Joseph Prince - Make Grace Your Way of Life
God wants Jesus Christ to come back to the center of his church, and he wants the Gospel that Jesus died to produce, amen, to give to the church, to come back to the centerpiece, to the forefront, amen. And it seems like there's such a mixture all over the world where the Gospel is being preached. We think the Gospel is for Billy Graham's, you know, it's for the evangelists out there. The Gospel, church, is not just for the sinner. The Gospel is for the believer. The Gospel is your health. The Gospel is your wealth. The Gospel is your safety. The Gospel is your preservation. The Gospel is your family's protection. It's the success of your marriage.
The Gospel is the power of God unto your salvation, and the word "salvation" in the Greek is all covering, every area or encompassing salvation. Save you not just from hell. It saves you from self. It saves you from disease and sickness. It saves you from addictions. It saves you from, sometimes, you know, self is one of the biggest problems that exists, church, and many of us, even when we come to God, we are still very conscious of what is in our heart, and we're not very conscious of what is in his heart, and we forget that, when we come to God, the conscience, listen, conscience and faith, faith makes you conscious of God and his love for you, all right? But conscience makes you aware of yourself and the uncleanness and the sin that's in you. So conscience makes cowards of us all, amen. Conscience cause you to pull back from God.
Now, some people think conscience, it's good to have a conscience. You know, the way the world says it, "A man must have a conscience". I understand what they're saying. What they're saying is a good conscience. But actually, when God made Adam and Eve, they had no conscience. They were innocent. They had no conscience. Are you listening, church? And then God told them, "You can eat from every tree, you can freely eat, but from one tree, called the tree of knowledge of good and evil, don't eat. Why? I'll cut it short. Because, when you eat from that tree, your conscience will come alive, and you won't need me anymore. I want you to come to me and ask me, 'Is this all right, Father?' I want you to have a father-son relationship. I don't want you to be independent of me and trust your own conscience, to trust your own knowledge of good and evil".
So the tree is called the knowledge of good and evil. So when man ate of it, the Bible says their eyes were opened. Now, God didn't want the eyes opened by the tree of conscience or the tree of the law. God wanted their eyes to be opened by the tree of life. Don't forget. But the Bible does say, when the partook, their eyes were opened, but is it good, or was God trying to stop their eyes from being opened? Is God trying to withhold something from them? No, God wants their eyes open, but God wanted their eyes to be opened to the tree of life. That's Christ. That's Jesus Christ. Can I have a good amen? Because, when your eyes are opened to Christ, it is being open to how much you are loved by him, how much he cares for you, but when you open your eyes to the wrong tree, conscience, that means, from now on, all right, your conscience tells you what is right and what is wrong, not God, amen?
Some places, your conscience allow you, all right, to kill, amen. So you kill. Your conscience allows you to kill. Your conscience allows you to sire children and then cast them away, you know? Your conscience allows many things that God will not allow, amen, because God loves men. Are you listening, people? So conscience is not a safe guide unless you are born again, then your conscience becomes good, amen, cleansed, touched by the blood of Jesus, then it becomes good. Are you listening to me, church? So the moment Adam and Eve had a conscience, God came into the garden, and now this time they had slavish fear. They were hiding from God. There's a expectation of trouble, expectation of judgment, the expectation of punishment. They were afraid of God, in a wrong sense. Before that, they walked with God, but now they're afraid of God.
So, likewise, all men, they try to hide themself, and Adam and Eve hid themselves behind fig leaves. Men hide themselves by the pursuit of wealth, by the pursuit of pleasure, by the pursuit of fame, all right? All these things that will end up with dust in their mouth at the end of the day. All right, you come to 80 years old, 85, 90 years old, you realize that you've been pursuing sand castles by the beach. That's all they are. And then you realize that the things that really matter in life, and while you're so busy pursuing, you miss the real wealth of your children growing up, spending time with them. You always thought they'll be there at that age. No, they grow up so fast. Don't miss living. Don't just exist, all right? Dead fish float. Living fish swim, and they swim against the current.
Don't let people, all right, dictate to you what you ought to be, amen. Live life being dictated by the Holy Spirit. No man is an island. We're not saying, just, you know, it's going back to the law of knowledge of good and evil, saying, "I don't need God. I can decide what is good. I have the knowledge of good, and I have the knowledge of evil", but the knowledge of good will kill you as fast as the knowledge of evil because the moment Adam and Eve partook of the tree, they died spiritually. Are you with me? So what happened is this church: Always remember, faith makes you conscious of God's love, all right? Conscience makes you conscious of self and your sins. Are you listening, people?
One of the biggest challenge against the gospel of grace is this, and I'm sure you'll hear it. All right, you've heard of it. I wanna see by a show of hands, how many have heard this? All right, we are not under law, all right, for justification, all right? But we are under law as a rule of life. How many of you heard this? Let me see your hands. We are not under law, I'm not saying right or wrong, so don't worry. There's no right or wrong question here. I'm asking how many of you have heard this? They will say, "Yes, we are not under law for righteousness. We are not under law for justification, but we are under law for our walk for holiness".
How many of you have heard that before? In other words, theologically speaking, not under law for justification, but under law for sanctification. Have you heard that before? It's the biggest argument. I'm telling you, it's the biggest thing. Even theologians, all right? Many theologians will try to use this phrase, "I don't use the law for righteousness. I use the law for sanctification for holiness". They call it "the moral law", "the Ten Commandments", the moral law, which it is the moral law. And then the second thing, which both, I wanna address today because we gotta have right believing. If we have wrong believing, let me tell you this: If you have a wrong believing and you have this fearful expectation of judgment from God, even though God is not judging you, and if you're a believer, your judgment is behind you, not in front of you. Your judgment is at the cross, amen, but if the devil is able to put the thought in your mind that there's a certain fearful looking for of judgment. It can cause untold harm, all right, to your body, to your mind, to your emotions, and God is not involved in it at all, but a devil has managed...
You know, years ago, I read that verse while I was flying to Israel. On board the plane, I opened up my Bible. I was doing some reading, God's Word, and I came to this phrase in Proverbs, where it says that "The wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion". And I said, "Hey, that's very familiar, isn't it"? The devil goes about like a roaring lion, so the Lord is telling me that the wrath of the king, and I knew there, in the context there, the king there is God, who is our King. If he gets angry, it's like the roaring of a lion. So we know that he cannot (and that's another message altogether) he cannot be angry with a true believer ever again, all right? The wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience, not the children of God, okay?
So the thing is this: When I read that, I realized the devil has been going around, all right? The Holy Spirit showed me from that, up thousands of, you know, feet in the air on the way to Israel, God showed me that the devil has been impersonating as God. Every time you do something wrong, he comes to you and say, "Now God's wrath is coming". So every time you've done something wrong, there's a certain fearful looking for judgment, and this is dangerous. It can do untold harm to your body, your emotions, even your marriage, your relationships. And whenever something bad really happens, you start saying, "That was the result, the habits of what happened". That shows that, all the while, whether consciously or unconsciously, it is in your heart, it is in your mind. Are you listening, church?
Then the Ten Commandments, they call it the moral law, okay? What's wrong with trying to keep it for holiness as a guidance for life? What's wrong with it? And I used to think that way, "What's wrong with it", you know? "Why would God want to raise me up to preach a strong message about grace? It is not original with me", all right? It was not original with Martin Luther. It was original with the apostle Paul. He received it from heaven, but somehow, just like what the Philistines did with the wells of Abraham, they cover it with earth. And then Isaac came, and one of the things Isaac did, in fact, the greatest thing he ever did in his life was actually to uncover and stop the wells of water that the Philistines had put earth on it. And, for me, I feel that I'm just unstopping, all right, uncovering all that the devil has tried to put dirt in it. Are you listening, church? That's my ministry. That's my call, okay?
So I have to look at it at different angles when I show you and answer these two questions. Number one, all right, those who say, "I use the law not for righteousness, not for justification. I use the law as a rule of life. I use the law as sanctification for holiness". What's wrong with that? Number two, okay, they say that whenever Paul says, "Do not go back to the law", Paul is referring to ceremonial law. Have you heard that before? Have you heard that? That means Paul is referring to the ceremonial law, the law of the Jewish ceremonial laws of sacrificing, watching the new moon to celebrate their feasts, all right, washings, all kinds of washings and immersions in the water, mikveh pools, you know. They are saying that "That's a ceremonial law. We are no more".
When Paul says, "Don't go back to the law", Paul is referring to ceremonial law. So these two things I am able to answer in a short time because two hours, three hours, still a short time. I won't frighten you, okay, but we'll do our best to answer that. And let's look, let's go right to the passage that the apostle Paul, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, has written for us. And I'm going to go a bit slow because we are to look at the argument, we are talking about law for righteousness. I understand that, but law for holiness, law for rule of life, law as a rule of life. Is that acceptable? Is that what God wants? All right, and the question is "Without the law, can we be holy"?
Now, some of you know that I've answered these questions real quick in my preaching, all right, in times past, but let's go to Romans chapter 7, and many of you are aware of this passage. We use it so many times, but today I wanna approach it in a different light and a different angle, but let's read this verse, verse 1. The apostle Paul, by the Holy Spirit, said, "Or do you not know, brethren, for I speak to those who know the law, that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives"? Am I right? As long as you're alive, the law has dominion over you.
Now, let's say you are dead, and then they realize that you have committed a crime two years ago. Do they exhume your body, and then put you behind bars, rotting flesh and all? Do they do that? No, once you are dead, you are no more under the law, and all the people said, "Amen". It has only dominion over a man as long as, say it, as long as he lives, okay, good. Keep that in mind. "For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives". Note this phrase, "as long as he lives", "as long as he lives", "as long as he lives". You are about to understand why Jesus died. One of the reasons why Jesus died, which is seldom preached. And, now, if you're in this church, you understand very clearly, all right, the importance of us being under grace and not under the law, but many people don't understand this.
There are many reasons why he died. Of course, the main thing, all right, is to die as our sin offering, but here, the context here, Romans 7 is actually answering the question that begs an answer in Romans 6:14. Romans 6:14 comes before this, right? The chapter before this is "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace". Now, this is a verse I would encourage you to keep and tuck somewhere in your spiritual pocket, okay? 'Cause people always come and say, "Well, if you are not under law and you are under grace, then you will go crazy. Then you'll do all kinds of sin", all right? But, actually, the Bible says the opposite. The Bible says, "Sin shall not have dominion over you, for", reason assigned, reason given, "for you are not under law, but you are under grace".
Now, let's all admit it: It doesn't make sense. What is logical is sin will not have dominion over you because you are under law. Correct? But that's not what the Apostle says. So keep this verse in your heart. For some reason, all right, people read this verse, and they don't read this verse. They see this verse, but, yet they don't see this verse. So it is Romans 6, and Paul, by the wisdom of God given to him, felt that people would not understand this verse, just like today. So he gave a whole exposition in the next chapter. So let's go back to the next chapter, chapter 7, now verse 2. "For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband", correct? Right?
Okay, the women don't wanna say, "Yes", too loud because they want their husband to think that they want them, okay? All right, so the woman is no more bound. If the husband is dead, can she marry? Can she marry? Will she be an adulterous if she marries? All right, I'm getting ahead of myself, but let's go on to the next verse. "So then, if while the husband lives, she marries another man, she'll be called an adulteress". We all know that, right? "But if the husband dies, she is free from that law so that she's no adulteress though she has married another man", okay? All right, now, understand this, that the Jewish people, all right, the people of God, and today, you ask the rabbis, they'll tell you this: God made a covenant at Mount Sinai, and the covering clouds became the "chuppah".
You know the "chuppah"? Chuppah is like a small tent. It's a very cute four-sided tent where, when a bride and a groom come together as husband and wife before the rabbi, all right, and then the rabbi will pronounce them husband and wife, then they'll crush a glass, right? They do it under the chuppah. They're married under, they call it chuppah. Chuppah is like a covering, covering. So the Jewish people said that, at Mount Sinai, Mount Sinai and the dark clouds. It's interesting that, when Peter, James, and John, was with Jesus in the Mount of Transfiguration, the cloud there was called "bright cloud", and over here, Moses time, when God gave the law, it was called "dark clouds", all right, and the law. Bright clouds under grace. Amazing.
All right, so the dark clouds gathered, and then there God married Israel. They said, "God married Israel". And every marriage involves a covenant, as well as terms. So there, God married Israel. So Israel always felt that to be a Christian, to be a believer is like rejecting your entire family, not just your physical, immediate family, but your entire family of Jews. Are you listening, people? So the apostle Paul is showing them the legality of what Jesus did. They are so bound by Moses, who actually, the Bible says, in Hebrews, "He's a servant, but Moses gave the law". Are you listening? But the Bible says, "Grace and truth", John 1:17, "came by Jesus Christ", but Jesus Christ is the Son, and the Bible says in Hebrews, "The Son abides in the house forever". The servant does not. Tells it clearly that law does not abide forever.
Even today, the law actually, the Ten Commandments was actually given for one specific group of people, the Jewish people, and it was for a certain time, 1,500 years until Jesus came, and, yet the church is still under it. The church doesn't understand what it means to be under the law. Let me just tell you this: You cannot be under the law and not be under the curse. You cannot, you know, you cannot... how you call it? Pull out the tooth of the law. The law is the law. The law must be the complete law. So what people have to do when they talk about the law, be under law, it's called the relaxed law, half law, partial law, partial grace, all right? The Bible knows no such monstrosity, all right? The Bible tells us, if you are under the law, you must understand one thing: all right, you better not sin because, if you sin, the law will curse you. To be under the law means to be under the curse when you sin. Do you understand that?
Let's stop here for a while. Just go to Galatians 3, verse 10, all right? "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse, for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone'". You say, "Pastor, I do my best to keep as many of the commandments I know". All right, you're doing your best. Look at this: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in", how many things? In how many things? Have you kept all things? Have you kept all things? If you have not, the point of this passage, you are under the curse. No wonder things are not working out. No wonder things just, you know, you are just facing a blank wall. You push and push, and nothing happens. There's only one way for a believer to get under the curse again is to go under the law, and the law demands complete, it's not just 98.9%. Your test results show 98.9, wonderful. No, no, no, no. The law demands 100%.
Do you want to be under law? You cannot bring God's standard down to your level where it's manageable. You must come up to God's standard. This is the law. The law is holy. The law is righteous, okay, so that it's very clear. The law does not curse you if you obey everything in it, but who is the one that has obeyed everything in it? Have you love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind? You have not? You have not? You just love God "as much as I can". No, no, it's much, all your heart, all your soul, all your mind. "I have not, Pastor Prince". Then, according to the law, you are cursed if you're under the law. You're cursed. You're under a curse. A curse means "empowered to fail", as under grace, you're empowered to succeed. Empowered to be sick, empowered to live in abject poverty, empowered that everything you touch disintegrates. That's a curse. Are you listening, people?
See, my heart, my heart is that you're free from the curse. Do you understand that, church? So people think that, by telling people to not be under law and all that, oh, you know, "They think very light about the law". No, it's because I have a higher regard for the law. It's because I know, unless you keep all things in the law, you under the curse. I have a high regard. Most people don't have a high regard. Those who say, all right, those who say things like, "I use the law for holiness", it's not because they want to do good. It's because they have this unwillingness to own how bad they are, amen, because the law will never give you holiness. The law will show you what you really are, all right? In fact, this passage will tell you that. The law will always stir up.
All right, the law does not produce sin. I've never said that, but the law will manifest sin. It was designed to manifest sin, and that's why the Bible says in Romans 5, that, when the commandment came and the Word came, all theologians can check this in the Greek. "Came", there, is not "came" in the centerpiece, in the forefront. "Came" on the side. "Came" by stealth. Paul used this word "by stealth", same Greek word, on the side, on the by. It's not God's main agenda. It came on the side that the offense might abound. The commandment came, the law came that the offense might abound. Are you with me, church? And follow me so far because we're building something here that will help you a lot, okay?
All right, there are two questions. Question number one, people will say, "I understand, we are not justified by the law". But I'm not using the law for justification. I'm using the law for holiness. I'm using the law as a rule of life, all right? Is that acceptable? Number two, we're answering the question, when Paul says, "Don't go back to the law", these people say he's referring to the ceremonial law, okay? And look at this. Go back to Romans 7. So this woman now, all right, if her husband is dead, she's free from the law. There's a big problem about God's demands, God's righteous requirements of man. How many know that God's law cannot die? How many know that God's requirements and demands and holy demands cannot die? How many understand that? Wave at me. How many know the law cannot die?
So if the law cannot die, in other words, the husband here, these two husbands, it's actually Mr. Law and Mr. Grace. I've illustrated this sometime back in my sermon before, if you have been here for a few years. So Mr. Law, the Jews are connected to Mr. Law since the time of Moses. Now Jesus has come, bringing grace. The Son has come, but they're still too attached to the servant. By the way, God himself will not directly be involved with the law. The Bible says when God gave the law, God gave the law through a mediator, Moses, and through the hands of angels. I don't have time to show all the reference. I'm just showing you this to tell you God's heart is not into the law because even while Israel was in the law, God's heart was into promises. He promised David, he promised Solomon, he keep on promising. God's promise and grace go together. I said promise and grace go together. Are you listening?
You know, when Abraham brought that slave girl, Hagar, into his house, the Bible says it's a type of bringing, it's a mini-portrait of bringing the law into his house, for want of confidence on his part because he didn't trust God. So he brought the law in, okay? He slept with her, and she produced Ishmael. Ishmael is a son of the law, the Bible says in Galatians, all right? Are you with me? But that never stopped God from promising Abraham, from giving grace to Abraham, because the law and God, it's almost like God doesn't wanna come near it. God doesn't wanna deal with you based on law. If God deals with base on the law, who can stand? So we've got a problem here that God's requirements of man remains the same. The law cannot die.
So if the law cannot die, this woman is bound to this husband who is perfect. Nothing wrong with him. He's perfect. And the moment she pressed the toothpaste in the wrong way, she is condemned, all right? She does something wrong, she condemned. But the law cannot but condemn. You cannot say, "I have a new version of the law". There's no such thing as new version of the law. There's no such thing as a relaxed law. There's no such thing as a partial law. We saw this. The law is a composite whole. Are you with me, church? All right? So the thing is this: if the law cannot die, if a husband cannot die, she can die, all right? So next verse says: "Therefore, my brethren", and he's writing to the believers now, "you also have become dead to the law". You have become dead. You, the woman who was in the dilemma, you are now dead to the law, "through the body of Christ".
In other words, one reason why Jesus went to the cross, all right, is to bring people out of the law into grace, out of being a slave to sonship whereby we cry, "Abba, Abba", the spirit of a Son. So, today do we obey God? Yes, but the spirit of it's different. If you preach to people using the law, well, you'll produce a servant obedience, not son obedience. Let me illustrate. A son running a family business like the restaurant, for example, a huge restaurant, he has chains all over Asia. His father is a rich man and he's the only son, all right? He is 17 years old, and the father is quite elderly. So the father says, "Son, will you please go work during your school holidays in the, you know, in the restaurant and all that"?
Now, how many understand when he goes to work there, and he's a good boy. He obeys his parents, all right? He goes there. His obedience to his father is not the same as the employee's obedience to the boss. The spirit is different. If you preach to people, they say, "Pastor Prince, don't you believe in obedience"? I do but it all depends, if you're under the law, you will give a slavish obedience, not a loving obedience. Even though the pulpit will say, you know, you're obeying God out of love, you've got to obey God out of love, people are not desperately in love with God, why? Because you're giving them the law. Mm, so one reason why Jesus died. You see, the law is this: Jesus is sinless. He did no sin, all right? Peter says that. He knew no sin. Paul said that. "In him is no sin". John wrote that in his letter.
So Jesus is sinless, perfectly sinless. But when he became our sin offering on the cross, he became the Lamb of God, the substitute to take all our sins upon himself, the law punished or cursed Christ for our sins, all right? The final thing the law did and the law cannot go beyond this, is that when the law curse you to death, the law curse you, and finally you die under the curse, how many understand the law cannot go beyond that anymore? In other words, I through Jesus's body, because what he did was for me, I was in him. When he died, I died. When God raised him, I was raised with him. When God sit him down, I sat down with Christ, amen. You don't have to understand this with your reason. Take it by faith. It's a reality in heaven. You're all dead and risen people. I said you are all dead and risen people, amen?
The law, if you're not dead, the law has jurisdiction over you. But once you've crossed, all right, the valley of the shadow of death and you're on the other side now, but you are risen, risen is better than living, all right? Because when you are living, what you look forward to is death, all right? But when you are risen, you are risen, where's death? Behind you. Every believer must live life as those who are alive from the dead. When you wake up in the morning, don't feel like, "This is a natural life, everyone dies one day. Death is in front of me". No, death is behind you. Does that mean if Jesus tarries, no Christian will die? No, I didn't say that. But I'll tell you this. You won't even feel that you are dead. The moment your heart stops beating, you'll be more alive than you are today because the encumbrance that hinders that life from flowing is your body, and once you're out of it, I'm telling you, you're so alive.
You say, "Man, is this what you call dead that I've been afraid of all these years"? Jesus conquered death. So for the believer, we are dead and risen. Death is behind us. Even disease is behind us. Where is judgment? Behind us. Where is curse? Behind us. Do you understand? The death has no jurisdiction over us today. Judgment has no jurisdiction over us. We are beyond that. The devil cannot go beyond the grave. He cannot go beyond that. He has power over those who are living on earth. For them, they are looking forward, they are decaying, looking forward to death. For us, death is behind us. Why? Where was our death? At the cross. In other words, whatever Jesus did was on our behalf, okay?
So Jesus took our place. It's as good as we were there, and we were there in the eyes of God. So, listen, all the punishment of broken law in your life has already been executed in your life. The law cannot execute anymore already. Are you with me? Now, what you are saying is that you wanna go back to law again as a dead and risen person. It doesn't make sense. I'm giving you theology, folks. I'm giving you Bible truth. It's very easy to make it sound very logical, you know? "How can you just say we are no more under law? Are you telling me, Pastor Prince, you're saying that we can commit adultery"?
See, not being under law doesn't mean you don't have even a higher life, but don't forget, this higher life shall not be another law. It is produced by the life of Christ as being dead and risen in Christ. The law says don't commit adultery, but the law never says love your wife. So there are those that don't commit adultery, but they don't love their wife. I said there are those who don't commit adultery. They don't commit adultery, but they don't love their wife. Is that the holiness that you're talking about?
"Well, Pastor Prince, the Ten Commandments is a transcript of God's mind". What? The Ten Commandments, you mean to tell me that in God's mind there's nothing but only ten laws? How dare you say that in God's mind there's nothing. It's a transcript of God's mind? Don't pretend to know God's mind. It is one of the things that God gives man because man was so proud that man doesn't know himself and God gave him the law, not to justify him by but to show him up. You see, when you have a mirror, and the mirror shows that I have a blemish, the mirror didn't produce the blemish but the mirror manifests the blemish that is already there. But can I use the mirror to wash my blemish away? No, I can't. If the mirror says ugly, can I blame the mirror? I can't blame the mirror. There are people holding their mirrors, "I will hold on to the mirror because the mirror will make me handsome. It'll make me holy".
Friend, the the law is holy. The mirror is inflexibly true. Man, I'm telling you, it's mean. It doesn't mean to be mean, you know, but sometimes I like to look at the mirror late at night under the downlight, preferably candle, but man, when the sun is shining, it comes through the window, you can see all the dust particles in the air, that's the time you don't like to look into the mirror. But the thing is, the mirror cannot cleanse away your blemish. It manifests. So why did God give the Ten Commandments to them? Why did God? Because God knew men. Men would never see his need for a Savior. Man think he's too good. You see, those who are asking for, to use the law for holiness, it's not because they want to do good, it's because they're unwilling to own how bad they are. They're unwilling to accept how bad they are. So they're trying to use the law to find some goodness in themself. It is still self-focused instead of finding all their goodness in another, Christ was risen from the dead. And God gave us Christ to be our Savior and Lord, amen?
You see, for the law to be the law, the law can't bend, you know. If the law bends to help you, it's no more the law. The law is inflexible. Let me ask you a question. These Ten Commandments, let's say it's a chain of ten, okay? Let me ask you a question. All right, what do I have to do to make them all come unglued? How many chains must I break to make them all fall apart? How many chains must I break for them all, huh? It's like hooked to one another. How many chains must I break? One. You break one, they all come out. Some of you have a key like that, or things like that, or necklace, you know? Your pearl necklace or whatever it is, okay, it's not the cheap one, okay, on a string. How many parts of the rope must be broken? How many parts must come off before the rest come off? One. The Bible says in James you break one law, you are guilty of not the one, not the one, you know, but of all.
So for the one who says, "I use it for holiness", if you break one, you don't think about how bad you are. You are still hankering after some good in yourself. "And Pastor Prince, you think you're so good"? No, I'm not. I think that Jesus is my goodness. He is my identity. God is no longer looking at Joseph Prince as Joseph Prince, you know. He's looking at Jesus as Joseph Prince. And so are you, amen? So look at this. "You become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another", just as Ruth, "to him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God", okay?
Now, notice you are dead to the law. So when you say you're dead to the law, some people say, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I agree we're dead to the law. We are dead to the law for righteousness. We are dead to the law for justification". But this is not talking about justification or condemnation. It's not an issue of where he talked in the earlier chapters in Romans about justification versus condemnation. The issue here is about bearing fruit to God. It's about how you bear fruit. Can you bear fruit under law? No, it's when you're dead to the law and, church, you're not trying to be dead. You are dead. Jesus has died. As sure as Jesus died, you are dead to the law. And what does that mean? You have a new husband. This husband you are married to is one who was raised from the dead.
Wow, you are married to the one who was raised from the dead, for what purpose? What is this union about? That you will bring fruit to God. Don't let anyone twist this verse into justification versus condemnation, it's not. It's talking about bearing fruit. It's talking about daily life. Talking about holiness, how to bear fruit. It's only when you're dead to the law, you're married to Jesus. You see, the thing is that I'm not conscious of the law. I have a confession to make. I'm very embarrassed to tell you all this. Can I? I have never memorized the Ten Commandments. I am now 22 years old, and I've never memorized the Ten Commandments, never. I'm so embarrassed to tell you that, never. But I'm telling you something, I love my wife, I love my family, I love to be home, I love to be with my wife and my family, but that doesn't make me perfect, of course. I agree with you, but that's what grace has done, amen, amen?
And so I know right now, let me just tell you this, in my entire life I have never slept with another woman, physically, never. See, some people think that, "Oh, he's preaching grace because he's got some history or whatever". Not this one, okay? And I don't throw rocks at people who have a history either. God doesn't remember their sins, who are you to remember it? There's only one person remembers: the accuser of the brethren, okay? I have never physically slept with another woman. You know, it's dangerous whenever a preacher points to himself because, you know, it is not something that we like to talk about, you know, it's nothing self. All the beauty is in Christ. All the beauty is in Christ.
But once a while, you need to know, like Paul says, "And there'll be followers of me as I am of Christ". Once a while you'll say, "Look, this is the result of being free from the law". Doesn't produce licentiousness, it produce true holiness. The grace of God will teach you. The Son can teach better than the servant, okay, amen? And there are people who are pushing aside Jesus and trying to bring the law again. Or they'll say things like, "Jesus said, 'Unless your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven'". That's right. That means what? We must do more? That's what they think. No, Jesus is talking about, "You know what? No matter how hard you try, your righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the scribes. They tithe on everything. They pray all day long, whatever, you know? You've got to exceed them. No one can".
So Jesus said, "You know what? The righteousness I'm talking about is a gift. It's a gift. You didn't take the exam, but you get a A-plus. It's a gift". What does that do to you? You didn't take the exam and you get a A-plus. You say what? "Thank you". It's a response of grace. When you say thank you, you will not go down there and gossip about the person who gave you the gift. You wouldn't do that. You wanna live your life in honor to the name and bring glory to the one who love you so.
You see, there are people who don't wanna sin because they are scared they'll be found out. That's a low reason. My reason is that the name of Jesus. The saddest thing that goes on when the body of Christ, you know, is found out about, you know, issue of adultery or whatever it is, the sad thing is that, for me, all right, it's not so much of anything else but the name of Jesus. That, for me, is paramount, okay? So let's bring this back again. Look at this. The issue is about bearing fruit to God. He's not arguing about using the law. No one can say, "Yeah, you're dead to the law, but it's for righteousness". No, no, no. Talking about bearing fruit. When you're dead to the law, and you're married to Jesus, the result is what? You bring fruit.
And ladies, let me just tell you this, all right, and men. Those of you who are married understand. Those who are not married may not understand, but let me just tell this, all right? When you're married, it's very natural to bring forth fruit. It runs around in diapers. It is not very difficult, okay? When you think about the way God's wisdom, even the whole thing is a parable, all right? The greatest achievement you can produce is not Facebook or a new Instagram or whatever it is, all right, a new way to convert water and all that, all right? All that's wonderful; it helps mankind, but listen. The greatest thing is a human life produced. A human life. No one can imitate a human life. And how did human life become about? At the greatest point of pleasure. He that have ears to hear, let him hear. There's a parable there. God's ways are not hard. The devil wants me...
"Pastor Prince talking about sex". Sex is in the Bible. God invented sex. "I thought it was Hollywood". No, sorry. It's not the devil. The devil perverts sex, all right? Sex within marriage is God's design, all right, for maximum blessing, okay? But you think about it. You know, it's not hard and God could actually have done it in such a way, if you want a baby, both of you must run up the mountain ten times. God could have done it. I mean, he's God. I mean, we were not there to advise him in the beginning, isn't it? He could have done it like that and all of us today run up mountain just to get a baby. You know what I'm saying? 'Cause I'm saying God, you know, there's a parable there.
So, likewise, in everything lesser than a human life that you want to produce in your life, in your job, in your work, in your ministry, remember this principle: "Enjoy your husband Jesus. When you enjoy and have pleasure with the Lord, worshiping him, loving him, thinking of him all the time, fruit is just supernaturally natural", all right? If you run after success, you will have to use your strength, all right? But you just love the Lord.
You know, the interesting thing is this, and my time is really going so I got so much more to share. I didn't come to ceremonial law already but it can be a series because this is the power of right-believing, all right? Believe right and you will receive right. Do you remember when Abraham was about nearly 100 years old? And do you remember his wife was 10 years younger and she was about 90? The Bible tells us the Lord came to visit Abraham with two angels. So Abraham saw the Lord coming and he hosted the Lord. Said, "Please sit down here under a tree and rest and wash your feet". Beautiful, the tree, the cross. Water of the Word. Rest here. And the Lord said something. Sarah was in the tent, as women in those days, their custom was that. They would serve behind the scene but she was in the tent, Sarah-dropping 'cause Eve, by this time, is dead already. "You're so corny, Pastor Prince". I know.
So she's listening and the Bible says the Lord said to Abraham, "You're gonna have a son this time next year. This time next year you will have a son". And you know what Sarah says? She laughed. She laughed. The Lord was outside but she was laughing. The Bible said she laughed within herself. And she said this: "Shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? Shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also"? And the Lord was outside. So the Lord says, "Did I hear Sarah laugh"? Sarah, inside, said, "No". Then the Lord said, how many know, and the whole thing was undercurrent, it was all within her. She didn't speak out loud, yet the Lord knows our thoughts. And the Lord says, "No, you laughed". Interesting, within herself, she said this: "Shall I have pleasure, my lord", she called him "my lord", not just outwardly for show, in front of other believers. But she said it in her heart. She called Abraham "my lord".
In 1 Peter 3 it says: "Women whose youth become renewed", I'll give you the revelation straightaway, all right, "are women who honor their husband". And honor is not just saying it, you know? One time I told Wendy, "Say, 'my lord.' Say, 'my Lord,' c'mon". And she say, "'Lord, lord, lord,' happy or not"? You know? It's not that kind of thing, you know what I'm saying? I just had to hear it once, you know what I'm saying, you know? So she was in the tent and she says, "Shall I have pleasure"? Notice what she said. The Lord says, "You will have a baby. You will have a son". She said, "Shall I have pleasure? My lord is old. Shall I have pleasure"? She didn't say, "Shall I conceive? Shall I go through labor"? She didn't say, "Shall I give birth"? She didn't say, "Shall I get pregnant". She said, "Shall I have pleasure"?
So what am I trying to say? The truth is this. Who is your Lord today? Jesus Christ. Have pleasure, have a wonderful time with the Lord. Enjoy his love. Don't worry about fruit. Don't worry about children. Enjoy your Lord. Have pleasure in getting to know him. Have pleasure in knowing his titles. Have pleasure in sermons that talk about his love for you. Have pleasure in knowing Jesus. When you have pleasure, guess what? The result is a baby, and it will be effortless. It will be effortless, amen, church? Now, we'll close with this because of time. Next verse says, verse 5, "For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death". "When we were", what? "In the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law".
Now, when the law comes in, if you are alive to the law, he's saying, "In the flesh, in the Spirit". Those who are dead and risen are in the Spirit. Those who are still living are in the flesh, all right? These are the ones the law has jurisdiction over. And he's telling you, what does the law produce? "Sinful passions which were aroused by the law". What do they produce? "They bear fruit to death". Notice the contrast. Bear fruit to God, bear fruit to death. Only when we're dead to the law, married to Jesus who is risen, you bear fruit. But when you are under law, the law will arouse your sinful passions to bear fruit to death. Very clear. This is not a topic on justification versus condemnation. It's about bearing fruit. It's about rule of life, hm?
The next verse. Quick, we're closing. Verse 6: "Now we have been delivered from the law". Now, what? Now, now, now, is what? "Now", present tense, "we have been", what? "Delivered from the law, having died", once and for all, "to what we were held by, so that we should serve in newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter". "But Pastor Prince, I think all this law, law thing we are dead to is ceremonial law, killing animals, washing of hands, baptismal pools". Oh yeah? Oh yeah, don't forget, everything must be interpreted in the context. All right, look at the context. "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law". What law? "I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, 'You shall not covet'".
What law is that? Ceremonial? No, the context is very clear. It's about the Ten Commandments. You see, it's not reasonable. It's like only when you're dead to the law can you produce true holiness. Are you listening, people? Now, in Romans 8, verse 4: "For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh", you see, the law was weak through the flesh. Man cannot keep it. "God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: God condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit".
Now, listen. The more you love Jesus, the more you focus on Jesus, you're walking in the Spirit. And when you walk in the Spirit, the "righteous requirement of the law". What is the righteous requirement of all laws? Love. Love for God, love for your neighbors, right? When you walk in the Spirit, "the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled", what? "In us". The reason I focus on the "in us" and I'll close, listen carefully, because a lot of people use this verse and they tell you, "You see, we still must keep the righteous, we keep the righteous requirement of the law". We keep. It does not say, "The righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled by us". It says it will be fulfilled in us. Who fulfills it? Jesus, by the Spirit.
I repeat again. The word "in" is not "by". And for those of you who are theologians watching this, I challenge you to look up your Greek. Your Greek says "fulfill" here is in the passive voice, not the active voice. Church, you know what's passive voice and active voice? Passive means what? It's being done to me. You know what's active voice? You do it. Here is a passive voice. In other words, the righteous requirement is fulfilled in me. Not fulfilled by me. I'm not the one doing it. It's fulfilled in me. Don't misquote this verse, okay? Go back to Romans 7 and we'll close. Drop down, verse 8: "But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment", does sin straight up produce sin? No, "Sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. Apart from the law sin was dead". "Apart from the law sin was dead".
I've said before. Like, if there's no one in this room, no one, and I'm the only one here and I look at all the doors here and there's one door that says, "Private. Do not look behind this. Highly confidential". All these signs are there. Of all the doors that has no sign, which one will attract me, if no one is here? Now, apart from the sign, sin was dead. But because of the sign, it stir up. Are you listening? It's not the fault of the sign. The fault was already in me. I have this propensity. So do you. But it arouses.
So the more you preach the law, all kinds of sin will happen today. It's like putting wood in the fire, man, in the church. To tell the church to teach a series on the Ten Commandments, number one, you kill them slowly. Number two, you release the curse, you know, every week. Number three, you're producing all kinds of sins in your church, and they are claiming those who preach grace are, you know, that's why when people come to our church they're amazed at the spirit of excellence in this church. 'Cause sometime, people like to portray, you know, New Christian Church, anything goes, there's no law, there's no order, there's nothing. Then they come here, they see our ushers loving to serve. I told one usher one time, "Hey, go back. You've suffered through two services, right"?
"No, Pastor Prince, I just wanna, I love to be in the house of God". People like this who love to serve. Not saying, "Okay, you don't serve, you know, we never know you go to heaven or not whether you'll be in heaven". You know, it's not the kind of, you don't have to resort to such things. It's the love of Christ that constrains us, amen, praise the Lord. Aren't you glad Jesus loves you? Aren't you glad he has provided the death, amen? Tomorrow when you wake up, the first consciousness, "I am dead and I am risen". That's the answer to all, does that mean we are free to sin? No, the answer again: how shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? In other words, a true believer can never live in sin. Why? Because we are dead and risen. Where is sin? Behind us, amen. It's not in front of us.
Does that mean we cannot sin? No, we still can sin, but maintain the faith position. If you maintain the faith position, sin is behind you, amen, amen? Sickness is behind you, the curse is behind you, and condemnation is behind you, hallelujah. The answer of the apostle is always, "How shall we who are dead", all right? The answer is not, "Try to keep the law". "Try to keep the law", is never, never the answer. It is always: "Don't you know we are dead? Don't you know we are baptized into Jesus Christ when he died? We are immersed in Christ's death. When he was raised, we are raised".
Now, don't yield your members to servants of uncleanness but yield yourself unto God as those who are alive from the dead. Live life to the glory of God. There's something princely, something princessly, about people who know that they are dead and risen. There's an aura. It's like when they step into a boutique, they step into a restaurant. The whole place becomes royal. There's something about people, Christians, who walk in the Spirit, amen? They become royal. There's a royal mean about them. You know, they're above meanness. They are above, you know, and even if they're not that well off, they watch how they dress, they carry their need. Royalty has come into their blood when they are born again. Royalty, they become regal. And people say things about them. Regal people do not fight back. They just rise above it. They are not mean and they don't resort to mean means. They're generous. The Bible talks about the princes of Israel giving wagons to the tabernacle, wagons of gifts. But the wagons were covered so they are generous but they're not showing off.
So, church, this is what happens when you realize you are dead and risen, all right? You will bear fruit to God, amen. I'm not preaching a message that says, "Yeah, you can go out here and live in adultery". Yeah, people who are truly born again, even if they live in adultery, every day they're in court. Every day they are being sentenced, if you're truly born again and you're living in sin. But the Bible says: "How shall we who are dead to sin live", live is a lifestyle, "live any longer therein"? We're not under law, we are not under the power of sin. We are under the dictates of the Holy Spirit. When you follow the Spirit, you become royal, amen? Angels will attend to you. Blessings will fall on you and the favor of God will open doors. Amen, give Jesus the praise and the glory and the honor, hallelujah, amen, amen.
All across this place and everywhere that's watching this, I wanna give you an opportunity to be born again, to pass from death to life. My friend, are you married to another? Are you married to the one who was raised from the dead? Are you still living like a mortal man on earth with death in front of you, condemnation in front of you, judgment waiting you? My friend, you don't have to live like that. This is not a religion. This is a reality that Jesus Christ came to give us. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son". And the Bible says that Jesus died for our sins but he also died that you might die. You might die to the law, you might die to sin, and become like him: risen.
So today, those who believe in Christ, you have died and you are now risen. You are now on the throne and that's why you are regal. And that's why you are princely. That's why you are princessly. People sense that about you. They try to drag you down but they cannot. Why? Because the life of Christ is in you, causes you to float above their gossip and slander. Friend, to pass from death to life, to be born again, put your trust in Christ. Through him, your sins are forgiven. Through him, if you believe, you are made righteous. If that is you, pray this prayer with me right now from your heart.
Heavenly Father, I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God whom you sent to die on that cross for all my sins. It was my sins that he bore. I'm a sinner and I thank you. Father, you declare you are the Savior of sinners. And I believe that when Christ died, I died with him. He was buried. I was buried with him. When he was raised, I was raised in him. When you made him sit down on your throne, I sat down with him. Thank you, Father, that my life from now on is a royal life of the kingdom of God. Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior. I'm a son of God. And Father God, you are my Abba, in Jesus's name, amen, amen, amen, amen.