These are notes on the sermon, Set Apart For Lasting Success, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 6 June 2021, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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Every time you listen to the preaching of God’s Word, know that He has a fresh word for you for your situation. The amazing thing about God's Word is that you can hear a personal word from the preached Word that is specially for your condition or circumstance.
On the Day of Pentecost, people from many different nations came to Jerusalem. When the disciples were baptized in the Holy Spirit, the Bible says that they were all praying in different languages and tongues at one time (Acts 2:11b NLT). Yet the various nationalities present heard the disciples speak the wonderful works of God in their own languages, meant specially for them. God can do the same for you as the preaching of the Word goes forth!
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
— Isaiah 55:11 KJV
“it shall not return unto me void” — Though man’s words may not come to pass, God’s words are powerful. His words never fail to come to pass. They accomplish what He intends and they prosper where they are spoken forth. As you listen to God’s Word, it shall come to pass in your life!
In addition, you don't have to wait until you apply what you have learned before seeing the results.
As God’s Word goes forth, He does His work and performs miracles.
“it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save (sózó) them that believe.”
— 1 Corinthians 1:21b KJV
“save” — The word “save” is the Greek word “sózó,” which not only means “to save from sin and death,” but is an all-inclusive word that also means “to deliver, make whole, restore, and prosper.”
“pleased God” — It pleases God that His Word goes forth via preaching to save, heal, and restore people.
While Paul was preaching in Lystra, a man who was lame from birth was listening and had faith to receive his healing. Paul ministered to him and he was healed (Acts 14:9–10 KJV). During the preaching of the Word, God often imparts ideas, words, visions, and revelations to the preacher, according to how He wants to move.
Pastor Prince shares that God spoke to him, saying that He is going to do amazing things for marriages and families in this season.
Expect miracles of restoration to happen in your family relationships. God is going to give you a brand new marriage, turning water into intoxicating wine and causing you to fall in love with each other again. This will all be because of the presence of the Lord in your marriage and family.
Pastor Prince shares a testimony from a lady in the United States whose children were raised in a Christian home. Her elder daughter left home and became caught up in a lifestyle of drugs, cults, and other inappropriate behavior, while her younger daughter began acting up in school, lying, and participating in harmful behavior. They both turned away from God and were putting themselves and their family in danger. However, this lady believed that despite her daughters’ behaviors and what they believed about themselves, they were still the righteousness of God in Christ. As she prayed for the protection, restoration, and deliverance of her daughters and the family, the Lord restored their relationships such that they became even better than before!
This mother kept on looking at her daughters through the eyes of love—the way God would view them. She did not see them as rebellious or hard-hearted, but instead focused on their identity as the righteousness of God in Christ, calling forth their righteousness.
Beloved, this is the key to seeing transformation and restoration in your family relationships—see and call forth what God sees in your loved ones!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
— 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
“Therefore” — The word “therefore” implies that becoming a new creation is a result of the preceding line.
“Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.”
— 2 Corinthians 5:16 NKJV
“we regard no one according to the flesh” — This phrase refers to people who have been born again. Even though they may have gone astray, we are still to view them as a new creation and not regard them in the flesh or “from a human point of view” (2 Cor. 5:16 RSV), but instead call forth what God sees.
“From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once regarded Christ from a human point of view, we regard him thus no longer.”
— 2 Corinthians 5:16 RSV
“even though we once regarded Christ from a human point of view” — The people in Jesus’ hometown were only able to see Him as the son of a carpenter (in the natural, from a human point of view (Mark 6:3)). They could not see Him as the Son of God who went about healing the sick and delivering people (Acts 10:38). As a result, Jesus could not do any miracles in that town (Mark 6:5 AMP).
It is important for us to view Jesus the way God wants us to view Him—not as a Rabbi or teacher, but as the Savior and Redeemer. Until we see Jesus as the “Sent One” to die for our sins (John 9:7 ISV), our blindness to His goodness will remain.
The Lord wants to save not just you, but your family members as well.
In Acts 16, we read about how Paul and Silas were imprisoned for preaching the gospel. God shook the prison cells and all the prisoners, including Paul and Silas, were set free. As a result, the jailer wanted to kill himself because he knew he would be blamed for it. However, Paul stopped the jailer and urged him, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31 KJV). The jailer later brought Paul and his friends back to his house, treated their wounds, and served them a meal. The Bible says that not only the jailer, but his entire household believed in God (Acts 16:34 NLT).
Once you believe in Jesus, there is now an open door in your family to be saved because of you. Your family members may not see that believing in Jesus is for their own benefit and blessing, or may even persecute or make fun of you for being a Christian. But child of God, know that because of you, there is now a big opening in your family for God to come in to bless and save every one of them.
“Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.”
— Genesis 7:1 NKJV
“you and all your household . . . you are righteous” — God's plan was not just to save Noah from the flood of judgment in the ark, but to save his entire family. Even though the Bible does not say that Noah’s entire family was righteous, but because Noah was righteous, God said that his entire family would be saved.
This does not mean that once you are saved, your entire family is automatically saved. They still need to make the personal decision to believe in Jesus. But it becomes easy for them to be saved because you are already saved, and so there is an open door for God to move in their lives and touch them.
During the ninth plague in Egypt, which was complete darkness, all the children of Israel experienced supernatural light in their dwellings (Exod. 10:23 NKJV). This was in spite of some of them being less obedient or even not remembering God anymore.
“For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising. ”
— Isaiah 60:2–3 NKJV
“darkness shall cover the earth” — The Bible says that during the last days, deep darkness will cover the earth, and the world will get darker and darker.
“But the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you” — Yet the Bible says that in the midst of this darkness, the glory of the Lord will rise upon you who are saved by the blood of Jesus. Kings and people in authority will come to the brightness of your rising (Isa. 60:3) and there will be a supernatural transfer of wealth from the world to believers (Isa. 60:5 KJV) during this time.
Just as God brought supernatural light to the children of Israel in their dwellings, He is bringing supernatural light to you and your family in this season. Even as we see the world around us getting darker and darker, we shall experience more and more of the Lord’s light.
“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings . . . ”
— Malachi 4:2 KJV
“the Sun” — The “Sun” here refers to Jesus. God is saying that unto those who fear His name, Jesus will shine so brightly on them that they cannot help but be healed.
Pastor Prince shares a testimony from a lady who experienced marital problems with her husband of seven years. She later discovered that he had been having an emotional affair and was preparing to leave her. In spite of immense hurt and suicidal thoughts, she prayed and asked the Lord to turn the situation around. As she watched videos of Pastor Prince's sermons, she felt God's love flowing through the preaching and began to declare her family restored and thank the Lord that the doors to infidelity were closed. Today, her marriage has been restored, her husband has ended his infidelity, and their love, trust, and respect for each other are growing deeper as they rebuild their relationship.
It is so important that we are listening to messages that proclaim the true God! While He is holy and righteous, the very being and essence of God is love. Love keeps on giving, supplying, and doing, and that is what being under grace is all about.
Although we are a new creation in Christ, all of us experience temptations and fleshly inclinations that rise up and cause us to fall into sin from time to time. How do we deal with these temptations?
Pastor recaps the truth he shared in last week’s sermon, The Key To Victorious Living, that we have died with Christ and have risen in Him.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”
— Romans 6:1-2 NKJV
“died to sin” — The people of the world are dead in sin, but we as believers are dead to sin. This means for us, sin is behind us.
Just as the children of Israel crossed over the Red Sea and saw their enemies dead behind them (Exod. 14:30), we are to see sin and our flesh dead behind us because we are on the other side of the cross of Jesus Christ!
“knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has
dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
— Romans 6:9–11 NKJV
“He died to sin once for all” — Christ died to sin once and for all. This cannot be repeated. If we say that we need to die daily to sin, we are saying that sin is still alive in our lives and flesh. However, the Bible says we have been crucified with Christ and our old man is dead (Rom. 6:6), completely and forever gone. The “old man” refers to our flesh, the part of us that is inclined to sin.
“Likewise” — God wants you to reckon yourself in the same manner that Christ died to sin. When God raised Jesus from the dead, you were raised in Him, in resurrection life as a new man. Child of God, God now identifies you in Christ.
A lot of the troubles in our married life and relationships with our loved ones are caused by the rising up of the flesh. This can be in the form of irritableness, pride, a fault-finding attitude, or being slow to praise and quick to criticize one another. Even lust and pornography will destroy a marriage as it will change a person and how they see their marriage.
Often it is not the big disagreements or fights that hurt family relationships, but rather the “little foxes that spoil the vine” (Song of Solomon 2:15). The vine, a place where wine is produced, speaks of joy. At the wedding in Cana, Jesus turned water into wine for newlyweds (John 2:1–10)—showing that His heart is for you to have a marriage full of joy.
God knows that it is the “little foxes” that are truly holding you back, causing you to experience defeat after defeat in your relationships. The good news is that God has crucified its source. That old “you” that you dislike, the old “you” that causes you to always be defeated, has been crucified at the cross and now you are to reckon it dead!
When the little foxes rise up in your life (irritability, short-temperedness, pride, etc.), just ignore them. You don’t even need to pray against them as to do so is to say they are still alive. Don't act on them because they are already dead!
Do you know how God sees you? He sees you as a royal prince or princess. Based on the Scriptures, the meaning of holiness is “to be set apart from common use.” The opposite of holiness is commonness. To be holy is to be set apart from the world.
To God, holiness (e.g. being faithful and loving toward your spouse), is not merely upholding religious behavior or attitudes. Instead, it is being set apart from the behavior of the world (Col. 3:1, 3). It is setting your affections on things above, heavenly things belonging to the King, and not things of the earth (Col. 3:2).
Child of God, it is beneath you to get irritated over every small thing. In fact, when you stop getting irritated over every small thing, you begin to look regal and royal.
This is not the same as a “holier than thou” attitude. Jesus was a Prince who stooped down and washed His disciples’ feet, yet never lost His princeliness. People never viewed Him as doing it out of a servile spirit, like a slave. He carried dignity and glory, yet was able to humble Himself to serve others.
We are to be set apart from the world in our speech, thoughts, behavior, and lives. Where the world is depressed, we have the peace of God. When the world is asking what will happen next, we know it shall be well because we have put our hand in the hand of the One who knows the future. We know that surely goodness and mercy will hunt us down all the days of our lives until we dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Ps. 23:6 KJV).
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? God forbid.”
— Romans 6:14–15 ASV
“for ye are not under law, but under grace” — You are not under the requirement of working, performing, and doing, but you are under grace. This means God is working, doing, and performing on your behalf.
Now that you are in Christ, death and judgment are behind you. Your sinful nature that loves to sin is dead and gone as far as God and faith are concerned. However, as far as human experience (what we can see) is concerned, it still seems alive. It is time to understand that we are to walk by faith and not by sight.
“Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.”
— Romans 6:11–12 NKJV
“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body” — Many people fail to look at the context of this verse when interpreting it. It is not up to your own efforts to stop sin from reigning in your life. The word “therefore” indicates that the way to disallow sin from reigning in your mortal body is to reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:11). This gives you the power and the right posture not to let sin reign in your mortal body.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants ye are whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
— Romans 6:16 ASV
It is important for us to know whose sin and whose obedience this verse refers to. Many people misinterpret it as referring to our own sin and obedience, which would mean that it is our obedience that produces righteousness, instead of Jesus’ obedience.
“For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.”
— Romans 5:19 NKJV
“one man's disobedience” — It is because of Adam’s disobedience that many were made sinners. You are not a sinner because you sin. It was Adam's sin that made you a sinner.
“one Man's obedience” — It is by our Lord Jesus Christ's obedience to lay down His life at the cross that many are made righteous. You are not righteous because you obey the Lord. You obey the Lord because you are righteous.
The consciousness of righteousness will always cause you to obey the Lord, even unconsciously. However, the enemy does not want you to see this truth because he wants you to think that it is your sin that brought death in your life, and it is your obedience that brings righteousness into your life. This wrong belief will cause you to try your hardest to avoid sin and obey the Lord out of your own efforts—and experientially, this will cause sin to manifest even more in your life.
Pastor Prince shares that when he was younger, he tried his best to obey God in every area of his life. He tried to surrender as much as he could to God by confessing all of his sins almost every day. Yet instead of feeling joyful and victorious in life, he was depressed and did not have peace nor the joy of the Lord.
All these actions point toward seeing your fleshly sinful nature as still being alive, which is the opposite of the truth that sin has died once and for all (Rom. 6:11). When sin rises up in you, you are to simply ignore it because it is dead. It appears alive but is actually a mirage because it is dead.
How can we become holy today?
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
— 2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV
“with unveiled face, beholding . . . the glory of the Lord” — We become holy by beholding Christ and looking at Him with unveiled face—a picture of being without the veil of the law in our lives.
Although Jesus was glorified on earth in His morals and character, that was still the glory of a man. He was not glorified until He died, rose again, went back to the Father, and was glorified by the Father at His right hand. Now Jesus is crowned with glory and honor, unlike when He was on earth, and this is the Christ we are to behold. As He is right now, glorified at the Father’s right hand, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17)!
“Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
— Acts 13:38–39 NKJV
“justified” — The word “justified” here is the Greek word “dikaioó,” which means to be “declared righteous.” Here, Paul was preaching that everyone who believes in Christ is made righteous by Him alone. Only when the gospel is preached the way Paul preached it—full, unqualified, and free—can people believe it. And when they believe the gospel, transformation within happens.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants ye are whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But thanks be to God, that, whereas ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered; and being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness.”
— Romans 6:16–18 ASV
“being made free from sin” — As the word “sin” here is a noun and not a verb, this phrase does not refer to being free from the act of sinning completely. Rather, it indicates that you are freed from the condition of sin. You are now in the condition of the righteousness of God.
“to whom ye present yourselves as servants unto obedience . . . whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness” — Here, Paul is asking people to decide whose teaching they want to obey—whether to believe you are still in the old Adam whose sin unto death has brought you in this condition, or to believe that Jesus' obedience has made you righteous. Paul uses the word “servant” to show that you cannot be set free by your own efforts from either Adam or Jesus.
Pastor Prince uses a picture of a prison exchange to illustrate this truth. You were once in a prison of sin because of Adam's sin and no matter how much you tried to do good or noble acts, nothing you did could change your status as a sinner. You were bound in that prison of sin.
The only way out of that prison was for you to die as a sinner and be resurrected in another prison. Now that you are in Christ, your new status is righteous before God because you have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. In the same way that you were unable to do anything to break out of the prison of sin, you are now a slave to this condition of righteousness. No matter what you do, you cannot undo your status of a righteous man who is holy in God's eyes.
Pastor Prince is by no means encouraging sin, but if the good things that you did in the past could not change your status as a sinner, then what makes you think that falling into sin here and there can undo your status as a righteous man in God’s eyes? If this is true, it means that Adam’s sin is more powerful than Christ’s finished work, so it cannot be true!
The more you are established in this truth, the more you will reign over sin.
“ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered” — The word “obedient” here is the Greek word “hypakouō,” made up of the words which mean “listening” and “under.”
What are you listening to? What teaching are you under? The more we talk about sin, the more we are glorifying it. But the more we talk about Christ, His righteousness, and our position in Him, the more we are glorifying Jesus for what He has done at the cross!
The devil twists the truth to make us self-occupied so that we don't see Christ anymore. Beloved, know that your righteousness is in heaven. Jesus is at the Father's right hand and your righteousness cannot be lost unless someone removes Him from the throne. And that will never happen!
Heavenly Father, I thank You for sending Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world to die on that cross for all my sins. I thank You that when He died on that cross, He bore in His body all my sins, and He was punished in my place. He cried, “It is finished!” All my sins finished at the cross. My forgiveness is complete. I'm forgiven—past, present, and future—of every sin. It is all finished at the cross. I thank You that when Christ rose from the dead, I rose in Him. Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior and He's my real self before You, Father. Thank You, Father God. Jesus Christ is my Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Pastor Prince prays for people with the following conditions:
This coming week, the Lord bless you with the blessings of father Abraham and the blessings of Deuteronomy 28. May all the spiritual blessings of Ephesians 1 manifest in your life this coming week, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord make His face to shine upon you, may He preserve and protect you and all your loved ones from the COVID-19 virus, from every sickness and disease, from every danger, from every harm, from all the power of the evil one in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord lift up His countenance on you, grant you supernatural favor everywhere you go. This coming week, favor attends your way. And the Lord grant to you and your families His wonderful shalom peace. I see light coming into your dwelling. Receive it in Jesus' name. Marriages turning around, hallelujah, hearts softening, forgiveness reigning. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
God is a family man. He loves families. Just as He made sure Noah’s entire family was safe from the flood (Gen. 7:1) and just as He made sure all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings in a time of darkness (Exod. 10:23), He wants to save, restore, heal, and bring light into your family life and relationships.
Friend, the Lord knows that when it comes to family, disappointment and hurt can run deep. He also knows that it is at home that we tend to see the worst parts of our flesh act up. Irritability, pride, fault-finding, and unforgiveness . . . so often, these are the “little foxes that spoil the vine” (Song of Sol. 2:15), the little things that eat away at our relationships and steal our joy.
But thank God—He has provided a way for us to break these sinful tendencies and bad habits, and instead live out our true nature in Christ.
Every time you see your flesh act up, reckon it dead. You are a new creation in Christ apart from your flesh. When you feel anger, hurtful words, or harsh criticism rising up, reckon it dead because that is the truth—your sinful nature has been crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:9–11). Know that you don’t need to react to these negative feelings because they are not the real you. Your identity is in the risen Christ, glorified and righteous forevermore.
Instead of tying yourself and resigning yourself to your fleshly tendencies and habits, choose to see yourself as Jesus is. Behold Him “as in a mirror” (2 Cor. 3:18) because God’s Word tells us that “as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). The more you behold Jesus by seeing Him in the Word or listening to sermons that unveil more of Him, the more you will experience the Holy Spirit in you transforming you from the inside out (2 Cor. 3:18)!
As you begin to believe right about yourself (that your true nature is in Christ) and believe right about your sinful tendencies (that they are dead because they have been crucified at the cross), the more you will experience victory in your thoughts and behavior, and the more you will experience the Lord bring restoration and success into your family life and relationships!
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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