, signifying that it is only through Him and His finished work that we can roll away the stone (the law) from our lives. Today we continue rolling away the stone by believing, speaking, and sharing the true gospel of what He has done for us!
Jesus being tempted by the devil in the wilderness
Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones (‘lithos’) become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
— Matthew 4:3–4 NKJV
“stones (‘lithos’)” — In this verse, we see the devil tempting Jesus, the Son of God. Satan came to Jesus with stones and told Him to command the stones to become bread. The word for “stones” here is also “lithos.” In other words, the devil was telling Jesus to find nourishment from the law.
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” — In response, Jesus said that we are to live by the proceeding word of God. Specifically, the word of God Jesus was referring to was the word He had just heard at the Jordan River before He was tempted. In the Jordan River, God the Father opened heaven to Jesus and said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:16–17).
“If You are the Son of God” — Notice that in the devil’s temptation, he intentionally left out the word “beloved.” This is because the devil has no defense against those who know they are God’s beloved!
It is so important we live life with the assurance and strength of knowing that we are God’s beloved son or daughter.
When you know you are your Father’s beloved, you will be like David (whose name means “beloved”) who defeated Goliath. You will become a giant slayer, confronting your challenges and overcoming them.
Pastor Prince encourages parents to tell their children often that they are loved. You can discipline and correct them, but regardless of their performance, don't ever take away the affirmation that they are your beloved. When children grow up loved, they will go out and win in the fight of life.
Every day, practice being conscious of your heavenly Father’s love for you (this is how to practically put yourself under the new covenant of grace) instead of being conscious of the lie that God is angry with you because you’ve not done enough (this is putting yourself under the old covenant of the law). The strength of sin is the law (1 Cor.15:56). But when you are conscious of God’s love for you, you will see His abundant life flowing into every area of your being.
“Heavenly Father, I thank You that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins and He removed my old status of a sinner forever. I thank You that Jesus Christ is my Lord and You raised Him from the dead because I was declared righteous in Him. Thank You, Father God, that all my sins are forgiven and I am a brand-new creation in Christ. Jesus Christ is my Lord. Hallelujah. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
“This coming week, the Lord bless you with the blessings of father Abraham. The Lord bless you with the blessings of Deuteronomy 28, and the Lord bless you with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ. May they manifest this week in your life, in your family’s lives. The Lord keep you and your loved ones throughout this week. The Lord keep you and preserve you, protect you and your loved ones from the COVID-19 virus, from every infection, from every disease, from every danger and from all the power of the evil one through the blood of Jesus Christ. The Lord lift up His countenance on you, smile on you, be favorable to you. May God cause His favor to abound in your life throughout this week. May you see the manifestations of that favor like never before. This week, the Lord lift up His countenance and grant to you and your families His shalom peace, well-being, and wholeness in every part of your body. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And all the people said, 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 2021
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.
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