Joseph Prince - The Holy Spirit Convicts Us Of Righteousness
You all ready for the Word? I wanna share with you about the Holy Spirit and how this wonderful person, the third person of the Triune God, how misunderstood he is, especially among us in the charismatic circle. We talk so much about the Holy Spirit, yet the Holy Spirit is so misunderstood, all right, in so many areas. I wanna see why the Holy Spirit came. What does he delight in? And if we have time, we'll share about what really grieves the Holy Spirit.
So let's look at the Scriptures right now on the Holy Spirit. I wanna tell you this: The Holy Spirit himself is God, okay? We are the Father, we are the Son, we have the Holy Spirit. You know, Genesis 1:1, the very first verse of Scripture in the entire Bible, says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". In the Hebrew, it's exactly seven words, all right, seven words: Bereshit bara Elohim et hashamayim ve'et ha'aretz. Seven words. And Elohim, the name of God, the first name mentioned in the Bible, of God, is Elohim. The middle letter is five letters. The middle letter is hei, the letter for grace. Elohim is actually the plural of God, El. El, all right? God.
Elohim, whenever you find a "-im" in Hebrew, it's always a plural like your English S. Okay, it's the plural, Elohim, but you cannot say three Gods. There's only one God, but he's a Triune God, three in one. How many understand? Okay, some people try to illustrate with an egg. There's a shell, there's a yolk, and there's a white. Okay, but nothing can compare with the Triune God. No one can use a description. Some say water vapor, you know, ice, and, you know, no, no, no, no. No matter what, we cannot use creation to describe the Creator, all right? He's beyond all creation. Just accept the fact that there are no three Gods. Only one God, but he's a Triune God. Can I have a good amen?
And now we look at the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. We call it a Trinity, the Triune God, and he's a wonderful person. Do you know he loves you? Have you ever heard the Holy Spirit loves you? Okay, in Romans, the apostle Paul says it like this: "Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit", see that word, the love of the Spirit? "That you strive together with me in prayers to God for me". Love of the Spirit, not love for, but love of is the Holy Spirit's love, all right? The Holy Spirit loves you. I know we all like to say Jesus loves you, but once in a while, just know that the Holy Spirit loves you.
Turn to your neighbor and say the Spirit of God loves you. Look at somebody and say the Holy Spirit loves you. Now, who in the Triune Godhead, who is the one that's on earth today? Is it the Father or the Son? Now, strictly speaking, all three, actually, but through the Holy Spirit, all right, is the age of grace, or we call it the age of the Holy Spirit. The age of the church is the age of the Holy Spirit, the wonderful Holy Spirit. He's as sound, as stable, as solid, as calm, as peaceful, as gentle, as kind as our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is his Spirit, and when he fills you, you have the same characteristic: love, joy, peace, gentleness, humility, kindness, gentleness, and all the wonderful fruits of the Spirit. They're all yours because it's a Spirit of Christ, okay? He's not like some people, "Oh, hallelujah!" okay? That is the person's reaction to the presence of the Holy Spirit. So let's distinguish between people's reaction. Some people react that way, some people react falling down, some people react different ways, but don't think the Holy Spirit's like that. Don't think the Holy Spirit's always raising his voice, just because some people do, okay?
So the Holy Spirit, that sound is gentle, as sane, as stable, as solid as Jesus is, alright? As wonderfully kind as Jesus is, and he loves you. When prophet Ezekiel, who lived during the time of the captivity in Babylon, when the children of Israel were taken captive in Babylon for 70 years, God raised this prophet called Ezekiel, and God gave him a vision of the departure of the glory of God or the presence of the Holy Spirit from Israel, from the temple, all right, of God.
What happened was that the people of God has been committing idolatry, time and time again, time and time again, getting glory to an idol which did not bring them out of Egypt, did not bless them with bumper crops, did not fight their enemies, and yet instead of God, they gave glory to the enemy, okay? And for years and years, God kept on reaching out to them through prophets and all that, and they refused, and finally God says, "I'll leave. I'll leave that nation. I'll leave the temple". And Ezekiel had a picture, had a vision of the Holy Spirit, the glory of God leaving the temple.
And first and foremost, I wanna tell you this: Many of us have heard teaching that tells you that... how many of you been in the charismatic circle at least for 20 years? Let me see your hands. All right, okay, only a few of you. The rest of you are born in the holy of holies, straightaway, praise God. I was sharing that with someone that, you know, if you're born in the holy of holies, man, you've got less to unlearn. But during my generation, I remember when I was a teenager, in charismatic meetings, especially healing meetings, meetings where the Holy Spirit's moving, sometimes you will hear this being said, "Well, the Holy Spirit just lifted. I don't know why. Probably someone is chewing gum, all right, someone is eating popcorn".
Now, I don't believe, personally, I think that for good manners, you should not be eating or crunching popcorn while the Word of God is going forth. You will not do that if you're invited to the Istana, all right, or to the parliament building, you know? You wouldn't stand in front of the prime minister and crunch, crunch, crunch. You know what I'm saying? You don't do that. It's just good manners, amen? You can hold your stomach for a while and have a good lunch or dinner later. But the thing is this: It's got nothing to do with stopping or hindering the Holy Spirit just because someone chewed gum.
And then the people said don't move, don't move, you know? If you move, the Holy Spirit will be lifted. And it makes the Holy Spirit so delicate, so sensitive. I've even heard people say, "Don't you know he's a dove? The dove can be easily frightened". Now, come on, God be easily frightened? You know, "He's gone, he's gone. You know, see, the anointing is no more here. He's gone. Somebody moved too much". You know, and the amazing thing is that when Jesus was walking on earth, I mean, children were crying, you know, people were shouting, fishermen were yelling, and the hawkers were hawking, you know, and yet in the midst of all that, the anointing of Jesus just flowed like a mighty river, and all, as many as touched him were made whole. There was no special music either, and the Holy Spirit flowed.
We make the Holy Spirit so delicate, when the Holy Spirit's not just symbolized by the dove. He's also symbolized by fire. Fire burns. He's symbolized by rivers of living water. Have you been in the midst of rivers? All right, there's no way you can swim upstream when rivers are flowing in another direction, amen. It takes you up in its sweeping tide, amen. The Holy Spirit is described as rivers, amen.
So when the prophet Ezekiel saw the Holy Spirit in a glory cloud, he saw him about to leave Israel, okay? Because of the continued rebellion and idolatry. And at first, it's almost like he's reluctant. He saw the Holy Spirit above the temple, and he was lingering, almost like, "Would you have me back"? All right, then he went on to the Eastern Gate of the temple, which today is sealed. If you go to Israel, you'll find the Eastern Gate being sealed. Right above the Eastern Gate, he lingered.
Again, he lingered, almost like looking back to the people in the template and saying, "Would you have me"? All right, and then finally, before that, before he went opposite to the Mount of Olives, this is what the Holy Spirit said to the people. It was a prophecy, okay, that he shall return, and he will do this. Look at what he said in Ezekiel 11: "Then I'll give them one heart, and I'll put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and I'll give them a heart of flesh". In other words, he says, "When I return, I will put a heart of flesh in you, and no longer will you have a stony heart", amen?
The last time that Ezekiel saw him was he went opposite from the Eastern Gate to the mountain. The Bible says, "The glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on the east side of the city". Y'all know the mountain that's on the east side of the Temple Mount is the Mount of Olives, and there's the last time prophet Ezekiel saw him, and then he went up. All right, it's almost like he lingered and looked back, "Would you have me"? That's how the Holy Spirit leaves, so slow. It's like love unwilling to go. Then finally, he says, he going a few steps. The Eastern Gate. "Would you have me"? And finally, he went to the mountain opposite, and says, "Would you have me? But I shall return, and I'll take the stony heart out of you".
Mark my words, and that's what happened on the day of Pentecost. When the day of Pentecost came in the New Testament, when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place, "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind. Rushing mighty wind filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance".
Notice, when they Holy Spirit came back in the New Covenant, and this happened right after Jesus had died and was raised from the dead. One of the first things Jesus did after he went back to heaven, the Father said to him, "You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Sit on my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool". Jesus sat down, and the first thing he did was he shed forth the Holy Spirit. And this was how the Holy Spirit came. He came rushing. He came suddenly, and yet the way our traditions have made him out to be is that when he leaves, all right, somebody chew gum or whatever, poom.
He's gone suddenly, all right? But in order to make him come, you must spend the whole night praying, fasting. You must cry for him to come. The whole night, maybe by the end, then he comes, you know, or whatever. It's like, it's the opposite. It's almost like he's so easy to leave, but so hard for him to come. And well, actually the Bible teaches us differently about the Holy Spirit when he leaves, even when you sin, all right, but thank God he will never leave us today because today you and I are born again. Today you and I are cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Today you and I are new creations in Christ with a New Covenant, and Jesus said, "The Holy Spirit will abide in you forever. He shall be with you forever".
And that's why we cannot pray the prayer of the Old Testament prayer, like the prayer in the Psalms where you find David saying to God, "Take not your Holy Spirit from me". Now, David has a reason for praying that, because in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit comes, and the Holy Spirit leaves. He comes, and he goes. He comes, and he goes. When you sin, he goes, amen. When you repent, he comes. But in the New Covenant, Jesus says, "He will abide with you forever", and that's why we have something that David, Daniel, Ezekiel, Moses never had. Joshua never had this. What was it? Praying in the Holy Spirit.
We can only pray in the Holy Spirit when the blood of Jesus has so cleansed you that the Holy Spirit takes residence in you and gives you a new language. And every time you pray in tongues, it's a declaration that you have the Holy Spirit, and you are so cleaned by Jesus's blood, the Holy Spirit has now taken residence in you. Wow, so even back then, even back then in the Old Testament, when the Holy Spirit left, he left ever so hesitatingly, so slowly, but when he came, wow, he came rushing to fill the people. He came rushing to bless you, suddenly rushing mighty wind, hallelujah. This is our God. This is our God. He loves you, amen, amen.
The next thing we need to ask is this: What does the Holy Spirit delight in? What was his purpose in coming, all right? Now, I wanna tell you something. God loves to hug his children, okay? Have you embraced God's heart today? Have you embraced his divine love hug? You know, God wants to embrace you, hug you. Sometimes words are not needed. You know, we see our children, and we just wanna embrace them, hold them close, amen? And you hold them, you are happy, amen?
You cannot embrace from a distance. You embrace when you are close. And I just love to hug my daughter. I just love to hug my wife. Words are not needed. In fact, every child needs a hug every day, and the more you hug them, the more emotionally stable they become, the more whole they become. Husbands need to hug their wives. Wives need to hug their husbands. Need to hug their children. Children need to hug their parents. And sometimes emotional disorders can be made right by hugging, amen. Bondages can break when you hug. You know, the Lord wants to hug you, and the Holy Spirit loves to hug his people.
I wanna show you this. This happened in the Cornelius house, the centurion of the Italian band. His name was Cornelius. This is the first time the Gospel was preached to the Gentiles, the non-Jews, and it was through the apostle Peter. Peter preached a sermon that the Holy Spirit record down for us. We have word-for-word account. And then, we all know the sermon. In fact, the part we memorize most, many of us, is Acts 10 verse 38, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good, healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with him". But even when he said at that point, the Holy Spirit did not fall. At what point did the Holy Spirit fall?
In fact, Peter didn't even have time to give an altar call. The Holy Spirit fell. Look at this, at what point: "To him", Acts 10, "To him", to Jesus, "all the prophets witness". You know, all the prophecy of the Old Testament is a witness of Jesus. It is not about laws, about what to do and all. It's about Jesus. "To him all the prophets witness that, through his name", Jesus's name, "whoever". Are you a whoever? "Whoever believes in him", will receive what? Remission of sins, or forgiveness of sins. "While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word". In other words, the Holy Spirit loves these words that through Jesus you receive forgiveness of sins.
So I'm gonna say it for a while, okay, because I know he likes it. Through Jesus, you're all forgiven of your sins. Through Jesus, you're all forgiven of your sins. Through Jesus, you are forgiven of all your sins, and the Holy Spirit, when he hears that, he hugs and embrace the people because the word fall or fell here is the word in Greek, epipipto, all right, which literally means love hug, love hug. The Holy Spirit love hugged all the people, embraced them like a bear hug. The same Greek word is used when the prodigal son came home, and the father ran.
The father saw him. The father ran all the way, and this is what happened in Luke 15. "He arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him". Now, this word fell on his neck, it's not he fell on his own neck, okay? He fell on the boy's neck. He embraced the boy. In other words, what do you see? You see an embrace. It's the same word, love hug. He embraced the boy, all right?
Go back to Acts again. The Holy Spirit fell. It's not the Holy Spirit fell, fell, like in. All right, that's Chinese for fall, all right? It's not the Holy Spirit fell. It's the Holy Spirit came and gave them all a hug the moment they believed their sins are forgiven. God loves for you to believe. Believe him. Believe what? Your sins are forgiven, past, present, and future, through Jesus Christ, not through your works, not through your sanctimoniousness, not through your deeds, but through Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven. And when you believe that, the Holy Spirit embraces you. That's why you feel so warm inside, amen. The Holy Spirit embraces you, whoo!
Turn to your neighbor. Make the Holy Spirit in you happy. Say your sins are forgiven by Jesus's blood. He loves to hear that, and that's why he blesses any minister, any person, any boy, any girl, any man, any woman who loves to preach the Gospel of forgiveness, amen? Some people are so afraid, you know, they'll tell us, don't preach so much on forgiveness of sins. People will take advantage of it. That is stupid. That fear is from the pit of hell.
People need to hear so much more about forgiveness of sins, because when they hear forgiveness of sins, the more they hear it, the more they will be unconsciously holy, all right? When you hear how much you're forgiven, you forgive others. Isn't that practical holiness, amen? When you know you're forgiven a million-dollar debt, someone owes you $10, what is that? Amen. So you forgive because you are forgiven. Forgiven people forgive. Those who think they're not forgiven also don't forgive, amen, like hurt people hurt people. Loved people love people. Forgiven people forgive people. And the reason we don't forgive, we don't realize how forgiven we are, amen?
So the Holy Spirit loves to hug anyone who believes the forgiveness message, and the more you preach that, the more you share that, the Holy Spirit comes. You talk to someone in the street, someone in your workplace, someone in your school, and the Holy Spirit comes and hugs that person the moment the person believes that his sins are forgiven through Jesus, amen? The next thing we need to know about the Holy Spirit is this: The Holy Spirit is a different kind of spirit from the spirit of the world. There's a spirit of the world. The Bible talks about spirit of the world. Say spirit of the world.
Now say spirit of God. There is a difference. And the Bible says it clearly here in 1 Corinthians 2, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God", that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. Now, the Spirit of God is to tell you that the things of God are freely given. Therefore, I submit to you by the same token, the spirit of the world is the opposite. It tells you there's no such thing as a free lunch. It tells you there's nothing free. It tells you that nothing is freely given. It tells you, you have to work, you have to work, you have to work, you have to sweat, you have to slop, you have to put in effort, all right?
There's a spirit of the world. We understand this. Many of us, we don't understand this, the things of God are freely given. It takes the Holy Spirit to understand that things are freely given. Righteousness is not a work. Righteousness is a gift. The Holy Spirit is not something you achieve. It's someone you received. Heaven is not achieved. Heaven is received, amen. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are received.
Recently I did a teaching in the month of June in K-L, with our leaders and our service, on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and one of the first things I shared was this: The word gifts of the Holy Spirit is the word charismatas from the word charis, grace. These are grace gifts. They don't come to you because you've been praying extra long or you've been fasting extra, extra days. It comes because of grace. It operates by grace, amen, therefore you will not be disappointed sometimes when you find certain ones, men of God, who operate in the gifts so strongly, and then later on, you found that they were living in sin.
For example, that is sad, that is so unfortunate, it grieves, you know, my heart, but you know something? I'm not surprised, because all the while, they were operating by grace. In fact, the more shocked you are, it shows you don't understand it's a grace gift, amen. So you ought to get that series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. You know, it took Joseph just one hour with Pharaoh, and the gift of the Holy Spirit in Joseph's life was able to interpret the dream of Pharaoh about the future of Egypt, and he was promoted straightaway from the dungeon to the palace.
The gift of the Holy Spirit will prosper you, but not just prosper you for your own, you know, needs or whatever. Yes, all that's important, but to prosper you to prosper the body of Christ, amen. God is always interested in everyone getting the profit. Can I have a good amen? So the gifts of the Holy Spirit comes by gifts, and all the things of God are freely given, but the things of the world is what? You gotta work for it. No such thing as a free gift. No such thing as a free lunch. Everything in the world, you gotta work for it. Amen, everyone understands the spirit of the world, but the Bible says we have not received this spirit.
We have received the Spirit by which we know the things that are freely given. Say freely given. Say freely. Shout freely. Shout free. Say free. Sounds good, right? Freely given, all right? So people, even Christians, cannot believe this. They have a Gospel that's mixed. You know, they tell you, "Oh, yeah, I believe in righteousness by faith, Pastor Prince. I believe in that, but", in other words, it's like this. Someone comes to you, a billionaire comes to you and tells you, "I'm gonna give you my Lamborghini. It's a brand-new Lamborghini, all right? Brand-new. It's yours, okay? Completely yours, just because I like you, all right? Free. I'll give it to you freely. No charges. Nothing. Every month, just pay me 500".
Now, what you have here is a mixed message, and what the church has done is that we have given to people a mixed message. People are confused. Number one, we say it's free. We don't say it's not free. We say it's free. But, but, but, you see, you look at the animal kingdom. Goats butt. Sheeps don't butt. Only goats butt. I was with Jessica at the zoo in Singapore, and I found that one of the goats was really butting all the time, trying to get food, leaves, you know, from Jessica trying to feed them, and he was butting the rest. Goats butt. They say the word, say, "Yes, yes, but", all right?
Now, there's no but. When God says you are righteous by faith, you are, amen. So, the things that are freely given to us, God wants you to receive everything freely as a gift from him, all right? You look at somebody, okay, and you see them having this talent, this gift, all right? And you envy them. You admire them. So, don't envy them. So, ask God for the gift that he has for you that is freely given, amen, amen? David forgot this at one time after he was established as king over Israel. He was peaceful. His kingdom was peaceful and one day he saw another man's wife, Bathsheba, and he coveted her and had her husband killed to take her, okay? Now, the thing what he did was wrong, very wrong.
Now, God sent a prophet, his name was Nathan, and Nathan came to David like this. This is what Nathan said, "I gave you, thus says the Lord, I gave you this, this, this, this and I gave you this, this, this, this, this. If it was not enough, I would have given you more. Why did you do this"? In other words, if you're having problem in your marriage, your marriage has become maybe boring like you felt like water, whatever it is. Don't use your efforts to try to find somebody else, to start a relationship with somebody else requires a lot of effort, requires a lot of romance that you don't have nowadays because you said you are too busy nowadays. All of a sudden, now you have.
Okay, never mind. And then it requires a lot of effort, a lot of performance, a lot of putting your right foot forward, very strenuous and nowadays, take a lot of money. All right, God is saying, "Don't go to the spirit of the world. All right, if you have a problem in your marriage, ask me to turn that water into wine. I can do it. I can transform your spouse. I can turn the water into wine. It may not happen on the same day, but it will happen, and it will happen freely. You don't have to deserve it. You don't have to earn it. You don't have to merit it. It will be done freely". And that's what the Holy Spirit shows us. Amen.
You say, "Pastor Prince, how in the world can I have a job? All my friends are university graduates and I just passed sec 4 and barely only. You know how can I have the job of this kind of pay, that kind of pay"? And why don't you ask God? Have you ever considered the things of God are freely given? Ask God who freely gives. God gave you his Son. How will he not with him also freely give you all things? Amen. Ask God for it. You never thought of asking God because God gives freely. "God, I don't know how. God, I don't know when. I don't know the wherewithals but, Lord, I'm asking you to give me a good-paying job because I want to be a blessing to your kingdom. I want to be a blessing to the poor. I want to be a blessing for the cost of the body of Christ", amen.
Have you ever invite God to be involved? Instead of that, we try with our own efforts to get something, "I know it's not logical, lah. God expects us to spirit of the world". We are back to the spirit of the world, okay? So, we have not received the spirit of the world. We have received the spirit which is of God that we might know the things that have been freely given to us of God, amen. Amen?
I used to be a teenage boy who was very afraid, very timid. And one of the things that I was definitely afraid of is to talk to authority figures, let alone stand in public and talk, even in my class, secondary school, not primary school or kindergarten, all right? And after secondary school, pre-U, I was still, very, very bashful, very shy. I still am shy a bit now here and there. Yeah, I'm quite a shy person, but y'all don't believe, huh? What you are seeing right now is the things I ask God. I say that God, I don't know how to stand in front of my class and talk.
You know, I feel so nervous. I feel so scared. I'm more nervous than those people who are nervous normally. And I say, God, you know, give me the gift of boldness. Give me the gift. Whatever I have today, it's a gift. In and of myself, I'm nothing. Whatever I have is a gift. It's freely given. It is freely given. Have you ever considered the fact that you don't have to live with your shyness? Don't have to live with your reticence. You can actually ask God for boldness. You know, boldness is a gift. It's not something you achieved.
So, why have you not asked God? Are you tired of trying to obtain something by your efforts, by our manipulation and by your positioning and name dropping and trying to get this guy to help you? Will you stop all that and start looking to God alone and ask God, "I don't know how, but I'm at the age where I'm supposed to get married. All my friends are all married already. But I know I have a series of bad relationship so I don't know how, I don't know when, I don't know where. But Father, I'd like to get married. Father, bless me with this, a wonderful marriage, in Jesus' name", amen? Amen. That's faith.
Now, faith doesn't mean you take care of the details. Let God take care of the details, amen. Faith is that you rest in God and God takes care of the details. Hallelujah, are you with me? Now, Jesus said when the Holy Spirit comes in John 16, "Nevertheless", now Jesus is talking here, "I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come", when the Holy Spirit has come, "He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment".
Stop here. Look at me. You know, I've heard so many people, when they touch on this, that's where they stop. They will say, "The Holy Spirit has come to convict us of sin, of righteousness and of judgment". It's like all three is for us, means everything taken, all right? It's like they take sin, righteous, judgment all for the believer. But thank God Jesus expounded because Jesus foresaw there'll be people who are against the grace message. So, Jesus took his time to explain "Of sin", singular sin, "Because they", not you.
Now, he's talking to his disciples. Notice this phrase. He's talking to his disciples and he say, "The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin because they do not believe on me", not you. Now, all of us who are saved today, we are now new creations, partakers of his divine nature. We all have been convicted at one time of this sin, unbelieving Christ. That's why you're a believer today. Do you know that's the only sin the Holy Spirit convicts the believer of? But the problem is that we have a system of theology that teaches people every day the Holy Spirit points to you your faults, every day the Holy Spirit points to you.
All right, every day it's almost like he's nagging you. Every time you say something wrong, every time you think something amidst, he's pointing always. You know and that's not even Bible. I'm showing you the Bible, what Jesus said. The Holy Spirit does not convict you of sin, believer. He convicts you once before you were a believer of your sin of unbelief in Christ. But once you believe in Christ, you know what he convicts you of?
The next statement, "Of righteousness, because I go to my Father and you"... Now, this is the message for you, his disciples. He's talking to you now. "You see me no more and because you see me no more, you can't see my approving eyes, my smile, my acceptance so you have to know that you are righteous by faith". And the Holy Spirit has been sent to indwell you to convict you of righteousness. We hardly hear that preached. We hardly hear that preached.
We hear people saying, "You know I woke up this morning on the wrong side of the bed. I didn't feel good. I was in a bad mood, then I kicked my dog along the way. He was in the way. And then I was very cross with my wife and she said something nice and I said bad back. And I was late for work, and I jumped into my car and along the way I did something with my hand. Somebody was, you know, crossing me the wrong way and I realized it was my boss and then I reached down there, you know? And then my boss said something to me then for the first time, you know, I spoke back at my boss. It was a bad day. Somewhere in the afternoon the Holy Spirit convicted me of all my sins".
This is what you hear. This is what you hear. "And I felt bad". Now, you don't hear the same scenario, got out of the wrong side of the bet, kicked the dog all the way, you know, to the boss. And then you say, "By afternoon time all of a sudden the Holy Spirit, I felt so bad about what I've done then the Holy Spirit convicted me that I'm still the righteousness of God in Christ, and my heart melted. And all of a sudden, you know, the grass seemed greener. The sky seemed bluer and my mood came back".
How many know loved people love, amen? And all of a sudden the bitterness and all that discouragement and depression just melt like butter on a hot day because the truth had been, but you don't hear this. You know why we don't hear this? We don't hear this because we don't hear this preached. We don't hear this preached. We relegate the Holy Spirit to the place of a finger wagging, pointing you. You know, every time you do wrong, he's finger wagging, and that's not the Holy Spirit.
"Then who's the one that tells me when I do wrong, Pastor Prince"? You know when you do wrong. When you do wrong, your own spirit tells you do wrong. It's not the Holy Spirit. He will never tell you because Jesus said so. You know when you do wrong. Your own spirit, not the Holy Spirit, tells you. Sometimes your wife tells you. Sometimes your mother-in-law comes in, all right? So, you know when you do wrong, but it's not the Holy Spirit telling you you have sinned. Are you with me? He reminds you that you are still the righteousness of God in Christ.
My friends, the Bible tells me prophet Daniel gave a prophecy that's a well-known prophecy in the Book of Daniel and he foresaw the Messiah coming, and one of the things the Messiah would accomplish is that he will accomplish everlasting righteousness. You know what is everlasting righteousness? A righteousness you cannot lose or forfeit. Your sins are not big enough to lose that everlasting righteousness because what Jesus did is greater than what you can ever do. You have an everlasting righteousness, a righteousness that you cannot lose through sin.
Now, you gotta preach like that because this is the confidence that we have in the gospel. But hardly we hear people, you know, being affirmed about their righteousness in Christ, huh? And then Jesus says the Holy Spirit convicts the world of judgment. Good thing he explained who is being judged. "Because the ruler of this world", the devil, "is judged". Well, thank God he mentioned the devil being judged or else you think that the Holy Spirit, if it stops there of judgment, we think "Oh, judging us". You know, we're all prone. We have this propensity toward condemning ourselves. Thank God Jesus explained.
I think Jesus saw some of the difficulties Joseph Prince would have if he didn't expound. The things that people would rally against us. Imagine if you just say the Holy Spirit comes to convict the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment and didn't explain. Wow, the field day people would have using these verses, using sin against God's people, using the word "judgment" against God's people.
But who is being judged? The ruler of this world. That's the devil. He's judged. The Holy Spirit convicts you. The devil is defeated. The devil is brought to not. The devil has been put to nothing. The devil has been vanquished. The devil has been conquered. The devil is destroyed. That is the Holy Spirit, mmm. Amen, how many are glad for the Holy Spirit. Say, "Greater is he that's in me than he that is in the world". The Holy Spirit is the greater one, and he convicts you always that you are righteous in Christ.
Now, years ago, I asked the Lord, many years ago I asked the Lord, "Lord, why, you know, when I look around me as a young pastor, I remember, as a young leader, I don't think I was even a pastor at a time, I noticed that there are a lot of people who are sick. They're not convinced that healing is part of the work of Jesus at the cross. Many of them, because of wrong teachings, traditions, all right, based on the denomination they come from, they don't believe in healing, and therefore many of them are not convinced about healing".
So, I said to the Holy Spirit, "Holy Spirit, why not convict the believer of healing? Many people need conviction of healing on the inside. No matter how much you tell them, they need conviction from the inside. I think", I said to the Holy Spirit, "I think if you convict Christians of healing, many of them will be healed. Why convict them of righteousness"? Back in those days, my understanding of righteousness wasn't as, you know, as what it is today. And the law said this to me, "If they are convinced that they are righteous in my sight, they will be healed". That's what they need. Prosperity is the same. You don't have to convict people that they are prosperous.
You know, some people say, "Well, well, Pastor Prince, we don't believe in prosperity and all that", okay? And now, how many know that there are believers who don't believe in prosperity? And many of them who come against prosperity, they live in lended properties? They have four cars, but they're against prosperity preached in the church. Something is wrong. It's one thing to say something, it's another thing to live that kind of life, but never mind. But the thing is this, how many know that God wants you to prosper? Now, God doesn't want you to be greedy or materialistic but he wants you to prosper to be a blessing, right?
So, the thing is this, why not convict the believer of prosperity? No, he doesn't. He convict the believer of righteousness, why? Because when you are convinced you are righteous by faith, prosperity will come. Now, this is how Jesus said it. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'" This is Matthew 6. Notice Jesus says, "Don't worry about what shall we eat, what shall we drink, what shall we wear"?
I think there was a smile on Jesus's faith. At that time Singapore did not exist yet, all right, but I think Jesus was probably thinking about a tiny island called Singapore with people who are Singaporeans and this will be their favorite question, "What shall we eat, what shall we drink, what shall we wear"? Because when Singaporeans meet one another, they're not like Israelis. Israelis when they meet one another they say, "Peace, shalom". If it's Shavuot, "Shavuot, shalom", all right?
And but when Singaporeans meet each other, all right, they say this, "Have you eaten"? In Chinese, in Malay, you know? Food is preeminent so Jesus says, "Don't worry", regardless of what is happening to the American debt situation, all right, regardless of what is happening with the prices and the downturn of the stock market, whatever happens, know this, do not worry saying, what shall we eat, what shall we drink, or what shall we be clothed with? "For after all these things the Gentiles", the unbelievers, the non Jews seek, "for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things".
Your Father in heaven knows you need all these things. Do you know that God knows you need all these things? I was reading yesterday the story of Gideon in my Bible and I read where the Lord appeared to Gideon and the Lord said to Gideon, "Now, offer me a burnt offering. Go to your father's flock, all right, choose the second bullock, which is seven years old and offer him". Now, he was not at the place of the stable. It seems like God knows in Gideon's father's house of all the flock he had, all the bulls he had, which bullock was ready for sacrifice and how old was the bullock.
Do you know that God knows everything you have? He know all your needs. Your heavenly Father knows what you have need of before you ask him, amen? So, what he wants from you is this, the next line, "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you". All these things shall be, what? Added to you. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Notice, it's his righteousness, not your righteousness or my righteousness. This righteousness is a gift. I said this righteousness is a gift. His righteousness is a gift.
Unfortunately, people preach it like this, "Seek first God's kingdom and then his way of doing things right". That's not what it's saying. It's saying seek first the gift of righteousness, which is his righteousness, and guess what, all these things, food, drink, clothing, all the material things, shall be added, added, added, added. Your part is not to use your faith for food, use your faith for drink, use your faith for clothing, use your faith for shelter, use your faith for your job, use your faith for material things. No, no, no, your part is to use your faith to believe that you are righteous by Jesus's blood. When you use your faith for that, all these things will be added. The membership card is righteousness. The privileges are all added. Are you with me?
See, this is the message the Holy Spirit wants to convict us and yet the church world today doesn't understand still about this gift of righteousness. Romans 5:17, let's read it. "By one man's offense", that's Adam, "death reigned through that one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will, what? Reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ". That's why Pastor Prince love to preach on abundance of grace.
People say, "Pastor Prince, you preach too much on grace". That's why I preach abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness because these two gifts is what causes the believer to reign in life, to reign in life because when you reign in life, your addictions don't. When you reign in life, your bad habits don't. When you reign in life, all right, disease don't. When you reign in life, the devil doesn't. Who wants to reign in life? Reigning in life is not achieved, it's not something achieved, it is those who receive. Receive what? Two things, abundance of favor, grace, and the gift of righteousness.
Notice righteousness is not a work or reward of righteousness, it's a gift. Say, "gift" five times. One more time, gift. Now, what's gift. Gift, if I give you a gift doesn't really matter you're good, bad, short, tall, all right, polka dot, ugly, beautiful, all right? It's a gift. A gift doesn't reflect on the recipient, it reflects on the giver, okay? Righteousness, right standing with God is a gift and this is the gospel of Jesus Christ. But the problem with us, even among those who know this verse, is this.
Many people think that I have done this verse because I have received Jesus already, therefore I already have abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. I already have done this verse. In other words, they relegate this verse to the born again experience. But actually, this word receive in the Greek, your New Testament is written in Greek, is in the present active participle. Say present. Present tense is what?
Now, continuing, now. It's not past tense, it's not future tense, it's now. Active means what? You got to do it, all right? Participle. In other words, your receiving must be active all the time, present tense. In other words, keep on keeping on receiving the gift of righteousness. It's not just one time you are saved, all right, during the altar call or whatever, your friend led you to Jesus. It's not that time, all right? Every single day, you need to receive these two gifts, abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, especially when you fail. Because that's the time where it really matters.
You know, when you just blew your top, all right, on the road or whatever, that's the time the devil come and say, "Call yourself a Christian, huh? Call yourself a pastor, call yourself a leader. All right, you just blew your top, how can you do that"? You know, and all the accusations start coming in, all right? Don't go any further. Say "Father, I thank you that I am the righteousness of God by Christ". Amen, righteous, start receiving it all over again. Are you listening? That's the time you must receive it, especially when you fail. Now, if you've not heard this message before, look at the Bible and tell me what you get from it. When it says, present active, that means you're supposed to keep on receiving it, especially when you fail.
Now, in my book "Destined to Reign", I have a long testimony of a guy who was addicted to many, many packs of cigarettes a day and how he was completely delivered. Would you like to know how he was delivered? And he's not the only testimony, all right? We have many other testimonies now, a church library, all right, of testimonies that have come down through the years of people who have applied this and found freedom. Whatever addiction it is, whether it is addicted to depression, addicted to pornography, or addicted to smoking. I use smoking as an illustration, all right?
Now, I don't smoke, but I want to illustrate something right now, okay? I tell them this. When they smoke, say this, "I'm the righteousness of God in Christ. Father, I thank you I receive your abundance of faith. I receive the gift of righteousness. I am the righteousness of God in Christ". Okay, trust me, I don't smoke, okay? If I smoke, I won't look this good, amen? You don't need to say amen, lah, okay? All right, "I'm the righteousness of God in Christ".
People say, "How can you say that Pastor Prince"? You rather they don't say that? But you know something, they'll still do it. They'll do it after church, your church. Don't talk about my church, every church have people running out somewhere. Miss the target, you know? Come on, I rather they smoke and receive the gift because you know what? When you receive overcoming this weed, overcoming this tobacco, it's not something that happens by achieving, willpower. Today, I pluck half.
All right, it's not a matter of that. It's not a matter of achieving with willpower, it's a matter of true heart transformation. God wants you not to have behavior modification, where the inside still wants it. It's like the dog that likes to bite people's legs, okay? And you put a muzzle on the dog and every time the leg pass by, he still...you know? The muzzle is there, but the desires are not changed. That is not God's way of transformation. God's way is not behavior modification, it is heart transformation, when the life of the Holy Spirit starts striking up all the dry leaves, and the dry leaves drop automatically. Hallelujah, that's the gospel. That's the good news, amen.
So, whatever your addiction is, I don't care what your addiction is, maybe it's pornography, all right? Now, when you're watching pornography, the last thing you want to do, last, L-A-S-T, the last thing that you want to do when you're watching is to say, "I am the righteousness of God in Christ". But that's what you must say. I rather you say that. "Pastor Prince, why you telling people this"? Because they'll still do it and say nothing.
So, I'm talking about people who are in bondage, to all kinds of bondages, this is the way out, by receiving the gift, even as you're watching, "Father I receive your abundance of grace and I receive your gift of righteousness". And I don't know how many of them, plus pornography addiction, have written to us saying, "I'm free. I'm free from it. I'm free". And it's something that like smokers for example, they say they wake up one day and the thinking of a smoke makes them sick. That is true transformation. Amen, this is heart transformation. Only God can do that, and it comes by receiving the gift of righteousness. Are you listening, church? Especially when you fail, that's the time to receive it. That's the time to receive it.
Okay, I'm going to make another radical statement. You cannot lose your righteousness even when you sin because you never receive it by your works. How can you lose it by your works? It came by Jesus. Amen, amen? It's your fault because you received Jesus. Now, you see, you're everlastingly righteous. Blame yourself, amen? Let me bring this to a close. Ah, nevermind, I didn't preach for how long already down here. Come on, praise God. Let's go for another hour, huh, amen?
Now, I'm bringing this to a close. You'll meet people out there, all right, especially Christians who don't understand this gift of righteousness. And you know what they'll say? You know what they'll say? They'll say, "Yes, yes, yes, we believe in the gift of righteousness. Amen, amen, amen. But we also must have practical righteousness. In other words, gift of righteousness, yes, but we must also have practical righteousness".
Now, there is no such creature under heaven called practical righteousness. When the Bible in the New Testament mentions righteousness, it is always in reference to the gift of righteousness unveiled through the gospel, unless it's talking about self-righteousness. The only other righteousness is self-righteousness produced by man's works. But there'll be those who try to hoodwink you by saying, "It's good you have gift of righteousness, but y'all also must have practical righteousness".
Now, there's practical holiness. For example, if you believe you are righteous by faith, one day there comes a time you stop smoking. Now, that's practical holiness. There comes a time, a desire to not want to do that kind of thing comes. That's practical holiness. But there's no such thing as practical righteousness. Righteousness is a gift that everyone receives when you receive Jesus. And you have to keep on keeping on receiving that gift for your own sake to remind yourself you're always righteous. Are you listening?
For example, and I'll close with this, the Apostle Paul, cares so much about his Jewish people, the nation of Israel, he said these words. He says in Romans 10, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge", all right?
So, how many agree that Israel, the Jewish people have a zeal? I mean, look at the way they celebrate their feasts, the way they keep the laws, the way they pray at the Western Wall. Even at night when you have a video cam on the western wall, there are some website that give you that, at night, middle of the night, they are still praying at the Western Wall. You can't fault them for zeal, they pray longer than many of us. So Paul says, "When it comes to zeal, they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge", okay? "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness".
Now, what is God's righteousness? It's the gift of righteousness. They being ignorant of the gift that came through their Messiah. That's why we must preach to them so that their ignorance shall be no more, all right? "They being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness". Now, isn't that what we call practical righteousness? "By doing that, they have not submitted to the righteousness of God", which is the gift of righteousness. Can you see that? The moment you try to establish practical righteousness, bang, you're out of the gift of righteousness.
Let me explain, look up here. You cannot be both. You cannot say, "I'm righteous by Jesus's blood and I'm righteous by my performance". You cannot. Are you listening? You cannot have both. All right, it's like oil and water, they cannot mix. You're either righteous by faith and keep on believing you're righteous by faith, not by works, not by your performance, not by your actions, not by your good deeds. You're righteous by Jesus's blood, amen. The more you believe that, the fruit is holiness, the fruit is love, joy, peace. The fruit is a good life, all right? But it's this position that gives birth to this. You cannot stop this and say, "Now, I'll try to be righteous practically". Because by doing that, you are not submitting to the gift of righteousness.
People are concerned about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and grieving the Holy Spirit. All right, do you know that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is something a Christian can never commit? It is something that the Pharisees committed because they see Jesus in the flesh and they say that what he did is by the devil. And Jesus says this sin has no forgiveness. Now, in Paul's letters to the church, there is no unforgiven sin. That means, all right, this sin is committed by those unbelievers who continuously, notice that word, and always reject Jesus Christ, okay?
Don't worry about unpardonable sin 'cause when I was a young Christian, I was so worried about this, that I committed this sin. You have not committed this sin and you cannot commit this sin. Once you are in Christ, you cannot commit this sin, okay? Is that okay? That brings us to the last one, what about grieving the Holy Spirit? So, let's look at this verse and then we'll finish with this grieving of the Holy Spirit. "Let no corrupt word", Ephesians 4, "proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption".
Now, many Christians tell you, especially some leaders, they will tell you this. You know, they use the Holy Spirit's grieving for everything under the sun. "This guy got long hair, I'm grieved. I think the Holy Spirit is grieved. This lady got too much makeup, oh, I feel grieved. Do you feel grief when you see that lady's face? Yeah, I feel grief". Actually, they are jealous of the lady's beauty, all right? And then I've seen this kind of, anything that they don't like, "I'm grieved, I'm grieved, I'm grieved, I'm grieved". This has nothing to do with the Bible grieving of the Holy Spirit.
Would you like to know what grieves the Holy Spirit? Look at the context. It says, "And do not grieve". And A-N-D means what? It's tied up with the previous verse. So, let's look at the previous verse, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification", that it may impart what? Grace to the hearers. Now, whatever words come out of your mouth that is not unearned, undeserved favor for your listener, all right, whatever is not grace grieves the Holy Spirit. In other words, corrupt word here is not vulgarity, it is not profanity.
Now, we are all against profanity and vulgarity, but the corrupt word here is saying of someone other than what God's Word says of him in Christ. In other words, all of you are righteous in Christ. But if I come to you and say, "You know, all of us are rotten sinners", I've just grieved the Holy Spirit because my words are corrupt. It's not based on the Bible. And you know what? It's not grace. That grieves the Holy Spirit, who know what Jesus went through to give you this position of righteousness. The Holy Spirit delights for you to say all of you are righteous, all of you are saints.
You're holy and unblameable in God's eyes. He loves for people that say things like, "Through Jesus you receive the forgiveness of sins". He hugs all of you. You are clean by Jesus's blood. The Holy Spirit love. When you say things like that, it is grace. "But Pastor Prince, the guy just blundered. You still want me to call him righteous, blameless, beautiful? My wife, you know, that's the 50th time she has done that, you want me to call her beautiful"? It's called unearned, undeserved favor. Hi, beautiful. Doesn't mean she deserves it, but because your words must minister unearned, undeserved favor, that's grace. That's grace.
When people don't deserve the word sorry sometimes, okay, they're so proud in the way, you still say sorry, all right? Unearned, undeserved favor, that brings joy to the Holy Spirit. Whenever your words are not gracious, that grieves the Holy Spirit. It is not this vulgarity and all, it's not. The context here is very clear, corrupt words are any words. For example, God's people are a new creation. Then we say, no, the church today is so filthy, so dirty, that grieves the Holy Spirit.
How dare you talk about that of his bride for whom he died? He washed her with his blood. And what he washes, all right, he washes clean. How dare we slander another brother, another sister. That grieves the Holy Spirit because this word is used by Jesus one time or used on Jesus one time in Mark 3, verse 5 in the synagogue. "When Jesus looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts". You see what happened to the Pharisees? They saw a man whose hand was withered. All right, his hand was withered and the guy desperately needs healing. And Jesus looked at the Pharisees and they were all like this, looking at Jesus to see whether he would heal.
You know something? Some of their descendants are still around. And they're always looking whether you're gracious or not. They have a problem with grace. They really have a problem with grace. "Then Jesus looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts. Jesus said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' And the man stretched it out, and his hand was restored whole as the other".
Now watch this, what grieves Jesus? You will never find, I challenge you, you will never find he's grieved with the prostitutes, never. You will never find he was grieved with the tax collectors, never. You'll never find he's grieved with the drunkards, never. Look through the gospels, look for the word grieved. The only time it says Jesus was grieved, it's found here, he was grieved at the lack of grace. The same word grieved is used in Ephesians by the Holy Spirit. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit, it's the same word. Same word used, do not grieve the Holy Spirit.
What grieves Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever? It's lack of grace. Mmm, isn't that interesting? Whenever you are not gracious, and what is gracious? That means you are saying things to someone that they don't deserve. In the natural, all of us, we are righteous, we are clean. And that's how we are to affirm each other. The bridegroom looks at you and you know how he calls you? You are altogether lovely. There is no spot in you. That's how when Jesus sees you.
And somebody comes along and say, "You know that call himself a Christian. He's a lousy Christian. He's a dirty fellow". And these are things of, you know, "You rotten sinner", these are things that has been taught in the body of Christ. And once you are saved, you are hopelessly, helplessly, irreversibly righteous. There's no hope for you already. You can never be unrighteous, do you understand, okay? Turn to your neighbor, smile, and say, "I'm convicted of righteousness". Give Jesus a praise, come on, hallelujah. All right, that's all we have time for.
Every head bowed, every eye closed all across this place and also every place that's watching this. I want to give you an opportunity to receive this gift of righteousness. My dear friend, this gift of righteousness is why Jesus came. God knew by man's performance he can never be righteous 'cause God's standards are too perfect, too holy, inflexible. And only God can give to man a gift. But this gift was wrought at a great cost, for at the cross Jesus Christ received all our sins and became answerable for all our sins so that all of us today can receive Jesus's righteousness, the righteousness of God, and become answerable.
Just like Jesus was cursed because he received our sins, you and I can be blessed because we receive his righteousness. Just as Jesus was rejected by receiving our sins, you and I can be received and accepted by receiving his righteousness. My friend, have you received this gift? I'm not asking you to achieve, I'm asking you to receive. If you've not done so, I want to pray with you. Wherever you are watching this or via television, pray this prayer with me and the gift of righteousness will be yours.
Heavenly Father, what a good God you are. You sent your Son to die on this earth on that cross for all my sins. Even before I knew you, you knew me and you loved me. And on that cross, Christ died for my sins. He was buried, and on the third day, you raised him from the dead. Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior. And I thank you, Father, that all my sins are forgiven, past, present, and future. I'm totally and completely righteous in your sight, not by my works, but by the blood of Jesus, everlasting righteous, forever righteous because Jesus Christ is my Lord in Jesus's name.