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Watch 2022 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - Deliverance From Bondage

Derek Prince - Deliverance From Bondage

Derek Prince - Deliverance From Bondage
TOPICS: Deliverance, Book of Romans, Bible Study

In our last three sessions we’ve been working our way through stage 10 of our pilgrimage which is the last stage, the stage before we reach our destination. That concerns the relationship of the believer to the law. This will be our final session in stage 10. I pointed out in the previous session that confrontation with the law provokes an internal conflict within the one who wants to do the will of God. I pictured like the situation of Rebekah when she was pregnant with twins, Esau and Jacob. Esau, the type of a carnal man; Jacob, the type of the spiritual man. I said that Paul himself obviously went through the same kind of spiritual conflict. And at the end of Romans 7 he cried out in agony, Oh, wretched man that I am. Who will deliver me from this body of death? And then he came out with a triumphant response, I thank my God there is a way out through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I said that the way out is through the cross. It’s through the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus because on the cross in Jesus our old man, this body of sin, was put to death. And through that execution on the cross we can be delivered from the dominion of the old carnal nature. We can be released to serve God in the Spirit. Romans 6, I think we might just look at it for a moment. Verse 6: Knowing this, that our old self [or our old man] was crucified with him. That’s a historical fact as I pointed out. Whether you know it or don’t know it, it’s true. But knowing it and believing it will change you. It was done in order that: our body of sin might be done away with I prefer to say rendered ineffective or put out of action. that we should no longer be slaves to sin. The implication is that as long as the old man is still allowed to have his way, we will be slaves to sin.

Now, in Romans 6:6, this is presented as something that was done for us. Our old man was crucified with him, our fleshly nature. But there’s another side to that truth that I want to deal with now. There is something we have to do. It doesn’t all happen because Jesus did it, there is a certain response of faith that we have to make. And so I’d like to turn to Galatians 5:24 which speaks, I believe, of the response that we have to make. Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Notice this is the distinguishing mark of those who truly belong to Jesus. It’s not a doctrine, it’s not a denomination; it’s something that’s taken place in them by an act of their own will and faith, they have crucified the flesh. Romans 6:6 is God’s side, our old man was crucified. That lays the basis.

Galatians 5:24 is the response required from us. Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh. On the basis of what Jesus did for us, we have applied the cross to our own fleshly nature. Now the cross is not an easy way to die. It’s painful. And there is a certain amount of pain inevitable in entering into this life of freedom and victory. We can only do it as we crucify our flesh. And in a certain sense, we have to take the nails and put them through our own hands and our own feet and take our place willingly on the cross identified with Jesus in his death. I want to emphasize again this is not free from pain, but it’s the best way. I’d like to turn to a Scripture that used to puzzle me for many years in 1 Peter 4 1 Peter 4: 1-2 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose In other words, make up your mind you’re going to have to suffer in the flesh. because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.

Now that was a statement that astonished me because I said to myself, I thought Jesus did all the suffering All that was done on the cross. So why do we have to suffer in the flesh? But I was attracted by that statement He who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin I thought to myself it would be wonderful to have ceased from sin. So although I was, in a way, put off by the statement, I was attracted by the consequence. So I began to pray and meditate on this. Now, let’s look at the next verse before we go any further. He has ceased from sin: so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh [that’s in the physical body now] no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. Again, I’m tremendously attracted by that possibility to live the rest of my life no longer for the lusts of my fleshly nature but to do the will of God. That, as far as I know my own heart, is my sincere desire to do the will of God. But here it seems the way is going to be painful.

So I don’t know how long I meditated on this but I believe God has shown me the answer which is what I want to share with you. I think it’s extremely practical. I would say that, in a sense, you’ve got two options. You can suffer God’s way or you can suffer your own way, but suffer you will. Anybody who tells you there’s no suffering in the Christian life is deceiving you and he’s going flat contrary to Scripture. Let me give you a little example which I think will make it easier than a lot of elaborate explanation. Here we have this beautiful young Christian lady, she’s about 20 years old, she’s had a wonderful encounter with the Lord, been filled with the Holy Spirit, really desires to serve God, is a member of a good church and has a loving, gracious, mature pastor. Then a young man comes into her life.

Of course, this never happens in real life, this is just imaginary! And he’s not a committed Christian but he gets very, very interested in her and he says, Well, I’ll go to church with you, I’ll do whatever you want, I want to marry you. Anything I have to do to marry you, I’ll do. So he comes to church and sings the hymns and listens to the sermons. The young lady goes to her pastor and says, This is the man that’s come into my life, he wants to marry me. What shall I do? And the pastor says, Don’t marry him. He’s never made his own personal commitment to the Lord, he’s only coming to church because he wants you and when he’s got you and you’re married to him, you’ve no guarantee that he’ll go on coming to church. Now, bear in mind I’ve raised nine daughters so I have some experience in this area.

Now that young lady has got two options. The right thing is to apply the cross to her fleshly nature. Her fleshly nature longs for this man. She has all sorts of beautiful pictures of a home and children and happiness. She continually pictures the man the way she wants him to be. Have you noticed how easy it is for us to do that with people? We don’t see them as they really are, we see them as the way we’d like them to be. And then, in due course, we’re horribly disillusioned when we discover how they really are. That’s not happened to any of you but there are people to whom it has happened. So solution number one is I’ll obey the word of God through the mouth of my pastor. I realize he has my best interests at heart and so I’m going to put the nails in my own fleshly nature. I’m going to take my place on the cross and say I’m crucified with Christ. Those desires in me that are not godly, that are out of the will of God, I’m putting them to death. I’m taking my place on the cross. I’m driving those nails through my own whims and desires and passions.

Now that’s painful. But the pain doesn’t last long, the pain leads to something that’s beautiful and wonderful, a life that’s truly lived for God. The other solution is the bad solution. She doesn’t listen to her pastor and she goes ahead and marries this man. Fifteen years later he leaves her with three children for another woman. And she’s had a miserable life for 15 years. Don’t tell me that isn’t painful. That’s a lot more painful than taking God’s solution. At the end of 15 years she got the message it doesn’t pay to marry the wrong man. But it’s been a very long painful way to get the message. Whichever way she comes into the purpose of God and the understanding of God’s will, it’s going to cause pain. Do you understand?

But you can have pain God’s way by applying the cross in your own life or you can have pain the world’s way and that’s very, very unpleasant. It’s a long, long way back when you’ve stepped out of the will of God and followed your own desires and yielded to your own fleshly nature. I don’t doubt that there’s at least one person here tonight to whom God is speaking right now. I have a certain sense when I’m saying something that’s directed to somebody. I have no idea who it is and it’s not my intention to find out. I just want to say to you if I’m describing your situation or something like it, my advice is choose God’s way. It’s painful, you have to deny yourself, you have to take up your cross. Do you know what your cross is? Somebody’s defined the cross these two ways. First of all, it’s the place where your will and God’s will cross. Every one of us that follows Jesus has to come to a place sometime when we say, Not my will but thine be done. Jesus is not the only person who had to say that.

The other description of the cross is it’s the place where you die. It’s the place of your execution. God won’t impose the cross on you. Jesus said, If anyone will come after me, let him take up his cross and follow me. And you can’t follow Jesus until you’ve denied yourself and taken up your cross. The cross is the instrument of execution but it’s the way of deliverance. It’s the way out. And when you have really accepted the cross in your life you can say, I’ve ceased from sin. Now I’m living my life for the will of God. So you can say like Paul± I thank my God there is a way out through our Lord Jesus Christ. Let me close this particular session by trying to describe the difference between obeying God under the law and obeying God under grace. In each case the ultimate purpose is to obey God but it’s done different ways.

To illustrate this I want to take a simple commandment which is given both in the Old Testament under the law of Moses and in the New Testament in one of the epistles. Exactly the same words and they apply whether we’re under the law or whether we’re under grace. I want to try to sketch out for you briefly the difference as to how they apply. The commandment is Be holy for I am holy. It’s a very simple command. Now, one place where it’s given is in Leviticus 11:45. God speaks here through Moses to Israel and he says: For I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.

Now in the context it means you’ve got to keep a tremendously complicated set of rules which are the rules given in the preceding verses of this chapter. This way of holiness is I have to do this. I have to do that. I have to do the other. I must not do this. I must not do that. That’s the response of legalism through the requirement of holiness. Listen to some of the commandments. I don’t think many people have realized all that was involved in being under the law of Moses. If you go to verse 26 of that chapter, the same 11th chapter of Leviticus, just read some of the preceding commandments. Concerning all animals which divide the hoof but do not make a split hoof, or which do not chew the cud, they are unclean to you; whoever touches them becomes unclean.

So if you touch one of those animals, like a camel which divides the hoof but does not chew the cud, you become unclean. You’re shut out from the fellowship of God’s people till sunset. And you have to go through a lot of cleansing rituals. Going on: And whatever walks on its paws [that includes your little Fido and your sweet pussycat], whatever walks on its paws among all the creatures that walk on all fours, are unclean to you; whoever touches their carcass becomes unclean until evening. And the one who picks up their carcasses shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening; they are unclean to you. That’s not altogether simple, is it? So if you’re going to be under the law, remember that any time you touch a dead cat, you’ve got to be unclean till evening. Then you’ve got to wash your whole body and change all your clothes.

Now these are to be unclean among the swarming things which swarm on the earth: the mole and the mouse, and the great lizard and the gecko, and the crocodile and the lizard, and the sand reptile and the chameleon. These are to be unclean among all the swarming things. [And then goes on the list] Now, also anything on which one of them may fall when they are dead becomes unclean So if just a dead lizard drops on anything, it becomes unclean and you know, lizards tend to die and drop. At least if you live in Florida they do! including any wooden article or clothing or a skin or a sack; any article of which use is made, it shall be put in water and be unclean until evening, then it becomes clean.

As for any earthenware vessel into which one of them may fall, whatever is in it becomes unclean and you shall break the vessel. You’re no longer to use it ever again. Any of the food which may be eaten on which water comes shall be unclean, and any liquid which may be drunk in every vessel shall become unclean. And we can go on. It’s very elaborate. It goes down to a lot of tremendously complicated details. At the end of that, the end of this list the Lord says: You shall be holy for I am holy. What does that mean in that context? What does it mean to be holy? It means to keep every one of those rules without breaking them. That’s the holiness of the law. It’s perfectly valid if you can do it. As Paul said, the law is perfect but it’s pretty hard to keep.

Now turn to 1 Peter chapter 1, verse 16. We could read from verse 14. This is addressed to christians who have accepted the redemption of Jesus on their behalf. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, You shall be holy for I am holy. Where is it written? Leviticus 11:45. Is Peter telling us we’ve got to observe all these rules about lizards and cats and dogs? Obviously not. So he must expect something different.

What is the alternative? The holiness of the law says, I’ve got to keep all these rules. I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to do this, I mustn’t do that, I mustn’t do that. What is the response of faith to this? What’s the alternative? I think this is a very important question, I’ll try to make it simple and I will not dwell on it. The response of faith is Jesus in me is my holiness. I don’t rely on myself, I don’t follow a set of rules, I let Jesus be holy in me and through me. There was a lady who was in a certain congregation who was well known for her very holy life. Somebody said to her once: Sister So-and-So, what’s the secret of your life of victory? She said, Every time Satan knocks at the door, I just let Jesus answer.

That’s the simplest description I can think of the holiness of faith. I don’t meet Satan in my own strength, I don’t face these challenges in my own strength. I know I’ll be defeated. I just turn to Jesus and say, Jesus in me, You take care of this situation. Let me just read just a few verses about this. 1 Corinthians 1:30. But by his doing [that’s God’s doing] you are in Christ Jesus And it wasn’t our doing, it was His doing that put us into Christ Jesus. who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification [that’s holiness], and redemption So if I am faced with a situation in which I need wisdom, what do I do? Come up with my own clever answers? I say, Jesus, you’re my wisdom, I release You to be my wisdom.

If I’m faced in a situation where I’m tempted and my righteousness is challenged, what do I do? I’m going to try hard? No. I’m going to say, Jesus, you are my righteousness, take care of this situation. If I’m faced with this challenge of holiness which we are discussing, I say, Jesus in me is my holiness. I don’t have to strive. I don’t have to struggle. I have to let Jesus take control of me and the situation. Likewise redemption. Then again, a beautiful Scripture which many of us are familiar with in Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. How much can I do? All things.

Now that doesn’t mean I can do anything I want. Please don’t think that. It means I can do all things that God has told me to do. I can do all things that express obedience to God through Him who strengthens me. I’d like to give you a more literal translation of that: Through the one who empowers me within. I think that’s a very accurate rendering of the Greek. I can do all things through the one who empowers me within. I’d like you to say that after me. I can do all things through the one who empowers me within. And then just one other statement in Hebrews 12:10 dealing specifically with this theme of holiness. Hebrews 12:10 Speaking about earthly human fathers, the writer says: For they disciplined us for a short time as seen best to them, but He [God] disciplines us for our good that we may share his holiness.

Notice it’s not our own holiness. We become partakers of God’s holiness through Jesus the Holy One dwelling in us. The key, as I see it, is not to flex our faith muscles and say, I can handle this situation. It’s to say, God, I can’t handle this situation. I’m weak. I know my own weaknesses. I’m just going to yield to you Jesus, I’m going to let you take over. I’m not saying that’s easy. For me it’s by no means easy because of my background as an only child and successful academically all through my life, I’m used to taking care of things myself. It’s very hard for me to say I can’t handle this, I’m going to let Jesus handle it.

I remember once I traveled with my first wife for the first time I motored to the United States from Canada. We were very frightened of this very large, rapid country. We carefully kept away from the freeways because the minimum speed was 40 miles an hour. We made our way to the destination where we were going with the map perfectly, not a single mistake. So, before we started back Lydia said we’d better pray about this. I said there’s no need to pray! God help me! I’ll never say that again. We got on the freeway, I missed the exit and drove 27 miles to the next exit knowing I’d have to come back 27 miles which was 54 miles. And when we got off the freeway the engine broke down. I have never said again we don’t need to pray.

But you see what I’m trying to say? I was relying on my own ability. So, I’m not saying this is easy and I’m not saying it doesn’t take strength but it takes a different kind of strength. The strength is: saying I won’t trust myself, I will yield to Jesus, I will let him take control. You still have to exercise your will. Believe me, the will plays a major part in Christianity. It’s not a spineless let go and let everything take its course. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about willing the right thing.

Every time you have a need or a problem and we can’t do this immediately, it’s something we have to learn stage by stage. We say: God, I can’t handle this problem. I’m not equal to this. I don’t have the wisdom, I don’t have the strength. But Jesus, You’re in me. I can do everything that God tells me to do through the one in me who empowers me from within. You know what I find? Just to share this as a weakness that none of you have. I find when I face the big problems I turn to God. But the little ones I try to handle on my own. I think I’m getting better but then it turns out that the little problems become big problems. So I hope you’ve got the message.
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