Joseph Prince - The Power Of Grace-Filled Words
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You all ready for God's Word? Okay, let's go right into the Word. I wanna share something that I left off last week and, don't forget, a church, people, is not a place of entertainment. You might get entertained in the process, but it's not a place for entertainment. It's a place of worship. A church is a place dealing with not just this life but the afterlife. A church is not a place of business either. A church is a place of worship. And every time we come to church, remember that that's foremost, amen. And there are people who might think, all right, that church is a place where you go to be entertained. It's not that, amen. We thank God that God gives his gifts, his charismatas. They do fulfill us, they do make it exciting.
Many of times when people get healed and like the testimonies you've been hearing, you know, of amazing miracles and all that, people get excited and all that, but don't forget all this is to glorify our Lord Jesus, amen? It's to glorify the name of Jesus. You know, I think about men like Daniel, I think about men like Joseph. You know, Daniel never went back to Jerusalem. He died in the land of captivity. He served three kings. He served King Nebuchadnezzar, he served a Medo-Persian king, he served the Persian king. And he never went back together with Nehemiah and Ezra and Zerubbabel. He stayed because of his official duties in Babylon. So, for me, there are leaders that God raises.
See, everything rises and falls based on leadership. How good a corporation or company is, how good, how great a family is, even, and of course, how far a nation can go depends on the leadership for the hour. And I want to say a word to all the fathers and husbands: you are the prophet, priest, and king in your family. And even when you don't say anything, all right, you are still exercising leadership. Your leadership is not to say anything. And when you don't say anything, somebody will say something. And whatever that someone says, you are responsible for allowing that person to say it, amen? All the fall of man, the fall of man, if man did not fall, there'd be no death. If man did not fall, there'd be no diseases. If man did not fall, there'd be no poverty. If man did not fall, nobody grows old. If man did not fall everybody would be living in perfect peace in harmony for all eternity. Can I have a good "Amen"?
And the entire fall happened because a leader of a family, a leader, did not say anything when the snake was talking to his wife. So the salesman came knocking at the door proposing something that God had spoken to the prophet king, the leader, the priest of the house, which is Adam himself. And, you know, the Bible, you know, you think that Adam was somewhere planting cabbage. The Bible says, read your Bible, it says: "Adam was with her". So he was listening to all this conversation when he did not even speak up. So, not speaking up is an abdication of your leadership. You know, if you surrender to your wife, you know, you say, "You just do what you decide, whatever you want, for the boy. You decide where he goes, you decide everything," then when things go wrong, you cannot blame her, you know? Your job is so nice, huh? Give it to your wife. You wife made a mistake, you scold her. That's bad leadership.
So everything rises or falls based on leadership. And when Jesus came in the book of Revelation to address the seven churches, the Bible says he says to the angel of the church of Ephesus, "Write these words," to the angel of the church of Pergamos, "Write these words," to the... and the word "angel" in the Greek is angelos. It means literally, not angels with wings, all right? It can mean that in some passages, but in that particular passage, he would not tell an angel with wings, "You have left your first love. You have fallen. Remember from where you fell". He will not be talking to an angel of a church that "you have fallen. Remember from where you fell". God doesn't want fallen angels to lead his church.
So the word "angel" means messenger, amen? And God put the blame squarely on the shoulder of the man that he put in stewardship over that church. So seven churches, he didn't have one message only for all seven. He had seven different messages for all the seven churches. What is that saying? Everything rise and fall based on leadership. How good a church is in terms of strength and when I say "strength" I don't just mean numerical numbers, okay? I mean strength from within. Every nation that has fallen in history has fallen from within. It allows them to be vulnerable to enemies from outside. And I wanna tell you this, our nation is as strong as its families, amen?
And please, don't wait for the government to write rules and regulations for y'all, and then you all start giving money to your mother. And show them respect when they're still alive, okay? It's easy to cry when they're no longer around but, hey, one of the ways is to make sure they are well taken care of, that money means more to them because it's a gesture of your love. All right, I must go to my sermon. Are y'all ready for the Word? Ephesians chapter 4: "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth," in other words, Singaporeans, stop complaining. The word "corrupt" here is the Greek word. It does not mean profanity, all right? Profanity, of course, is corrupt. It goes without saying. But it's not referring to profanity; it's referring to any word that is not useful. Non-useful word, literally, in the Greek.
"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers". Now, what is grace? Grace is undeserved favor. Can I have a good "Amen"? And God loves grace. Everywhere you see in the Old Testament that says "his mercies endure forever," if you go to Israel today and you meet a believer, and you ask them for their New Testament, all right, ours is in English, amen, taken from the Greek, but theirs, the Messianic believers in Israel, they have a New Testament in Hebrew translated by a great scholar by the name of Delitzsch. Everywhere it says "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, grace, he was full of grace," the word "grace," "harit," there the word "grace" is translated as chesed in Hebrew.
And chesed is what David says in the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms, "His chesed endures forever, his grace endures forever, his grace is new every morning". "Thy loving kindness, your loving kindness, is better than life," the word there is chesed. "Your grace is better than life," and you wonder why I'm so excited about grace, amen? God is excited about... God loves grace. He delights in mercy, he delights in grace. The Bible never say God is rich in anger. God has anger but he's not rich in anger. He is rich in mercy. Jesus is not full of anger. Yes, he demonstrated anger at certain times and anger is not sin when you are angry at injustice, that's not sin, amen. It never says Jesus is full of anger. It says he's full of grace and truth.
And I used to wonder how can one be full of grace, because Stephen, the first martyr of the church, the Bible says he was full of grace, he was full of faith and full of grace. John 1, verse 14: "Jesus was full of grace and truth". How can you be full of grace like Stephen, amen? All right, you say, "Jesus is full of grace and truth, that goes without saying, but Stephen was just a believer". He was actually a deacon, not even a pastor, and yet he was full of grace and truth. How? There's a secret here. Whatever, you know, the Old King James says, what is good for the use of edifying, here it says, "What is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace".
Whatever builds up. Edification means build up. The word comes from the Greek word "oikodomeo," which is building a building, building a house. It's more of a building than a house, going upwards. Oikodomeo, all right? And where he says "edify," "edifice," it's the same word. To edify is to build a building. So whatever builds people up, I didn't say puff them up. Puff them, you flatter them, but build them up with words and the context is "with words". Whatever builds people up, impart grace to them. I said, if you want your children to be full of grace, speak words of edification that it may impart grace. Whatever is edifying, imparts grace. Again, whatever is edifying, imparts grace. Can I have a good "Amen"?
But you say, "Well, Pastor Prince, sometimes, you know, I tell them as it is because they did this, they did that, I need to tell them this". Yeah, but you see, grace means undeserved favor. We all deserve hell; God gives us heaven. We all deserve to be punished, God sent his Son to be punished with our punishment and judgment, amen? Can I have a good "Amen"? Under law, God demands righteousness from sinfully bankrupt men. Under grace, God provides righteousness for men, amen. Under law, God says, "I'll by no means pass over your sins but I'll visit your sins to the third and fourth generation". Under grace, God says, "Your sins I remember no more".
What happened? The cross changed everything. And it's called grace. Grace means that at the cross Jesus who never deserved not a single iota of judgment or bad thing, he never sinned. The Bible uses the words, Peter used the word, "He did no sin," amen, Paul used the word, "He knew no sin," John says, "In him is no sin". In every aspect, there was no sin in him, but at the cross he became a sin offering with whose sin? Your sins and mine. So he deserves everything good, got everything bad that he did not deserve so that you and I who deserve nothing good, can receive every good. And that's called grace, amen? And grace, God does not give grace presumptuously. God gives grace on a solid foundation, all right, the death of his Son has released, I can say it like this. Released God to show grace freely to sinners.
By the way, it's only available for people who don't deserve it. So if you feel you deserve it, you cannot come to him. That's the reason why in Matthew 21, Jesus said to the Pharisees, the scribes and the elders, he says that "assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors," they are like the bane of society, no one wants to fellowship with them because they collect taxes for the Romans at the time, "and harlots". You know what's harlots, right? Prostitutes. Jesus says, "Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots will enter the kingdom of God before you". What does that mean? That's interesting, people. That the more disqualified you are, the more you are in position to receive God's grace. Can I have a good "Amen"? And that's not to say we sin, all right, purposely so that we can... no, the thing that when you know you are disqualified, and when you know that you don't have it all together and you receive God's grace, God's grace will not leave you the same way you are. Can I have a good "Amen"?
So when our children missed it, when your spouse missed it, how do we speak to them? Do we speak to them based on what they deserve? Then we're not imparting grace because words of grace, any words that give them what they deserve is a corrupt word, is a non-useful word. They know they have failed, they know they did this. If you say, "You are so stupid, you're so careless," what a "revelation" for them. You have not imparted anything to them, amen, but when they have done wrong and you go to them and say, "All I want you to know is that I love you," that does something to them. "I want you to know that in my eyes, you're perfect. In my eyes".
That's how God sees us, you know, people, amen. And nobody can tell you you're blind, ah. It's my eyes. It's my kid. It's my wife. You do what you want with yours. These are my eyes. I choose to see them, and that's how the Song of Solomon is written, you know, it's like the lover says to the beloved, "You are altogether lovely. There is no spot in you". How is that possible? It's the eyes of the lover, but praise God, that lover there is our Lord Jesus. And when he says he sees no spot in us, you know, there's nothing like for the beloved to feel like, "Ah, you know, in the presence of this one, he can see no wrong". Not that there's no wrong, he sees no wrong. When Israel was passing through the wilderness, all right, they came to an area in the land of Moab where the Bible tells us there was a wizard, you know, whoever he curses become cursed.
So the king, afraid of Israel, hired this wizard to curse the people of God and he said this, "God", the wizard himself. God put words in the wizard's mouth. And he said, "God has not beheld iniquity. God has not beheld sin in Israel". But if you go among the Israelites you will hear them complaining, you will hear them murmuring, but in God's eyes, he has not beheld iniquity. Now the assurance is not that there is no iniquity. The assurance is that God does not behold it. Because why? They were offering burnt offerings on the altar, a picture of Jesus on the cross. And as long as that goes up as a sweet-smelling fragrance remind God of his Son, God looks forward in time and see his Son dying for their sins and God says, "I don't see sin". Why? God's eyes, who is complete judicial, all right, completely loving, perfect, cannot see sin in two places at one time.
So if God put your sins on the body of Jesus, God sees you with no sin. Now are you perfect? No. Do you still sin? Yes. But God does not behold sin in you. So it's perfectly all right for you to talk to your children, to talk to your son, with such love and undeserved favor because you are imparting grace to them, amen? And grace is the only thing that can overcome sin in their life. But you say, "But I want them to stop that habit. I want them to stop their bad company". But the thing is that they need grace. How can they stop? If you can stop doing the things that you're supposed to stop doing, just stop it, all right? You don't need Jesus.
But no, all the Ten Commandments, "Thou shall not, thou shall not, thou shall not," actually, not all ten are "thou shall not". Eight of them is "Thou shall not," one of them is "Honor your father and mother". The other one is "Observe the Sabbath," which actually is for the Jewish people, amen. And for them, they live life in a way and then, for them, the Sabbath commences their work life. For us, the Lord's Day, the day he rose from the dead, he brought all Sabbaths to an end and he rose on Sunday. And that's why we worship on Sunday. Can I have a good "Amen"? It's a picture. Sabbath is a picture of the old, all right? The Lord's Day is a picture of the new. Sabbath is on Saturday, Sunday is the Lord's Day. It's a picture of the new beginning. Can I have a good "Amen"?
And the Lord instituted that. That's why you find the phrase when he rose from the dead, "At the end of the Sabbath". In the Greek, "At the end of all Sabbaths," Jesus rose from the dead, amen. So the Bible tells us that when we speak words that edify, it will impart. The word "that it may," hina, in Greek, in order that it may impart grace. Whatever edifies, imparts grace. And that's why, for those of you who are praying in tongues, when you're praying in the spirit. For some reason, my son Justin, you know, whenever I pray in tongues, he laughs. And then he prays. I do not know he's been filled, He'll go "...", then I will touch his chairs and I'll say, "..." he'll start laughing. Then he'll go, "..." you know?
So whether he's... I touch him, whether he's filled or he is not filled, I don't know, you know, but he just turned 3, 2 days ago, and it's amazing that God has given us this gift. Because why? In 1 Corinthians 14, "He who speaks in a tongue," what? Say it out loud, church. "Edifies," builds himself up. Do you know you're a building? Do you know your body is a temple? Do you know the Bible doesn't say, there's a teaching that says when you pray in tongues you build your inner man? But actually, when I read the Bible, I don't see that in the Bible. I'm sure your inner man is built, for sure. It says: "Himself, edifies himself". The totality of the man including his body. In fact, your body is the part that God says, "Know you not you are the temple of God"?
If you keep on praying in tongues, you are building yourself. Every part of your body, you're the temple of God and God takes care of his temple. God put the Holy Spirit there with a special language so that when you need repair, all right, whether your ceiling or your audio system, you know, or your window is breaking down, you know, or whether your internal organs is not working well, it's time to pray in the Spirit because whoever prays in the Spirit builds his building up. He builds himself up. But I found a secret here. Again, how to be full of grace. When you build yourself, whatever edifies, imparts grace. Whatever edifies, imparts grace. So the more I pray, the more I edify myself. The more I edify myself, remember, the use of edifying, that it may, edification will minister, that edification may minister grace.
So that's how you get full of grace, amen, by praying in tongues. And I have an entire teaching out there, you can get the albums are all out there. My purpose today is not talking on praying in tongues, okay? But you know what? People are stressed, people are broken down. People have high blood pressure. How do you bring it down? How do you build yourself up? How do you build your immune system? God's way is praying in tongues, and the only side effect is that people will say you're crazy. That's fine, all right? I'd rather be crazy and well and they be sound and sick. You choose, amen. Praise the Lord. So, people, let's not despise the gifts of God. Can I have a good "Amen"?
So, a gift that's small like the praying in tongues, you know, people despise it. Why do you think there's so much fight over this, even in amongst churches and denominations and all that, over praying in tongues? You can always tell the power of a truth by how much opposition the devil levels against it. Like grace, why has grace been so attacked? The devil is afraid of grace. He has no defense for grace. You go by what you deserve, he will get you. But you go by what you don't deserve, he can't even crush you. He says you're not qualified, you know? You look forward to 2015, this year. How many you look at your life, you still have these bad habits. You can look forward for a dark depressing year and you say, "No, I'm gonna get a year full of goodness, full of favor, full of blessings," and he says, "Why? You don't deserve it".
You say, "I'm not getting it because I deserve it. I'm getting it because Jesus deserves it". Change your life. The world will say, "Is this worth dying for"? We must learn to say, "Is this what Jesus died for," and go with that as our standard. "Is this worth what Jesus died for? 'Cause though I give my body to be burned, and have no love, it profits me nothing". See, God estimates everything on the scale of sanctuary. And what man has deemed as important, God puts it there. What is really important, and you'd be surprised. God moves nations, right? God moves, during the time of Christ, Caesar was in charge and Caesar was the epitome of power on earth at that time, but God moved on his heart to decree a tax, a consensus, so he can tax the population that's under the Roman rule. All that, God did so that a little baby will be born at the right place to fulfill Bible prophecy.
So we can see events happening in the world, good and bad, like ISIS and all that. And we ask ourself the question, "Where is God," all right? And "Why is God not moving"? And I'll tell you this. There's a word in the Bible: "The cup of the Amorites is not yet full". When God moves, God moves at the right time. God didn't destroy Pharaoh and the army in their palace. God didn't destroy when they were oppressing the people of God. God didn't destroy them along the way. God destroyed them at the right time, at the right place, when his people know there's no way I can go forward, there's no way I can go backwards, we are stuck, and God showed up. So, let me just tell you this, God is more patient than any of us realize, and if there's a delay, God is dealing with us as well, so that our hearts are all in the right place. When a miracle comes, he will make us proud and say that it is us, okay?
Alright, so here it says... by the way, you know, we have an example of this. Even our Father in heaven did that with his Son, our Lord Jesus. Our Lord Jesus's first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding, right? And before that first miracle, the Father opened the heavens when Jesus was baptized. He came out of the River Jordan, and the Bible says, I love this one, the Bible says God opened the heavens to him. It's like all the heavens was opened to him. All heaven opened to him. You are in him. You are in open heaven, amen? All heaven opened to him when Jesus came out of the water, and the Father said, "You are my beloved Son".
Now, this was before he did even one miracle. "You are my beloved Son," a Son well-loved, "In you I am well pleased". The very next chapter, the Bible says he went into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, and he won. So, what we need to do to help our children to win the battle of life out there is to constantly affirm to them, and you say, "But they don't deserve to hear that," you understand, impart grace, undeserved favor. Tell them, you know, you are my precious one. I love you so much. I'm so pleased with you. "But there's nothing for me to be pleased with". With you, you understand now, stop that world mentality. You stop that and start looking at the person, the gift that God has given you, and start saying I'm well pleased with you. That will build them up. That will impart grace to them. And when they are under grace, sin has no dominion, amen, church?
Alright, then it says, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption". Let me tell you this, the Holy Spirit is not gonna leave you. He's there until the day of redemption, the day Jesus comes back, alright. The picture here is very interesting. It is like a down payment, where in those days of Paul and all that, you would go to the marketplace, and it was even so until recently, alright, you go there and you put a down payment. We still do that, you know. We buy some object, we put a down payment, but most of you just pay off, right? You just put a down payment, which means what? I'll be back for the purchased possession, amen? And meanwhile, the down payment is the Holy Spirit. He puts the Holy Spirit in all of us, and we are sealed with the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption. When something is sealed, it shows ownership.
In those days, it is sealed with red, alright, and red is a picture of the blood of Jesus. That means you are his. When he returns, he will return for you. And you cannot lose your salvation, because you can even grieve the Holy Spirit, alright, because you are sealed with him. If the Holy Spirit leaves you the moment you sin, there's no point, it's redundant to say do not grieve the Holy Spirit by whom you are sealed until the day of redemption. It makes no sense. Are you all with me, people? Alright, which means we are saved. Once you are saved, you are sealed, you are saved forever. The Holy Spirit will not leave you, alright, but nonetheless, he says do not grieve the Holy Spirit.
So, the question is then how do you grieve the Holy Spirit? So, this is really a subject where I've shared this before, and you know, when I was younger, I remember, you know, with the charismatic move where God was pouring out his Spirit on all flesh, and people were being baptized in the Spirit, speaking in tongues, you know, and their lives were being transformed, miracles were happening, I still remember one of the backlashes of that. People had become more conscious of the Holy Spirit, unfortunately they leave the Bible. All Spirit, no Word, you blow up. All Word, all Bible, all Word and no Spirit, you dry out. All Word, all Spirit, you grow up. So, remember in our church we believe, yes, in praying in tongues, we believe, but we are a stickler for the Word of God. Can I have a good amen? So that you grow up, right?
So, I remember being in a Christian bookshop, and I hear some conversation, people were talking, they never realized there was a future pastor there, ha, ha. And they were saying that, oh, this lady came into my care group, you know, and my cell group, they say, and her makeup was horrible. It was so thick, and she was this, and she was that, and young as I was, I was a teenager at the time reading my book, I felt like the Spirit of God inside me was saying she's just jealous. Just jealous of that girl. But I tell you this, the Lord was grieved, she said. I said, well, that's interesting, how does she know the Lord is grieved? She said, you know, the moment she stepped into the care group, you know, I could sense deep down inside, my heart was grieved. No, you were jealous. It was your jealous heart that was grieved. You were jealous of her, alright?
So, people use this for all kinds of, oh, grieved, I'm grieved, you know, it's almost like I don't like the way you look, I'm grieved, it's something about you. You know, I don't like the way you wear your tie, I'm grieved. I don't like the way you wear your hair. I don't like the way your makeup is. You know, anything they don't like, they can say they're just grieved, alright? But let me see what's the context here. I'd like to put you in context, okay? So, the word "grieved" here is "sullupeo" in the Greek, and the Holy Spirit and Jesus are one. Whatever Jesus experienced, the Holy Spirit and Jesus are one, okay? So, the word grief is "sullupeo". You don't care about it, but just to let you know.
And we see "sullupeo" in the life of Jesus, and the only place where it says he was grieved is here in Mark 3. "Jesus entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched him closely". Ha, ha, ha, this is to me amazing, how these religious people, Jesus was there, a man who had a withered hand, one of the church members was there with a withered hand, alright, "And they watched Jesus closely whether he would heal". They knew he can heal, they wanna see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, "So that they might accuse him". You know, how terrible. You can turn Christianity into a religious bondage. Because Jesus told them prostitutes and tax collectors were going to the kingdom before you.
I tell you this, God is against all sin, I am against all sin, but there are overt sins that God finds easier to deal with than people with self-righteousness, with no overt sin. After all, the first sin was a sin of self-righteousness. If you wanna be like God, eat from this tree. It wasn't a sin of adultery, or murdering Adam or... no, it was a sin of self-righteousness. Are you with me so far? Are you all learning, people? So, they watched him closely, alright, verse 3, "And he said to the man who had the withered hand, 'Step forward.'" I love Jesus's style. He doesn't, you know, beat around the bush, amen. He says, "Step forward so that all can see". "Then Jesus said to them, 'Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?' But they kept silent," go on. "When he had looked around at them with anger".
Folks, this is the first time ever in the Bible it's recorded that Jesus was angry. I know you are thinking of Jesus went to the moneychangers, the table, overturned it at the temple because they were abusing the people, amen, and the money exchange and all that, but there's no record. I believe he was angry, but there was no record that he was angry. The word "anger" doesn't appear there. We assume, we read into it. But where it appears is this passage, and let's see what makes the Lord angry, okay? Not only angry, being grieved. And this word "grieved" is the same word, "sullupeo," over here, "san sullupeo," together grieved, amen, with the Holy Spirit. So, what grieves the Lord? "He looked at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts".
You know, the lack of grace, a hard heart. That's what grieves the Lord. That you cannot even open your heart to grace, and when you see people preaching grace, for example, you get angry. It's giving people license to sin, amen? Oh, he's just telling people they can break the Sabbath. What has that got to do with someone getting healed, someone getting saved, amen? Hard heart, they cannot respond to God's grace, whereas the tax collectors and the prostitutes can. They cannot respond to God's grace, it's terrible. All the people that Jesus did miracles on, whether unstopping deaf ears, opening the eyes of the blind, cleansing the lepers, they were all sinners. The ones who cannot receive are the religious leaders of his day. Think about that. And he's the same yesterday, today, and forever.
What hinders people from receiving? It's the lack of grace, a hard heart. Turn to your neighbor and say, "Don't have a hard heart". Wake the other person up and say, "You're sleeping because of a hard heart". No, I don't see anyone sleeping, I'm just saying for the fun of it, okay? So, here he says being grieved, same word. So, what grieves the Holy Spirit? Lack of grace. Go back again to Ephesians, notice grace and grieving the Holy Spirit, notice the context there. When your words are not gracious, when you give people I'm gonna tell them what I think they deserve, I'm gonna tell them off, I'm gonna do it, alright. When your words give them what they deserve, it grieves the Holy Spirit. By the same token, if your words are full of grace, it pleases the Holy Spirit, and you can sense it sometimes. You can sense it.
So, Jesus was affirmed by the Father. You know, when the first time the Father says, "You are my beloved Son," he has not even done one miracle. You know where that happened? That happened at the lowest place on planet earth. More than 1,100 feet below sea level, it's near the Dead Sea, and the place where Jesus was baptized is very near the Dead Sea, and the Dead Sea is the lowest place on planet earth, more than over 1,000 feet below sea level. The other time we have the Father affirming Jesus by saying, "You are my beloved Son," he was on Mount Hermon, and Mount Hermon is the highest peak in Israel, and it's more than over 9,000 feet, nearly 10,000 above sea level.
One day I saw this, never heard anyone preach this, and the Lord spoke to me, and the Lord says in the most down moments, in the lowest places of your child's life, affirm them. Tell them you still love them, and that means what? They have failed. That means maybe they lied to you. That means they did things behind your back. And now you've found out about it, they are in their lowest moment. That's the time to say, "You are my beloved. I love you. In you I am well pleased". You don't have to say I'm pleased with your actions, of course, in you, you the person, you know, I still love you. You are precious to me. In their lowest moments. And whenever they win something, they triumph in life, or they have an achievement, in their highest places, Mount Hermon, affirm them also. Because of all their friends out there, they're looking for your eye, alright.
Don't be the stoic kind of person, you know, the same yesterday, today, and forever, you know? Be an affirming father and tell them, "I'm so proud of you". Your words will mean more than ten friends around him, amen? Praise the Lord. And by the way, let's go back to the story, Mark 3. Are you all learning? Are you all being blessed? So, what makes Jesus angry? He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. Lack of grace. He is not even talking about overt sin. It's lack of grace, anger, alright. "He said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand,' and he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other". Then the Pharisees were happy, they jumped for joy, and all the people in the synagogue said amen. Oh, sorry, I got carried away. It says, "Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Jesus, how they might destroy him".
And the world has a perverted response, crazy, when it comes to grace. It's like another story where Jesus cast the most demonized man, nobody dared cross the road. That place, by the way, is still in Israel, alright, the steep bank and all that. Nobody dared cross by there because there was a man, when they bound him with chains, he could break the chains, supernatural strength because he was so demonized, about 1,000 to 2,000 demons are in him, and he'd go by the word "Legion". And with one word, Jesus said, "Go," and all the demons left. And the Bible says he was at Jesus's feet clothed. He was naked previously, and he was in his right mind. He was crazy previously. Clothed, in his right mind, at Jesus's feet.
That's where you all are today. You're all sitting at Jesus's feet, clothed, thank God, in your right mind. Don't say it, wife, he's in his right mind, amen. And the people of Gadara came out, you know what they told Jesus? Leave this place, we don't want you here. And the Bible said Jesus went to the boat with the disciples and left. They could have brought all their sick. Oh, Jesus, my nose is crooked, can you make it straight? I mean, they could have gone to him and taken advantage of the grace of God. It was undeserved favor, amazing, and to today, people are still fighting grace. Oh, he didn't tell the guy to repent. Jesus didn't tell the Gadarain demoniac to repent.
There are times he did with people in his preaching, but everyone who received a miracle or a healing, he never tells them to repent before they receive. He never tells the guy at the pool of Bethesda, who was, like, in his condition, lame for 38 years, he never says repent, he just healed him. Did Jesus preach repentance? Yes, he did, but not as a qualifying for people to receive. In fact, these people repent, they come to him, they may say repentance, they come to him, I no longer trust my own efforts, I come to the Lord, that's repentance. Repentance is going on every service as people are hearing the Word of God. Can I have a good amen?
So, what makes God angry today? Same thing, lack of grace. It's not this overt sin. What makes Jesus grieved today? Same thing, I wanna stop here and just show you something that will blow your mind, okay? It's a personal revelation that came from the Lord when I was in Israel. Let's go to that passage in Matthew 11. Jesus said, "To what shall I liken this generation"? Let's get a backdrop. "It's like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions and saying, 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance.'" Now, we played the flute for you, you did not dance. Jesus likened this generation that he was in, alright, like children at the marketplace, and the children is calling to one another and saying, "Hey, I played the flute, you did not dance". And then, "We mourned to you, and you did not lament". Like, they are so hardened, they cannot laugh, they cannot cry.
So, the first ministry, playing the flute and dancing, is the celebration of grace. That's the ministry of Jesus. The second one, "We mourned to you, and you did not lament," is the ministry of John. And the Bible says in an earlier part, it says that all the law was until John. Are you listening? In fact, John was mentioned in the earlier part of this chapter. So, this is the ministry of Jesus and John, grace and law. Next verse, "For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon'". So, John fasts all the time, doesn't eat much, doesn't drink much, and they say he has a demon. Very hard to please this generation. "The Son of Man," Jesus, "Came eating and drinking," alright, "And they say, 'Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend,'" I love this, "A friend of tax collectors and sinners".
What an accolade to give to the Son of God, amen? "But wisdom is justified by her children". In other words, when it comes to John, they said John is too extreme. When it comes to Jesus, they say he's too hyper. They can't take the law, they can't take grace. That's how Jesus likened this generation. And then Jesus went on to say, go on, "Then he began to rebuke the cities in which most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent". Now, here's the word "repent". They did not repent. They did not open themselves to him. That's what it means. They didn't accept him as the Messiah, alright? Now, church, a lot of people, grace people, they will avoid the woe, woe, woe, woe. Not this grace preacher, alright? I preach the entire word, and I intend to preach it, and I preach a lot from the Old Testament, you all know that.
Watch this, here's a new word that Jesus never used, woe. "Woe to you, Chorazin". Chorazin, by the way, is still there in Galilee. You can go there to the ruins of Chorazin. There's a synagogue, it's all in ruins. Tourists go there to visit. It's never rebuilt. It has never been rebuilt. "Woe to you, Bethsaida". Bethsaida, take a look at Bethsaida, alright. This is the place where I was. I preached from here. This is the entrance of Bethsaida. Remember, Jesus brought a man out, there's the entrance, he brought a man out who was blind, and healed him outside. It's the first indication ever that Jesus did not heal inside the city, he brought the man out to heal him. The whole city was so full of unbelief that he brought him out so that he would not be hearing, that man who was about to receive would not be hearing all the negativities, alright?
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works," miracles, in the Greek, "dunamis," if the dunamis, the miracles, "Which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon," Tyre and Sidon, by the way, is present-day Lebanon, northern of Israel, okay? There was a port there called Tyre, very wealthy, famous port, like Singapore today. Back then, they are like the Singapore of that day, alright? They're a very famous, wealthy port, but during the time of Jesus, it's just a fisherman's village. They were destroyed. Alexander the Great, by the way, if you go for an ancient map, you look at Tyre, Tyre is like an island away from Lebanon, but after Alexander the Great, you can see a peninsula to the island, why? They said that the Greeks can never conquer them. Alexander put debris year after year until there was a land bridge, and his men came in and conquered Tyre, it's destroyed, okay?
So, Jesus said, "If the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes". If I went there and cleansed the leper, opened the eyes of the blind, unstopped deaf ears, Tyre and Sidon would have repented. In other words, Bethsaida and Chorazin rejected grace, whereas Tyre and Sidon, they never had the ministry of grace. Then watch this. I was meditating on this on my way back. I was tired and I was on board the plane on the way back from Israel, and I said, "Lord, give me a verse to meditate," and he brought me to all the woes. Now, that's one passage you don't meditate. So I said, "Okay, Lord, I will meditate on it," so I meditated on the woes, and I came to this, the next one.
But's Let's read verse 22 first. "But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgement than for you," Chorazin and Bethsaida. Next verse, "And you, Capernaum," I know many of you go to Israel, you've been to Capernaum, you all see the ancient synagogue, you see where Peter's house used to be, right? But it's still in ruins. It's never been rebuilt. The funny thing is that just down yonder on the other side of the lake, it's a place called Tiberius. Tiberius was also in existence during the time of Jesus, but there's no record in the Bible that Jesus ever went to Tiberius and did miracles. And because he didn't do miracles of grace there, alright, they never rejected grace, therefore they are still until today, that's where your hotels are.
You know, I mean you go to Galilee, by the lake of Galilee, all your hotels are in Tiberius. It's not in Capernaum and it's not in Bethsaida, amazing. Once you receive grace, make sure you embrace it, not reject it. You'll be in a worse place. Are you listening, people? Even Tiberius is still around. Then watch this. I meditate on this. "And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven", why? Because Jesus, it's called the town of Jesus. Read the gospels. It's where Jesus stayed, most likely in the house of Peter during his tenure there in Galilee. And when he was there, he raised Jairus's daughter from the dead, he healed that woman with the issue of blood. He did many miracles. Amen? The man who had a son who was dying, he did a miracle for him.
And Capernaum was exalted to heaven because Jesus was there. "You, Capernaum, will be brought down to Hades," or hell. "For if the mighty works," miracles, "which were done in you had been done in Sodom". And God told me, "Stop". Up thousands of miles in the air, God said to me, "You know what's Sodom, right"? I say, "Yes, Lord". "I'm going to show you how to reach out". Jesus said, "If the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, Sodom would have remained to this day". In other words, they would have repented. Wow. I don't know if you got it or not.
You know what we do? Instead of mighty works being demonstrated amongst these people, we are trying to preach to them. We are telling them, all right, the wrongs that they are doing. We are telling them, you know what? When you meet people like them, tell them, "Is there anything I can pray for you? Is there any area in your life, is there a depression I can pray God's mighty works in your life? Can I pray for you"? If they're suffering from a disease and they're dying, say, "Can I pray for you"? The way to reach out to them is not preaching in this context, it is demonstrating the mighty works of Jesus. Pray in tongues and tell them, "God's power is available. God's grace is available. What can I pray for you for"? Amen. Just from meditating on the woe, God gave us a key not to condemn but to pray. Amen?
"But I say to you they shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the Day of Judgment than for you". You see, the way God estimates sin and all that kind of thing is not the way the church estimate today. What Jesus is saying is that rejection of grace is worse than any other sin. Am I right? Am I reading this right? I'm bringing this to a close. Hope you are learning, church. Let's go back to Ephesians 4. "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit..." Now we know what the Holy Spirit's grieved because when words don't impact grace, he is grieved, all right? Let's finish it. Verse 31 and 32, "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you".
This is the last verse of chapter 4, Ephesians, "Even God in Christ forgave you". Forgave you is present tense or past tense or future tense? Past tense. So God in Christ forgave you. Notice there's a difference now. Notice there's a difference. When Jesus walked on earth, Jesus says, "Forgive in order for God to forgive you". Remember that? Come on, talk to me. Forgive. If you don't forgive, what will happen? Jesus says, "Your Father will not forgive you". He's talking to the Jews at the time, but Jesus knew he would die for their sins. And after the cross... some people say, "Well, Pastor Prince, you know, he exalts Paul more than Jesus".
Hello, friend. Please, lah. Can you please grow up and understand that the words of the Bible is not just Jesus's words in red but also all of Paul's words are the words of... in fact, the words in red are Jesus when he was on earth, and he's not able to share everything that's on his heart because he has not yet died and risen from the dead. Even at the end of his life he says, "I have many things to say to you, but you're not yet able, but when the Holy Spirit comes, he will guide you into all truth". Anticipating the ministry of Paul as well. When Paul came, Paul says, "My words are not my words, but the words of him". Amen. Amen. The Word of God which you receive, which works in you.
So Paul's words are the words of the present day, exalted, and throne Christ. It's not a matter of competing Paul and Christ. Come on, please. Don't be so narrow-minded to think that the words of Jesus are only Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Ephesians are the words of Jesus. So after the cross you forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Now we forgive because God has forgiven us. The motivation has changed, people. We forgive because God has forgiven us.
If somebody has a problem with forgiveness, I don't tell them, "You don't forgive, huh, God will not forgive you, huh". That makes them even more worse. I go to them and I realize they have a problem understanding God's forgiveness for themself and I start preaching to them or sharing with them. Let them listen because if they cannot forgive, most likely they themself have a misconception or a misapprehension or doubt in God's forgiveness for him. That's where you need to focus on. That's where pastors and leaders need to focus on. I agree unforgiveness is one of the biggest problems in the body of Christ. But how do we tackle it? By unveiling the forgiveness of God in Christ. Can I have a good amen?
"Forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you". Now, look at this. Next chapter. In the original there's no chapter, all right? So I'm going to go to the next chapter to show you the context. "Therefore". Therefore is based on God forgiving you in Christ because God has forgiven you. "Therefore be imitators of God". The word imitators is the word mimetes in the Greek where we get our English word mimic, imitate, all right? "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children". I think that the King James and New King James is quite weak in this word dear. It's the word agapitos, which is the word beloved. In the New International Version is clearer, all right? Be imitators of God therefore as dearly loved children. As dearly loved children.
In other words, when children... look up here. Here's a revelation. You want your children to be like you? You want them to imitate you? My son imitates me a lot, so my wife say, "Can you stop saying laugh for goodness sake. He's learning to say after you". Everything, you know, I will say, "Justin," you know, I'll say a statement, and he will say after me. I say, "Are you a happy boy"? "I am a happy boy". "Are you a loud boy"? "I'm a loud boy". You know? For me that is a sign that he knows he's loved. Because what this verse is saying, when children are dearly loved, they imitate their parents. Or are you afraid they imitate you? In other words, we don't have to preach so much to them, use threats and intimidation. They will mimic us when they know they're loved, dearly loved, all right?
Amplified Bible: "Be imitators of God," or mimic God, "as well-beloved children imitate their father". In other words, if your children don't imitate you is because they don't feel like you love them. So here we have a revelation that when we impart love to our children, unconditionally, amen, you're afraid because you say that, "If I show love when they have misbehaved I'm sending them a wrong signal". Stop walking in the counsel of the ungodly. When it comes to parenting, stop walking in the counsel of the ungodly and walk in the counsel of God. I didn't say you tell them, "I am pleased at what you have done". I said say to them, "I will always be pleased with you. I will always love you. What you did was wrong. It doesn't change my love for you".
Especially when they are really down and they hear that, they know they're loved. And the Bible says when they know they're loved, they will imitate you. You go to church, they'll go to church. You love your wife, they'll love their wife next time. Amen? That's why before you marry a girl, the young people here, look at their mother. That's what your girlfriend will be 20 years from now. You want to know what your boyfriend will be like 15 years from now? Look at his daddy. Amen? Praise the Lord. Are you all learning something, church? Is this blessing you? This helping you? So remember this, okay? Sin is sin, but with God, "Some things," God says, "it'll be more tolerable for Sodom in the Day of Judgment than for you".
Rejection of grace is the worst kind of thing. When people assassinate those who preach grace and people start not to read, not to hear anymore because of what these leaders are saying, they have committed one of the biggest sins ever. When I was in Israel and I got this Jewish security guard saved, all right, my message was the gospel of grace. Have you noticed that the gospel of grace is reaching out to them? And I'm telling you, church, there are people who are saved that you don't even know they are saved because of the gospel of grace. It's the only answer for a lost, crying, sighing world. Jesus died to give us this gospel. Amen? That's my message today. Praise the Lord. Give him praise. Hallelujah?
Every head bowed, every eye closed all across this place. At the end of Matthew 11, right after he says woe, woe, he says come. That's a new word. It's from the Greek word follow, but in this context for the first time he says it like this, "Come. Come toward. Come unto me. Not come to a church, not come to a man, not come to a teaching, but come to me," Jesus said, "and I will give you rest". I like the Greek. The Greek says, "I, my person, I will rest you. When you come to me you don't have to learn the steps of relaxation. When you come to me you don't have to breathe in deeply. When you come to me you don't have to relax yourself. I will rest you. Just come to me".
Amazing things happen when people come to Jesus. When the sick come they don't have to make themselves well; he heals them. When the blind comes to him, they don't have to make themselves see; he opens their eyes. Today are you struggling with something? You're trying to get help here, help there. You're looking horizontally instead of coming to him. Just come to him and say, "Lord, I have this problem". Even physical. "The doctor says this, the doctor says that, but, Lord Jesus, I'm coming to you". The physician or physicians. "You bore this disease in your own body for me because you love me".
And, friend, God wants you to know that. Just like he wants you to affirm your child as being well-loved, he wants you to know that you are well-loved by him. I said you are well-loved. You are dearly loved by him. This is not religion. You're not coming to God in a distance and trying to appease him with some sacrifice and things you bring. No. God has been appeased where his justice is concerned in regards to our sins in the death of his son. God sent his son for this purpose, so that his justice will be appeased, and it has been appeased. God is well-pleased with what his son has done that if anyone approaches God today in the name of his son, God's feelings for his own son will be imputed to you.
Friend, wherever you are right now, I don't believe God brought you here just for you to hear a nice sermon and then go away the same way you came. No. Friend, eternity is real. Those who have gone on before are on the other side, jumping up and down the streets of Gaul. And believe me when I say they are more alive than we are. We are encumbered with this body, but one day, the Bible says, we'll have a brand new body. It's all paid for by the blood of Jesus that was shed at Calvary's cross. Put your trust in him. Child of sorrow, put your trust in him. If your conscience is being bothered by sin, put your trust in him. Christ died for your sins. If that is you wherever you are right now, pray this prayer with me from your heart, and whoever is watching this right now, say this after me. Say:
Heavenly Father, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he died on the cross for all my sins, and he rose from the dead without my sins. He has accomplished a perfect work in removing my sins from your eyes. Thank you, Father. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. And I thank you that I'm safe forever, my sins are forgiven, I am greatly blessed, and your favor is on me, and I'm dearly loved. In Jesus's name, amen.
Amen, amen, amen. Let's all stand to our feet. Lift up your hands all across this place.
This coming week the Lord bless you with the blessings of Abraham and the blessings of Deuteronomy 28 and the Lord himself keep you, preserve you, protect you from all dangers, harm, sickness, and from all evil. The Lord make his face to shine on you and your children, impact grace and favor wherever you go. The Lord lift up his countenance on you and your families and grant to you and your loved ones his Shalom health, wholeness, and peace in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And all the people said, "Amen". God bless you.