These are notes on the sermon, Stand On Favor Ground, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 4 April 2021, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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Today, on Resurrection Sunday, we remember and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Your heavenly Father loves you. The greatest demonstration of His love was at the cross 2,000 years ago when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for you.
But Jesus didn’t just die for us on the cross—He rose again from the grave on the third day and that is the reason we can celebrate today.
The resurrection of Christ brought an end to all that the old creation brought (sin, disease, the curse, and death), and it marked the beginning of the new creation—a life that is full of the resurrection life of Christ.
“who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.”
— Romans 4:25 NKJV
“delivered up because of our offenses” — The reason for Jesus being delivered up was because of our sins. God did not send His Son not knowing He was going to die. God knew that He was sending His Son to the cross to die for our sins and He did it because of love.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
— John 3:16 NKJV
It’s God’s love that motivated Him to send His Son to die on the cross for us. The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23 KJV) and God is not willing that any should perish (2 Pet. 3:9).
The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life (Rom. 6:23). When death entered, disease and sickness also entered with it, but this was never God’s plan for man. God did not create man to have disease in their bodies or to grow old and die. In fact, God considers death an enemy (1 Cor. 15:26).
Sickness, disease, and death came as consequences of the choice that Adam made in the Garden of Eden. Man chose to sin against God and as a result, man was separated from God.
But God prophesied the coming of Christ who would reconcile man to God again.
This day, 2,000 years ago, Jesus conquered death for us so we could have eternal life in Him. He who did no sin, knew no sin, and had no sin took our place on the cross and was cursed and judged by God. This had to happen for our salvation because God is just, and He cannot bypass sin. God hates sin but He loves the sinner, and that is why He had to send His Son to judicially meet His judgment.
When Jesus was crucified, it was midday, when the sun should be the brightest, but the Bible says darkness covered the earth (Mark 15:33). Midday became midnight so that Jesus could bear all the darkness and suffering meant for us, pay the price we should have paid, so that we can walk free and completely forgiven today.
“who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.”
— Romans 4:25 NKJV
“raised because of our justification” — We must understand why Jesus died and why Jesus was resurrected. He died at the cross because of our offenses, and He was raised from the dead because of our justification. When Jesus cried “Finished!” at the cross, the work was truly finished. He rose from the grave without our sins, without the curse, and without God’s judgment. He was raised because of our justification.
No good deed or action can ever cause us to be justified before God. All our best efforts will never bring us close to God’s standard of perfection. All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23). There was no way we could have attained or arrived at perfection but Jesus—perfection personified—took our place at the cross.
“who was delivered up because of our offences, and was raised up because of our being declared righteous.”
— Romans 4:25 YLT
“raised up because of our being declared righteous” — If God did not raise Jesus, it means that we are not yet declared righteous (1 Cor. 15:17 ESV). Jesus’ resurrection is proof that today, we are acquitted. We are righteous. Today we have the full assurance that we stand in the place of righteousness!
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”
— Romans 5:1 NKJV
“who was delivered up because of our offences, and was raised up because of our being declared righteous. Having been declared righteous, then, by faith, we have peace toward God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”
— Romans 4:25–5:1 YLT
Jesus took upon Himself all our sins and the punishment for our sins so that we can be completely forgiven and have peace with God.
When you have peace with God, you can look forward to the future with hope, knowing that God is not angry with you. He is on your side and He is for you! Even when troubles come your way, you can have the assurance that He will cause all things to work together for your good.
Let us actively possess and enjoy this peace with God that Jesus has purchased for us!
Grace is God’s unmerited, unearned favor. Today, through Jesus’ finished work, we have permanent access to God’s unmerited favor and it is by faith that we possess it.
“through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
— Romans 5:2 NKJV
“by whom we have also access by faith into this favour in which we stand . . . ”
— Romans 5:2 DARBY
Today, you have the right to stand on favor ground. There is a ground of favor with your name on it that Jesus has paid for you to own. Are you just satisfied with just having your name on it, or do you want to possess and experience it? Do you want to really see the favor of God translate into every area of your life?
God wants you to possess His favor in every area of your life. In whatever you do, do it knowing you have the favor of God and knowing it manifests in the most practical and tangible ways.
Here are three declarations you can say over yourself every day to possess favor by faith:
Through Jesus, we have access by faith into God’s favor. Jesus paid the price for us to stand on favor ground and to have favor with God.
Now that we have been declared righteous, we are in the same position as Jesus is, and Jesus stands under God’s unclouded favor. The same favor that He experiences is what we get to experience today (1 John 4:17).
“That is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
— 2 Corinthians 5:19–21 NKJV
Even when Jesus was walking on earth, He went around demonstrating God’s goodness everywhere He went (Acts 10:38 KJV). Jesus dispensed God’s healing and miracles freely. From this we can see that He doesn’t just answer prayers—He always answers exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or think (Eph. 3:20).
God wants you to be in a position of rest to receive His blessings. God is a giver, not a taker. His desire is that you take from Him. Let Him give to you and after you have received from Him, give and serve out of that overflow.
Under the old covenant of the law, man has to work and strive in order to receive but under the new covenant of grace, our part is to rest and let the Lord work in you, through you, and for you. That is why we can say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13)!
God can do great miracles with the little we may have in our hands.
In 2 Kings 4:2–7, the prophet Elisha meets a poor widow who was at her wits’ end after her husband had passed away and left her in great debt. Elisha then asked her what she had in her house, and she replied that all she had was a jar of oil.
Similarly, in Exodus 4, God asked Moses what was in his hands. All Moses had was a rod (Exod. 4:2) and God used that to perform many miracles through him.
Today, God is asking you, “What do you have in your hands?”
Elisha told the widow to gather as many empty vessels as she could and pour that last jar of oil into them. As long as she was pouring the oil out, the supply never ceased.
There is a lesson for us to learn here. As children of God (no longer children of Adam), we stand on favor ground. That means we don’t operate within the limitations of the world. For the people of the world, when they pour out or give of themselves, they get depleted and tired. But when you pour out what you have to the Lord, when you serve Him, you find that you have more than you started with. The more you give the Lord your time, energy, love, and money, the more will be given back to you. That is what it means to be on favor ground.
Miraculously, the widow’s jar of oil kept flowing. The supply of oil only ceased when the widow had no more vessels left to pour into (2 Kings 4:6). She was the one who limited God’s supply.
The same prophet Elisha, nearing his death, came to Joash, the king of Israel at that time. He came to Joash with a bow and some arrows and instructed the king to strike the ground with them for they were God’s arrows of deliverance for Israel. When Joash only struck the ground three times, Elisha was enraged, saying, “You should have struck five or six times” (2 Kings 13:19). Because the king only struck the ground three times, he only had three victories over his enemies. The king limited God.
Likewise in Psalm 78:41b, it was the children of Israel who limited God and His miracles. God had so much more to shower upon them but they placed a limit on Him.
Today, God’s favor toward you is unlimited. The Lord is always blessing you, pouring out His supply, and equipping you, and He wants to do so much more in you and through you.
Pastor Prince reminds the congregation to pray Ephesians 1:17-21 every day—something he has told us to do from the beginning of the year:
“the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is (1) the hope of His calling, what are (2) the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is (3) the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe . . . which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand . . . far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.”
— Ephesians 1:18–21 NKJV
“the hope of His calling” — We were all born with a purpose. Every part of us was designed for the calling that God has for us. You have a calling in life that only you can fulfill.
“the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” — It takes a revelation, our inner eyes to be opened, to see these things (the hope of His calling and the riches of glory). We awake to these things not by study or works, but through prayer.
What we are focusing on today is the third part of this prayer:
“the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe . . . which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead” — This prayer in Ephesians 1 (to have the eyes of our understanding being enlightened) helps us know the resurrection power that God worked in Christ that raised Him from the dead. The Greek words used in this statement all speak of God’s power.
This is because when God raised Christ from the dead, we were also raised in Him (Col. 3:1).
“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
The new, born-again you has been raised from the grave. You are now seated in Christ at God’s right hand, far above all principality, power, might, dominion, and every name that is named (Eph. 1:20–21). Whatever you are challenged with right now, if it has a name, God has raised you far above it.
When God made Christ sit down at His right hand, we who are in Him sat down as well (Eph. 2:6). Being seated is a picture of rest. In the Old Testament, the priests who ministered in the tabernacle never sat down because their work was never finished. But Jesus sat down because His work is finished and today, we are seated in Him. We rest in His finished work.
“ . . . expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.”
— Hebrews 10:13 KJV
“expecting” — Jesus has a throne attitude, which is to sit down and expect His heavenly Father to bring all the defeated enemies under His feet. This is the same posture and attitude that we are to have today. Sit down (have an inward posture of rest) and expect your enemies to be put under your feet.
When it comes to the challenge you’re facing right now, know that they have all been defeated at the cross, and expect your heavenly Father to bring them under your feet because you are in Christ.
“And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,”
— Ephesians 1:22 NKJV
“all things” — Today, because of Jesus’ finished work, God has put you in Christ, and you are seated in Him. All things have been put under your feet!
No one sees reality the way God does. Our eyes can play tricks on us this side of heaven but true sight comes from the Lord. God’s perspective of you is that you are seated in Christ far above all things. The more you believe it and rest in that truth, the more you will experience it practically in your life.
“God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.”
— Ephesians 1:22 NLT
“head over all things for the benefit of the church” — We will see all these enemies come under Jesus’ feet for the benefit of the church. The church is not a physical building. The church is made up of many members of the body of Christ.
Jesus has all power, and the devil has none. All authority is given to Jesus for the benefit of the church. As long as two believers come together and believe, all the power of heaven is at their disposal.
When we fail to see what Jesus’ resurrection means for us, we end up living in defeat—constantly stressed out, depressed, and struggling. That is not God’s will for you.
God wants you to be at peace, first with God, then also with yourself, and with the people around you (Rom. 12:18).
Many times, we talk about wanting to know Jesus more, but this can become religious if we make it about ticking all the boxes (e.g. reading the Word more, praying in tongues more, etc.). These things are all good and we encourage them. But when you don’t read your Bible, you ought not feel guilty, you ought to feel hungry.
Don’t go to the Bible wanting to score points with God. You are already on favor ground, you already have favor with God. Open the Bible seeking to find out more about Him and who you are in Him.
Our inheritance in Christ is all found in the Bible. The Bible tells us who God is, who Christ is, and who we are in Him. It is in our vested interest to know all that we can about Jesus and what He has so that we can possess all that God has in store for us. The Bible says that we are joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17a)!
When we see what Christ has, we will have the faith to possess it as well.
But how do we truly know God and the power of His resurrection?
“and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection”
— Philippians 3:9–10a NKJV
“not having my own righteousness . . . from the law” — The law can refer to the Torah, the first few books of the Old Testament, or it can also refer to the Ten Commandments. In this context, Paul is referring to the Ten Commandments.
“righteousness . . . from God by faith” — Paul makes a clear distinction between having the self-righteousness that is birthed from a pursuit of works and perfection versus a righteousness that is found in being in Christ through faith.
You cannot merit God’s favor and blessings through your good works. When you have Jesus, you have the gift of righteousness only and completely by His unmerited favor. You cannot earn righteousness, work for it, or deserve it. It is a free gift!
Today, we who know no righteousness can receive the divine righteousness Jesus gave to us at the cross (2 Cor. 5:21).
It is because of the beautiful exchange at the cross that we are able to have access to the favor of God. Today, all the favor of God is abounding toward you because of what Jesus has done.
“that I may know Him” — When you believe you are righteous by faith, you are believing the gospel, the very thing that thrills God’s heart. This is the very thing that God wants people to hear today: God is not angry with them. He loves them and He gave His only Son, Jesus, to die for their sins at the cross so that they might live and know Him.
Jesus paid it all so that you can identify yourself with what Christ has done and receive all that He died to give you.
It is not Jesus + my holiness or Jesus + my good works. You cannot make Jesus just one part of the equation. He is the whole equation. Good as your works may be, they cannot be used as merits to bring you favor with God. It is nothing but Christ alone. It is the finished work of Christ alone that makes us righteous by faith before God.
Faith in Christ makes you righteous in God. Once you are established in the truth that your sins have been forgiven through Christ, you will truly know Him. The secret to knowing God is found in knowing your true position in Christ—you are the righteousness of God in Him.
Say this out loud, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.”
This is your true position. You still have the flesh and you may still fall into sin, but you are in Christ today and God sees you in His perfect Son, Jesus Christ. The more you know and possess this truth, the more you will know God and the more you will live above sin.
“ . . . all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
— Hebrews 8:11–12 NKJV
It is not in preaching sin and repentance that many will know God, but it is in preaching His mercy through the finished work of Christ that many will come to know Him. The reason we can know the Lord intuitively and intimately is that all our sins have been forgiven and all our iniquities and lawless deeds, He remembers no more.
Because we know Him intuitively, the Bible says He will be our God, and we will be His people. He will put His laws in our hearts and write on our hearts today (Heb. 8:10). The forgiveness of sins is the clause that puts in effect all these benefits.
As you continue being established in your righteousness in Christ, you will not only know Christ but also the power of His resurrection.
To see the power of His resurrection be activated in your life, you need to first know it. When you are established in the truth of your righteousness in Christ, you will come to know Him intimately and also, know the power of His resurrection in every area of your life.
Pastor Prince prays for the following people who have these conditions:
Pastor Prince encourages us to continue tuning in every Sunday. There’s so much more he wants to share about our inheritance in Christ and this wonderful Savior who died for us, who wants to watch over us, care for us, have a relationship with us, and help us in the most practical of ways.
“Heavenly Father, I thank You for sending Christ to die for my sins. I thank You. All that I was as a child of Adam is finished—it died with Christ on the cross. All my sins and all my diseases were put away. I thank You, Father, that I rose again when You raised Christ from the dead. I rose in Him. Thank You, Father. Jesus Christ is my Lord. And I believe that I've been declared righteous by You. A holy God has declared me righteous. Thank You, Father. And Jesus Christ is my Lord, in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
“This coming week, the Lord bless you with the blessings of father Abraham and the blessings of Deuteronomy 28. The Lord keep you and your families throughout this week from the COVID-19 virus, from every sickness and disease, from every danger, harm, evil, and from all the powers of darkness in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And the Lord favors you in a special way throughout this week. May you see the manifestation of that favor because you are standing on favor ground, may you see it manifest in practical ways this coming week in Jesus’ name. Praise the Lord. And the Lord smiles on you and pronounces upon you right now His shalom wholeness, peace, and well-being in every part of your body. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and all the people say, Amen.”
This Resurrection Sunday, let’s take time to remember this: Jesus’ resurrection is proof that God has forgiven us of all our sins and made us righteous through His Son’s atoning work at the cross (Rom. 4:25).
Today, because you are righteous in Christ, you can be assured that you stand forever on favor ground! It is not by your good works but by Jesus’ perfect work at the cross. Whether it is in your family life, your relationships, or your career, the Lord wants you to experience His unearned, undeserved, unmerited favor flowing freely and making all things work together for your good.
Romans 5:2 tells us that the way we can truly take our place on favor ground and experience God’s favor where we need it the most in our lives is by faith.
Faith is simple—it works by simply believing and speaking (2 Cor. 4:13).
So today and throughout this week, let your heart be at rest and declare this over your life:
“I am the righteousness of God in Christ, and I take my place on favor ground. When it comes to [say your area of concern here, e.g. my family situation, my health situation, etc.], I can expect God’s favor to work all things out for my good. I trust that because I have the favor of God, I am in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty. I am protected, provided for, and well taken care of!”
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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