Joseph Prince - Come As You Are and Receive Your Miracle
Hey, New Creation Church, the best church in the world, in the whole universe. Amen, miss y'all. Well, as you heard just now, we just came back from Israel Hope and Grace Israel Tour and all those you who took time to go and served. You know, our people, I'm so proud of our people. Our people went there to serve, many of them, the youth leaders, the young people that went there, my daughter as well. She was there to serve. They came early, probably about three hours before the entire event and when the sun is still shining in its fiercest, all right, they were there making sure everything is okay to usher in the people, show them to their seat, help the ones that are having problems walking, showing them where the toilet is and all that.
For that, I want to say thank you. And even in Singapore, all over the world, you know our people are people of excellence, people of amazing heart of service and generous people. People know you as generous. You know, one of the things that I believe that the gospel of grace does to you is that it makes you generous. It opens up your heart and that's what I see in all of you people and for that, I thank you. I salute you especially for making the gospel preaching so much easier by your testimony, amen? We're not perfect people, we're the first to tell you if you're a guest here you say, "No, the church is full of hypocrites".
All right, let me just tell you this, one more won't make a difference, come, come, come, come, praise God, okay? Actually, actually, the whole world is full of hypocrites, okay? And I want to touch on that as well today because I think that there's something about this hypocrisy that evokes the greatest response from Jesus. I asked the Lord one time, I said, "Lord, why do you hate hypocrisy so much"? And, you know, what he said to me? "Because I love them. I love the people". Because he loved the Pharisees and yet I couldn't fully understand. He says that, "you will never know that you are loved until you know that I know all about you and I still love you". Because when you are playing the part of a hypocrite, all right.
Now I looked up the dictionary definition of hypocrisy. I know what it means but just to see what the dictionary says. It says, "Play acting, pretending to be what you are not". Okay, play acting. You are not that character, but you are play acting that character. In other words, you're pretending to be what you are not. Are you listening? Do you remember the story of the woman at the well? Jesus gently exposed her in her sins, why? Well, because he wanted her to feel loved. Every time you pretend to be something you are not, you cannot feel loved.
So, what Jesus did at the well was this, he told the woman, "Go call your husband here". Then she said, "I have no husband". Now, it's coming to her sin, right? But this is how beautifully he did it, how courteously, how excellent in the way he did it, how loving and kind. He praised her first. He did the divine sandwich. He praised her first. He says, "You have said it beautifully". In the Greek, kalos, beautiful. "You have said it beautifully. You have no husband. You have had five husbands and the one that you're living with now is not your husband". Then he put the other divine sandwich, "In that you have spoken truthfully".
Now, who talks like that. We'll say, "You got five husbands, man, don't lie", you know, right? He praised her. He says, "You have spoken beautifully, you have spoken", literally kalos, beautifully. "You have no husband. You had five husbands and the one you're living with is not your husband". He found a way to praise her and he was courteous to her. Now, she knows that he knows about her and still loved her. The Bible says Jesus went through Samaria. He must needs goes through Samaria. She was a Samaritan woman. Most Jews will not travel the same way Jesus traveled. They will bypass Samaria but the Bible says it very beautifully he needed to go through Samaria. It was not a topographical need, it was a grace need, amen? He had an appointment with that woman. He wanted to love her, save her.
And Jesus was sitting at the well and now the woman knew that of all the women in Samaria, Jesus knew all about her and he's still talking to her, revealing himself as the Messiah, revealing and talking to her. Now, she knows that he knows about her and he loves her. Does she feel loved? Now she knows that he knows that she knows he knows. Do you think she feel loved? Of course. When you know everything about, you know we tell couples all the time when they come and they're in the honeymoon stage. "Oh, Pastor Prince, he's such a lovey-dovey. Oh, he's such a sweetie pie". Say that, go fight, go quarrel, argue as much as you want first, then come back and see, "No, we're gonna get married". No, fight first. No, we actually don't say that but, of course, we know that they're in that stage. It's not ready for marriage yet, amen?
Then after a few months, whatever they come back and they say that, "Oh, man, I can't stand him man, you know, but I still love him". No, let's analyze that can't stand part, okay? And you find out you still love each other after you see the bad in each other, then you know that this is a good criteria for marriage. The reason why Jesus was strong against hypocrisy is that the Pharisees, as long as they put up that facade, that veneer, they cannot love. They cannot feel the love of God. It's like, you know, you want to get a suntan but you are hiding away from the sun. No, you gotta remove every veil, every hindrance, every blockage to the sun.
So, Jesus in his rebuke will remove all that so they will know that he knows them as they are and still loves them, amen. So, when it comes to understanding law and grace, the Bible says in Romans 11, "And if it's by grace, it's no more of the law, of works otherwise grace is no longer grace. If it's of works, it's no longer grace otherwise work is no longer work", very simple. In other words, undeserved, unmerited favor. You cannot work for it, it's by grace.
So, the opposite of grace is works and yet grace produces the best kind of works, not dead works but living works, life works, hallelujah. Now, I want to share with you something that is causing confusion in the church and because of that people start writing against extreme grace. "You know, Pastor Prince is preaching extreme grace", and things like because they don't understand this divine paradox. Let me explain, in Proverbs 17, verse 15 it says this, "He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord".
You know what's an abomination? There is sin, we're all born in sin, even before we do anything, we are born in sin because of Adam's sin is in the blood, okay? Then there's also transgression. When you break a known law, there's transgression or trespass. Then there's iniquity that's passed down from father to child, iniquity of perversion in the nature. That's abomination. Abomination is the worst kind. Abomination is like it's abominable. It's not snowman, okay? It's abomination. It's terrible, the worst kind, okay?
Now, according to this verse, what's the worst kind that's an abomination to the Lord? Both this. If you justify the wicked, let's say a person is a wicked person, a sinner or you justify him, you talk about him as if he's a justified man, a righteous man, that's an abomination. On the other hand, he who condemns the just, let's say a just person, a righteous person, you condemn him, that's an abomination to the Lord. Are you listening, people?
Now we always think in terms of other people, right, but whatever yourself? If you are a sinner and you justify yourself like the Pharisees, "I don't need any saving, you know, I'm pretty okay. I'm moral. I keep the law. I don't do bad things and all that". You are justifying the wicked. You are justifying the sinner. God says you're a sinner. On the other hand, now that you are saved, the blood of Jesus has cleansed you, amen? And Bible says what are you now?
2 Corinthians 5:21, real quick. Y'all know this verse by now. "God made Jesus at the cross who knew no sin to become our sin", right, "That we might be made, that we might become, that we might become", what? "The righteousness of God in him". So, what are we now? The righteousness of God in him. But if you condemn the righteous, even self-condemnation, you condemn yourself when God has made you righteous, you condemn yourself. You say, "I'm a lousy sinner. I'm this, I'm that". You condemn yourself, it's also an abomination to the Lord. Have you ever considered that? What God has cleansed don't you dare call unclean, including yourself.
You see, today the way we pray is different from the Old Testament. Today, we don't say, "Oh God". Today we say, "Father". Today we have a spirit of sonship. Under the Old Testament, they have a spirit of bondage. We have a different spirit, amen? We say, "Father". You know what it means to pray in Jesus's name? Jesus says, "Up till now, you have asked nothing in my name". Wait, wait, wait, wait a minute, wait a minute, what does Jesus mean in the upper room? When Jesus says, "Up till now you have asked nothing in my name". Maybe the disciples were praying the Lord's prayer every day since then but yet the Lord's prayer, wonderful as it is in its setting in its time, Jesus himself said at the upper room, "Up till now you have asked nothing in my name".
So, obviously the Lord's prayer is not asking in his name. "Up till now you have asked nothing in my name". So, all the prayers of the Old Testament is not praying in Jesus's name. There's a new kind of prayer that's coming that he says, "Up till now you have asked nothing in my name". What is asking in someone's name? What is doing business in someone's name? That means you are his representative, right? In other words, when you pray, you must know that you have the same standing as Jesus before the Father, not only that, you are loved the same as Jesus is loved. The Bible doesn't say any lesser. You have loved the same way Jesus is loved.
John 17, "That thou has loved them even as thou has loved me", Jesus said. Not only that, you must know you're accepted before the Father with the same acceptance Jesus is accepted. Now you are in his name, that's how you pray. Praying in Jesus's name is not just punctuating your prayer with, "in Jesus's name". It is knowing that you are in this place today, knowing God is your Father. It's a family place.
Now the children's bread, you are entitled to it. You can eat the children's bread. So, the challenge we have when people start, you know, not understanding this, they are saying, "Pastor Prince, you are saying, you're saying that people have no more sin". No, I didn't say that. We're not perfect. We're not perfect. There's still a stage of growth. We need to grow, yeah. We need to grow. We need to learn the things of God. We need to know how to conduct our marriages.
You know, we need to know how to, you know, walk the way God wants us to walk, yes, that's a growth. But the moment you are saved, you are the righteousness of God in Christ. That is a given, it's never taken away. And for you to speak disparagingly of ourself even you're saying, "I'm a sinner, I'm just a sinner", it's wrong. It's an abomination anymore than when you were a sinner you says, "I'm okay, I'm all right". It's an abomination. It's not. You need the Lord. Are you with me so far?
Do you know there was one time Paul, you know... who God saved first? Peter got saved first or Paul got saved first? Huh, remember y'all don't talk to me, Peter got saved first or Paul got saved first? Who got saved first? Peter, right? All right, for the British friends, Peter, Peter. Okay, Peter got saved first, Paul got saved later. In fact, after Jesus died and rose again. Paul got saved, he was knocked off his high horse literally on his way to Damascus, right? And the Lord appeared to him from heaven.
So, Peter was familiar with the earthly Jesus, but Paul, his first encounter with Christ is the glorified ascended Christ, okay? So, watch this now, what constitutes walking, not walking according to the gospel? I want to show you something that seems to mundane but it's put there in the gospels for all of us to see, or rather in the letters of Paul. It's an occasion where Paul, who was saved after Peter, rebuked Peter. Paul rebuked Peter, wow. On what occasion? Did Peter commit some, some major sin? Was he watching porn? What he slapping someone? What did his do? What did he do? Did he slap his mother-in-law because she got healed? What was the problem here? It was over food.
Let me read to you the story, all right, Galatians and then we're gonna see the truth here. "But when Peter came to Antioch", now, Paul is writing. "When Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. When he first arrived, Peter ate with the Gentile believers, who were not circumcised. But afterwards, when some friends of James", James is a Jewish leader from Jerusalem, all right, and he's the brother of Jesus, natural brother.
"Peter wouldn't eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter's", what? "Hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, 'Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions? You and I are Jews by birth, not 'sinners' like the Gentiles. Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law".
Is it clear? But you know what's the occasion over? Food, food. It must be that Peter was eating with the Gentiles and then he heard, someone said, "Hey, James is coming with his group from Jerusalem". Put on his, you know? And he cut away from the Gentiles. Now, that's hypocrisy. Are you listening people?
But what really touched me was this, this phrase in verse 14, "When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message", even your eating, if you are acting like you are still under the law, okay? "Oh, I don't eat pork". You don't eat pork because of hiking hygienic reasons or whatever it's okay. "I don't eat pork because in the law God says, you know, I think". Friend, now you eat other things, it has no effect 'cause you put yourself under law. You see, the thing is this, there's no compromise even over food.
And in the King James, I like the King James, instead of not following the truth of the gospel, he says, "But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel", walk not uprightly, that's more accurate because in the Greek it is the word, walk not uprightly is the word orthopodeos, orthopodeos orthopedic, where we get our English word "orthopedic". Your legs, walking. So, literally it's they walk not uprightly. What is walking uprightly according to the gospel? This is important.
You know, there's a promise in the Old Testament that says, "No good thing will God withhold from those who walk uprightly. No good thing will God withhold from those that walk uprightly", right? So, what is walking uprightly today? Walking according to the truth of the gospel, believing that you are loved, believing that all your sins are forgiven, believing that when you pray, you are so near to God and that when you pray, it's as if Jesus is praying. That's praying in Jesus's name. That's walking uprightly. This is very important that you get this.
The Bible says that once Jesus sacrificed work at the cross, how many believed he sacrificed work once and for all? The Bible says it worked by one sacrifice, Hebrews 10:11, "Every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins". The Old Testament, the priests are standing. Say, "standing". Stands ministering daily. Say, "daily". And offering repeatedly. Say, "repeatedly". The same sacrifice, which can never take away sins. "But this Man, Jesus Christ, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever". Say, "One sacrifice for sins forever" three times, come on. "One sacrifice".
Now, even though you say it three times, one sacrifice is it one sacrifice, don't forget, it's one sacrifice for sins for how long? Forever. So, compared with ministering, offering repeatedly, Jesus only had to one sacrifice and the effectiveness is forever. Instead of them standing daily, he sat down. His work is finished. So, the result is what? Go back to verse 1, the Bible says, verse 1, "The law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect". Perfect in terms of conscience. "For then would they not have ceased to be offered"?
In other words, if those sacrifices in the Old Testament work, if the blood of bulls and goats worked one time, there's no need to offer them repeatedly but because the worshipers once purified would have had no more consciousness of sins, right? Now, did Jesus one sacrifice for sins forever purified us once and for all? It worked. How many say it worked? We should have, what? No more sin consciousness. So, you go to God and you're not afraid. You say, "God, thank you, Father, for loving me. Father in Jesus's name this coming week, Lord".
You can ask God for anything that you want, amen, and trusting that you are as near to him as Jesus is. The moment you take your place like a sinner pretending to be humble and that kind of thing, it's an abomination because you're pretending to be what you are not. Don't condemn the righteous. Don't condemn yourself, that's an abomination. Have you learned something today? Give God a praise and the glory, amen, hallelujah. Thank you, Lord.