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Official Joseph Prince Sermon Notes

The Power Of Positive Expectations

Sunday, 26 July 2020
 

These are notes on the sermon, The Power Of Positive Expectations, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 26 July 2020, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!

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Overview

  1. Introduction: Expect God's provision and protection over you in the midst of this pandemic
  2. Believe that God is working mightily behind the scenes for your good
  3. Rest and see God put every enemy under your feet
  4. You will reign when you focus on His abundant grace and gift of righteousness!
  5. Closing Prayer

Introduction: Expect God's provision and protection over you in the midst of this pandemic

As we hear more and more about people who have lost their jobs or are in fear that they may lose their jobs, Pastor Prince encourages us to hold on to this promise from God’s Word: We are in this world but we are not of this world (see John 17:16).

Pastor Prince shares 2 praise reports from families that received the Lord’s supernatural blessings of provision, healing, and protection in the midst of this pandemic. When you see how God provided for these people and protected them, know that you can expect Him to do the same for you and your loved ones.

As we are being flooded with negative reports in the news about the pandemic, let’s remember that we need to be washed by the water of the Word because “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (see Rom. 10:17).

Grace can be defined as “God working.” Conversely, the law can be defined as “man working.”

Let’s put these definitions of law and grace in this verse: “for sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). We can read this verse as: “Sin shall have no power over me when I am resting and God is working.”

When you rest, God works. When you work, God rests.

We see how God works when man rests in the story of God splitting the Red Sea. Moses and the children of Israel had the Red Sea before them and the armies of Egypt pursuing them from behind. As they stood between a rock and a hard place, God told the people through Moses to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord (see Exod. 14:13).

In the face of danger, it is not human nature to be at rest. But when Moses listened to God, He opened up the sea for them and they walked right through it.

Another example of God working when man rests is found in 2 Chronicles 20. When multiple armies came against King Jehoshaphat, God told him to “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” (see. 2 Chron. 20:17), and so instead of fighting, King Jehosephat sent worshippers in place of soldiers to sing of the mercies of God.

“And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying:
‘Praise the LORD,
For His mercy endures forever.’”
— 2 Chronicles 20:21 NKJV

"mercy” — The Hebrew word is “hesed” which means “grace.” When King Jehoshaphat and his men chose to worship the Lord and declare the grace of God, their enemies were defeated and all that was left for them to do was to head to the valley and collect the spoils.

God turned the valley of warfare into the Valley of Berachah. Berachah means “blessings.” King Jehoshaphat and his people took three whole days to collect all the spoils from the battle they did not have to fight.

Like Moses and King Jehoshaphat, we can stand still in the face of this pandemic and see the Lord fight this battle for us. In the midst of COVID-19, we will live in the Valley of Berachah (a place of God’s blessings).

Believe that God is working mightily behind the scenes for your good

In everything that happens in the world, God is moving mightily behind the scenes for His church and the nation of Israel.

Just like God was working behind the scenes to bring the Jewish people back to Jerusalem in 1967, God is right now working behind the scenes for us, His children, in the midst of this pandemic.

The devil is trying to use this pandemic to stop what God is doing. We need to focus on what God is doing and instead of what the devil is doing.

It seems easier to see what the devil is doing because his tactics are obvious, visible, and tangible. They are in the realm of the 5 senses. But we walk by faith and not by sight. God’s ways are ways of faith and we should lean in to find out what God is doing in the Spirit.

Examples of God working behind the scenes for His people

The birth of Jesus:

When Jesus was born, people did not know that God had sent His Son to earth. The angels only revealed it to a few shepherds. The people (at that time) only knew that King Herod had ordered all the babies under the age of 2 to be killed because he was afraid of the news that a King had been born. King Herod’s actions showed the devil playing catch-up. The devil was afraid because he knew God had sent the Savior that would save this fallen world.

The birth of Moses:

When Moses (who would the deliver Israel from slavery in Egypt) was born, the only thing the people saw was that Pharaoh had commanded all Hebrew baby boys to be thrown into the River Nile (see Exod. 1:22). They didn’t know the deliverer had been born.

The devil is not omniscient or omnipotent like God. All he can do is try to thwart God’s plans, the plans that God has already set in motion in the spirit.

If you cannot tell what God is doing in your life, look at the areas the devil is attacking you in and know that the Lord is doing the opposite.

For example, if your health is being attacked, know that God has released greater health and a new level of wholeness in your life. God is renewing your youth like the eagles. You may advance in years but you will not grow old!

If your job or finances are being affected, your breakthrough has been accomplished and you will see the manifestation of His provision in the days ahead.

But we don’t only need to go by what the devil is doing to find out what God is doing. We can know what God is doing because we are people of the spirit and we have the Holy Spirit in us.

In the last days and in the midst of this global pandemic, God is pouring out His Spirit upon us. Peter confirms this in his preaching:

“But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.’”
— Acts 2:16–17 NKJV

I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh” — The prophet Joel prophesied that God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh. Earlier in Acts 2, when God poured out His Spirit on the day of Pentecost, it was a localized event. God did not pour out His Spirit on “all flesh.” But today, in the midst of the global pandemic that has affected people all over the world (“all flesh”), God promises that He will pour out His Spirit on “all flesh.” This includes your loved ones and relatives who are not saved. The greatest revival is ahead of us and will take place before we are raptured.

God will fulfill prophet Joel’s prophecies and the devil knows this. For this reason, he released the virus to prevent this revival.

Instead of focusing on the pandemic, let's look at the revival at hand. The church will not remain lukewarm. The church will be raptured in a Spirit of glory and grace.

Pastor Prince encourages all of us believers to keep praying against the COVID-19 virus. As children of God, we are not to simply wait for the virus to end by natural means. We are to pray because our Father listens to us. Let’s not simply rely on natural means, like a vaccine, to bring an end to the virus. As believers, we can call upon the Lord to bring an end to this virus, just like He ended SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

Every time we pray, bring the cross of Jesus Christ before the Father. The cross of Christ is the answer to the virus. The cross will stop any plague dead in its tracks. At the cross, Jesus bore every sickness and disease and physical condition (see Isa. 53:4–5), including this virus.

Pastor Prince prays against the COVID-19 virus.

We can pray for a vaccine for COVID-19 and take the vaccine when it is ready. But ultimately, our trust should be in God to put an end to the virus and see the name of Jesus glorified.

Rest and see God put every enemy under your feet

Today, our lives are linked to Jesus’ life. At the cross, He not only died for us but as us.

“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

was raised up because of our being declared righteous” — Jesus was raised from the dead because God declared us to be righteous. Jesus went to the cross for our sins, and He was raised when we were declared righteous.

Jesus fully identified Himself with us at the cross when He became sin on our behalf, so much so that He could not be raised from the dead unless we were declared righteous.

Jesus took our place and gave us His place.

Jesus took our place (of curse, condemnation, shame, sin, sickness, depression, and darkness) and gave us His place (of glory, light, wholeness, and shalom). He gave up His place for us and took our place at a loss. This demonstrates how much God loves us—He gave His Son to take our place so that we would have His place.

Because Jesus not only died for us but as us, taking our position, we can be sure that God will never judge us for our sins anymore. Jesus took the full punishment and condemnation of our sins. Knowing this truth sets us free from the bondage of sin.

He took our place and we took His place. Today, God sees us in Him.

Today, Jesus is seated at the Father’s right hand. Not for His benefit, but for you and I. He is there to represent us to the Father. As He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17).

Ephesians 5:30 tells us that “we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.” Jesus is in heaven right now, seated at the Father’s right hand in His glorified body. One day, we will have a body like His. When the rapture happens, we will receive our final inheritance, which is our redeemed, glorified bodies.

Right now, Jesus is seated at the right hand of God.

Jesus, having “purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). The fact that He is seated there shows that all our sins have been put away.

“The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool
.’”
— Psalm 110:1 NKJV

Being in Christ, we are also seated at the right hand of the Father (a picture of rest) and waiting for Him to put all our enemies under our feet.

“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 6:10–11 NKJV

The idea that we need to die to our sins daily is wrong. The Bible is very clear that we have died to sin once and for all.

However, this does not mean we no longer have temptations to sin. We are not free from that.

So what does the Bible mean when it says Jesus “died to sin”? Jesus did not die to the power of sin because sin never had power over Him. He died to the guilt, condemnation, and judgment of sin. At the cross, He bore the condemnation and guilt of our sins and died to the condemnation and guilt of our sins.

We must reckon ourselves dead to sin once and for all.

If you are still sin-conscious, sin will be in your heart and will manifest in your actions. In this life, we still fall into sin. But we overcome the power of sin over our lives when we realize that we are dead (once and for all) to the guilt, condemnation, and punishment of sin.

Sin can never bring the curse and God’s condemnation on you. This truth does not make you want to sin. This truth has a sanctifying effect on you when you believe it in your heart.

“The Lord said to my Lord,
‘Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’”
— Psalm 110:1 NKJV

At the cross, Jesus defeated sin and every other enemy (including sickness and poverty which came because of man’s sins). The world can be pursuing health and wealth, but we are pursuing Jesus.

Our enemies have been conquered at the cross. Jesus defeated sin, depression, sickness, addictions, and even death itself when He rose from the dead.

Yet today, we still see these enemies (sin, depression, sickness, addictions, and death) in the world and even in the lives of believers. If Jesus has won the victory, why are we still experiencing these things?

“For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For ‘He has put all things under His feet.’”
— 1 Corinthians 15:25–27 NKJV

Here, God says that Jesus must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. Jesus is right now reigning from heaven and day by day, more and more of these enemies that we are still seeing in the world (and sometimes in our lives) are being put under His feet.

Spiritually speaking, all our enemies were defeated when Jesus died on the cross and rose again, even death (the last enemy).

Sometimes in a battle, the side that has been defeated still tries a desperate last attempt to cause destruction. This is what is happening when we still experience enemies like sickness and poverty in the world and our lives.

There was a time when Joshua led the armies of Israel to war against their enemies and won. After the battle, he told the captains of his armies, “Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings.” (Jos. 10:24). While the battle was finished and the victory won, Israel did not experience that victory until the necks of the enemy kings were under their feet.

Similarly, today, while we might still be seeing our enemies in our lives, God wants us to experience them coming under our feet. As He puts them under Jesus’ feet, He is putting them under our feet (because we are in Christ).

Jesus has defeated all the enemies and God is bringing them, one by one, under Jesus’ (and our) feet.

Every day that we live, one more enemy comes under our feet until finally the last enemy, death, will come under our feet. This enemy will be utterly destroyed when the rapture happens because at that time we will receive a brand-new, glorified body that will never be tired, grow old, or fall sick.

If death is the last enemy to be put under our feet, then surely COVID-19 will come under our feet first!

Jesus’ coming is imminent. Even though we do not know when, we know that He is coming soon.

not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
— Hebrews 10:25 NKJV

the Day approaching” — This refers to the rapture. As we see “the Day approaching,” it is important for us to gather together and be in fellowship. Even if we cannot do so physically, get together online. Pastor Prince also encourages all of us to get involved in church, be in touch with the church community.

Knowing that the Day is approaching, we can also look forward to all other enemies being put under Jesus’ (and our) feet. Right now, our Lord Jesus is reigning in the midst of this pandemic and God is going to bring this pandemic under His feet.

“which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 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 1:20–21 NKJV

far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named” — COVID-19 is a name and it comes under Jesus’ feet.

“And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
— Ephesians 1:22–23 NKJV

gave Him to be head over all things to the church” — We will see all these enemies come under Jesus’ feet for the benefit of the church. Jesus loves the church.

As we see the Day approaching, the day of the rapture, we can be assured that all our enemies will be destroyed one by one until the last enemy. Jesus must reign until all these enemies come under His feet.

The church has a part to play while we wait for all these enemies to come under our Lord’s feet.

We need to have a “throne attitude.”

“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.”
— Hebrews 10:12–13 KJV

expecting till his enemies be made his footstool” — This is the “throne attitude” we need to have. Sit down (have an inward posture of rest) and expect your enemies to be put under your feet.

Sit down, rest, and expect that sickness, unemployment, depression, addiction and bondage to be put under your feet!

Child of God, your portion is hope.

The world can be filled with bad news, but as children of God, surely we are not!

This is Bible hope (“elpis”) which is a positive expectation of good. Don’t have a fearful expectation of judgment.

Jesus is seated at the right hand of God because all your sins have been purged, put away once and for all at the cross. You need to believe this, for only then you can have a confident expectation of good for your future.

You will reign when you focus on His abundant grace and gift of righteousness!

Right now, the world is being bombarded by a lot of bad news. Don’t imbibe this negativity and fear like the rest of the world.

We should be more conscious of God’s grace than of sin.

“Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,”
— Romans 5:20 NKJV

the law entered that the offense might abound” — The law is perfect and holy but it stirs up the sinful inclinations of man. The law was not meant to show us the standards we need to reach, but to show us that we are unable to reach them (Rom. 3:20).

“Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,”
— Romans 5:20 NKJV

sin abounded” — “abounded” in Greek is “pleonazó,” which means “increased.” It is countable.

grace abounded” — “abounded” here is a different Greek word, “huperperisseuó,” and it means “superabounded,” i.e. overflowing with much more added to it. This word is uncountable.

Where sin increases, grace superabounds, overflows with much more added to it!

A word to pastors and leaders: When you make people more conscious of sin, there will be more sin. When you make people conscious of God’s grace, grace will prevail in their lives and sin will not have power over them.

People are more conscious of the COVID-19 pandemic where the infected cases can be numbered. But when COVID-19 increases, God’s grace, wholeness, and protection superabounds! We need to be more conscious of God’s grace in the midst of this pandemic than the bleak news.

The devil is bombarding us with bad news and does not want us to rely on the superabounding grace of God.

We can only have a greater consciousness of God’s super-abounding grace, health, healing, and protection by feeding on God’s Word constantly. We need to keep hearing the Word that points to how wonderful and beautiful Jesus is, not how bad we are.

We are transformed by beholding His glory.

So how do we reign over this pandemic?

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”
— Romans 5:17 NKJV

"death reigned" — How does death reign in this world? The reign of death is total—no matter how good or bad you are, no matter how much healthy food you eat, you’ll still die one day. This is the result of sin. The wages of sin is death. 

"much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life" — Notice that we will reign "much more" than even death? God wants our reigning in life to be more than total, and that surely covers every principality and power (including COVID-19).

We need to be more conscious of what Jesus has done and that He has done “much more” than what Adam, who committed the original sin, did.

Before you can receive the abundance of grace, you must hear an abundance of the preaching of grace.

The word “receive” is in the present continuous tense, which means we need to constantly receive the abundance of grace. Every time we fail, we need to receive the abundance of grace. It is this abundance of grace that will cause us to reign over our sins. When we reign over our sins, sin shall have no dominion over us.

We need to preach the abundance of grace so that people can receive the abundance of grace. Preaching the abundance of grace should be the standard for every pastor and leader. Everything we preach on (e.g. marriage and parenting) must be grace-based, Christ-centered. So that all the glory goes to our Lord Jesus and what He has done for us at the cross.

Besides the abundance of grace, we are to reign by receiving the gift of righteousness. Righteousness is a gift and you cannot earn it.

Don’t allow yourself to be robbed of this truth. Even in the midst of your failings, receive the abundance of grace and gift of righteousness. That is how you are empowered to reign over your sins.

“Then Adoni-Bezek fled, and they pursued him and caught him and cut off his thumbs and big toes. And Adoni-Bezek said, “Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off used to gather scraps under my table; as I have done, so God has repaid me.” Then they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.”
— Judges 1:6–7 NKJV

Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off” — This is a picture of believers, children of God, who are not reigning in life because they do not know Romans 5:17.

"thumbs" — Back in that day, thumbs were crucial for men of war who needed to shoot arrows. The kings with thumbs cut off could no longer do warfare.

"big toes" — Without their big toes, they could not run or even walk. The thumb is also used to anoint with oil, so these kings lost their anointing.

These 70 kings are a picture of believers who do not receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness—they are living life without their thumbs and big toes, defeated, and not reigning at all. They have no power of the Spirit until they accept the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness.

In the midst of this pandemic, let us be children of God who reign by being conscious of the Lord's unending grace—His supply and protection, His health and shalom—and the free gift of righteousness, and demonstrate to the lost world how good our God is.

Pastor Prince closes the sermon with a time of ministering. He prays over these conditions and situations:

  • Depression
  • Clogged arteries
  • Weakness in the body
  • Retrenchment
  • A bad report from the doctors saying the condition will get worse
  • Neck pains and constrictions
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Child having nightmares
  • Sleeping problems 

Closing Prayer

May the grace and favor of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion and friendship of the Holy Spirit be with you now and forevermore. Throughout this following week, I pray in the name of Jesus that the Lord mark you and your families for protection. You are protected from the COVID-19 virus wherever you go. In Jesus' name, 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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