Joseph Prince - Grace Is Higher Than The Law
How y'all doing? Amen? The story of Abraham and his two sons Ishmael and Isaac. And the Bible tells us in Galatians 4, all right, the typology is there in Galatians 4. Ishmael was born of another woman and that woman is a type of Mount Sinai, all right, a type of the law. And the Bible says it produces bondage, but we are the children of the free. We, as Isaac was, are the children of Sarah, grace, amen? So, Isaac and Ishmael shares the same heavenly Father but not the same mama, amen?
And the amazing thing the Bible says was that the son that was born of the law, mother law, persecuted the one who was born of grace. It is never the other way around, health care, hmm? It's still going on, but you know what Sarah said? "Cast out the bondwoman, cast her out. The whole system, cast it out, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with my son," she said. And God told Abraham, "Hearken to her voice". God was behind it, amen? God does not want mixture. Are you listening? In fact, Jesus said it like this, "I would you were hot or cold".
Can you imagine? I understand the hot part, I mean you're on fire for Jesus, man, hot. You know what I'm saying? But cold, "I rather you were hot, I rather you were cold," that part you don't understand. Cold means what? You're not doing your Bible study, you're not praying, that's cold, isn't it? But when you see this as two covenants, he says, "I rather you are under grace or else be completely under law because if you are under law, it would drive you to your knees to see the importance of grace. But what I can't stand is lukewarm, a mixture. I feel like vomiting. I feel like throwing that out of my being," Jesus said. "I feel like spewing it out of my mouth". Did you read that before?
So, Jesus says, "You cannot put new wine into old wineskin". There's no compromise for law and grace. "Pastor Prince, I believe in grace but you know something? We need the law". All right, there's no place for mixture. Are you listening, people? Our Lord Jesus, you know, he's holy. Oh, he's thrice holy, all right? But his holiness is such that he can move among the social outcasts. They could touch him and not defile him. In fact, when they touched him, they got what he got. He never got what they got. You know, we have a brand of Christianity that's almost like don't touch, don't mix with the world, don't... we saw what worldliness was last night.
Worldliness in 1 John is, "Do not love the world, nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loved the world," what's God diagnosis. "If anyone loved the world, the love of the Father is not in him," not for the love for the Father. It's not saying that people who love the world don't love the Father enough. No, it's saying that people who love the world, they don't understand how much the Father loves them. If they understand how much the Father loves them, they will not love the world. Hey, pastors and leaders, there's a solution to our worldliness in the pews. Unveil the love of the Father. And yet there is this, it's almost like there is this thing about, you know, "Grace and hope, that's wonderful, amen. It's basic, but it's wonderful. We know that".
That's how Nicodemus answered Jesus. You know, his first two words to Jesus? He came at night and that's the reason he came at night. He didn't wants his peers to see him, but he was hungry, he was thirsting for the truth that will set him free. So, he came to Jesus at night. His first two words were, "We know". And Nicodemus told Jesus, "We know you're a teacher come from God," and Jesus went through all that and says, "You must be born again". Imagine telling a man, all right, who is well studied, he's a master rabbi of Israel telling him, "Everything about you needs to be born again," but he never said that to the woman at the well who had five husbands, and the one that she was living with wasn't her husband.
In other words, she was living in adultery and Jesus treated her with courtesy. In fact, he has what I call the divine sandwich. He complimented her first, told her about her sin, and then he sandwiched with another compliment. He says, "Go call our husband here". She says, "I have no husband". He looked at her, the first compliment, "You have rightly said you have no husband," bang. "For you have had five husbands". Here comes the revelation. "Then in that you have rightly said," bang. Isn't it wonderful the way the Lord reaches out to people?
Now, why is it that he need to reveal her sin? Because the thing is this, if he did not reveal her sin and make her aware that he's well aware of her, all right, she will never feel loved when the Lord loves her because she thinks that he doesn't know about this part of my life. "Yeah, he loves me, but I don't feel love because he doesn't really know me". But when the Lord reveals about your sins and he reveals to you that he knows everything about you and he still loves you, look, he's talking to her at the well. You know why the Lord is so strong? I asked the Lord one time, I said, "Why are you so strong on hypocrisy"? And the Lord says, "Because, son, I love people. One thing I can't stand is hypocrisy because", and you see how strong he is against hypocrisy because hypocrisy is trying to be someone that you are not.
If you try to be someone you are not, even on your first date, you know you try to be someone you are not, okay, even if the person falls in love with you, you will never feel loved because you're not sure that the person loves you. Somewhere along the way in that relationship, you must be yourself. When you know that a person knows all about you and still loves you, then you feel loved. So, the Lord was bringing that lady to this experience that he knows everything about her and he loves her. Now, think about it, all right, she was so excited that he was the Messiah, she left the pail of water. Who needs a pail when you have a well on the inside springing up to everlasting life? She left everything and she went to the city.
Now watch this, she came by herself to the well, all right, in the noontime. Most women would go collect the water in the morning when it's cool in Israel, all right? But the weather's really hot in Israel in the noontime, but she went at noontime because she didn't want the gossipers to be there, all right? She's ostracized. She's alienated but here, after she met Jesus, look at this introvert woman, all right? She left everything, went to the city, and told the entire city, "Come see a man who told me everything about me". She became an evangelist. Meanwhile, Jesus's disciples went to buy lunch. They came back with their McDonald's and, you know, what not and they look at Jesus, "We brought food, Lord". And the Lord says, "You know what? I have food to eat that you do not know of".
And he looked refreshed. When they left him, Jesus in his manhood, all right, he was tired sitting at the well when they left him. And now when they came back, they saw him reinvigorated. He was strong, he was like, "I have food to eat". You know what happened? A sinner came and took from him. Whenever you come and take from Jesus, all right, it's as if he's reinvigorated. You know, man takes from man, all right, both of them, you know, faint. You know what I'm saying? Especially the one being drawn upon, but the Lord is different. It's almost as if the more you take from him, the stronger he is.
You see, the essence of grace is supply. The essence of the law is demand; which are you living under? Are you demand minded or are you supply oriented? When you face this week, do you face this week with trepidation? Maybe there's a challenge you have to stand before a group to share or your boss wants you to do something, whatever it is, you face it with demands on me, you will be stressed. You'll be depressed. But if you look forward and say, "The supply will be there, the supply will be there, you are supply minded," how many understand that grace is supply, law is demand? God demanded from man. "You shall not kill. You shall not, you shall not". Grace, he supplied righteousness for man to receive, amen.
So, Jesus at the well, even in his tiredness, there was a fullness beyond that human tiredness to be drawn upon and if somebody draws upon it, he's reinvigorated. So, you know what David says? "What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me? I will take the cup of salvation". The way you say thanks to the Lord is to take some more from him. He loves for you to take, amen. Take some more from him. "But Pastor Prince, you know, the Bible says it's more blessed to give, than to receive". Yes, when it comes to horizontally, all right, like this, man to man, it's more blessed to give than to receive. When it comes to you and God vertically, it's more blessed to receive than to give for God will always are the more blessed position of the blesser without all contradiction the less is blessed by the better. Are you with me, people, amen?
So, the greatest givers in the church are the greatest receivers. The greatest servers are the greatest receivers, amen. The more you receive, the more you give. So, when it comes to the Lord, don't try to give to him. Take from him. Amen, he wants us you to take from him. You know, the most frequent used indictment that the Lord used on his disciples, you know what it is? When he corrects them, he will always say, "Oh, you of little faith. Oh, you of little faith". It is never, "Oh, you of little holiness. Oh, you of little learning. Oh, you of little fasting. I can tell". It is always "Oh, you of little faith".
And you know what's faith? When you understand what is faith, even his indictments are encouragements. Little faith means he corrects them always. Oh, you of little faith. You know what little faith means? Faith is the hand that takes. He's saying to them, "Why do you take from me so little? Why do you trust me so little? I am God incarnate. There is a fullness that's inexhaustible. Come, take from me. Why do you take so little? Oh you of little faith, take, take, take, and please me". The Lord loves for you to come to him and take. "No Lord, just take half the burden, Lord, I'll carry the rest. You have too much on your hands, Lord, I'll just take half. I can manage this one". What an insult, amen? Don't just pray for a job, pray for a position, amen?
When we start thinking about holiness, God is always holy, but Jesus could move among the sinful people. All right, a leper came to him. Under law, you touch a leper, the unclean will make you unclean, will make the clean unclean. Jesus came down the mountain and there came a leper to him and he says, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me well". He never doubt his ability. He doubted Jesus's willingness and once and for all Jesus settled it. Listen, Jesus says that he's the same yesterday, today, and forever. If you are sick, you say, "I know God is able". Will he? He says, "I am willing". Not only he says, "I am willing," He touched the leper.
We do not know for how long he has been without human touch. He was probably a married man with children who is probably grown now. He's been without human touch for the longest time. I love the way the Lord, not only forgives, the way he forgives carrying that sheep on his shoulders, the father running to meet the prodigal. It's not just the act, it's the style of the act that really warms my heart. He frankly forgives, freely forgives. Are you listening? And Jesus touched the man and he says, "I will, be clean," and immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Now, this time under grace, the clean makes the unclean clean. You see, under law, sin is contagious. Under grace, holiness is contagious, health is contagious. Come on, we gotta preach to our children. Don't be afraid of the world. Go out there and contaminate them with the grace, the love, and the power of God, hallelujah, amen. Now, there are those who they look at hope, grace, love, and they say that these messages, you know, there's people out there, you know, they don't understand God's holiness, which is a deep subject. "You know, grace is basic. Hope, yeah, a lot of people go for grace, and hope, and love, you know? But after we know these ABCs, it's time for us to go to holiness". You ever heard that preached?
Now, yesterday I shared that God put Israel, when Israel was a nepios in the Greek, an infant in the Book of Galatians, they were put under the law. When the fullness of time came, God sent his Son to redeem them who were under the law, to give them not nepios, but huios, sonship. When Israel was a baby, God put them under law. When Jesus came, God put all these who believe in him under sonship. Now, what does that tell you? That tells you law is basic. Grace is maturity. When Christ came, he brought full maturity, amen?
You know, when my kids were young and their friends come over to the house, I mean they don't know any better. Sometimes they will play in the kitchen and I'll go to them and tell them, "Don't touch the kitchen knives. Don't touch the stove". Now, when adults come to my house, I don't tell the adults, "Don't play with the kitchen knives," why? They're adults. So, rules and regulations are for babies. Are you listening, people? So, the Bible says in Hebrews 5, "He that uses milk is unskillful in the Word of righteousness". That means the one who is a baby Christian doesn't understand righteousness. He's unskillful in that terminology, in that word "righteousness".
Right now if I ask you, what is righteousness? "Well, righteousness is, you know, you do things right. Everything is lined up according to God. I mean, you have your act all together". That shows you're a baby Christian. You know, a mature Christian or someone who's weaned from milk is someone who understands righteousness in the gospel, righteousness in the New Testament is a gift. It's a gift that's paid for by Jesus. So, if you don't understand the word "righteousness," you are unskillful in that Word of righteousness.
And you are confounding the message. You are telling people who are righteous by the blood, "You've got to be righteous," amen? Just like the devil telling Eve and Adam, all right, "You must be like God," when they were already like God! So, the more they tried to be like God, they fall from grace. After you are righteous as a gift, God gives you the gift of righteousness, the more you try to be righteous after that, you fall from grace so the best thing is just stop and say, "Father, I thank you I'm the righteousness of God in Christ".
I shared in the earlier service there was a young man who wrote to me from New York. He's now in his 20s but ever since he was 13 years old, he was bound to pornography and he'll watch it almost every day. And he says this in "Pastor Prince, as a martial artist, you know, I'm highly disciplined and I use all my discipline as a Christian to try to overcome this bad habit, but I couldn't overcome it. It's an addiction. But when I heard your message that when you sin, confess, 'I am the righteousness of God in Christ.' Confess that you're still righteous in Christ, amen? Don't just do nothing. Confess it". He says that "Every time I would indulge, I'd be confessing, 'I am the righteousness of God in Christ.'" He says, "Well Pastor Prince, I'm here to tell you that more than a year has passed and I've not watched pornography every since".
Now, it didn't happen immediately, it didn't happen overnight, but I have so many testimonies of people who are bound to drugs, addicted to cigarettes, all right, and all kinds of bad habits, okay, eating disorders. While they're indulging, while they're doing it, I teach them confess, "I am the righteousness of God in Christ". They will still do it, might as well confess it. And when they're confessing it, the devil will say, "You're a hypocrite. How can you confess that"? But the Bible says when you receive the gift of righteousness, you will reign in life and when you reign in life, your addictions don't. When you reign in life, that evil habit doesn't. When you reign in life, the devil doesn't because you are reigning. You are reigning over all this. Are you listening, people?
Righteousness is the revelation of the gospel. We have forgotten that the gospel is the righteousness by faith, so when we hear things like people are saying, "America needs to turn back to righteousness". I understand that terminology and I appreciate the well intention, you know, motives that people have, all right, in proclaiming that. I believe that a lot of people who are proclaiming that are good people, their heart is definitely in the right place, but however what they mean usually is this, stop the wrong and do the right, and America will be all right. That's not the answer or else Jesus may not come. They already have the law. If we can stop the wrong and do the right, all right, we won't need Jesus. That's what the law has been teaching. No friend, but if we mean America needs to turn back to the gift of righteousness and understand what the gospel is all about, there is hope.
I'm telling you, all right, America will turn around. Don't forget, your Founding Fathers, they are not people who just stop the wrong and do the right. They were people who believe in the name of Jesus Christ, and they were not ashamed of it. It's in the Constitution and if they're open about it, they'll all believers in the gospel of Jesus Christ. They proclaim the gospel openly, amen. They were believers. Right believing produces right living. It produce leadership of integrity, leadership of excellence, but we want this result without believing the gospel so we just say, "Just be integrous, just be honest". We are talking about results when God is talking about the root that produces the fruits.
You see, in Galatians 5, the Apostle Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit, and we all want our people to have the fruit of the Spirit, amen? We want our children to be flowing in the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. Even self-control is the fruit of the Spirit, but don't forget that Galatians 5, the fruit of the Spirit that lives appears in Galatians chapter 5, but Galatians 1, 2, chapters 3, 4, Paul talks about law and grace, law and grace, law and grace. Then he says, "If you are under grace, this is the fruit. If you are under law, these are the works".
I find it very interesting that it's called the works of the flesh, not the fruit of the flesh, whereas the Spirit is the fruit of the Spirit. You know why? Because works is the result of effort. Fruit is the result of life. So, when Israel put themselves under the law and they said, "All that God commands us, we will do it, we can do it," it sounds noble but it is self-righteousness. The next thing you see, golden calf. They broke the very first commandment. But first, they went into the works of the flesh. "We can do it without God. God, from now on, don't bless us because of your grace. I know you brought us to the Red Sea because of your grace. I know we don't deserve it, but you did it for us. You brought us through the, you know, brought us manna from heaven because of your grace, but not from now on, Lord, bless us because we deserve it. Give us laws, all that you command us".
And think they haven't even heard the ten commandments yet. "All that you command us, we can do it. Bring it on". The very next thing you see, the golden calf. Are you listening people? The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15, "The strength of sin is the law". It is not grace. Grace is the antidote, amen? So, when it comes to the law, somehow the devil has hoodwinked us to think that grace, hope, joy, peace is basic, but holiness, amen. You got to have that tone even. Yea, God is holy, holy, holy. Now, God is holy, friends. Listen, he's trice holy. So is Christ when he walked among the sinners, but he was approachable. The Pharisees didn't like it, they wanted God confined in the Holy of Holies, away from the people so that the people would have to go through moi, the people have to go through them. They didn't like the fact that Jesus made God so accessible.
Now, what do you think God's heart is, for you to know him in his holiness? God is holy. Is Jesus holy when he walked on... oh yes. You know, Peter, Paul, and John, in Paul's letter, Paul is a man of intelligence. Paul says, "Christ knew no sin". John is a person of the heart, he says, "In Christ is no sin". Peter is a man of action, he says, "Jesus did no sin". So, every way you look at Jesus, he's sinless. Are you listening? But is that how he wants us to know him, as a trice holy God? If that's so, that woman with the issue of blood would never have touched the hem of his garment. Because by Jewish law, she can be stoned to death, amen? No one can approach Jesus, not even the leper if all they see is his holiness.
Let me ask you a question, all right? Just answer from your heart. You know, all the stories you read in the Bible and people that you know of, when an angel appears, not even God, let's say an angel appears to them, what's their first response? They fall on their knees and they say what? "Depart from me, I'm a sinful man. I'm going to die, I've seen God," right? What are they conscious of? Does anyone fall to their feet and say, "Thy loving kindness is better than life, Lord"? Does anyone do that? No. Even the people in the Bible, when the Lord appears or even a heavenly being like an angel appears to them, their first reaction is, "Depart from me". Or we're going to die like Manoah, Samson's father. "We will die. We are going to die because we saw God," he told his wife.
In other words, all of them are conscious. You don't have to teach people God's holiness. All of them are conscious, instinctively conscious that God is holy. What you need to teach people is his love, his grace, the hope that he produces, his peace that he wants to give you. That takes the Holy Spirit. You see, if the law is deep, almost every religion has law, therefore they have the Holy Spirit. Or do they? Every religion teaches law, but it takes the Holy Spirit to teach you grace. To understand when you do good, you get good, when you do bad, you get bad, anyone understands that. But to tell someone you can receive good you don't deserve because another took all the bad that you deserve, that takes the Holy Spirit. That takes divine skill to impart, to preach, to teach. Don't you dare say that this is deep and that is shallow, that is basic.
Let's go to Peter, one of the first times he met Jesus. Of course, it was his brother Andrew that introduced Jesus, all right, to Peter. Remember that? That's the first encounter Peter had of Jesus. But for some reason, he left the Lord, went back fishing, and he was fishing and caught nothing the whole night Jesus was preaching. And Jesus went to his boat. How many know that when he allows you to give to him, he's setting you up for a blessing? When the Lord comes to you and tells you to give, whether it's your boat or whatever, he's setting you up. Of all the people, he's setting you up. So, you all know what happened. All right, he caught a net-breaking, boat-sinking load of fishes until the boat began to sink. He had to call for help.
I love that kind of blessing, amen, don't you? Then all of a sudden, Peter looked around, it was one of his first encounters of Jesus. He looked at Jesus, said, "Depart from me. I'm a sinful man". No one had to teach him that. So, one of the first encounters with Jesus was... which aspect of Jesus was he conscious of, his love or his holiness? His holiness. "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man". It was the sense of his holiness. Are you with me so far?
Three and a half years pass. He walked with Jesus, he has grown some, all right? But there is still the aspect of self-righteousness. On the night of the Passover, he said to Jesus, "Even if all these disciples," and he said to their faces. I mean, he said it to their faces, they were there. "Even if all these forsake you, I, Peter, will never forsake you. 'And where you go I'll follow, I'll follow. You'll always be my true love, my true love from now until forever'". Yo! And Jesus says, "Peter, before the rooster crows this morning, you'll deny knowing me three times". He says, "No way, man! No way I'll do that".
Well, it was way. And you know how way it was? He denied knowing Jesus a few hours later with cursing and swearing. In fact, I like Luke's account. It says that the rooster crowed and Jesus was all bound in the high priest's hall. And when Peter denied knowing him, the Lord turned and looked at Peter. There was something in that look that says, "Peter, I still love you. I knew this would happen, but I have prayed for you, Peter. That even after you fall, I have prayed for you that after you are converted, you will strengthen the brethren". There was something about that look. It broke Peter's heart. Peter went out weeping, crying.
Well, Jesus died on the cross. And two weeks after he died, the Bible tells us that Peter went up fishing again with the disciples. He's like a born leader, he say, "Let's go fishing," they all followed him. And Jesus walked by the shores of Galilee, and he says, "Children, have you any food"? And they say, "None". They have toiled all night, they caught nothing. Jesus says, "Throw your net on the right side". The right side is a place of righteousness. He threw the net on the right side and they caught so much fish. And then John recognized it was Jesus and the Bible says Peter, when he realized it was Jesus, he jumped in the water to go to Jesus.
Now wait, did you know that Jesus by this time has restored Peter? But it's not recorded for us in the Bible. The Bible doesn't talk about that personal encounter Peter had with Jesus after he rose from the dead. But if you look at 1 Corinthians 15, it says after Jesus rose from the dead, he was seen by Cephas. That's the other name of Peter, all right, in Chaldean, Cephas. Then by the 12. But what you read in the Bible is that by evening, Jesus appeared in the upper room to the 12, or to the 11 that were there, okay? But listen, something happened in between that the Holy Spirit has veiled the entire meeting of Jesus and Peter, and no eye is allowed to pry into that restoration. All we know is that Jesus met Peter.
So, 2 weeks later, when Peter realized it was Jesus at the shores of Galilee, he jumped into the water to go to Jesus. Now, what do you think drew him, his holiness, and he is always holy, he is trice holy, or his love? Come on, people. If it was his holiness, Peter would jump the other side of the boat away from Jesus. I would reckon that, right? But he jumped to go to... he can't even wait for the boat to arrive. He jumped into the boat to go to Jesus. Now, which is maturity? When he first... when he didn't realize... he didn't know who Jesus was. He has a vague idea, not a full understanding of who the Lord was, it was a sense of his holiness that he was more conscious of. But when he walked with the Lord, he knew the Lord, the Lord forgave him. He knew the Lord even better after that. It was the aspect of his grace and love that Peter was drawn to.
So, which is maturity in Peter's life? You see, God wants to be known for his love and his grace. Is God holy? Oh yes, trice holy. Has God gone soft on sin? No, sin is sin to God. But I'll tell you why God today wants to be known in the aspect of his love and his grace. See, the Bible never says God is holiness, but it does define God as God is love. All right? God is holy, holy, holy, yes, but he's defined as love. Now watch this. The Bible tells us there is a word in the Old Testament. I think translators have a problem trying to define that word, okay? They'll use words like loving kindness, love.
One translation says love, another one says mercies. But his mercies are new every morning, and it's the Hebrew word "hesed". Then he says, "God, your loving kindness is better than life". And that word there is hesed, same Hebrew word, but different English words. It seems like the English translators cannot find the exact word. Another place, his mercies are new every morning. All right, it says hesed. In other words, David was saying, "Your hesed, your grace is better than life". David says, "His grace endures forever," amen? Jehoshaphat was invaded by three large armies. They were outnumbered and he brought singers in front to praise the beauty of his holiness.
And what is the beauty of his holiness? The words of the song are given to us. "Praise the Lord for his hesed, his grace endures forever". And all the enemies start fighting among themselves. Grace will give you the victory, that's what it means the battle is the Lord's. You're focused on grace. And let me finish with this, all right? There are those who would say things like, "You know, Joseph Prince, you don't preach too much on repentance. You and Joel both are in the same mix". But when they say that, what they are trying to say is that you don't preach repentance where people are crying and people are sobbing and hitting their breast and say, "Jesus, Jesus"! you know? What we have is the pulpit preaching and then people's lives are being transformed, minds are changing. And the Greek word for repentance, metanoia, change of mind.
You know, every Sunday, all right, over here and people watching at homes and all that, when they listen to Joel preach, they are changing their minds from a God who is angry to a smiling God, reflected in the preacher, a smiling preacher. And from thinking small to praying God-sized prayers. Repentance is going on, people, amen. Or being afraid to approach God to having the boldness to come to him when you are in need, that's repentance. But this remorseful thing... let me show you this verse real quick and then we'll close. Judas, you know, in the King James, it says that, "Judas, who betrayed Jesus, when he saw that he was condemned, repented". Was it a true repentance?
You say, "Pastor, the repentance I'm talking about is remorse". Well, in the New King James, it says he was remorseful. And yet he never went to Jesus for forgiveness. He did the ultimate act of self-righteousness, he killed himself. He'd rather hang than allow Jesus's hanging to be the forgiveness for him. Do you realize how self-righteous that is? Peter denied knowing Jesus that night, but Peter waited until Christ hung for him, amen? Greatest humility is to receive and not to punish yourself. How dare you punish yourself when God sent his Son to be punished in your place? How dare you hit your family? How dare you hit yourself when Jesus was hit at the cross with God's judgment on your behalf?
So, the base essence of repentance is repentance towards God. Acts 20, Paul says.. all right, Acts 20, it says repentance, "I testify to Jews and Greeks repentance towards God". The very first area, repentance must happen in every preaching and teaching, it's towards God. You know what's towards God? Change your mind towards God. That's where everything happens. How you view God is how your life will be. Change your mind about God. God is a God that will run to you when you take one step towards him. That's the God that Jesus came to reveal. And the last portion and then I'm going to close, all right? One day, I was telling the Lord, "Lord, give me an illustration from your Word of repentance so that I can shut some people's mouths. I'm tired of this".
You know, the thing is that they are affecting the flock. And I get fears when people attack the flock, amen? If you are a shepherd, feed. Don't be a wolf and beat and tear them apart. You know, so the Lord gave me an illustration. He brought me into this beautiful... and we'll end with this. Jesus, Luke 15, all right, "Then drew near the tax collectors and the sinners to Jesus to hear him". Isn't that beautiful? All right, the tax collectors came and the sinners came to hear Jesus. All right, they all came, switched on their TV to watch Joel. And then the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them". What an accolade, a friend of sinners.
Then Jesus shared this parable. I'll close with this parable. "So he spoke this parable to them". Don't forget, on one side are all the sinners and one side are the Pharisees. Jesus said, "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders". And look at the style, "Rejoicing". Now next verse, "And when he comes home," this is extreme. No shepherd does this over a lost sheep. He might spank the sheep, but rejoice and call for a party? All his neighbors will say, "Forget it, man, this man is crazy," right? And he calls his friends together, his neighbors and all that, "Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost"! Now watch this. "I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner that repents". Is the word "repent" there? Is the word "repent" there? "There is more joy over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance".
So, I read that and I said, "Lord, how in the world did that lost sheep repent"? Obviously he's teaching on repentance. I said, "Pray tell me, Lord". I read it again. The good shepherd left the 99. The good shepherd went. The good shepherd sought. The good shepherd found. The good shepherd carried. The good shepherd put it on his shoulders so that he doesn't have to walk no more. He's borne on his strength and power. The good shepherd brought him home. The good shepherd calls for a celebration. The good shepherd rejoiced. I said, "Lord, I don't see where the sheep repents. It's all the good shepherd". And the Lord says, "This is repentance. The sheep has to consent to be carried. The sheep has to consent to be loved. The sheep has to consent to rest on my strong shoulders. Whenever you do these things, when you consent to be loved, consent to rest on my power, consent to rest on my heart of love, that's true repentance".
Jesus gets all the glory. It is not this, "Repent, repent, repent"! Or even feeling remorse like Judas, but there's no true repentance. Folks, it's time for us to study the Bible for ourselves and see that this wonderful Jesus 2,000 years ago hung on a lonely tree. During the time of Elijah, when Elijah built the 12 stones altar, he asked for water to be poured on the sacrifice three times, making it difficult as if for God to put down fire, to bring the fire. But finally, the fire came. Elijah's fire, the fires of God's judgment, consumed the sacrifice, consumed all the 12 stones until nothing was left. Because under the old, the judgment was greater than the sacrifice. But under the new, when Jesus the sacrifice hung on the cross, he absorbed all of God's righteous indignation against all lawlessness, against all sins, he absorbed it all until everything...
I just wish I could have a video to show you like a whirlwind going into his person. He absorbed it all and cried, "Finished," nothing left, no more curse, no more judgment. And he was still alive. And he says, "Father". Don't forget, this time after he absorbed everything, the sacrifice remained. For the first time, we see the sacrifice is greater than the judgment. Grace has come. Hallelujah, we're all the beneficiaries of it. So friends, listen, God is still holy. But because of what Christ did, God's righteous eyes saw your sins and my sins borne in the body of Jesus.
And God who is holy, trice holy, cannot punish us today for the sins that he punished Jesus for. It's called the law of double jeopardy. The same crime, the same sin cannot be punished twice in the body of my surety and substitute, then in my body. God would be unholy if God did that. God would be unjust if God did that. So I'm telling you, friends, God's holiness today is our side. Just like Israel put the blood on the doorpost that night, God's holiness was now on their side because the blood has been shed. Do you understand? Today, God's holiness is on your side, demanding your acquittal, demanding your justification, demanding your forgiveness. God's righteousness is on your side. God is for you, not against you. Give him praise, church, come on. Hallelujah, yeah, this is our God!