Joseph Prince - Grace Flows In Your Weaknesses
Praise the Lord. And every time you preach the gospel of grace, one of the biggest accusations, all right, one of the biggest things that people will level against you is Romans chapter 6, verse 1, all right? And this is the question that people always bring up to Paul. Every time Paul preached on grace, they would bring up this question. "So are you saying", all right, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound"?
So Paul is quoting what people are saying, all right, about his message of grace, and Paul is saying, "Are we saying this? Are we saying, 'Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?'" And it's very interesting that this accusation is not leveled against every preacher. That's very interesting. It's only leveled against those who preach the gospel of grace, so Paul must be a preacher of the gospel of grace. For him to be accused like this, he must be a preacher of the gospel of grace.
In fact, Martin Lloyd Jones said, the well-known minister of Westminster, all right, who has gone on to be with Jesus now. He's a theologian. He's a remarkable man, highly respected. Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones said this. If people are no longer accusing us of this, of saying this, all right, if they're no longer accusing us of this, probably it's because we are not preaching the gospel that Paul preached. Because if you are preaching the gospel that Paul preached, you will be misunderstood. Paul never said, "Let us sin that grace may abound," but Paul must surely have said strongly, "Where sin increase, grace superabounded," amen?
Paul has more confidence in God's grace than he has in sin. Most people have more confidence in sin than they have in God's grace, but grace is greater than all our sins. Can I have a good amen? So for them to accuse Paul of this, Paul must have preached often. Paul must have preached strong, that where sin increase, grace superabounds, amen? And what is the answer anyways, all right, since the question was brought up? "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound"? That's like saying, "Let's get sick so we can enjoy the pleasures of healing. Let's get a disease so that we can enjoy what it's like to get healed". You know what I call that? Stupid, okay? So what was Paul's answer to this question? "Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it"?
So Paul's answer was an impossibility. He didn't say, "You should not". He didn't say, "You must not". His answer was, "How shall we? How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it"? It's an impossibility, amen? Let's suppose... now, I got nothing against Malaysia, okay, I'm just using an illustration. Suppose you were a Malaysia citizen, all right? You have renounced your citizenship and now you're a Singapore citizen. All right, your children, they are serving NS, okay, National Service. They are good citizens. You're a good citizen now. Now, but you have died... how many understand you have died to your citizenship as a Malaysian? So how shall you, being a Singaporean now, continue being a Malaysian? How many understand that?
Now, you might think like a Malaysia, eat like a Malaysian, all right, but you're a Singaporean, understand? Once in awhile, we go to Johor Bahru for some good food, amen? But we always come back. How many understand that? So once in awhile you might fall into sin. You might yield to some temptation. But what you are is that you have died to sin. You are no more living in sin. You cannot live in sin. If you are truly born again, you cannot live in sin. You might have some excursions into sin, but you always come back, all right?
And this is what the reformers all believe. You know, in those days of Martin Luther and the great reformers, they all believed that people who are truly born again will never continue in sin. They might sin here and there, but they will not continue in sin. If you look at a believer who was one time a believer and then later on they renounced Jesus or they continued to live in sin, most likely they were never born again to begin with. In fact, it's no surprise. Even D.L. Moody was a preacher, preaching the Bible, before he was saved. He himself testified he was not born again. He was already a preacher, amen.
So being born again is the most important thing. Going to church or coming to church don't make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald's make you a Big Mac, all right, or going into a garage makes you a car, amen. But you gotta receive the Lord Jesus Christ. You've gotta have a personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledge him as your personal Savior and Lord, then you are born again. Can I have a good amen? And all those who are born again said... Amen! Hallelujah, praise God. Are you ready for the Word?
All right, now, one accusation is that they accused Paul of saying, all right, "Shall we... let's continue in sin that grace may abound". Paul never said that. Paul never said that, but what Paul did say is that where sin increase, grace superabounded. That's what Paul said. Another accusation that people bring against Paul, so it's obvious that Paul preached very strong on this because today we don't hear these accusations leveled against pastors anymore or ministers anymore. Why? Most likely they are not preaching the gospel that Paul preached, because if you are preaching, and I know pastors who are being accused like this, including myself. Obviously they are having the same accusation that the Apostle Paul had, therefore I believe they are preaching the same gospel, amen. You must preach the gospel in such a way that people might misunderstand you even. That's what Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones said, amen.
Another accusation they accused Paul of was this, Romans chapter 3, verse 8. They accused Paul of saying this. "And why not say," notice it's in quotations, "Let us do evil that good may come". Now, this is not referring to sin. This is referring to your circumstances, you know? It may involve sin. "Let us do evil," sin, but it's referring to your circumstances. Good may come. Good things may happen. Now, Paul never taught by doing evil, good will happen, but Paul must have taught where there is evil, all right, God can bring amazing good out of it, amen. How many understand that? Paul taught all things, all things may not be good. All things, some things are good, some things are bad. Some things are wicked, some things are downright miserable, amen? But all things in your life work together.
A closed door. You didn't expect something to happen, it happened. A disappointment, all right? All these things in your life, if you belong to God, it's only true for a child of God. It's not true for the people of the world. All things may not be good, but all things work together for your good. Who would have thought that Joseph, all right, was the victim of jealousy and envy from his brothers? Had it not been for their envy and jealousy, they would not have sold Joseph. Had they not sold Joseph, he would not be in Egypt. Had he not been in Egypt, he would not be bought by Potiphar. If he was not bought by Potiphar, he would not end up in the dungeon, where he interpreted the dream of the butler of the Pharaoh, all right? And if he was not there to interpret the dream of Pharaoh's butler, he would not be found in the palace where he was promoted and became the savior, became the one that saved his family, saved his life, and saved all of that known world at that time, hallelujah, amen.
Who would've thought it all began with jealousy? But everything the devil threw at him, God made it a stepping stone, amen. So I want you to... Paul must have preached strongly like this. And then some jokers went around saying, "Paul is saying, 'Let us do evil that good may come.'" Now, did Paul say that? No, never. But Paul must have preached strongly that God can bring good out of evil. Are you with me?
All right, so for this, I just wanna call your attention to something else before we go on, and that's Romans 5. Where did Paul preach first, "Where sin increase, grace superabounded"? It's found in Romans 5. Let's look at this verse. We saw this verse last week. "As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners". Question, church. Why are sinners, sinners? Is it because of their sin? No, scripturally sinners are sinners because of Adam's sin. Today they sin because they are sinners. They are not sinners because they sin. They sin because they are sinners. They are sinners because of Adam's sin. By the same token, why are we all righteous today before God? "By one Man's obedience". Who is that one Man? Jesus Christ. By his obedience, we are made righteous. We are not made righteous because of our obedience. We are righteous because of Jesus's obedience.
Now that we are righteous, we perform righteous acts. We do right things. But doing right things don't make you righteous. You do right things because you are righteous. You are righteous because Jesus's obedience made you righteous. Can I have a good amen, church? Then the next verse, verse 20, "Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more". But the law entered. Now, this word "entered" is very interesting. The law entered. The Ten Commandments entered. "Entered" here is used only twice in the Greek, all right, in the New Testament. It is the word "pareiserchomai". Pareiserchomai.
Now, "pareiserchomai" is very interesting. You know what it means? How did the law enter? This is what "pareiserchomai" means, Thayer's Lexicon. Thayer is a Greek scholar. You all know your New Testament is written in Greek, all right? So we are going to the Greek to show you what the Greek says. "Pareiserchomai" means to come in secretly or by stealth, creep or steal in. To enter in addition, to come in besides. To come in besides. Now, beside what? Grace. God actually preached the unconditional covenant of grace to Abraham, amen. The law came 400-over years after Abraham, but the law came in, according to this verse, it came in by stealth. It came in to come alongside. It was not God's main agenda. The law is not God's main program. It is not his heart. How many understand that? Amen.
God gave the law because Israel boasted, "All that God commands us we are well able to do". Man still boasts in that today, amen. God gave them the law, why? To make them holy? Look at what the Scriptures say. "The law entered that the offense might abound". It's like, you know, you hardly hear this preached, that the law entered that the offense might abound. It's like the doctor gave you a jab, and then if you break out in measles, you have the certain kind of disease. But you don't break out in measles, you don't have the disease. So the law is like a jab that brings forth what is already there, the sin that is already there. How many understand that?
The more you try to keep the law, the more the sin that's in you will manifest. And God uses the law for that objective. But that's not my message today, okay? My message is the next line. This is my message. "But where sin increased, or abounded, grace abounded much more". Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. Let me show you the Greek. "Where sin abounded" is actually the word "pleonazo". All right, "pleonazo" is the word "increased, abounded". Remember that, it's "pleonazo," all right? Where sin pleonazo, increased, or abounded, grace abounded much more. It's a different Greek word. It is "huperperisseuo". "Huperperisseuo" means superabounded, abounded beyond measure, to overflow.
So where sin increased, unfortunately you read the English, both is abounded, all right? But in the Greek, where sin increased, pleonazo, grace huperperisseuo, superabounded. The word "huper" is where we get our English word "hyper," like hypertension, hyper, super, all right? Huperperisseuo, superabounded. Isn't that cool? Kenneth Woods, a Greek translator, all right, a Greek, he has a New Testament, his own New Testament, but he's also an amazing Greek scholar. He says this of this word "huperperisseuo". He says, "Paul prefixes a preposition to the word, which means, 'to be over and above.'" That's the word "huper," all right? "He prefixes a preposition to the word, which means, 'to be over and above.' Thus," because he put the word "huperperisseuo," "perisseuo" is already overflowing, but because he put a "huper" there, "the translation reads, 'Where sin existed in abundance, grace was in superabundance, and then some more added on top of that.'"
Now, how cool is that? One more time. "Where sin existed in abundance, grace was in superabundance, and," say it, "then some more added on top of that". That's the idea in the Greek. Isn't it amazing? And yet we are more conscious of sin than we are of superabounding grace. So much so that even the accusation they brought against Paul when they said, "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound"? the word "abound" there is not "huperperisseuo". It's the word "pleonazo". So even Paul's critics don't understand "huperperisseuo". They actually say that, "Shall we continue in sin that grace may increase"? So therein lies their problem. They don't even understand this superabounding grace.
Aren't you glad you are receiving from the Lord today, from his Holy Spirit? He's teaching you. He loves you, amen? He has brought us into this kingdom of grace where everything operates based on, listen carefully, our demerits. The Lord said this to me as I was preparing for this message. He says, "My grace", he says this, "Grace is attracted to the demerits of man". Grace is attracted to the demerits of man. That's why when Jesus came full of grace and truth, who did he move around? People who are wealthy, people who are plussers, people who are full of merits? No, he moved among people full of demerits and his grace was made effective amongst them. Grace is attracted to demerits.
Now, do not let people redefine grace for you, okay? Today people are attempting to redefine grace, all right, in the body of Christ. Allow the Bible to define grace for you, all right? And we showed you the last time, the definition of grace from Romans, it says if it's by grace, then it's no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace. If it's by works, then it's no more grace, otherwise works is no more works. So it's very clear. The definition there is grace is unearned, unmerited, undeserved favor. Again, unearned, undeserved, unmerited favor, which means when you think you lack, that's when God's grace can flow. When you think you cannot, God's "I can" will become real in your life. But when you're full of "I can," God's can cannot. How many of you are with me? You follow what I'm saying so far?
All right, but the other accusation, "Let us do evil that good may come," for example, Paul preached so strongly. For example, you know, in the church of Jesus Christ today, we have this thing about people who fail. We'll say things like, "Those with a broken wing can never fly as high again," all right? Now, that's man's saying, but God's saying is that, "No, I will not just heal your wing, I'll make you an eagle". You will fly higher than you ever did before. We'll say things like people who are divorced cannot serve in the ministry, amen? Now, divorce is wrong, all right? Divorce is wrong. Say amen.
Okay, but the thing is this. If somebody has undergone divorce, that doesn't mean they are second-class citizens in the kingdom of God. God can make use of them. God can cause good, that's why Paul must have preached strongly like this for them to say, "So you are saying let us divorce that good may come"? You see? So there are people who misconstrue what Paul is saying. Paul is saying God's grace superabounds, amen, to make that marriage work right now, hallelujah, amen. That's not to say, "Let us purposely divorce". That's like saying, "Let us purposely get a disease that we might enjoy healing," amen.
So we are dead to it anyway. But the thing is this, church. How is it that there are many men of God today, they are products of a second marriage in the world today, they are preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ? Many of them. You know, you don't say that God gave up on the second marriage, because God brought good out of it.
When David finally married Bathsheba... remember Bathsheba? He got to know her not from a friend's introduction. He looked down at her when she was bathing, all right? Now, finally David married her, yes, but David had many other wives. But of all the wives, who was the son that God chose? David had 14 children that's named in the Bible. One of them is a girl, all right? But the rest, boys. But of all of them, who did God choose? Of all the wives that David had, who was the one that God chose? God chose Solomon, why? The idea here, where sin increase, grace superabounds. It was a woman that he's not supposed to marry.
Now, don't go out here and say, "Pastor says divorce so that you can find the woman you cannot"... Piah! I didn't say that, amen. May it never be. But the thing is this, let's not treat people who has been divorced, all right, families of a second marriage, whatever, as if they are second-class citizens in God's kingdom. They are not. And God can bring champions out of that. Amen, church? Now, I wanna tell you something. If that is true, God's grace is superabounding in areas of minuses in our lives. We all want to show our plusses. We don't wanna show our minuses. But you know where God's grace is sufficient? In our minuses.
Paul says it like this, "God said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.'" "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect". The word "perfect" here is make complete through your, what? Your strength? No, if you are trying to be strong and God wants to give you strength, it cannot manifest. It manifests through your weakness. Let me just stop here and just tell you this. You know, we all have this idea about God that is erroneous.
Now, supposing let's go back in time, back to the future. Okay, back in time, okay? Let's take a time machine. Let's go back in time. Now, supposing you are among the children of Israel in Bethlehem, all right? You are in Bethlehem. Christ was born. Did the whole world know about it? No, the whole world did not know about it. He wasn't born in a palace. He was born in a manger. So God has done something, right? Something great. The whole world has been waiting, or at least the world of Israel has been waiting for the Messiah to come, the long-awaited one, the promised seed, the bruiser of the serpent's head. All the prophecies about him, they are waiting for Jesus Christ to come. Finally, he is born.
You would've thought there's gonna be a big celebration, all right? Fireworks in the sky, amen. Ladies and gentlemen, look to the night sky! And there's the fireworks and all that. Okay, I tend to a lot of... go a lot for Disneyland. I see all this happening. But nothing like that happened. There's no fireworks, nothing. He was born in a manger, smelly manger, in a cave, most likely a stable that's a cave. The world was oblivious. God has done something already, something powerful, okay?
Now, you look at the people in Israel at that time in Bethlehem. They're oblivious. Only a few shepherds. And then the wise men, by the time they came, Christ was born already. Most likely, you look carefully, he was no more, the Bible says the wise men came to him in the house. They came to Mary and Joseph in the house. He's no more in the cave, so probably he was about one year plus when the wise men came, all right? And the wise men said to King Herod, "Where is he, born the King of the Jews"? The moment Herod heard "King," he felt threatened, all right?
So he found out scholars where the Messiah will be born. He'll be in Bethlehem. So he didn't know where the Messiah would be born, right? Who is the Messiah? Which baby is the Messiah? So he had every baby under two years old slaughtered. That tells us he guesstimate Jesus age at that time was about one year, one year to about two years, one year plus. So every baby under two years was massacred. Now, supposing. Now, you all know the story. You all know. I know you know. But supposing you live among the people in Israel in Bethlehem at that time and you look at this carnage, this senseless carnage of babies, innocent babies being killed all around you.
Would you have thought it was the grandest time? Would you have thought the long-awaited promise is now fulfilled? Would you have thought that the Messiah has come? Come on, no. But why did this carnage happen? Because the devil was so afraid, why? Jesus Christ is born. He has come. All right, what am I trying to say? I'm trying to say we all can see what the devil is doing, but we can't see what God is doing. And many times God has done something in that area that's being attacked in your life right now. Which area are you being attacked? Is it your relationship with your teenager? Is it your marriage? Is it your body, your finances? What area of your life is under attack? That is a good indication that that's the area that God is releasing grace in.
Now, listen to what I'm saying, listen to what I'm saying. Many people have this idea that God is playing catchup to the devil. In other words, the devil comes, all right, he starts a fire here, God comes, he extinguish. All right, the devil comes, okay, he puts sickness here, God comes, God brings healing. The devil comes, all right, he destroys this family with lack, God comes when they pray and God brings provision. All right, we always think that God is playing catchup with what the devil's doing. We always think the devil is initiating. See, we laugh, but the thing is that we have this idea that God is playing catchup. God is not, God is initiating, the devil is playing catchup. It's because God is releasing health in your life, a fresh infusion of health, the devil is now attacking your body so that you'll stop believing that health. It is a sign.
If you want to see what God is doing, if you don't have eyes, spiritual eyes to see what God is doing in your life, just look at what the devil is doing and reverse it. Is there any area the devil is attacking right now, okay? So, look at what Paul says here, Paul says, "My God". Paul was having a struggle. Some people say it it a physical condition. It is not physical condition, all right? Paul tells it clearly he was being harassed. The thorn in the flesh must be translated by other Bible... Bible must interpret Bible. And other places say God says these inhabitants will be thorns to your sides and pricks in your eyes.
See, Bible interpret Bible. God is referring to personalities as thorns in the side. So, this was a messenger of Satan. In fact, the Bible says it's a messenger of Satan in this passage. That was given to me, Paul says, a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan. What this messenger of Satan did, wherever Paul went, whichever city Paul went into to preach the gospel, this messenger of Satan will come after and try to spoil, all right, the effect of the gospel, try to stop people, cause commotion for Paul. You know the story in Acts, how Paul was persecuted, he was being pursued and even stoned and all that. This is the work of the evil spirit that followed Paul.
So, Paul got tired. Paul went to the Lord three times, and Paul says, "Lord, do something about this". God's answer was, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness". Now, listen carefully, all right, to what God is saying. My grace is. Is is what, future tense, or past tense, or present tense? Present, his grace is always is. When tomorrow come, my grace is still. Next week comes, my grace is still. Next month comes, my grace is still. When the new year comes, my grace is. It is always there for you, it is sufficient. Sufficient there is a present active indicative in the Greek, all right, which means what? It is continuously happening, continuously happening for you. "For my strength is made perfect in weakness".
You see I put up there? Strength in the Greek is dunamis, where we get our English word "dynamite". Dynamite, dynamite, dynamite. And the word dynamite means inherent power, power for performing miracles, power for performing miracles. Now, isn't that cool? God is saying, "You know something? My grace is sufficient for you. And whenever you're weak, whenever you're under attack in any area, that is the area my dynamite power to performing miracles is on you". All right, now watch this. He says, "Therefore, most gladly". Now, he's not playing, you know, with words. Many of us have problem even gladly. Paul says, "Most gladly, I would rather boast in my infirmities, in my weaknesses". Why, why, why? So what, what will happen when you boast in your weakness? "So that the power of Christ may rest upon me".
Wow, the word "rest" is the Greek word for fix a tabernacle, fix a tent. In other words, when you boast in your infirmity, the power of Christ will fix his tabernacle over you. The power of Christ will camp over you, it will tabernacle over you, wow. This is how it happens practically, okay? For example, you're very shy. You're a shy person by nature, okay. So, the thing is that don't hide it, don't defend it, don't pretend, all right? Just say, tell your friends, "You know something? You know what's my boast? My boast is that I'm a shy person". What are you talking about? Because that's where God's favor is abounding. You see, if I knew this, if you know what I know now, all right?
Let's say I put you in a time machine again, send you back, when I was 15, 16 years old, was a teenager. I still feel 17, all right? Let's say you go back when I was 15, 16, okay? And you are in my class, you are in my class. And a teacher tells this boy, this 16 year old boy to stand up and read. Then he reads... and the teacher start laughing. The teacher start laughing, you know, first. I still remember, but I've forgiven the teacher already. And the whole class would laugh like this. The whole class would laugh, the girls especially. And at that age, you know, you are sensitive, you know, of how girls respond and all that. My ears would go red. And the moment my ears go red, the more the girls laugh.
And I, "Rain, rain, rain, rain fall, rain fall, rain fall, rainfall in Brazil". Then the teacher say, "Sit down, sit down". And the same teacher would always ask me to stand, the same teacher. Every time he comes in, all right, ask me to stand and read just for the sheer pleasure of looking at me suffer, see my ears go red. By the way, not that same teacher, another teacher from the same school came to our service a few years ago and wrote me a note. Something like this, "What I'm seeing is a miracle," amen?
So, who gets the glory? God gets the glory. Because they know I'm a stutterer, I'm a stammerer. Many of you can speak better England, I mean, better English than me, you know? Many of you know, I mean, your grammar is in place. I mean, your grandma, your grandpa, everything's in place, you know? But for me, maybe you're more eloquent than me. Maybe you have better choices of English and all that. But the thing is this, God doesn't work with eloquence, God works with his dunamis power. When you speak, nothing happens. When people like this speak, but God's dunamis is working, lives are transformed, amen? That's freedom, that's liberty. I'm talking about having God's dunamis.
Now, if you are eloquent like Pastor Leanne, she's eloquent, all right? But it doesn't hinder her, you know why? I mean, sometimes she irritates me, she keep on calling me whenever she's supposed to be preaching, she'll call me, "Pastor, pray for me pastor, pray for me". Now, this lady is eloquent, she can speak well. I mean, and she stands in public, she has been a teacher in secondary school for so many years. A number of years, lah, okay? Number of years, all right? So, yeah, but you know what? When I tell her to preach, you know, she doesn't depend on her eloquence, doesn't depend on the fact she can stand before many people, all right, for years.
She says, "Pastor, pray for me, pastor, pray for me". That's how she does it. Sometimes it irritates me. But what does that show you? It is not eloquence, all right? That's a merit. Or stuttering, that's a demerit. It is whether you trust the Lord. I guess when you are stuttering, it's easier to trust God 'cause you pray more. People ask you to share, you pray more, amen? I mean, even the keyboard down here, we have many, the keyboardist down through the years who have played on this keyboard. And there are those who have released the anointing and there are those who cannot release the anointing. I always look for the fact, are they self-confident? Do you know, self-confident, you won't pray and ask God for his favor, his anointing on your playing.
In fact, we can bring Richard Clayderman, he will play a hymn, and it will sound the same. But you know what? If he's not born again, there will be no anointing. I'm talking about anointing. You can have the most talented piano player play the keyboard. As long they have all the, you know, the notes in front of them, they can play. But will the anointing be there? The dunamis, the dynamite power to perform miracles, will it be there? Yes, if you can play that well, you are learning, but you are depending on the Lord, you are praying, you're asking God for his anointing when you play, even the few notes you play, wow, like a wind.
So, watch it, those of you who are shy, you may have a platform ministry. Amen, the thing to do is this, how do you boast in your weakness? Just tell your friend, "You know something? I must tell you all first, okay? I'm about to share with y'all something I boast in". What is it? "My temper, I got bad temper. Or I'm shy, I'm very shy person". Many people don't even want to share that, they want to hide all their demerits, and they want to all put their best foot forward and show their merits. Want to show our pluses, not our minuses. But God is saying, "I cannot flow in your pluses, I can only flow in your minuses". So, glory in your minuses. Don't be afraid to talk about it.
You know, I think pastors help people when they share real challenges. For example, you know, if a pastor says sometimes they have struggles in their, you know, like what I said before, you have heard me share before that sometimes me and my wife, we have situations where she don't exactly see my wisdom, all right? So, how many understand it's good for me to share? You know that, oh, if a pastor goes sometimes, you know, through a marriage situation also, they have to learn how to communicate, how to forgive, amen, how to love each other. Yeah, you know what? Be real. You and I are justified forever. We are justified not because of our works, we are justified by faith, by what Christ has done for us. It's Jesus's blood that justifies us.
But our behavior, our actions is not perfect yet. So, in these areas where it's not perfect, learn to talk about it, learn to, you know, talk about it. Don't hide it, amen. But the thing is this, when you share your weakness, you're not ashamed to share. That's when God's grace flows in it. Be real, be real. That doesn't change the fact you are justified. You and I are forever justified, that cannot be changed. Isn't that wonderful, amen? I'm talking about where we have challenges in our life. Some preachers are amazing preachers in the pulpit, but they got very bad temper, all right? And they're hiding it, hiding it. The more you hide it, the more you are ashamed of it, God's grace cannot flow. And the more you share it, the more you talk about it, you know, I have this problem though, all right?
And thank God that's why God's grace is superabounding. You talk like that, you boast in it in a sense, all right? It will superabound. That's the grace. I've seen people with bad temper, when I look at them today, they are so sweet, okay? Are you with me, church? Isn't it precious to know that when the devil is attacking any area of your life, it is because God has done something already in that area? And he wants to discourage you, he wants to stop you from believing in that area. Hmm? Maybe you're having special challenges in your marriage, all right? It's because you prayed that God will turn the water of your marriage into intoxicating wine, all right? But then the devil knows, so he attacks.
See, why am I attacked in the area of my mouth? I think the devil knew that I was called from my mother's womb. Now, how does he know? Very simple. Every time someone is called, okay, the devil is not omniscient. That means he's not all knowing. God is all knowing. The devil does not know what God is doing until someone says it. The devil does not know how fearful you are, how nervous you are until you open your wonderful mouth and let the devil know what you are feeling, amen. If you keep on saying, "The Lord is the strength of my life, God has not given me the Spirit of fear but of power and love," even though inside you're afraid, but you're quoting Scriptures, the devil thinks that you are full of faith, because the devil cannot read minds.
I said the devil cannot read your mind. The devil does not even know when Christ would be born. He has to wait for the wise men, all right, to mention to King Herod, "Where is he born the King of the Jews"? And then he heard that the king was born in Bethlehem, that's how the devil knew. Now, back to this again. Are you all learning what I'm saying so far? I want to bring this to a close. Don't be discouraged at the area of your minuses. You know, you feel like, "I didn't do too well for that exam," all right? Most likely, God's superabounding grace is there in your studies for the future, all right? "You know, Pastor Prince, I'm not good at communicating".
You know something? You'll be a great communicator. But only but if you learn God's grace, God's favor. You see, just because you have weaknesses doesn't mean that grace superabounds automatically. Paul says what? "I take", next verse, "Therefore I take pleasure". You must do that. It sounds crazy, doesn't it? All right, this guy is a sadomasochist or what, you know? But he says, "I take pleasure in weaknesses, infirmities, in reproaches". What is that? Insults, reproaches are insults. Every time someone insults you, you say, "Oh, praise God, more favor coming. Oh, praise God, more favor coming". Every time someone insults you, favor comes, amen?
When I was in national service, I remember there was a young man, one of my colleagues, he's a dedicated Christian, a dedicated Christian. And he'll make his stand. And I remember my Encik, my superior in the army, all right? He was placing a demand that is actually an unreasonable demand that Christians would not do. Okay, I'm not mentioning names or units or whatever, so I can speak freely. And he was placing a demand, like buy a cigarette or something like that. I've made my stand also in national service, okay? I told my Encik, "I cannot buy cigarettes for you because I'm helping you buy something that will kill you". He say, "Okay, go, go, go, go, go," you know? But this other guy, he pressured this guy with some things, all right, that's non-Christian, whatever, all right?
And this guy stood firm and he said politely he can't do it. And the Encik just derided him. Just, you know, persecuted him, shouted at him and all that. With my own eyes, I was there when this happened. I looked at him and his face shone. His face was shining. The Bible says when you are reproached, insulted for the name of Christ, the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. That's what Peter says, "The Spirit of glory and of God will rest on you". When they persecuted Stephen, his face shone. You do not know your face is shining, all right? They insult you, your face is shining. But then you insult back, the shine left.
Instead of seeing the revelation, you don't see the revelation. Amen, the best argument is just look at someone and shine, and then walk away. Amen, that's the best way to respond to someone, you know? Like the dog that barks and barks and barks at the moon, the moon just shine, amen? What a way to respond to your critics, amen. Don't take time to respond to people. If I take time to respond to people, I'm giving them my honor, my weight. All right, I got no time for that. I'm too busy in the kingdom of God to preach the gospel. All right, there are multitudes that need to hear the gospel. Even believers need to hear the gospel.
All right, so here, "I take pleasure in insults, reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong". Say it, "When I am weak, then I am strong". Doesn't say when I'm strong, I'm strong. No, when I'm weak, then I am strong, hallelujah. In distresses, distress is literally is stress, by the way. In the Greek, stress. Now, many of people are trying not to be stressed that they end up stressed. Trying not to be doesn't help, okay? But you say you're not going to... I'm always very hyper, I'm always, you know, you share with your friend or whatever, "I guess this is the area that God's grace will abound". Bam, you understand that. That's why you're not afraid to share because you see that that's the area God's grace superabounds. How many are with me? You understand, church?
If you went around telling people, all right, "Trust me, I know you're looking at the carnage, the mothers crying, the fires burning, the soldiers massacring, all right? But let me just tell you this, we are in good times because the Messiah's born". All right, it'd be hard for them to believe it. But yet God initiated something and the devil came in to try to stop everything. Did the devil succeed? Did the devil succeed with me? Did he succeed with so many people? No, devil is a loser. You follow him, you're following a loser. You follow God, you're following a winner. Amen, church? So, all your minuses, do not look at them and then start, you know, thinking like, "Oh, I wish that I don't have this weakness, I don't have this".
See, my friend, they're all so confident. That's what I thought, I thought all my sec-4 friends were all confident people. The truth is that everyone has demerits. We just do our best like on the first date, put your best foot forward. After you're married, everything put forward, amen? Dirty laundry hanging everywhere, you know, that kind of thing. But why are we so inclined to show people our pluses, not our minuses? Because we think that we'll be rejected, we'll be shunned if we show them our minuses. But not with God. With God, it's an attraction. You come to God and say, "God, I don't know what you're getting, God".
Sometimes I pity God. Sometimes when I dedicate my life to God, I pitied God for getting me. That's how I felt when I was in secondary school, I came to God and said, "God, you know". I heard a message on dedication and I said, "God, I don't have much to give you, so I give you my entire life, my spirit, soul, and body". Then in my heart, I pitied God. I said, "Poor God, he's getting this guy," you know? You know, how many know that God loves it when you don't think, all right, there's much pluses about you, that's a lot of grace then about you.
Okay, two more passages, we'll close. Real quick, next one will be the story of King Saul. I'm bringing this to a close. King Saul, the first king of Israel, he has come to a place where, you know, he's proud, he's arrogant, he's full of self, all right? And he has rebelled against God's commandment, you know? And still he want to present himself when prophet Samuel says, "God has rejected you," he put on the prophet and says, "Please bless me for the people's sake". Put up a show. All right, he's full of self. What happened to King Saul? There was a time he was not like this.
Let me show you, all right, when the prophet Samuel came to King Saul and told him, "God has taken the kingdom away from you because you rebelled against God". This is what Samuel said to Saul, the king. "Be quiet, I'll tell you what the Lord had said to me last night". And the king said, "Speak on". The prophet said, "When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel"? Look at this phrase, "When you were little in your own eyes". What he's saying is this. "Saul, when you were little in your own eyes, God promoted you".
Now, I know that the world teaches self-esteem, healthy self-image. And to a certain extent, I know what it means and all that, but the thing is that we are not... see, the church is not a place to teach self-esteem, it's a place to teach Christ esteem. When you know who Jesus is and who you are in him, it's one thing to say, "I can do all things through Christ. I am blessed in Christ. I can do it in Christ, by Christ, through Christ". You're boasting in him. It's another thing to say, you know, "Hey, you know, hey, I'm cool, man. I'm good looking, man. I'm talented. You know, I'm this, I'm that," without Christ. That is pride. God resist the pride, but God gives grace to the humble.
Now, does that mean that you must become humble to inherit? No, no, no, no. Grace is what? Unmerited, unearned favor. It's only when you are in the place of minus, humble, all right? You make yourself come to a place of, "I cannot", that's when his can, I can flows in. All right? But those who are proud, if you say, "I can," God says, "You can, do it". You say, "I can," God let go. You say, "I cannot," God holding for you. Amen. Do you understand how grace works? Okay? There was a time Saul was a humble boy. You know, when they came to anoint him as a young teenager, you know, when they came to anoint him, they couldn't find him.
Read the story, you know, years before and the last line of verse 21, "When they sought him, he could not be found". Therefore the prophet had to ask the Lord. Prophet Samuel says, "Has the man come here yet"? The Lord answered, "He's hiding among the equipment". There was a time that he didn't even want to become king. The day came for his coronation and where was he? Hiding among the equipment. He didn't want them to find him. There was a time he was not egoistic.
You see, it's not a matter of whether you are pretty or you're not pretty. Chances are if you're pretty, you may not ask God for favor, okay? Here we have a guy who is humble, yet he was good looking. If you look back in the previous verse, previous chapter, Saul was described like this. "Saul's father had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upwards, he was taller than any of the people". Wow. It said he's good looking, but he was little in his own sight. How many understand that? He was not proud and God promoted him. Stay small in your own eyes. Even big accomplishments, amazing success, always remember it is Jesus. When people applause, remember you're the donkey carrying Jesus.
All right, the donkey better know the applause is not for him. The donkey say, "Hey, donkey". You know, praise God. All right, last passage and then we'll close. Okay, y'all can stay, I'll go, all right? Now, I want to show you something, your past will not make any difference to God. In fact, God can change your future into a beautiful future. God can transform even your past mistakes, your past whatever darkness into brilliance, amen? Into transcendent beauty in the future. God can bring amazing things out of messes. Amen, God loves it. God loves to come into your demerit.
You know, like Jesus, for example, 5,000 people, how many loaves and fishes. Five thousand people, how many? Five thousand men, how many loaves and fishes? Five loaves, two fish, all right? That's 5,000. There are two incidents of feeding a multitude. There's another incident, 4,000 people. Another location, 4,000 people. How many loaves? Seven loaves. Five thousand men, five loaves. Four thousand men, seven loaves. More people, less resources. Less people, more resources. In God's mind, bigger the problem, easier. That's the way God thinks. All right, amen? God's plus comes into your minus. That's my message for you today, all right? And if you look carefully at the story of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, I'll close with this, you'll be amazed that no women is mentioned there, except four women.
Now, the genealogy of Jesus Christ is a pretty long genealogy if you read it. There are, of course, many women. Without women, there are no babies, but only four are mentioned. So, let's follow the story here. The book... we'll close with this, "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham. Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar". Tamar is the first woman mentioned.
Now, who is Tamar? Tamar is the daughter-in-law of Judah. You see, what happened is this, Judah gave Tamar to his son, and later on the son died, all right? Passed her to another son. He also died. So, Judah probably thought... I'm not saying he did say this, but I probably think that he might have thought, "This woman is jinxed". You know, in those days, by the way, when your brother marries a woman and you are the younger brother, all right, you have to look carefully who he marries because if your brother dies, you have to marry her, you know? To bring up seed to your brother's name. That's the custom in those days. So, in those days, they pray also for their brother, all right? Or their brother will live, live long, you know what I'm saying? So, it's the same culture here.
So, the brother died, all right, the other brother had to take over, and that brother also died. So, Tamar was left with a widow. And then when the other son was grown, the Bible tells us Judah did not give that son that he's supposed to, to Tamar. What happened was that Judah went to harvest and all that, and after the harvest, he went to a city, and he found a woman who hid her face and she was a prostitute. She was in one corner. And unbeknownst to him, it was actually his daughter-in-law. She has no seed. There's no more man in her life. So, she decided she would sleep with the father-in-law. So, she posed as a prostitute, all right? He slept with her and he didn't have cash, so she said, "Leave behind your staff".
All right, so he left behind a staff to take some goat as a payment or whatever, that's their cash during that time. When he brought back the goat and all that, she disappeared, okay? Months passed. She's now pregnant and Judah is angry, okay? He doesn't know it's his baby, all right? He's angry, so he brought her out to be stoned. And then she says this, "Who does this staff belong to"? And Judah was stunned. And Judah says, "I did not give her rightfully to the other son. All right, it's my fault". Okay, and from this seed, actually, I should say twins came forth from Tamar.
Now, Pastor Prince, a bit messy what you just shared. Same thing, you all watch Korean drama, ahh, you know, watching. You know, I mean, it's the same. Aren't you glad the Bible is real? Come on. You watch your Channel 8 drama and all the junk and all the mess. And you know, who committed adultery and who, you know, divorced, and who went after who, and who killed who, and who murdered who. And it's the same thing. But the problem is that some preachers, when they read a certain passage, they don't want to share, all right? It's almost like they want to share only the pluses. No, the Bible is exciting. The Bible has all the elements of drama, adventure, romance, song, beauty, miracles, amen. It has God's miracles are new every morning. It has dawn, it has twilight.
You know, in even in the evening, God's blessings go on, hallelujah. And best of all, all these other things that you watch outside, they are not real. They are fake, they are fictitious. But these stories in the Bible, they are real. They are exciting and they are real, amen. So, there's a truth. From this messed up family, these twins that came forth from the father-in-law, one of them, Perez, became the lineage of Jesus Christ. Think about that, think about that. You think Judah has no brothers? Judah has, hey, he's part of the 12 tribes, he's one of the tribe. Why didn't Got choose other tribes for the Messiah to come? God chose the one that sinned. Wow. Perez was born, "Perez begot Hezron, Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, Nahshon begot something fishy called Salmon".
Okay, it's not salmon, okay? It is Salmon in Hebrew. Salmon, okay? It's not salmon, okay? Now, watch this, watch this now. Salmon is the son of Nahshon. You know who's Nahshon? He is the captain of the tribe of Judah. Jewish tradition tells us that it was Nahshon that led the people into the Red Sea first, all right? The Red Sea was not open yet. He went in, all right, with his horse. And the moment it touched his horse bridle, it split. It's like the principle, the priest carrying the ark and the moment they touched the water, that to me is very real because that's how faith operates. God doesn't open, then you move. You move, then God opens. Are you listening? That's Nahshon.
Nahshon is the one that leads the entire tribe because Judah always goes first. Nahshon was the captain, he was the leader that led the people into Jericho, amen? And who was there in Jericho? A lady called Rahab, she was a prostitute. Here we have the prostitute again. But you know something? She had faith in the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and she hid the spies from her own people, all right? And she kept the spies in safety and sent them away, and then the spies says... she said, "Please protect me and my family when you all enter the land. I know God will give you the victory". And the spies say, all right, the spy says, "Put this red rope, this colored rope on your window".
Do you know that if you go to ancient Jericho, years ago we could go in. Now, we cannot go in anymore. All right, it's not safe, but the thing is that back then, I remember looking at the site of Jericho. You know the walls fell flat? There's only one wall standing, it was the house of Rahab, amen. 'Cause the house was on the wall, and the Bible says the walls fell flat. But obviously her house wall stood firm. Because she put her faith in the red rope, a picture of faith in the blood of Jesus. And what happened to this prostitute? She didn't remain as a prostitute. She married Salmon's son called what? Sorry, Nahshon's son called Salmon, right?
Go back again please. All right, Nahshon begot Salmon. So, Nahshon is the captain, his son is Salmon. Salmon married Rahab the prostitute, all right? Next verse, "And they brought forth Boaz". The story of Ruth, Ruth, Boaz who married Ruth. No wonder he has a soft spot for Ruth because his mother is a Gentile. Okay? And then Boaz begot Obed by Ruth. So, we have Rahab, we have Ruth. Another female names mentioned here, so we have Tamar, we have Rahab, they all have a stigma of sin, right? Rahab was a prostitute and became what? A mother in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. What is God saying? He's saying, "I don't care about your past, I can change your future. My grace can super abound in your area of sin".
Now, Rahab did not remain a prostitute, she became a wonderful wife and a happy mother. Brought forth a champion named Boaz, who married Ruth. Now, Ruth is known in the Bible as a virtuous woman. So, where is the minus? Her minus is this, she was a Moabitess. And God has said in the book of Deuteronomy, "No Moabite will enter the congregation of the Lord". No Moabite to the tenth generation. So, by law, she cannot enter the lineage of Jesus Christ, but by grace she did. If you put your trust in the law, in your obedience, there's no hope. It's all in the grace of God. Amen, church, are you with me? Okay, then finish off, and they became the grandparents of David. "Obed begot Jesse, Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah".
Now, who is that? Bathsheba. See, her name Bathsheba tells you the idea already. Now Bathsheba, who was she? Does David have only one wife, Bathsheba? No, David has many wives, many children. I told you just now the named ones are 14, all right, that's named in the Bible. Of all of them, God chose the one that he saw from the rooftop. What is God saying? God is saying to us where sin increased, my grace can superabound. Now, are we to stop here and say, "Well, I'll start looking for those who are bathing". No, stupid, you know? All right, it's like saying, all right, you know, there's always someone who will try to take your message, all right, and they'll try to twist around. Or they'll start saying, "You know what that guy is saying? The guy is saying you can do this, you can do that".
Now, did I say that? Or do you all see the goodness and the grace of God? That's what we do. We're not saying let's become sick and enjoy healing. That is stupid, all right? Stupid. You know what I'm saying or not? And you know what? She became a mother in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ. All this leads down all the way down, down, down to Mary and then Jesus. To Joseph and then to Jesus. It's amazing how God chose only four names to be recorded by the Holy Spirit. What is the message in the genealogy? God's not concerned about your circumstance, your background, your sins because Christ took care of it at the cross. Now, if you receive the grace, you're going to have a bright future, as bright as God's grace, his superabounding grace. Can I have a good amen? Amen?
When I was born, the devil knew, why? Maybe activities, I do not know. Or the devil saw an angel beside me when I was a small boy. But the devil know this boy is marked for something, okay? Then he start attacking my lips or my mouth. Another area is my mind. As a teenager, my mind, I can't concentrate. I had a battle in my mind. And today, my mind focuses on the Bible Scriptures, I can think of a lot of verses coming together, it's amazing. It's the grace of God. The very area the devil attacked. And because I responded to God and I gave my life to God, trusting only in his grace, all these areas has now become manifestations of his strength, amen?
And the same can happen to you. Don't be discouraged, don't be discouraged with the minuses in your life. God loves you. If only you have eyes to see, all right, that you are a David in the making, you're an Esther in the making. Praise God. Give Jesus the praise, come on, hallelujah. Amen, every head bowed, every eye closed all across this place, everywhere that's watching this. My friends, listen to what I'm saying. God loves you, loved you so much, he sent his Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins. And this wonderful Jesus allowed man, sinful man to take him and nail him to the cross. With one word, he who flung the universe in space, the planets in its orbits, could have destroyed the devil. But instead, he laid down his life that we might be saved. He laid down his life. How good is our God, how merciful he is.
Now, if you say, "Pastor, I want Jesus Christ to be my Savior and Lord," I want to pray for you. Wherever you are right now, pray this prayer, say this from your heart. Say:
Heavenly Father, I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe Jesus died for my sins. I believe you raised him from the dead, and Jesus Christ is my Lord. I am saved, saved forever. I am forgiven, forgiven forever. Thank you, Father God, in Jesus's name, amen.
Now, I want to pray for believers now in the area of your weakness. Now listen, look up here, did I talk to you about the sun? All right, I want to release your favor right now. You know when God made the sun, God made the sun to give light and energy to the earth. It's going to build your faith, now listen. God made the sun to give light and energy to the earth. But do you know scientists tell us that only a fraction of the light and energy reaches earth? The rest, they are lost in space. Yet God made an oversized supply, reservoir for man. I'm telling you, there's much more supply than being taken. I say there's much more supply than people are receiving, you understand or not? A lot of it is just wasted.
Like the light and energy, only a part reach the earth, the rest is lost in space. And God will create something, even though it's wasted or whatever, God would create it for man. But let's be numbered among those who receive more and more and more, okay church, are you ready? All right, put your hand on your heart, amen. Now, say this, "Heavenly Father," and stop for a while and just focus on the area that you're under attack. Is there an area in your life that's a minus now? That you have recently come under attack? Most likely, God has been doing something in that area. And the devil is trying to circumvent what God is doing. So, right now, seeing that area or areas, say this:
Father in heaven, in the name of Jesus, I thank you long before the devil attacked me in this area, your grace is superabounding. And I receive that grace. I receive that superabounding grace, that favor into my life, into these areas. In Jesus's name, I take pleasure in these areas to manifest the grace, the favor, and the goodness of my God. Thank you, Father. And Father in heaven, I thank you there is much more healing than there is sickness. I receive that healing now.
And those of you, whatever symptoms you have in your body right now, that's the area where God's grace of healing is superabounding. I want you right now to say this:
Father in heaven, I receive this superabounding grace of healing and health in this area of my body. I receive it now in Jesus's name, amen and amen.