Joseph Prince - Are You Frustrating The Favor of God?
I'm here to tell you, church, that God has favor in your life but that favor can be increased. It can be enhanced. God can, in fact there are things that we do that frustrate the favor of God. So, first and foremost, let's define the favor of God. Are you ready? All right, now, I use the word "favor of God" because grace, the word "grace" has been so religionized that sometimes it's good for us just to step back, all right, and look at the word "favor" because they're both the same. Grace is undeserved favor, amen. In fact, if you read the Amplified Bible, it says "unmerited favor" in many places.
So, grace is favor. They are the same word. Grace is God's favor, amen? When God put favor on your life, your enemies cannot overcome it, your critics cannot overturn it, amen, your competitors cannot push you out of the game, amen? When God puts favor on you, people are drawn to you, people respond to you. People want to do business with you. Even they feel like your product or whatever is not as, you know, as economical or more expensive than somebody else, they want to do business with you. They feel like you're honest, there's an integrity but honesty, again, doesn't bring favor, all right? Honesty does help you open doors because when people know you're honest, they'll do business with you, but again, the favor element is something that they're honest people who don't have favor, but they're honest people.
So, what you want is the favor of God increased in your life. Okay, first and foremost, there is a misunderstanding, I would say, all right, a misunderstanding that people have that only if there is sin, then grace can superabound. Let me establish that truth first because I don't want to divert away from that truth. It is true where, location, where sin increase, grace superabounds, amen? But that's not the only way because if there's the only way then you start thinking, "Only when I sin then grace will superabound". No, no, no, no, all right, it doesn't say when you sin, grace superabounds. It says where there is sin, where sin increased, grace superabounds that's why they misunderstood the Apostle Paul as saying, "So what you're saying is that let us sin more that grace may abound". Paul says, "No, I did not say that".
All right, but they're accusing Paul of that. So, this is what they accused Paul of. Romans 6, verse 1, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound"? And many people like to quote this those who oppose grace, they like to quote this verse but they never follow up with the answer that Paul gave. The answer says, "Certainly not! How shall we who died". Past tense, in other words, it's an impossibility for us to live in sin. It's an impossibility for us to continue in sin. Now, it's possible for us to sin. It's possible for us to fall here and there, but it's impossible according to this verse, for us to continue in sin once you are saved, all right? There are those who say they are Christians, but never born again. So, I'm talking about true believers, they cannot live in sin. Can I have a good amen?
So, that's Paul's way of saying, "How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it"? Now, why did they accuse Paul of this? Okay, we go back to the context? The previous chapter verses 20 to 21, and then chapter 6, verse 1, comes in here can you see? "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound"? The context is this, Paul actually taught, Paul taught this, "Moreover the law entered". The law is the Ten Commandments. The law entered. When the law entered, this word "entered" is actually not came in as the main agenda, but coming on the side, on the side, para, all right, the word "para" is used in the Greek, come alongside. So, it's not God's main agenda. God's main agenda is always grace, amen, all right, but the Lord came along. What's the reason? The law entered that the offense might abound, not that holiness might abound, but offense might abound.
So, the law is like this, the law comes in and brings out the sin that's already inside you, amen? So, as long there's no law, you might think you have no sin, all right? It's not that the law created the sin. The law is like, if I have a transparent glass here and there are a lot of like residue, okay, little muddy residues, whatever, but there's water in the glass, you can't see the residue as long as it's there. You might think it's the color of the base of the glass, but here comes the law of the silver spoon. If I put the law in, guess what, and I stir it even a bit, I stir it even a bit, guess what, all the particles goes up. So, all the while sin is in us, but once you put the law, it comes out. So, it's not that the law create, it's not the spoon created the residue. The spoon didn't create the residue, but it stirred up.
So, the purpose of the law is that the offense might abound so that people will see their need for Christ as Savior or else they don't know how important he is in their lives. They think they're okay outwardly. You see, if you have a disease in your body, you want to know that you have a disease, at least you can get the cure. But the worst are those that do not know they have a disease, okay? Now, having said don't worry, rest easy. God is working in your body, in your life, in Jesus's name, and by his stripes, you are healed. There's always somebody, "Oh no," you know? All right, look at this, "Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more".
And you've heard me teach on this before where sin abounded, it's a different Greek word. It's the word, pleonazo, but it is something you can quantify. Where sin increased, you can quantify increased. Grace abounded much more is one word, huperperisseuo, and huper is the word "hyper". Hyper over the top, perisseuo is abundance already. So, we put them together huperperisseuo for the word "abounded" much more. Grace actually superabounded which means it went over and above and on top of that, more on top of that. It's like beyond the banks and then beyond, beyond the banks, all right? So, it is something you can't quantify. It's something that you cannot count, all right? Where sin increased, grace superabounds. Can I have a good amen?
So, Paul must have preached strongly like that for people to say in verse 1 of chapter 6, "Are you saying let us continue in sin that grace may abound"? Which Paul never said, but the conclusion came because they see him teaching strongly that where sin increased, grace superabounds. So, I'm here to tell you, where sin increased in your life, if you can reach out by faith and receive the superabounding grace there's a superabounding grace in your life. That man that was having a problem with alcohol, if he's a believer, there's superabounding grace in that area right now, if only he can receive it. But most people, they respond with shame and shame does not receive grace. Shame is the opposite of grace, amen. So, they respond with condemnation. They respond with guilt. They respond with self-occupation, instead of, "Lord, I thank you where sin increased, grace superabounds".
Now, this is not to encourage you to sin, amen, but it's to tell you that you're not hopeless when there's sin. So, where, location, where sin increased, grace superabounds. So, for many years, I asked the Lord, you know, to help me understand this and he opened my eyes like real quick I saw, for example, of all the 12 disciples okay, Judas has hung himself the night before. So, Jesus died and rose again from the dead, and what's the first thing that Jesus did? He made sure that was an angel to greet the approaching disciples to the empty tomb and the angel says, "Go tell his disciples that he is risen and go tell Peter," all right? Of all the disciples, who failed him the most? Peter. And who's name was mentioned specifically? Peter. Where sin increased, grace superabounds.
When Jesus rose from the dead, remember the breakfast they had by the shores of Galilee and Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me"? Remember that one? What did Jesus say to Peter three times? "Feed my sheep feed my lambs, shepherd my flock feed my sheep". Of all the disciples that were there, and they were all present, he gave this awesome honor of feeding the flock, a position of leadership a position of authority even, to whom? The one who failed the most. So, it's not natural. Grace is not natural. If you think naturally, you cannot appreciate grace, amen? I want to define grace first. In Romans 11, verse 6, "And if by grace then it is no longer of works".
Sometimes one of the best ways to define anything is to just talk like this, people understand even a child understands. If it's by grace, then it's no longer of works or performance, otherwise grace is no longer grace. If it's of works, then it's no longer grace, otherwise works is no more works. So, works is performance, okay? So, can you see it the opposite of grace, amen? So, what is grace? Based on this, grace is unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor. If you work for it, you frustrate it. How do people who are sincere, they want to go to heaven when they die. They want to live forever with God, all right? But what was the biggest problem in their lives? It's not their sins, everyone has sin, right? So, does that mean that nobody goes to heaven?
So, people know people are going to heaven and everyone have sinned. So, how do you make it to heaven? The biggest hindrance is their performance, it's not their sin. Their sin qualifies for the Savior. If you're not a sinner you don't need a Savior. Your sinnership is your qualification your title to himself as Savior, right? It is our performance. Can I have a good amen? So, can you see when Paul preached like this, it's easy for people to conclude what he's saying? He's telling people, "You can sin as much as you want, all right, grace will superabound". No, I'm not saying that, neither is the Apostle Paul, but we are saying just because you fell into sin, all right, doesn't mean it's the end. If you learn that that's the place where grace superabounds, you can reach out and receive the superabounding grace. And all the people said amen.
Okay now, let's go to this, how to increase favor in our life. So, we have established this, right? Some people, there was a challenge that was given to me one time saying that, "Well, the Bible says Jesus is full of grace. So, if you're saying where sin increased and that's the only way that grace can superabound in our lives, how about Jesus, he was sinless"?
Number one, Pastor Prince never said that that's the only way grace superabounds, but I did say the way the Apostle Paul had said it, where sin increased, grace superabounds, but I didn't say that this is the only way. But how do you increase favor? How did Jesus increase favor in his life? Well, the Bible, it goes back to this, something that Jesus practiced in his life and I say practice. Actually, grace doesn't come by doing more. Grace comes, or grace is increased by seeing more. Are you with me so far? Now, let me just share this with you, many years ago, I asked the Lord to help me understand grace better and at the time, he was teaching me about the law of first mention. There's a principle of Bible interpretation where whenever the subject, a subject in the Bible is mentioned the first time there's something significant.
So, I quickly went to the word "grace," all right, and the first time it is mentioned is this, "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord". This is the first time grace is mentioned in the Bible. "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord". And then I said, okay, this is the law of first mention, there might be something here to the name Noah. And when I studied the name Noah it is from the Hebrew Noach. It's from the word "Noach," which is rest. So, rest found grace in the eyes of the Lord. So, how can you increase grace in your life? By resting more, resting in the Lord. Are you listening people?
Resting in the Lord. The more you rest, the more grace abounds. Now, what does that mean? That means the devil says, "You must handle this situation". And he said, "No, I let go inwardly". It's all inward. "I let go of the worry, I get go of the care. Lord, you're in charge". That resting posture increases favor. Now, I want to tell you something else, how grace with can be increased, the number one way, number one way. 2 Peter chapter 1, verse 2, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord".
Now, grace is undeserved unmerited favor. It is multiplied, not by doing more. A lot of people think, "If I do more for God"... You know, when people get saved and all that and they say, "I want to do more for God. I want to do more for God". No, first of all, sit, God wants you to sit. God wants you to rest. It's natural tendency to want to do more. The way you increase grace, in fact, when you do for, you frustrate the grace of God. You have the opposite result. Learn to rest more. It's not according to nature it's according to heaven. It's according to God. We gotta learn God's ways, amen? So, grace, unmerited favor, can be multiplied in your life and peace can be multiplied, how? In the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Now, in the Greek grammatical structure, Kenneth Wuest, who wrote the expanded translation in the New Testament, he's a Greek scholar and he says that this word here, "grace and peace be multiplied in the knowledge". So, in other words the more revelation we have of Jesus, the more grace and the more peace will be multiplied in our lives, right? Now, Kenneth Wuest says that this word here, "the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord," is actually one word referring to Jesus. He's our God and our Lord. In his own translation, this is how he puts it of this verse. "Grace and peace is multiplied by the experiential knowledge (which the believer has) of God," comma "even Jesus, our Lord". It is not the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord like God the Father and God the Son. Actually, the more you know God the Son, the more you know Jesus, you will know God the Father. "For he that has seen me," Jesus said, "has seen the Father".
So, it's actually Jesus increasing in the knowledge of Jesus. And whenever you hear preaching or teaching that brings you back to the person of Jesus, everything in your life will be blessed, everything in your life will start to prosper because grace and peace is increased, not by doing more, by seeing more. Have you ever had the time when your heart was like you were excited about seeing more and more about Jesus? You went to church wanting to see more of Jesus. You got hold of Pastor Prince's... I mention myself, okay, as a conflict of interest, I understand but I know what I'm preaching so I recommend myself. I don't mind recommending myself it's okay, okay, 'cause I know what I preach, all right?
So, you look forward to listen to see more of Jesus, not Pastor Prince - Jesus. But where are those days? Where are those? Where is that longing? You find yourself getting cold, remember this. Something else had become centerpiece, maybe your child, maybe your spouse, maybe your career, maybe something else, maybe some challenge that's come into your life, and Jesus is still there, but he's a side issue. It's a means to an end, and you wonder, life becomes hard when there's no grace. And I love the Amplified translation because at least the Amplified translation are not afraid of evangelicals who will say, "Well, you know the prosperity bunch," you know?
Number one, there's no such thing as a prosperity gospel, there's only gospel of grace but it produces property. You don't like the word, "prosperity," okay? It produces abundance. Wherever the gospel has gone, it brought abundance, it brought a new level of life, it brought civilization, if you're gonna call it that way. Those are the results, not the gospel, but the results of the gospel, not the gospel itself, okay? I love the Amplified. Amplified this verse says, "May grace, God's favor," you see, "and peace which is perfect well-being". Does that include your body? Peace, how many think that you can have more perfect well-being? How many want more well-being in your life? Okay, God, mark the hands Lord. How many want well-being in your life? You don't want, he won't give it to you, you know?
"Oh, Pastor Prince, we got such thing we want, God will give it to us anyway". No, no, remember the guy who was 38 years old who was lame in his feet, impotent at the pool of Bethesda? Jesus had to ask him, "Do you want to be well? Are you sure you want to be well"? Because there are people that don't want to be well. They want people to come and pat them, they want people to like, you know, focus on them. Some of them, when they are sick, they get welfare in some nations of the world, all right? They don't want to be well.
So, Jesus asked him, "Do you want to be well"? I want to ask you, do you want more well-being in your life. Well, it tells you how. "May grace, God's favor, and peace," which is shalom in Hebrew, eirene in Greek, if your name is Irene, it means peace in Greek, "(which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, freedom from fears, agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in the full personal, precise correct, which is revelatory knowledge, of Jesus who is our God and Lord," amen, amen? So, it should be our passion to see more of Jesus. And I'll tell you friends, you will never fathom the depths of the wonderful Jesus.
Let me just say this, doesn't mean when you focus on Jesus, your marriage suffers, your career suffers, that kind of thing. You know, friend, this is not the truth. The truth is that, when you're occupied with Jesus, your marriage prospers, your career starts to flourish by accident, if I can say it that way. It's a byproduct. When you focus on it, it doesn't prosper. There's no grace. There's no oil. There's no smoothness. But when you focus on Jesus, it flows. Trust God more, rest more, let go more, and see the favor of God increase in your life more and more, amen? Give him praise. Praise the Lord.
Every head bowed, every eye closed. I want to pray for you right now for increased favor, all right? I believe that God always confirms the Word with signs and wonders following, okay? God always increase or confirms the Word, okay, with increased favor, which is the Word for today. So, will you receive the superabounding favor right now? It's all over you now. Will you say, "I receive favor in the area of my relationships. I receive favor, abounding favor, with my spouse. I receive favor with my children. I receive superabounding favor". Amen, even though your heart is troubled about your child, about your son, just say, "Lord, I receive your superabounding favor for my son, and for me, and my relationship with him. I receive it right now. Thank you, Lord. Give me favor, increased favor with my son, with my daughter".
And then, let go and trust God. When you let go, God will not. God will take hold. Just do it right now, just receive it, receive it. It's all over you, receive it, in Jesus's name, amen. Thank you, Lord. Wow, God is even healing people right now, amen. God is healing, healing, healing. Thank you, Lord. I receive the superabounding grace of healing for my body right now. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord, amen.