These are notes on the sermon, Release The Power Of The Spirit With This Truth, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 28 June 2020, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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God’s Word is what is most precious in our lives.
There was a time in Israel where there was a famine not of food or water, but a famine of hearing the words of God (see Amos 8:11–13).
Just because we tune in to a Christian broadcast does not mean we are listening to the Word of God. Make sure you listen to the Word of God that is being expounded in its context. That is the Word that feeds, heals, saves, restores, and prospers.
Pastor Prince believes that even as the Word is preached, you will hear the word that will set you free, bring health and healing to your flesh, and start the process of restoration in your life.
“ . . . The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
But the word of the Lord endures forever.”
— 1 Peter 1:24–25 NKJV
The word that endures forever is the word of the gospel.
Pastor Prince shares a powerful testimony from a lady in China about God’s abundant provision and protection for her family in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of us can identify with the challenges that this lady shared in her testimony. During this time, there are many who are worried about the future because job prospects seem dim. The world projects that things will get worse but with God taking care of us, we can believe for the very reverse to happen.
During times of darkness, God’s people can prosper. Time and time again we see this happen in the Bible. Isaac, who sowed in famine, reaped a harvest in the same year (see Gen. 26:12). During the seven years of famine in Egypt, Joseph, because of the wisdom that God gave him, caused the people of Egypt to prosper (see Gen. 41:54).
It might look bleak in the natural, but put your trust in the Lord and in His wisdom. We are people who walk by faith, not by sight. Don’t be too engrossed with the news of the world. God’s people will go through famine and come out better than before.
Recap of last week’s message: Pastor Prince talked about the revelation of our forgiveness in Christ and its importance in our lives. Oftentimes, this truth remains as something we know in our heads but don’t really believe in our hearts.
The forgiveness of our sins is not something we only need to know at the beginning of our Christian walk when we accept Christ into our hearts. The forgiveness of sins is the very foundation of our belief. We never graduate from understanding and appreciating this truth.
No matter how much you grow spiritually, you still have the flesh in you (the part of you with sinful desires, the part of you that still sins). Even the most spiritually mature, like the apostle Paul, still had to deal with the flesh daily.
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing . . . ”
— Romans 7:18 KJV
But the good news is this: Because we are in Christ Jesus, God doesn’t see us in the flesh anymore.
We have the flesh and it will be a part of us until we see Jesus face to face, but the flesh is not us. It is not who we are. God doesn’t see us in the flesh, so we should not tie our identity to the flesh either.
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you . . . ”
— Romans 8:9 KJV
God doesn’t identify you in the flesh; God identifies you in the Spirit. And in the Spirit, you are the righteousness of God in Christ; you are a new creation!
That doesn’t mean you will not have wayward thoughts and sinful desires anymore (that is part of the flesh). But know that even when you do, you don’t have to identify ourselves with them. We are to judge our behavior by our standing, and our standing before God is that we are the righteousness of God in Christ now and forevermore.
Never judge your standing according to your behavior. Your standing before God doesn’t fluctuate depending on what you do or don’t do. God doesn’t see as man does. Man sees with limitations but God sees beyond human limitations, and what He sees is most accurate. What He sees is reality.
So often, we are ensnared in the realm of the visible and we identify ourselves with what we can see. But God doesn’t see the way we do.
See as God sees! The more you see yourself as a new creation, completely forgiven of all your sins in Jesus Christ, the more sin loses its power over you (Rom. 6:14).
How do we practice seeing as God sees?
Even if you had a bad day and you feel as if you have fallen, let the feelings pass. You don’t have to dwell on them. Remember that when God deals with you, He deals with you as if you never sinned before because He sees you righteous in Christ.
Knowing this will not make you want to sin more, but it will cause you to fall in love with Jesus more and live above sin effortlessly.
“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”
— Romans 4:6–8 KJV
We are living in light of what Jesus has done for us at the cross. Today, we enjoy the blessings of our sins being forgiven, knowing that the Lord will not impute sin to us.
It isn’t because God has gone soft or compromised on His holy standards. The word “impute” means to credit to an account, to assign a value to it. Today, God does not impute sin to us because He imputed all our sins to Jesus Christ at the cross, and He credited Jesus’ righteousness to our accounts.
“Shall not impute sin” — The phrase “shall not” in the Greek is a double negative. Never will God ever impute sin to you.
Will this produce a life of carelessness and licentious acts?
Definitely not! Instead, it will draw you closer to God. It frees you to draw near to Him without fear. How wonderful is it to be in the presence of someone who doesn’t look at your faults? Instead, He sees the best in you.
One way the Lord loves us is by seeing us in the Spirit, not in our flesh.
In our daily lives, we will still experience the springing up of sinful desires. It happens to the greatest saints of them all, but we are not to harp on it and dwell on it. We don’t have to obey and submit to the desires. The flesh is in all of us but we are not the flesh.
Choose to acknowledge the right thing. The more you acknowledge yourself in the flesh, the more you will act out in your flesh. The more you choose to acknowledge yourself in the Spirit, being forgiven and righteous in Christ, the more you will become like Jesus.
God’s Word encourages us to see the people around us in the Spirit as well; see fellow believers as righteous in Christ (see 2 Cor. 5:16–17). Acknowledge them in the Spirit for that is how God sees them.
Likewise, practice this in your marriage. If you acknowledge your spouse’s flesh, their flesh will acknowledge your flesh, and this becomes a vicious cycle. Learn to see your husband or your wife the way God sees them—a new creation, righteous in Christ.
This does not cause people to sin more. As we learned in last week’s message, the one who knows he is forgiven much will love much.
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness . . . For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”
— 2 Peter 1:5–9 NKJV
We all want to be morally excellent, to possess godly character traits like virtue, self-control, and perseverance. Yet many times, we find ourselves lacking.
The Bible puts it simply: we lack these godly attributes because we have forgotten that we have been forgiven, that we have been cleansed.
Therefore the converse is also true: when we are conscious that we have been forgiven for all our sins—past, present, and future—we will not live a licentious life but instead live holy lives effortlessly.
There are those who preach strongly on morality, love, and self-control, yet without realizing that they are just the fruits of the gospel of Jesus. Preaching the gospel will produce the highest form of moral excellence. The heavenly character of Christ will be seen in those who hear and believe.
“for he with whom these things are not present is blind, dim-sighted, having become forgetful of the cleansing of his old sins;”
— 2 Peter 1:9 YLT
“blind, dim-sighted” — People who have forgotten that they are forgiven are seen as blind and dim-sighted. We see this in the Old Testament. The reign of the judges ended with blindness (with Samson). The reign of the kingship of Judah ended with blindness (with King Zedekiah).
All the ills of mankind are the outward manifestation of the lack of the gospel being preached. Moral excellence and godly attributes are all results of the gospel being preached. They are fruits of the Spirit.
Just preaching self-control will not produce self-control. Simply preaching kindness will not produce kindness. It is only through preaching and believing the gospel of Jesus Christ and unraveling the beauty of the altogether lovely One, Jesus, that we will see people living out the highest form of moral excellence in their lives.
In Acts 10, we see Peter preaching to the Gentiles. This is the first time ever that the gospel is being preached to non-Jews.
“To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.”
— Acts 10:43–44 ESV
It was when Peter shared about the “forgiveness of sins through his name” that the Holy Spirit fell. When the people heard this word and believed, the Holy Spirit fell. In the original Greek language, the word “fell” actually means “embraced.”
Notice that there is no record here that the people in Cornelius’ house repented or went through any religious exercise in order to receive the Holy Spirit. Peter only spoke about the unconditional offer of the forgiveness of sins when the Holy Spirit fell. Cornelius’ and his house simply believed that they had been forgiven through Jesus Christ.
When the headquarters of Jewish believers in Jerusalem heard about what had happened at Cornelius’ house, they summoned Peter because the gospel had never gone to the Gentiles before. Here, Peter recounts what happened:
“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”
— Acts 11:15–18 ESV
While the word “repentance” is never used in the entire account of what happened at Cornelius’ house, when the Jewish leaders heard Peter’s account, they concluded that it was an act of “repentance that leads to life.”
Repentance is not about outward acts of contrition. Repentance simply means to change your mind. If repentance is based on human works and effort, it is not a lasting work and it will not produce the fruits of the Spirit.
Later on in Acts 15, Peter once again brings up what happened at Cornelius’ house.
“And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.”
— Acts 15:7–9 NKJV
As Peter recounts what happened, he says that God purified their hearts by faith.
“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,”
— 2 Thessalonians 2:13 NKJV
“through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” — A man’s heart is not purified by keeping the commandments or the law. A man’s heart is purified by faith, by simply believing and attesting to the integrity of God’s Word.
Everything begins with the heart. If your heart is pure even though your actions are not, your actions will line up with your heart soon enough. If you perform moral acts but your heart isn’t pure, these outward good works will not last.
It is the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ that produces fruit like self-control (see Gal. 5:22–23).
The only way for us to grow spiritually is to grow in the soil of grace. The soil of the law will not do. Grow in grace and put your trust in grace. Grace is who God is to you; He is the One who makes you righteous, who blesses you.
Law demands. Grace supplies. Law demands from spiritually bankrupt men saying, “You shall . . . You shall . . . You shall . . . ” but under grace, under the new covenant, God says, “I will . . . I will . . . I will . . . ”
Pastor Prince encourages the leaders and pastors listening: God isn’t demanding from you, He knows your flesh but God is telling you, “I am your supply.” Acknowledge His supply!
When God gave the Ten Commandments at the foot of Mount Sinai, 3,000 people died. But on another mountain, Mount Zion, God gave His Spirit and 3,000 people were saved.
The letter kills but the Spirit gives life!
Today, we live under the new covenant of God’s grace. The prophet Jeremiah prophesied in Jeremiah 31 about the new covenant:
“And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
— Hebrews 10:15–17 ESV
The threefold clause of the new covenant:
All these are possible because of this final clause:
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
— Hebrews 8:12 NKJV
It will be unjust for God to punish our sins in the body of Jesus Christ and to punish it again in our bodies. Because Jesus has once and for all atoned for our sins, God will not remember our sins anymore. Instead, we get to enjoy all the blessings and the benefits of the new covenant He has cut with us!
Joseph is one of the clearest types of Jesus in the Old Testament. Like Joseph, Jesus was loved by the Father but rejected by His Jewish brothers. Like Joseph, Jesus was betrayed by His own. Although he was rejected by his own, Joseph became a blessing to Egypt. Similarly, although Jesus was rejected by His own, Jesus became a blessing to the Gentile nations of the world who have accepted the gospel.
There came a time when Joseph’s father, Jacob, passed away. Joseph’s brothers became terrified that now that their father was gone, Joseph would unleash his wrath on them for rejecting and betraying him all those years ago. This is what happened:
“ . . . 'Thus you shall say to Joseph: "I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you." 'Now, please, forgive the trespass of the
servants of the God of your father." And Joseph wept when they spoke to him . . . Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.”
— Genesis 50:15–21 NKJV
The brothers never actually believed that Joseph forgave them, and Joseph wept when he realized this.
What made Joseph weep back then is the same reason our Lord Jesus weeps today: when His brothers (a picture of believers today) do not believe that He has forgiven them.
Do you ever entertain the thought that Jesus only forgave you partially?
Friend, when you don’t really believe that the Lord has truly forgiven you of all your sins, it grieves His heart because He loves you and He fully paid for your forgiveness.
If you cannot believe you have been forgiven, you cannot believe the Lord for healing. You cannot believe that God will provide for you if you still believe that maybe there’s something you haven’t done enough to earn His forgiveness.
His forgiveness is a gift!
“I will provide for you and your little ones” — Unless we believe that all our sins are forgiven, we won’t have the faith to believe that God will provide for us in this time. The truth of the forgiveness of our sins in Christ is crucial. It is not just for the beginning of our Christian lives, it is the foundation and the source of all our blessings.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgive all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,”
— Psalm 103:1–3 NKJV
Without believing that the Lord has forgiven all our iniquities, we cannot fully believe that He is the Lord who will heal all our diseases.
The Lord can be grieved when we forget we have been completely forgiven in Christ. By the same token, when we believe that all of our sins have been forgiven in Christ, the Lord is gladdened.
The Lord is so pleased when you are secure in the fact that your sins have been fully forgiven!
And when you know that you have been forgiven much, you will also love the Lord much.
Pastor Prince prays for the following conditions:
Pastor Prince leads the congregation to pray this prayer:
“Lord Jesus, I thank You that You are my righteousness and You are my holiness.
Father God, I thank You that when You see me, You always see me in the Spirit, my true identity, which is eternal. You see me righteous in Christ. You see me holy and blameless. And I thank You, Father, that old things have passed away and all things in me have become new. Father God, I thank You. And teach me Father, and remind me when temptations come that I am not that temptation, I am not the flesh, that is not the real me. Father, give me the grace to know there and there, Lord, to identify myself as I really am in Your eyes, Father. Thank You, Father God.
Father, I thank You that all my sins are forgiven through the blood of Jesus.”
“The Lord bless you and your families this coming week. The Lord bless you with the blessings of father Abraham, the blessings of Deuteronomy 28—blessed coming in, blessed going out, blessed in all that you set your hand on to, blessed is the fruit of your body, your children are blessed. Amen. Your enemies come against you one way and flee before you seven ways. The Lord will make you the head and not the tail. You'll be above only, and not beneath even during this time, the blessing is not dependent on the times. You are blessed. The Lord keep you and your loved ones, your families, throughout this week, the Lord preserve you, protect you through His blood from the COVID-19 virus, from every infection, from every sickness, from all the powers of darkness.
In the name of Jesus, the Lord preserve you and your loved ones from all evil. The Lord make His face shine on you, grant you supply, supplying you always with His favor everywhere you go. When you're without a job, in Jesus' name, favor is coming your way to produce a job for you. Amen. Don't be afraid to send in that email for that job. Be bold, be courageous. Make the interview even online. Amen. For God's favor is with you. The Lord lift up His countenance on you and grant to you and your families His shalom wellbeing, wholeness, and peace in the name of Yeshua Hamashiach our Lord Jesus Christ, our heavenly Joseph, 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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