Joseph Prince - The Power Of Forgiveness Brings Freedom
You're ready for God's Word? You know, I miss all of you so much, and I really look forward to the day that we can all get together physically, amen. And like the Bible says, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together. What is happening right now online and all that is no surprise to God. It doesn't take God like God said, "Wah, I didn't count on that Coronavirus coming in, man. The devil got me on the blindside". God has no blindside. There is no shadow of turning with him. He knew what's gonna happen, and there is a purpose that he's working out. He's not behind this Coronavirus, but he's working out his purpose and plan during this time.
I just want you to know that as far as you are concerned, because you're a child of God, I'm not talking about people of the world, I'm talking about you as a child of God, you have an inheritance and the inheritance is this, Paul talks about it in Colossians 1 and in Romans 8 where all things are working after the counsel of his will. And in Romans 8 where all things in your life, all things, good things, bad things, amen, trying things, difficult things, amen, those moments where you feel like, you feel so down, you feel so depressed. I mean, you feel like, what is happening to the world? Even those moments, amen, everything is happening for your good, amen. Perhaps they're gonna stir in you a desire for the life that God has for you, amen?
Sometimes, you know, when we are indulged, we are put in a situation where everything is just negative. We long for that we just lofty. We long for that which is beautiful, amen. We long, when there is so much ugliness, we long for that which is beautiful. Like for me, you know, I look at some of the old, old poetry, amen, some of the poets are Christian like Robert Browning and Elizabeth Browning, and their poetry is so beautiful, amen. It's talking about the Lord, talking about even his creation and all that. I long for that which is beautiful.
When I look at the world and I see all the the darkness and what Paul says, perilous times shall come, I believe we're in those days. And the news is this, it's not gonna get better, it's gonna get worse, amen. The world's gonna get worse, but the Bible says when darkness covers the earth, listen Child of God, when darkness covers the earth, the glory of the Lord will shine, will rise and shine on you, amen. Get ready for that, be expecting that, amen. When the light shines on you when there's darkness all around, then the focus comes back to the church.
You know, right now what I see the church going through is the church is going through a time that is unparalleled in history. It is a time where the church is disrespected, and the church is no more commanding the kind of respect and honor. Even some people of the world in times past, even they don't agree, you know, with the church, they don't agree, but they have that respect for the church. But now that respect has been corroded, and many times it's because of the church's own, our own doings and all that. But you know what God is saying in the last days? He's gonna restore the honor, amen.
The glory of the Lord will rise upon the church, amen. And kings, kings, men of importance, will come to the brightness of your rising. And the Bible says, "Arise shine," in Hebrew qum owr. Come up, rise. That's what Jesus said to the woman, to the girl that was dead, Jairus's daughter, "Cumi, rise up, rise from your sleep of death, rise up from that depression, rise up from all that ugliness you see around you. Rise up, amen, for God is shining on you, amen. Christ shall give you light". Praise the Lord. And I'm looking forward for that. I'm looking forward to good days for the believer. I'm looking forward that the evil day is but short, amen.
Job says it like this in the Book of Job, God is saying it through the servant, that the triumph of the wicked is short, amen, amen. But God is saying to us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. And the Lord is always joyful, so it's the joy of the Lord in us that is our strength, amen. You know, God rejoices over you, amen, and his thoughts, his plans for you are all plans for good. And God doesn't plan something that he will not execute, amen. So every day we pray, "Thy will be done in my life". And just know that that will is good for you. Praise the Lord, hallelujah.
Like I said, let's dive right into the Word, and I'm going to share something that I feel like you might, when you first hear it, you might say, "It's very basic, Pastor Prince, all of us know it, but do we"? For the lack of understanding this and for the misapprehension we have about this particular subject, right, we have results in our life that are very clear. For example, are you experiencing bouts of bitterness, resentment? You know, even during this lockdown especially, if you have bouts and they are on the increase, right, with your spouse where you are always quarreling, you are short tempered, where you find that you have bad thoughts about your loved one, and even parents and child, and their grownup sons and all that.
And, you know, I understand that lockdown can cause one to be impatient, and because we see the best as well as the worst, you know, and but more than that, deeper than dead, it shows us what we really believe, and what we really understand about the new covenant, amen. And I feel like the Lord has commissioned me and put it really strong in my heart to once again visit this, but in a fresh way, in a new anointing, and asking ourselves the question because it's all contingent on us believing this. The fruit itself is telling us that though we know this in our heads, we might not know it in our hearts.
So, I'm gonna go, right dive right into it, and you will see what I mean, all right? We'll start with a very beautiful story in the life of our Lord Jesus when he was on earth. Look up Luke 7 right now. "One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When a certain immoral woman from that city heard Jesus was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind Jesus at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him, invited Jesus, saw this, he said to himself, 'If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She's a sinner!' Then Jesus answered his thoughts. 'Simon,' he said to the Pharisee, 'I have something to say to you.' 'Go ahead, Teacher,' Simon replied. Then Jesus told him this story: 'A man loaned money to two people: 500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other".
So, 500 to one, and 50 to another. "'But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?' Simon answered, 'I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.' 'That's right,' Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, 'Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn't offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn't greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. I tell you, her sins (and they are many) have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.' Then Jesus said to the woman, 'Your sins are forgiven.' The men at the table said among themselves, 'Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?' And Jesus said to the woman, 'Your faith has saved you; go in peace.'"
Now, this little account, this narrative that I just shared with you in the life of Jesus, happened when he was invited by one of the Pharisees, and the Pharisees are people who know the law back to back. They know the Scriptures by heart. And they are people who observe meticulously, all right? They are very conscious of any deviation from the law, and plus they have their own laws added to it. Now, such a man invited Jesus to his house for whatever reason, we are not told, but Jesus went. And along came during the dinner, along came a woman, and the Bible says she was a great sinner in the King James. And here it says she was an immoral woman. And in our translation says that she was a prostitute. And she came and she started weeping on the feet of Jesus. In those days, they would recline, the Jewish custom is to recline as they ate.
So, Jesus is probably looking at the Pharisee and the woman came behind. Both of them were reclining facing each other, so she came behind and she wept on Jesus's feet. Her tears fell, and she wiped his feet with her hair, and then she anointed his feet with very expensive perfume. And so, Jesus looked at the Pharisee, and the Pharisee's probably looking at the woman, and Jesus knew what was going on in his mind. He was thinking if Jesus is such a prophet, he wouldn't know that this woman that is touching him, all right, anointing him with the perfume is a prostitute. She's a great sinner.
And Jesus shared this illustration, this story, illustrative story. He said, "You know, there was once a man who loaned money to two persons", okay, one borrowed 500 pieces of silver, and the other borrowed 50. When they both cannot pay, he frankly forgave them both. Now, in the Greek, the word, "frankly forgave," I'm using the King James, and he it says "kindly forgave". In the New King James, "freely forgive". All this is one word actually in the Greek, charizomai. Charis is grace, all right, to graciously forgive, freely forgive. God does not require anything from you. God gives you forgiveness freely, amen. That's how Jesus shared the story, when they both could not pay him the 500 silver, guy who borrowed 500 could not pay, the 50 silver could not pay, all right, he forgave them both, and he forgave them freely.
Now, Jesus asked this Pharisee Simon the question, which of the two would love him more? And Simon, you know, Jesus is speaking his language, you know? He's a man conscious of money, all right? He was speaking his language. He says, "Well, suppose the one who is, whose debt was canceled more, all right, the one who owed the moneylender, all right, 500 pieces of silver, okay? I guess he would love him more". And I like the King James Version. It's accurate to the Greek. It says, "Thou has rightly judged," and the word there is krino. Krino is the word used in our observing the Lord's Supper, judged ourselves, amen, it is used in many other places.
When you speak to the mountain, if you are not krino in your heart, all right, and you will not judge yourself, you will not... that's another message altogether, but the word "judge" is very accurate, okay? And here it just says that's right in the New Living Translation. But actually, Jesus says, "You have rightly judged". In the New King James, "You have judged rightly". What is judging rightly? What, to God, is judging rightly? We all want to judge rightly, amen, ourselves, amen, situations that we are faced with. What is judging rightly according to the Lord? Judging rightly is when you realize whoever is forgiven much will love him much, amen, whoever's forgiven much.
Then Jesus says, "You see this woman," I came to your house. And in those days when you go to a Jewish home, the culture of that day is that you come from outside, it's very dusty. They will prepare water to wash your feet, usually a servant would do that, amen. They will wash your feet from the dust, and then they will pour perfume on your feet, or put olive oil on your feet, and is very refreshing. But when Jesus came to this Pharisee's house, observe, he did not do all these things for Jesus. So obviously, he invited Jesus for whatever reason, amen, but to catch Jesus, you know, to expose Jesus or whatever, but he definitely did not respect Jesus, all right, he didn't honor Jesus, and it shows because when you don't honor Jesus, it shows in the way you treat other people and in the way he treated this, this woman.
And Jesus says, "I came to your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has not ceased to weep on my feet. You gave me no olive oil, amen, to anoint my feet, and she has anointed me with expensive perfume". In other words, what you did not do, this lady has exceeded. Would you say, my friend, that she excelled, amen, in terms of service, she excelled in terms of serving the Lord, in terms of loving the Lord even? Isn't that what we are after? We want to live a life that glorifies Jesus. We want to fulfill the greatest commandment. Remember the greatest commandment? Jesus was asked one time, "What is the greatest commandment"? And Jesus says the greatest commandment is "Shema Israel, Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And shalt love the LORD thy God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, all your strength". And the second is like unto it, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself".
And the man that asked Jesus the question, and he says, "Who is my neighbor"? That's when Jesus shared the parable of the Good Samaritan, amen. Has anyone ever loved God with all his heart, all his soul, all his mind, all his strength, which is the greatest commandment that we are supposed to fulfill? Have you done it? Have I done it? Has anyone done it that you know of? And that's the reason why God gave the law. God did not give the law so because he knew that men can keep it. He ought to put his best effort to keep it. God knew man could not. The law is like a mirror, okay? The mirror shows ugly, all right, don't blame the mirror, amen. It is inflexibly, inflexibly accurate and true, amen. You can break the mirror fact is fact, okay, praise the Lord. And the mirror can tell you what you are, the facts, amen, warts and all, but he has no solution. If you see a stain on your face, the mirror cannot clean that stain.
So, the law is holy, it is true, it is just, it is accurate, but it's to show man, it's like the plumb line. You know, when someone is building a road or a building, they will have a plumb line, a rope that goes all the way with a heavy stone that points down so to compare whether the building is straight or not because we can think something is straight, but it's not. We'll have the plumb line. So, the law is the plumb line, and when God puts that plumb line in front of us, then we realize we are all sinners. We don't love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, all our strength. We don't love our neighbor as ourselves.
You know, someone heard that his house was on fire, so he ran down the street to respond to what is happening, and he saw a lot of commotion, a lot of people down there, and then the fire, a fire engine was there and all that. You realize all of a sudden it was not his house, it was his neighbor's house. And from his mouth came these words, "Praise God it's not mine". Now, do you think he loved his neighbor as he loved himself? We're all guilty of this to a small measure, amen. "It happened to him, wow, you know, it didn't happen to me". But is this loving our neighbor as ourselves? We ought to be actually to love our neighbor is to be equally sad. If that happened to us, we'd be very sad. We must be sad in the same manner, but you know what? The law is given to show us, people, that we come short, amen.
So, Jesus said, "This woman has loved me much, and the reason she loved me much is because she knows she's forgiven much". So, somewhere along the way prior to this incident in Simon, the Pharisee's house, that woman was, has already received forgiveness from Jesus, and she knew she is forgiven. She didn't come to be forgiven, she came because she was forgiven. She came to express her love to the Lord.
And pastors, leaders, teachers, listen carefully, the reason... and we want our congregation to be like that. We want our people to be overflowing with love for the Lord and for one another, amen, the greatest commandment, hallelujah. We want our people, and the Bible says love is the fulfilling, the fulfillment of the law. We want our people to serve the Lord without even realizing it because, you know, when you are serving the Lord and you're always conscious of your service, you get proud. But to serve because you want to serve, amen, in fact, you really consider it an honor to serve the Lord, what kind of fruit is this that cause people to renounce self and be involved in the service of the Lord, to care for people. Not caring is an expensive perfume or not. The Lord is worthy, amen. He is worthy whether it's expensive perfume or not.
What would cause someone to have all these fruits? Isn't that what we, as leaders, want for our people, amen? And the secret is something that's found in these words. In the New Covenant it says, "I'll be merciful to the unrighteousness, and their sins I'll remember no more. It's in the forgiveness of sins". Because we don't fully comprehend forgiveness of sins, we think it's a starting point. All right, from then on, you know, God is looking at our behavior, God is looking at us about to find fault when we fall short.
You know, you're forgiven of your all your sins from the day you are born. When you receive Jesus, forgiveness of sins for many Christians means from the day you were born, all right, from that day onwards until the day you receive Jesus, all your sins at this point of your life, your past, we call it past sins, are forgiven. So, when the Bible says, "God having forgiven you all," our idea of all is not the Bible all. You know, we have an idea of our husband's all, or our wife's all. You know, your wife says, "I forgive you all," but what she means that I forgive you of something that happened just now. She's not gonna forgive you for your future sins, amen. Only someone who lives outside time can forgive you of all your sins past, present, and future, and that's forgiven much.
Let me show you this verse of Scripture in Colossians 2, amen. It says very clearly in Colossians 2, "You, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh". Don't forget, Jesus did not come, Jesus, listen, Jesus did not come to make bad people good, he came to make dead people live. And the Bible says we are all dead in our trespasses and the uncircumcision of our flesh. But God made alive, you who are dead, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having forgiven us all our trespasses.
What do you reckon God means in his Word when God says, "I forgive you all trespasses"? Does that mean that God's forgiveness is from the day you were born until the day you receive Jesus, whether it's 30 years old, 35, 50, 60 years old, 70 years old, or even on the deathbed? Is that God's all, or God's all because he's outside time, God's all, when God says, "I see your entire life of sins, all right, and I have put all your sins on my Son Jesus at the cross, and he paid the price, all right for your forgiveness. He paid the price of your redemption. He suffered under your judgment for your sins, he took it so that you'll not be judged. So, the law of double jeopardy applies the same sin, the same crime cannot be tried twice, once in the body of my surety, and then in my body".
God will be unjust to try the same sin or crime twice, all right. That's how God put it that way so that we'll never be condemned. Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus". So, God's all is like you take a drone, you know, or a helicopter, and you see a parade. You see the beginning of the parade, all right, and you see the end of the parade, right, like in Disneyland. You know, one of the favorite things that we like to do when I bring my children to Disneyland is to join the parade and attend the parade, the atmosphere is solid. But, you know, we watch earthbound where we are sitting, or we are kneeling where we are, you know, in front of all the crowd doing the same.
We see the parade go sequentially. We see it go one after another. We see this character come in, now we see Mickey Mouse, now we see, you know, different characters that we see one step at a time. But God sees the whole parade from his perspective, all right, heavenward, God looks down and God sees the very first character, then the last wagon. God sees everything. When God says, "all," that's his all. So, when God forgives us of all our sins, it really means past, present, and future, amen. God's all is not man's all. So, the Bible says having forgiven you all trespasses. Do you believe this?
Now, immediately the flesh, the flesh acts up. Well, if you tell people that, they'll go and sin. Is that really true? Do we really believe that? Do we really believe we teach people that their sins are forgiven, instead of them sighing a sigh of relief, "All my sins are forgiven"? Instead of them falling in love with God, we think they will say, "Yipee, I can go and send some more". Do you really believe that people who are out sinning is because they understand this and they have a revelation that their sins are forgiven? Number one, people were sinning don't even care about God, many of them.
And for those who have an idea or some sort of semblance of understanding about God, all right, did they shun him out of their consciousness when they are sinning? Well, what about Christians? Well, Christians, they know God, don't they, right? But many, many of them, they have a theoretical understanding of forgiveness of sins so because of that, they are still sinning, why? Because that revelation of forgiveness of sins has not broken that bondage of sin. And that's what I'm saying, people, if we understand the revelation: it's not just a beginning truth, it's a truth you live by every day, amen.
And one man of God calls the forgiveness of sins the mother of all blessings, and I agree because I see in the Scriptures where the psalmist says, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me. Forget not all his benefits: who forgives," how much? "All our sins, all our iniquities," amen. who heals how much? All our diseases. Maybe the reason why we don't see all diseases healed is because we don't believe all our sins because it's the mother of all blessings. The very first one, it commends with the very first one, forgiveness of all our sins before healing of all our diseases. Jesus said to the man who was lowered from the roof who was impotent in his feet, Jesus says, "Son, your sins are forgiven you". And then he says, "Rise, take up your bed, and walk".
Notice he forgave him first, amen. He heard from the Lord's own mouth, "I am forgiven". Imagine in the midst of your quarrel with your husband or your wife, you're not talking to each other now maybe for hours, maybe for one day, God forbid, maybe for one week. Now, imagine at any moment that you're both feeling, you know, not the best of feelings for each other. An angel would come down and tell you, "I bring a message from heaven to you that right now, even your anger and all the things that you said you shouldn't have said, it's all forgiven you through the blood of Jesus".
Now, will that make you rise up and say, "Well, now I can even be more bitter towards my wife, towards my husband. I can be more unforgiving". Or does that make you, "What, God forgive me of all that stupid thing". I feel like you myself when I say those things. I feel like, I feel ashamed to be a Christian. Yeah, I don't know how to get out of this mess. It will break the power of sin in your life. It will cause you to feel the love of God, and we love because he first loved us, amen. So, Jesus said, "You see this woman, just like this story I told you, Simon, the one that is forgiven more is the one that will love the moneylender, right, more. The one whose debt was canceled more will love him more".
You see, actually if the truth was known, all of us have been forgiven much, it's just that the truth has not been preached. We have not judged rightly, amen, our forgiveness. We have not judged rightly this topic and as a result, we don't love God much. We don't say it out, we worship the Lord like we sing all the beautiful songs and worship songs as if we are so in love. We go beyond our experience in the lyrics of the song and when we talk about intimacy with God, we just join in, but in our hearts we feel like, you know, many times we feel like, "You know, I don't really love the Lord that much".
The reason is because we don't, somewhere along the way, you have a theory about forgiveness, but you really don't believe it in your heart. Perhaps you allow some erroneous teachings, Christian teachings it may seem albeit, come into your heart, lodged in your heart and cause doubt in your heart, cause a krino in your heart. You have not rightly judged this topic and as a result, you know, always look at the fruit, the fruit of someone who this is Jesus's own words. Regardless of all the... some of the leaders that are saying that this teaching will cause people to go crazy, and guys will be stuck in pornography, and ladies will be bitter till the end of your days, and young people will go crazy and all that, much to the contrary, those who have a revelation of this will end up serving the Lord much with expensive perfume and with the kind of service that is self-forgetful service, just loving on him through service. Because you can serve the Lord without love for him.
But this woman served because she loved him. And Jesus said, "You know why she loved me much? Because to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little". And we all love little because we think we are forgiven of all our past sins. We don't realize that even now, even some bad thoughts... maybe right now you have some bad thought about Pastor Prince, amen, it's forgiven you. If you're a believer, amen, it's forgiven you, right then and there, it's forgiven. What would that do to you, amen? Love Pastor Prince more, amen, praise God in Jesus's name, hallelujah, hallelujah, praise God. Okay, move along, Pastor Prince.
Now, Jesus did not believe what this traditional idea, if you teach people that their sins are forgiven, past, present, and future, and they realize they are forgiven of all these things. They'll go crazy and sin as crazy as they want and sin wildly and all that, this is not what Jesus believes. Jesus believes that those who know they are forgiven, some of us, we think that we are forgiven of 50 pieces of silver sins, you know, our sins are just like 50 pieces of silver. We owe God, yeah, we sin in all, but it's about 50 sins. We don't believe that we are the guy who owed God more than 500 even, and that's where the law comes in. God gives the Ten Commandments to show you what sin is.
So, the Ten Commandments was given before Jesus came. God sent the servant before the Son came. Moses came before Jesus came because if God gave grace, we'll not be able to appreciate grace because unless we know sins have been forgiven much in our lives, we'll never be able to appreciate what grace is all about, amen? And God had to bring in the law first because or else if we say that Christ died for our sins, if God gave forgiveness of sins without the law given first, man will say, "What is sin? What is sin? If Jesus came and died on the cross for my sins, why did he die for my sins? What are sins"?
So, God gives the Ten Commandments, amen, and the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, all your strength, have no other gods and that includes money. That includes spending too much time on entertainment instead of the Lord. That includes like, you know, when you have another idol in your life, maybe it's yourself, maybe it's money, or the hedonistic pursuit of pleasure, amen. One of the Ten Commandments says you shall not lust, should not even have a desire in your heart for your neighbor's house, your neighbor's car, your neighbor's wife, your neighbor's husband. Don't put up your hands. Have we all been guilty of that? The Bible says, "Thou shalt commit adultery". "Oh, Pastor Prince, I don't commit adultery". But Jesus says if you lust for a woman, you have committed adultery. Have you mentally undressed someone? You have committed adultery.
What did Jesus do when he preached the Sermon on the Mount. He actually brought everyone to the pristine glory of the law, which the law actually is. Man has tried to lower the law to a place where it's outward, but Jesus says, no, the law inward, and therein we find our sin. We've all sinned, and we've all broken the Ten Commandments, amen. I venture to say that we think we are forgiven of one or two breakings, but I tell you this, we've all broken all ten, amen, and that's why the law is a good advertiser, okay, a good advertisement before Jesus comes. It tells you you're a sinner, and this is the reason why you're a sinner so when Jesus comes, you can believe on him.
And holiness today doesn't come by consciously trying to keep the law because the more you try to keep the law, don't forget the purpose for which God gave the law is to show you up. But the more you focus on Jesus and walk after him, walk in the Spirit, you will have the experience of love, which is the fulfillment of all the commandments of all the law. When you love your neighbor, you will not steal from him. When you love your neighbor, you will not covet what belongs to him, amen. You will end up keeping the law, listen, accidentally, and that's the life of grace because the more you focus on the law, the law will bring out your sin, amen, just by sheer perfection.
So, back to this story again. Jesus says, "The reason she loved me much," and Jesus is pointing to us the reason for the fruits, her love, her much love for the Lord, and we all want that, we all want much love for the Lord, and her reason for being willing to separate herself from that alabaster box of perfume. You know, it is said in those days in Israel that a woman will keep her perfume bottle, all right, for the man that she will marry. And it's very expensive perfume, and she was spent her savings and, you know, she will commit her savings just to buy that bottle of perfume. It's very expensive, and she would pour it on the man that she will marry.
But this woman is a prostitute. This woman is a... How do you think she got her pay to buy that perfume? All, every time she did that, she lost a bit of herself. Every time she lay down in her job, she lost a bit of her, her dignity. She lost a bit of what she really is deep down. But, you know, when she poured all that alabaster box of perfume on Jesus, it was all restored, hallelujah. Jesus says, to assure her, Jesus says again, "Your sins are forgiven you," amen. Why is it that we find it very hard to believe that all our sins are forgiven, amen? Even just now on the road, you know, you might have lost your little... you see, "I just lost a little bit of temper," all right?
We all have a little bit of jealousy, a little bit of envy, a little bit of wanting to be, you know, covetous, a little bit of, you know, but the Bible says if you break one commandment, you are guilty, not of that one you break, of all, in the Book of James. Like I said, we've all been forgiven much, and we are all forgiven, listen, past, present, and future. So, when we fail, that's the time we need to realize that our sins are all forgiven.
Imagine if you really believe that what courage, what boldness that will give you to come into the presence of God, knowing that, many people, when they come into the presence of God, I always like to illustrate like this, you know, it's like they can't be at ease, at rest, in the presence of God, so their prayer life becomes, you know, whether you pray long or short, you know, it's not the criteria, okay, of a good prayer life and time with God. But it does indicate, many a times, that we are not at ease. We're not comfortable in God's presence. So, we come in, but we still need God's help. We want his intervention, his divine intervention. We want him to be involved in our life. We want him to help us, to protect us, to bless us. So we come in, and because we're not assured of forgiveness of sins, you know, we might be assured that our past sins before we accept Christ is forgiven.
"But right now, you know, this morning I had a bad thought, or maybe just now I lost my cool with my husband, or just not I". You know, and we come to God, these things will come back on us because our flesh will remind us of it, and, you know, the enemy is called the accuser, he will remind you of it. Imagine if you don't believe this truth, you'll come in, no wonder people come in real fast and they throw their requests, you know, like one after another real fast, and they're not really comfortable in God's presence, and they want to get out. But the moment they spend time with their friends out there, you know, at a nearby cafe, and before you know it, it's one hour, before you know it, it's two hours have passed. Even finally we say goodbye, you know, we know that it's never enough. Why do we feel that way about our friends? Because we know our friends, you know, they're not looking at our sins, they're not looking at our... they just love us. They know that we're not perfect, but they just love us, amen. They're not out to punish us or to fault find on us. And why is it we can't think of God that way?
"Pastor Prince, God is a holy God". He is, he's a thrice Holy God, he's a perfect God, but you must know one thing, whatever God does exactly is holy and true. But today, holiness is such that God has put his holiness on your side, amen. When Jesus died on the cross, God put his holiness on your side for you, not against you. The holiness of God because the holiness of God at the cross put all your sins on the body of Jesus Christ, and the holiness of God, and the righteousness of God, had to punish Jesus because he became liable with your sins and my sins that he bore at the cross. And because he's been punished fully, to the fullest extent, and Jesus cried out, "Finished," which means something never to be repeated in the perfect tense.
In the perfect tense in the Greek, it's like the perfect tense in English, it's an act that cannot be repeated. It's once and for all, finished, amen, all our sins gone, the judgment of God also exhausted in the body of Jesus Christ. Today, the holiness of God has been satisfied. The blood of Jesus that he shed at the Cross has fully met all the divine requirements of God's holiness and righteousness on our lives because he died for us. And God is more than satisfied. God is glorified by what Christ has done, all the attributes of God, his holiness, his righteousness, his glory, his majesty, his goodness has all been glorified by the death of Christ.
So today, God to be righteous, God cannot punish you if you believe on Jesus that he bore your sins at the cross and did a complete, a clean sweep of all your sins at the cross. If you put your trust in Jesus Christ, God cannot punish you for your sins because he has punished your sins in the body of Jesus Christ. I want to pause here and just say this, here again, people will say, "Well, you preach like that, people will"... No, no, friend, if for the lack of preaching the truth, people are not living the truth, but the truth does not result in much love for Jesus and in expensive perfume service. We need to preach the truth. When people believe right, they will live right. Friend, breathe, relax, your sins are forgiven.
So, God's holiness today is on your side, just like that night in Egypt, the past overnight, the angel of death was passing through the land of Egypt, and everyone, every Jewish home, all right, that has the blood on the doorposts... What does the blood of, on the doorpost means? It's the picture of Jesus. You see doorpost and the lintel makes a cross. It's the picture of Jesus dying for the family inside. And the angel of death comes, and he doesn't look at how good the family is, how moral the family is, how much they're serving God, their good name, their good works. No, no, no, no, no, the angel of death. And God is the one that enforced this, "When I see the blood, not when I see your good works. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. I will not allow the angel of death to come in to destroy you".
So, now God's holiness is on your side, why? It's as if God stands guard at your door where the blood is. Why? Because the blood tells God, there has been a death. You cannot destroy the firstborn in this house. You cannot kill him anymore because the death has been given. The death has taken place, the death of Gods firstborn, the true Lamb of God. So, now God's holiness is on your side, and God is demanding your righteousness. God is demanding your acquittal, your forgiveness. Can you understand that God's holiness is on your side? And that's why the Apostle Paul describes it like this, God, in accepting us, God is righteous. He didn't compromise his righteousness. God is righteous in making us righteous. Those of us who put our faith in the blood of Jesus, God is righteous in declaring us righteous. Hallelujah, amen, amen.
Now, friend, this is not the basic truth. Let us move on to deeper things. No, this is the source, amen, this is the foundation, and this is the springboard of all our blessings in our life. It's the mother of all our blessings. We don't believe this in Psalms 103, the first benefit it commands with forgiveness of all our sins. If we don't believe that, we're not ready for healing of all our diseases, amen? Redemption from destruction and renewal of our youth like the eagle's, all those benefits come later, after we realize the very first benefit, the forgiveness of all our sins.
You know, there is a pastor, and recently I heard about it, and he shared that, for the most part of his life, he has been struggling with headaches, migraine, and migraine of that kind of that sort where you throw up. He can't take, it's just, you know, even a bright place, not very bright, actually, but even some light and all that, he will feel nauseous. Imagine a pastor not being able to stand under this light and feeling nauseous? And he said every day he's, like, having headache, and he went to the doctor, and the doctor prescribed medicine and all kinds of, you know, medical solution, and, still, no result. He's been having this since he was a boy, and now, at that time, he was 36 years old when he experienced this, and he says that, for the first time, when he realized the truth that God has forgiven him of all his sins...
Now, I'm not saying, listen carefully, I'm not saying that every headache is because of this, but listen: When he realized that God has forgiven him of all his sins, this truth about forgiveness, he said that something happened, and for the first time... he's been teaching the book of Romans. He's been telling his church about God's forgiveness of sins for their sins, but for the first time, he believe it in his heart that God actually has forgiven him of all his sins, and then he heard the voice of God telling him, "If I had forgiven you, I, a holy God, have forgiven you, I, the perfect God, and I make no mistake, I have forgiven you, why can't you forgive yourself"? And he began to forgive himself.
You know, he just hug himself. And he said that, you know, "I forgive you". He called his name out, "I forgive you of all your sins, past, present, and future. I forgive you". And that night, he said he slept like a baby. The next day he got up, first day clear from all migraine. Next day, clear from all headaches, from throwing up, and that went on until he shared that testimony. Years have come and gone. He's still healed.
Now, again, I'm not saying that every headache, migraine, is because of, like, a revelation of this and all that, but in his case, it was true. In his case, it's because, and many of us, you know, we're a walking... We don't believe God has actually forgiven us of all our sins, therefore, we are hard on ourselves sometimes, and because you are hard on yourself, you are hard on your children. Because you are hard on yourself, you are hard on your spouse. Because you are hard on yourself, you have to forgive yourself, amen. You forgive others, forgive yourself, amen? Hallelujah.
You know, many years ago, I preach in Sicily, Italy, in a church. They invited me there, and after preaching and all that, and I was preaching along these lines of forgiveness of sins, and on my way out, there was a man, a bearded man. He looks like a patriarch, you know, very dignified and with a white beard. He put on Santa Claus, he would look like Santa Claus. And he was one corner, apparently waiting for me because I was gonna pass by that way. He was waiting for me, and he had a very gentle smile on his face, and Pastor Lawrence was with me and the other pastors, as well.
And he stopped me and says, "Pastor Prince, I just wanna let you know that"... I think he was a professor of an institute that he runs, and they deal with people with psychiatric problem. It's Institute of Psychiatry. He's a professor of psychiatry or psychology, and he says that he has seen so many cases of people who come in, who are believers, who believe that they have committed the unpardonable sin, and it caused their brains to be short-circuited. They find that the moment they start, and I know this because it spoke to my heart because, many years ago, I remember, as a believer, as a young believer about 18 years old, 17 years old, I remember that I was faced with this because I read a book... you know, I don't blame the author for it. It's just my perception of it, and he said that, if you commit the unpardonable sin, you will lose your salvation. I was a believer then, and I read the book, and I imbibed those words, and for some reason, it bothered me, so I never really had bad thoughts towards God.
I don't really have blasphemous thoughts that I'm conscious of as a believer, but from that day onwards, I realized my thoughts towards God became blasphemous, even in my sleep. It became hard thoughts. It becomes thoughts that were bitter towards God, and I didn't want it. You know, I would get up. I would rebuke it in Jesus's name. I would try to resist it, and the more I resist, the more it flared out with life and in color. So I didn't know how to get out of it because the more I struggled, and it all started with me believing that I could've committed the unpardonable sin.
You see, again, it's back to you don't really believe that forgiveness of sins covers all your sins, past, present, and future. There's one sin called the unpardonable sin, right? No, no, friend, if you read Paul's letters, Paul's letters are the words of Jesus, the present-day Jesus, the ascended, glorified, seated and throned Christ at the Father's right hand, amen. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are the words of Jesus before he died, amen, as well as after he died towards the end, but mainly, for the most part, is the words of Jesus where he was bringing the New Covenant, the kingdom of God, and then the Old Covenant was passing away, all right, but it was like an in-between.
So if want just pure, amen, and all the words of Jesus are pure. They are Spirit and life, but understand, sometimes you gotta discern, for example, when he said in the gospels, he says things like, "Don't go to the lost, don't go to the Gentiles. Don't go by the way of the Gentiles. Go, rather, to the lost sheep of the house of Israel". Is that true for us today? But these are the words of Jesus. They are in red. They are in the gospels. But it's not true for us today. Today we go to the Gentiles. We go into all the world to preach the Gospel, amen? So some things are for that moment in time. Some things are also applicable for us today, but some things are for Jews, are some things that would have happened if Jesus was accepted as the Messiah. So we need, but all the truth that Paul shared in the Pauline revelation is directly for the church.
Now, we can benefit, of course, reading from the Old Covenant, amen, and I teach a lot, Pastor Prince teaches a lot from the Old Covenant, amen. Most of my stories are from the Old Covenant, amen. But Old Covenant, many a part, many a times, is directly returned to the Jew, but we can benefit, amen? If someone, a great man of God wrote a letter of exhortation to you, and you allow me to peek in, and you share with me the same letter, and I read it, I can be encouraged by those truths as well 'cause some truths are universal, amen? But many of the Old Testament, you need to understand and discern is for that time, for that age, before grace came, amen? But remember this, amen, look at your life and ask yourself, "Am I loving much? Am I loving the Lord much? If I'm not, it's because of this faulty revelation about forgiveness of sins. I still think that I need to earn my way. I need to, you know, repent more".
What about repentance? Paul preached on in Acts 20, "repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ". So, in other words, if you are turned to the left, you're no more facing the right. This is deep, okay? Listen carefully. Don't miss this. Don't miss this. If you're turning to the left, you'll just turn away from the right. Am I right? If I turn to the right, I've just turned away from the left. You cannot turn to Jesus without repentance. Repentance is turning to the Lord Jesus, and that's what Jesus meant when he says, you know, "Repent," when he walked on earth, "Repent and believe the gospel. Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand". Does he mean that they all gotta bring up their sins, one by one and repent every one of them? No, it is "Turn to me. Believe on me. I am the Messiah, the kingdom of God is here now because I am here," amen?
Repent. "Metanoia". Change your mind. Change your mind. You cannot turn from one without facing the other. If you face the other, you'll just turn from the other. So man made a lot of things out of repentance, but I'm not saying repent... no, in fact, repentance is something that goes on all the time in our lives. Even right now, because of this message, many of you are repenting. You are repenting about your understanding of forgiveness of sins. You are repenting about things that you see in this message, amen? You are changing your mind. And that's repentance. You may use the word "repent". You might not use the word "repent". The most important thing is that you are repenting, you are changing your mind, amen, towards God, hallelujah. And repentance towards God means, you used to think that God was against you.
Now Paul says repentance towards God, eis, "towards God" means you think of God differently now. God is out looking for you. God is out not to judge you, not to impute your trespasses unto you. God is out to save you. God is out to bless you. God is out to heal you. God is out to bring you closer to himself, to give you a new standing as his son and daughter, hallelujah. So Paul says there's repentance towards God, amen. "What about repentance of sin, Pastor Prince"? Listen, would you say the greatest antidote to sin is love? Love is the fulfilling of the law, but how do you get love? Love destroys sin. "By mercy and truth is iniquity purged," Proverbs 16:6. How do you get love? Love is the fulfilling of the law. Would you agree? Not fulfilling the law is sin, right? So how do I walk in love? How do I have love? Well, we just heard today Jesus said, "He who is forgiven much will love much". "We love because he first loved us".
Now, friend, let me bring this to a close. Right now let's apply that with each other as well. Do you know, marriage is all about forgiving each other all the time? You never get beyond, "Well, this is the basic. You start with forgiveness". No, no, it is a foundation, it is the lifeblood of marriage. You know when couples get married? And I've married a number of them in my life as a pastor, and I always look at, they always have these stars in their eyes, right? You tell them, you know, "Will you love so-and-so"? "Oh, yes, yes, Pastor Price," you know, or "Do you love so-and-so"? "Oh, Pastor Prince, no one else for me, Pastor Prince," amen? But I know that they are both in to see also the bad in each other, the worst in each other, so I need to tell them, "You will see the bad". That's why we try our best not to marry people in the first bloom of the "honeymoon stage" of their relationship. You know, they wanna get married. You say, "No, no, now you see the good in each other. Now spend some time to see also the bad, and then you still love each other, come back, okay"?
Of course, that's not a law, but it's a good principle to follow. And many a times, you know, we fail to realize love, like, "Husbands, love your wife," can also be translated because forgiveness is the foundation of love. So we say, "Husbands, forgive your wife, even as Christ forgave you," amen? "Wives, forgive your husband," amen? You're looking for perfection. You're looking for that Korean star in your husband. It's not true. It's all fiction, amen? The guy has bad breath, you know, that star, as well, the guy also has clay feet. You live with him, he might not even measure up to your husband.
So, friend, forget of all these ideal and all that. Don't be in a place where you say, "I don't wanna be in a place where I need to forgive my spouse". No, you will be in that place because you, yourself, is not perfect, amen. He sees faults in you. You see fault in him. You know, love is about forgiving each other, continuing to forgive each other, amen? Bear and forbear with one another, amen. Just like God does not impute sin to you, how about you? Do you impute that sin to your husband? Do you impute that sin to your wife? I'm talking about marriage here, friend, amen. You know, we talk about God's forgiveness of all our sins and all that, but "Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ".
Have you ever told your wife, "Nothing can separate my love for you, or you from my love"? Just like God says, in Romans 8, nothing, no creature, nothing on earth, nothing present, nothing in the future is able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. So the Bible says, "Love as Christ loves". So you know what? Have we said that to our children? "Nothing you do can separate"... "No, Pastor Prince, if I say that, they'll take advantage of it". That is fleshly reasoning. It's time for you to put to death that kind of thinking. Repent of that kind of thinking. It's not brought any fruitful results, that kind of thinking, amen? We need to repent, yes, of that kind of thinking. It's sinful thinking. It's believing the worst of others while you, yourself, you always believe that you are the one that's able.
You know, those who judge others and all that, you know, they forget that they, themselves, are guilty of that same sin. And I know, many a times, even during lockdown, you can see the worst in each other. That's why we need to understand that you'll never get beyond forgiveness because love is all about forgiveness. Have you forgiven your father? "Well, my father passed away ten years ago, Pastor Prince". Yeah, but have you forgiven him? "He wasn't the perfect", have you forgiven him? If not, somewhere along your life, here and there, and realize, first and foremost, that God has forgiven you of things that you failed to do to your father, the things that you dream of "How I wish I can do this for my dad," all right? And you feel guilty, and if you allow that guilt to fester, it will fight your relationship, the now relationship with your children, with your spouse.
Friend, whatever you failed to do has been forgiven you, amen. And your father is in heaven, amen, or your mother is in heaven. She doesn't want you to wallow in that guilt, being accused by the enemy every day for things that you could have done, amen? Stop living in the past. You are forgiven of all your sins, amen? There are things that we do sometimes in our life that we feel like kicking ourself: "I wish I'd never done that in my life," but it's done, amen. You know, to be disappointed with ourself is actually to trust in ourselves, and the Bible says don't trust ourselves, amen? Trust in the Lord. Praise the Lord.
Well, I trust, in Jesus's name, that this revelation is coming home to you in a strong way, and I pray, in Jesus's name, that you allow it, not just the revelation from God, amen, for you in terms of the forgiveness of all your sins, and we live in it every day, but also with one another, amen, with one another, amen. The way God forgive me, am I forgiving my friends like that? Am I forgiving others like that, amen? If not, why don't you do so, amen? Praise the Lord. Let us pray. Father, I thank you for everyone under the sound of my voice that's watching this right now.
Father, I thank you that, once again, Father, for the gift of your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for all our sins, Father. And not only, Father, for time, but for eternity. It's a once and for all sacrifice that avails for all times. It cannot be repeated. Thank you, Father God, for that. Thank you, Father, that all our sins, not one sin was left. Even with our future sins that we don't even know yet, Lord, you have put them all on Jesus. And, Father, our heart is not to live in sin. Our heart is not to wallow in sin, in the mud. Our heart is to glorify you, to love you, Father, but many a times, we don't even know how to get there. Our intention is right, but we end up flat on our faces, Father. So, Father, unveil this revelation in a way, Lord, it is a revelation in their hearts, Lord, of all those that are hearing right now. Father, I pray in Jesus's name that we'll believe your words and rest in your words.
"My little children, I write unto you because your sins are forgiven you, for his name's sake," amen? Praise the Lord. And right now, in Jesus's name, because the Lord has forgiven you, because the Lord has forgiven you of all your sins, why don't you forgive your spouse right now? Why don't you forgive your mom right now, your dad, your children? Forgive them. Forgive your friend. Forgive the guy who cheated you of the money. Forgive that partner. Forgive them and set yourself free, amen? To have bitterness is like preparing poison for other people, but you're drinking it yourself, amen? Don't, don't, amen, bitterness will only destroy you while that person will just go on, amen? The best way, in fact, you wanna say the best "revenge" is to forgive that person and live your life abundantly, amen. Why don't we do that right now in Jesus's name.
Every head bowed, just pray that prayer. Don't mind the person, the family member in your room. Just pray this quietly and forgive that person, amen? All right, don't ask your partner after this, don't ask your family member after this, "Who do you forgive? Do you forgive me"? Don't do that, okay? Praise the Lord. And you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, I want you to pray this with me right now, amen? Friend, I thank God that you're watching this and that unto you it's proclaimed the forgiveness of sins through the blood of the Lamb of God, the blood of Jesus Christ, and if that is you, pray this prayer with me. It's a simple prayer. It's not something you do. It's someone you believe, amen? Amen. Pray this prayer:
Heavenly Father, I thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, the true Lamb of God, who took away all my sins at the cross. He was punished and condemned in my place that I might be declared righteous forever, for he brought in everlasting righteousness. Father, you raised him from the dead as a declaration that all my sins have been efficaciously put away. And I thank you, Father, that all my sins are forgiven, past, present, and future. I repent of that life, and I turn to Jesus Christ, and I thank you. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, amen.
Friend, if you prayed that prayer, you are now a child of God. The Bible says old things in you are all passed away. All things in you is from heaven, from God. All things are made new. You are now a brand-new creation in Christ, amen. Praise the Lord. I'd like for all of you right now, if you can, stand to your feet and lift your hands to receive this blessing. The time of blessing is not just a time of soothing people and just saying religious words - no. It's a time of impartation. It sets the direction of the coming week. It will set angels loose to cause that blessing to come to pass the way he did for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, all right?
Right now, because you're the seed of Abraham, stand to your feet in Jesus's name, and this coming week, the Lord bless you with the blessings of Father Abraham. The Lord bless you with the blessings of Deuteronomy 28, because all your sins are forgiven. The Lord bless you with good health. The Lord bless you that whatever you do prospers, that every weapon formed against you will not prosper. The Lord bless you with peace of mind and great shalom, well-being. The Lord bless you with an intimate walk, an intimacy with him that comes as a gift, amen. The Lord keep you throughout this week, preserve you and your loved ones throughout this week from the COVID-19 virus. Every time you're out, in the name of Jesus, the Lord keep you throughout this week from the COVID-19 virus. The Lord bless you and keep you from all evil. The Lord make his face shine on you, be gracious to you, because your sins have all been forgiven through the blood of his Son and grant you and your loved ones shalom peace in Jesus's name, amen.