Joseph Prince - Actively Possess Your Forgiveness In Christ
Today, I want to bring you look closer to what we are sharing. We touched, we left on condemnation. So, the best way to understand the law, one way is to demand. The law demands righteousness from man, grace supplies righteousness from man. Another way to understand the law is the law is what you are to be for God. Grace is what God is to you. So, if you're more conscious what God is to you, a Savior, a lover, amen, a husband, praise God, someone who will, a shepherd, who will provide for you. If you're conscious of it, you're under grace. But if you're always asking, "Am I right with God? Am I doing things"? And we're always self-engrossed and all that, you are effectively under law. Does that help you understand?
Another thing the Lord said to me was this, "You know you're under law when you're always experiencing condemnation, guilt, condemnation. Now, you say, "Pastor Prince, a little condemnation, what's the problem"? I'll tell you this, I can almost trace people that come for counseling and I had a number of them that I've talked to by and by. You know, when you are this young, you meet a lot of people, all right, down through the years that you know you have counseled, you have read so many testimonies, amen.
I'm exposed to so many people and I can tell you invariably, not 50%, not 60%. The vast majority, I don't want to put a percentage but I'll say this, it's more than that. A vast majority of people are suffering from guilt and condemnation, even though it's not evident. It's like the whole forest burns down and you can't even find the kindling. But more seriously, we saw last week that that long before there was diseases in the world, long before there was people aging, God never meant for man to age. Long before there was there was stress, long before there was depression, long before there was death, Got never wanted these things to be.
All these things are God's enemies. If only the whole world can understand, God hates these things. Jesus conquered death and rose from the dead long before these things exist. You go backwards, you look at man, what was the problem? He was stressed out, he was fearful, why? Why was he fearful? Didn't God provide everything in the garden? No, he sinned against God. He did something God told him not to do. And then guess what, what do you do? He hid himself.
Now, what is that? guilt, self-righteousness, covering up yourself, hiding from the one who loves you, who knows everything anyway, who still loves you. When he says, "Where are you"? It's not because he can't find you. He wants you to know, all right, where are you now? Where are you? Do you know where you are? Of course, that's the first question in the Old Testament. The first question in the New Testament is "Where is he"? That's the answer. You find Jesus, you find everything, people, amen?
So, the thing is that he was hiding behind the trees. So, long before there was death, long before there was all these curses coming into his life, man had guilt and condemnation, okay, that produced, what? Stress. By the sweat of your face, you will eat bread. That produced what? Fear. "I was afraid, I heard your voice, I was afraid". That's the first time fear comes in, the wrong kind of fear. When you when you believe wrong about God, you believe wrong about everything in your life. When you have to travel, you start thinking that God will not protect you. "God is not for me because I have done things I shouldn't have done," okay? And you don't have that confidence in God, that robust faith in God.
So, take a look at this picture again. This is a picture that God gave me many years ago, and I received this in an inner vision, and I had the artist produce this, all right? But what you have in your life are all these, it can be other things as well, the result. The leaves sickly, all right, it's withering. It can be depression, financial lack, sickness, marriage breakdown, whatever it is, it can be traced back. And psychiatrists will tell you, all right, many of these things are just the fruit, the result, the result, the consequence. But what is the deeper root? Psychiatrists will tell you stress.
A lot of marriage breakdown because of stress, money, stress over money, stress over the children, stressful over their education, stress over PSLE, stress, stress, stress, all right? Then, but that is as far as many psychiatrists go, all right, but there are some who go deeper and tell you what produces stress. Stress is not just something that comes on people, there is a fear. They're fearful about something they're not even sharing with their spouse, the one they are married to and they're supposed to be intimate with. They're not even sharing their fear. Some of them don't even know they have these fears, all right?
And so, fear is a deeper root, fear causes stress. Stress causes all those bad results in your life, okay? But only the Bible can tell you what produces fear, and the Bible says it is condemnation. It is man knowing he's condemned. Rightly or wrongly, all right, when a man feels condemnation, straightaway he's in the fearful state because you don't have the confidence that God is with you. 1 John 2:12 please. "I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake". So, little children refers to teknion. It's a general word for all the children of God. He says your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.
Now, this is chapter 2 of 1 John. 1 John 1, the chapter before this, verse 9 says, "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness". So, there is a condition. You must confess for God to forgive you. If that's written to the believer, then you have to confess. You cannot play around. And the funny thing is this if 1 John 1:9 says you must confess to be forgiven, then here in chapter 2, the very next chapter it says, "You are forgiven of your sins". We have double talk here.
So, I submit to you, I have a whole teaching of this, that 1 John 1:9 is not written to the believer in chapter 1. It was written to the Gnostics, most likely Jewish Gnostics that they may have koinonia with us, all right? So, we won't go into that, just let you know that chapter 2 refutes all that, but then they have another answer. They say that, "Oh, this forgiven". By the way, forgiven here, you can learn Greek. Say, "perfect tense". I've used this before. Now, this is the definition of perfect tense. Perfect tense, past, completed action with present ongoing results. That means something is done once and for all that Jesus cried, "Finished," at the cross, one completed action. He won't come back next year and cry "finished" again. It's finished once and for all with, what? Presently, ongoing, continuous results. That means you are forgiven.
So, forgiven here, back to the verse again. Forgiven is one completed act, all right, which is when you're born again based on the work of the cross, with present continuous results. What does that mean? You remain forgiven. You're always forgiven. Now, the Bible says we are forgiven once and for all with continuing results. What does that mean? You must hold on to the fact you're forgiven. I'm gonna show you a word around here, and I think that we only have time for this, and I wish we can go on. But look at this in Romans chapter 5, "Therefore having been justified by faith". Are y'all justified by faith? Not by your performance, not by works but by faith in what Christ has done, are you?
Now, having been justified by faith we have, what? Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, many a times we say, you know, we have peace. We have peace with God, you know? But actually the word "we have," now learn another Greek word, okay? Look up here. Present tense, you know what's present tense in the Greek? It means present. All right, it's present, continually. If it says present means continually. Now, there's a present active. In the Greek there's a voice active or passive, right? Active means the boy, the boy threw the ball. Passive is the boy got hit by the ball. You all know this, right?
Watch this, we have peace. Many of us think, well, we have peace in a passive way. You know, we are justified by faith. We all have peace with God, yo, you know, we have peace with God. And yet, not many people are possessing it. So, let me just tell you this, there's a word, the word have, number one, it's a powerful word in the Greek. It is the word ekho in the Greek, and ekho means, listen, ekho means to hold in the hand, to have, to possess, to enjoy. So, when it says we have peace, it's not this passive, passive, "You know, we have peace with God because we are now justified by faith. We have peace with God". No, no, it is hold on to it, enjoy it. And guess what. Go back to Romans. We have, present active, not passive. Hold on to it.
In other words, you must say whenever you fail, "Father, I thank you I'm forgiven. Thank you, Father God, that I have peace with you. Thank you, Father God, that you will not count these sins against me". When it comes to you and say, "You'll be sick. I'll make one of your child sick because that week you did this, or that time you did that". All right, you must say, hold fast to what this verse is saying. "No, I have peace with God. God is on my side. God is on the side of my child. My child and my family will not suffer for my sins that have been forgiven". You must possess it. You must claim it. You must say it. You don't say it to be forgiven. You say because you already are.
So, let's possess our possessions. It's crucial, why? Because there was a woman who came to Jesus and Jesus was invited by a Pharisee who didn't honor the Lord actually, he just want to show off or whatever the reason. He invited the Lord for dinner in his house. So, the Lord went and that day and age, they reclined. There's a, like a pillow. That's how the Jews would eat. They reclined on one hand so their feet is out. A woman, who's most likely a prostitute, the Bible calls her a sinner. She came with an alabaster box of fragrant oil and she knew the Lord was there. And then she broke the oil, all right?
First of all, she was weeping behind the Lord. He was reclining, don't forget, and she wept on his feet. Then the Bible says she kept on cleaning his feet, wash away the tears, wipe away the tears with her hair. Then she anointed, no kept on kissing his feet. In the Greek repeated in perfect tense, keep on kissing his feet. Then she poured the fragrant oil. And then the Pharisee who invited the Lord, in full view of what's happening in his heart he said, "If this man was a prophet, he will know what kind of woman this is". Jesus says to Simon the Pharisee, "I have something to ask you". Teacher, say on, "There was a certain creditor who had to debtors. One owed him 500 denari, the other owed him 50. When they both could not pay, he freely forgave them both, okay? Are you listening?
"Tell me", the Lord says, "Therefore which of them will love him more, the one who owed 500 or the one who owed 50"? Five hundred, you know who answered? Simon, the Pharisee. He answered because he has dollar sign, he understand this kind of language. See, the Lord chose language that people understand. It taught money to people to understand. You know, he talk about sins, yeah, you know? Simon said, "I suppose the one he forgave more. I suppose the one he forgave more". Is that correct? Jesus said to him, "You have rightly judged". Mmm!
So, the one who will love him more, the question is who will love him more, love him more? Everyone that's watching was concerned about holiness. True holiness is loving him more and more and more. I ask you, "Who is the one that will love him more? The one who taught only your past sins are forgiven up to the point of conversion, or the one who knows they re forgiven of their entire life of sin? Who will love him more"? The Pharisee answered, "I guess the one who is forgiven more". The Lord says, "You have rightly judged". In other words, to judge only your past sins are forgiven is to wrongly judge. To judge people are forgiven more, according to our Lord, is to rightly judge.
And I'll close with this, the Lord said to Simon, "Simon, I came to your house. You gave me no, no greeting, no kiss, no water for my feet. This woman has not ceased weeping on my feet and wiping my feet with her hair. She has not ceased to kiss my feet, and you didn't give me any oil for my head. She has anointed my feet with fragrant oil". And the Lord said this, watch this, "Therefore I say to you, her sins which are many are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little".
Now the word for she loved much, don't think she's forgiven because she loved much. No, the word there is because the fact I can see that she loved me so much, she's forgiven much. Hoti means, as a result that she loves much. Because she knows she's forgiven, that's the result, she loves much. Because whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. Are you with me so far? Do you understand? I have a question to ask you. Many people read this story and they start thinking, "Yeah, the Lord forgave her then and there". Later on, he did say to her, "Your sins are forgiven," right?
So, I want to ask you a question, did this woman had another encounter with the Lord where he forgave her? Did she come into the house knowing she's forgiven, or did she do all that? Because if you say that she doesn't know she's focused and she did all that, she did all that to be forgiven. But the Bible doesn't say that because the Bible says that she's forgiven or else this illustration means nothing. To home little is forgiven, the same loves little. She must have known for her to have great love for the Lord, she must have known that she was forgiven. So, she must have an encounter with the Lord prior to this, and the Greek tense prove it.
Watch this now, "Therefore, I say to you her sins which are many are forgiven," perfect tense, once and for all with continuing results, present continuing results. One completed act with present continuing results. She remains forgiven and she knows it, that's why she love him much. But to whom little is forgiven, guess what. It's present tense. The same loves little. So, those who think they are forgiven as they go, present tense, they love little. Let that be a deep lesson for all of us. It is of the last importance that we understand this. If you think you are forgiven as you go, no wonder you love the Lord little.
Oh, you can call the name of the Lord Jesus and mention his name in public, and act like you are holy, act like you will love him and all that, but in your heart of hearts, are you passionately in love with the Lord? No, only those who know they are forgiven much. You have wrongly judged, that's the problem. Now "Pastor Prince, how do you explain this"? He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven". So, this is where a lot of people think then and there he forgave her. No, guess what. Forgiven there is perfect tense again, which means what? He reminds her once again that she's forgiven.
In other words, do I remind you, do I preach one time a message that you're forgiven and then I never preach on it anymore? Look at what I'm doing now. I'm reminding you again that your sins have been, once and for all, forgiven. That's what I'm doing, I'm doing this right now, am I not? I'm reminding you your sins are forgiven. So, the Lord loves to remind you your sins are forgiven. That doesn't mean he forgives you then. Uh-huh, a lot of people think that way. No, no, the woman came, she didn't do all that to be forgiven. They'll become dead works. She did all that because her heart was overflowing with love and gratefulness for what the Lord did for her.
Somewhere, we're not told where, the Lord met her and forgave her, and she's been overwhelmed. She want to do something back, she want to do something for him. She found him in the Pharisee's house. And after she did all that, the Lord brought a story out of it and the Lord turned to her and reminded her again, "Your sins have been once and for all forgiven". I tell you, a lot of people, they think that the Lord forgives as you go. You confess, then he forgives. You don't confess, he doesn't forgive. And then you confess, you know? And any unconfessed sin in the heart of man opens them to a fearful expectation of bad things happening.
That's what I want to shut in your life. I want to tell you there's no open door. I want to tell you there's no open door, actively possess it. Don't be passive. Actively say, "I have peace with God. I have forgiveness of sins". In other words, "There's no curse coming my way. There's no family judgment coming my way. My children will not pay for my sins. I will not pay for my sins. There at the cross, he paid for my sins". Actively possess it. Need to go in prayer with God, do it.
So, Jesus reminded her, "Your sins are forgiven". And the last two verse is very interesting. Those who sit at the table with him began to say to themselves, "Who is this that even forgive sins"? Now, they are like majority of Christians. They think that the Lord was forgiving her then and there. Because the word "forgiveness," present tense. In other words, they are like most Christians today. He's forgiving her now. Who is this who's forgiving sins? But actually he didn't say he's forgiving. He told her she's forgiven once and for all in a time past with present results.
Then Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you". Saved perfect tense, once and for all, which you're saved in the past. He remind the woman again. Lady, in other words, remember you are forgiven. Remember, you are saved once and for all because it's the perfect tense. And once again, people, let me close with this, perfect tense is what? Show them perfect tense. One completed action, past with present ongoing results. So, he tells the woman, "Your faith has," perfect tense, "saved you".
You are not saved today to be lost tomorrow. You are saved with present continuous results of being saved. Remaining saved, in other words. Go in peace. By the way, this is not go in peace, it's go into peace by reminding yourself, let us enjoy that peace. Let us possess it actively. When thoughts come and say, "You know why you have this thing in your body now? Because of what you did that time". Say, "No, it's not coming because of that. No, God is for me. This is not from God. I reject in Jesus's name. I curse it in Jesus's name," amen? I'm done. I'm done swatting the flies. I'm done preaching, amen? Have you been blessed?