Joseph Prince - Unleash The Power Of The Gospel
Today I wanna share with you something that I think is gonna bless you, is gonna help you, remind you of a lot of things. With many of us we feel like this teaching is foundational, but Adolph Saphir says that this teaching is not just... Adolph Saphir, by the way, is a Jewish theologian in the 1800s. He says that this teaching is not just the beginning, it is the source of all our blessings, and he uses the word, it is the mother of all our blessings, whether it's healing, whether it is mental soundness, amen, the key and the foundation. Many of us, we feel that, woah, you know, this is basic Pastor Prince, this is basic, but it's not, it is the foundation of the Christian life.
And so many times, many of us who understand grace, we still don't understand that we are people that are truly forgiven of all our sins, past, present, and future. And there are always voices that are so concerned, and they play spiritual policemen whenever you preach on forgiveness of sins, they play policemen, and they come to you and tell you, don't you know that there are people living in sin, alright, in your church, and that goes for any church, amen? But my thing is this, it is because people are not established in the forgiveness of their sins and because they are not enjoying God's presence like what we did just now that they have no strength. Apart from his presence, what strength do you have? That's the reason they are falling into sin, but people who know they are forgiven enjoy God's presence.
So, Adolph Saphir says that forgiveness of sins is the mother of all blessings. And it says this, it's not just foundational. Many Christians make the mistake, they think it is foundation, it is not foundational. This Jewish theologian says this is the source of all our blessings, are you with me? Alright, now, will the real gospel please stand up? Today we have all kinds of ideas about the gospel. You know, when I started preaching grace, not many people were preaching grace when I first started. I still remember that, you know? Now, I'm not the only one, alright? We had people preaching grace already, alright, but I'm not the only one, but now it's become like a gospel revolution all over the world, alright. And then there are different voices coming in saying that this is grace like they were around when this was preached, so will the real gospel please stand up, amen. Because we want the real gospel.
If we don't have the real gospel, we won't have the true gospel's results, and the true gospel's result is found here in Romans chapter 1. "I am not ashamed," say I am not ashamed. No way, I'm not ashamed of the gospel or good news, gospel means good news, of Christ, amen. "I am not ashamed of the good news of Christ, for it is the power of God," I've shown before the definite article means one and only, the power of God, "The power of God unto your salvation". The gospel, the good news of Christ is the power of God unto your salvation, and please don't think of salvation as just being delivered from God's wroth, from hell to heaven, and unfortunately in so many circles, alright, believers think of salvation as just being, I'm saved, I'm born again, I'm no more going to hell, I'm going to heaven, that's all they can think of, but the word salvation comes from, where we use the Greek word sozo, and when Jesus heals, for example the woman, the issue of blood, he turn around and says, "Your faith has sozo-ed you". That's where the word salvation comes from, amen.
That noun, salvation comes from sozo. If you look at the word salvation, alright, as it is given in the Concordance, alright, you have health, wholeness, preservation, protection, wellbeing, peace. It's a mouthful. So, instead of that, alright, everything good, even prosperity is there, do you know that? Alright, but no room to put it there. But basically, it is soundness, to save you in every way. To save you if you are, you are addicted, for example, to some unclean habit, he will save you from the unclean habit. Are you listening? That's the power of God unto salvation, but we are looking for the power of God in so many places, except for the place that Scriptures tell us it is found, where? In the gospel of Christ. In other words, if we preach the gospel of Christ, there will be results of wholeness, soundness, prosperity. When I saw prosperity, I mean much more than money. Money is only a small part of prosperity, amen.
How many would agree that having a wonderful family is true prosperity? Having health and a great sense of wellbeing when you wake up in the morning, especially Monday morning, and is there a saying, "Oh God, it's Monday". You say, "Thank God, it's Monday". Alright, you wake up with a great sense of wellbeing, how many think that that's prosperity? You know, there are people richer than you who don't have that privilege. They can sleep in many houses, they have many beds, expensive ones, but they cannot have sleep. Some of you, at the kitchen table you are sleeping already, you know? Worst of all, in church you are sleeping, some of you. You know, the thing is this, alright, you are, when you are whole, when you are sound in every area that's called salvation. So, when God sent his Son, alright, God thought up the name for his Son, he sent his Son, God decided to call him salvation in Hebrew, Yeshua. Alright, our Greek in the New Testament is Soteria, so if Jesus was in Greece, they would call him Soteria, alright, salvation. But his name is in Hebrew Yeshua, which is from Yasha, which is to save, to rescue, to heal, to protect, to preserve, to make well. Isn't it beautiful? That's a mouthful, isn't it?
So, where do you find all this results? Wherever there's a power of God being released. Where do you find the power of God? Alright, I wanna be very careful about what I say, okay? It is not just in much prayer. I believe in prayer, okay, and I've taught on prayer, last week we released a CD on praying, what praying is all about, and how to pray, alright, in a New Testament way that gets us results, amen. I believe in prayer, but it's not much in prayer. Jesus never rebuked little prayer, but he did rebuke much prayer for pretense, you know? So, it's not just much prayer that gets the job done, it is not much fasting either. I don't have to say that, because, you know, you all don't care about that much, alright. So, where is the power of God to salvation, where is it found? The gospel, I'm not ashamed, "The gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God... for everyone who," what? "Believes," not works, believes, "for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed," not the sinfulness of man, it is the righteousness of God "revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'The righteous shall live by faith.'"
Now to bring you back to a journey, okay, we're going back in time like a time machine. If we can find the same apostle who wrote this, the same apostle Paul who wrote this, alright, does he know what the gospel is all about? Of course, because he calls it my gospel. Jesus gave it to him. Jesus didn't even give his gospel to Peter. Peter, James, you know, Bartholomew, all the other disciples who walked with Jesus, ate with Jesus, saw his passion, his sufferings, in the garden Gethsemane, James and John and Peter, alright, but none of them were committed the gospel of grace. They have an inkling that Jesus died, but they don't have the full up revelation that Paul had when Jesus appeared to Paul. Especially the three years that Paul went to Arabia, the Bible tells us Paul, when Jesus revealed himself to Paul on the road to Damascus, he was on his way to Damascus and Jesus appeared.
Alright, Jesus opened the curtain of heaven just a little bit too much and Paul was blinded, right, for three days, and then a man called Hananiah, alright, in Hebrew his name means Ya grace, God's grace, opened the eyes of Paul. Isn't that wonderful? The first person he saw was the grace of God. These typologies all mean something, and then he walked in the path, the first path he walked was straight after his eyes was open. Now, it's importance for us to realize that Paul was given the full up revelation. Alright, the rest, the law was kindergarten. The Bible calls it that, elementary principles in Galatians. There we have the kingdom preaching that was suspended when Jesus died, alright, because Israel is not yet ready to receive her king. Then we have, in the kingdom of God, by the way, is the sermon on the Mount. Then we have the gospel of grace, which was revealed to the Apostle Paul, amen.
Even Peter said, Paul's writing, somethings had to be understood. But Paul wrote three fourths of the New Testament. I said, Paul wrote three fourths of the New Testament, amen. Jesus gave Paul the full up revelation. For example, Peter never talk about righteousness in the book of Acts. Peter had no idea, he realized Christ died for our sins, he even told the Jewish people you murdered, you killed Jesus, but actually in God's full knowledge, in God's timing, the Lamb of God was slain. There is a difference. But, of course, Peter learned. But a lot of what Peter learned, a lot of what James and John all learn is also from Paul. Are you listening? That's right, God gave Paul three fourths of the New Testament, are you with me? All Scripture is important, but not all Scripture is speaking directly to us. Some is writing to the Jews, for example, amen, are you listening?
If someone argues, well, Pastor Prince, then, you know, there's a verse that says don't go to the lost house of the gentiles but go to the lost house of Israel, how about that? That's no more applicable, but those are the words of Jesus at one time. Alright, it's God's Word at one time, but it's no more applicable for us. So, Paul, Paul's words are all written to the body of Christ, direct to the body of Christ. Can we learn from the Old Testament? You are looking at a pastor who preaches a lot from the Old Testament. We just finished Ruth, the story of Ruth, and we bring Jesus out of the whole story, right? Amen, that's how you teach the Old Testament, so we are still, where are we? We are in the Pauline revelation, amen. So, Paul would know more than anybody else what's the true gospel, so let's follow Paul. Does Paul have a CD that we can buy? If Paul had a CD, would you buy it? Amen, if Paul had a book, would you buy it? So, years ago, alright, I asked the Lord, if only I have Paul's CD, just one CD would do, and God told me there is a whole sermon that Paul preached.
Now, three fourths of Paul's letters, they're all letters, that's what they are, letters, alright, but there's a sermon that's recorded for us in the book of Acts, Acts 13, and I love this place so much, it's in Pisidia Antioch, Antiochus in Turkey. Two years ago when I was in Turkey on vacation with my family, I wanted so much to go there, alright. Now they have a church built over the synagogue where Paul preached. The only recorded message of Paul, I said the only recorded sermon of Paul was preached there. Alright, look at Acts 13, "But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia," why Antioch in Pisidia? Because there is an Antioch in Syria where they were first called Christians, remember that? In fact, the beginning of this chapter you will find that they were all meeting at a place called Antioch in Syria, so there are two Antiochs, okay. They must not confuse, these two Antiochs are well known. One is Antioch in Syria where believers are first called Christians, okay, this is Antioch in Pisidia, in Turkey, the other one is Syria.
Now, this is the one I went to, and this is where Paul preached a sermon that is documented for us in the Scriptures. Okay, so Paul was there, he went into the synagogue, and I was at that synagogue, not exactly the synagogue, but the synagogue has all been broken down, but the location where the synagogue was, there's a church that's built over it, and I was telling my daughter about the significance of the place, but she was more interested in the snow around, alright, and was throwing snowballs at each other. And I know that one day she will get excited that she was there. But the thing is this, look at this, Antioch in Pisidia, there's a synagogue there, this is in Turkey, and on the Sabbath day they went there and sat down, and after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, I told you a few weeks ago, every Shabbat, every Saturday, the Jewish people will read a portion from the Torah. The first five books of Moses, alright, and then they will read a Parshah, alright, from the Old Testament, a reading of the Old Testament.
So, that custom goes all the way back, you see, and once they read the Law and the Prophets "The rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, 'Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.'" In other words, Paul was there, Barnabas, they came to visit in the synagogue, and the rulers, the pastors of the synagogue, so to speak, said, guys, do you have anything to say? Now, that's a mistake, quote-unquote. Alright, you don't tell someone like Pastor Prince who's a guest, you got anything to say? Alright, so all the pastors watching right now, they, never ask them to say anything, alright? Because people like Paul, he's so full of revelation, he's bound to say something, right? So, "'If you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.' And Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, 'Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it.'"
Now, I'm not going to go through the whole sermon, because he started talking about the people of Israel in Egypt, he gave them the whole history, he brought them from Egypt, how God brought them out, Moses, all the way down to Saul and David, so let's talk a look from there, okay? But David, let's drop down, this is towards the end of the sermon, "For David, after he had served his own generation," I feel like God is saying, tell the people, serve your generation. David served his own generation, don't live and die and let somebody else, alright, take your place, alright. You were born for a purpose. Many of us have slight tracks, okay, but no problem, God can restore to you the years the locusts have eaten, alright. David "served his own generation by the will of God, he fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption, but He whom God raised up saw no corruption," because there's a verse in the Old Testament that says you will not allow your holy one to see corruption, so many of them say that is David, but Paul is saying, no, it's the Messiah, because David died, he saw corruption, but Jesus never saw corruption. On the third day God raised Jesus from the dead, hallelujah, alright.
And then the climax of the sermon, watch this, drop down, verse 38, "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses," and he preached this in a synagogue. In a synagogue that promotes the law of Moses. Now, if you are taking down notes, write this, this proclamation, "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins," have you know this, it is a full proclamation, it is unqualified proclamation. It's a full and unqualified proclamation. He did not say it is given to those of you who repent enough of your sins. He did not say this forgiveness of sins is only for those of you who have a heart for God. He did not say this forgiveness of sins... now, hang on Pastor Prince, it's all implied. No, if it's implied then Paul should have elaborated the way you are telling me to elaborate sometimes. Paul should've elaborated, but what Paul is doing, Paul, who knows the gospel and he knows that God wants us to preach the gospel in a way that's full and unconditional and an unqualified manner, amen.
You know, in ancient days when they proclaim a proclamation from the king, they're going to different hamlets and villages and all that, they would actually have a scroll and the king, the emperor's seal or signature would be on that scroll. That means it gives dignity, glory, it gives weightiness to the proclamation. Now, whose name is here? Therefore through this man, Jesus Christ, is preached to you the forgiveness of sins. So, God is giving a proclamation to all man. God does not say you must do this, you must do that, God is saying, I proclaim to you the forgiveness of sins, does that mean everybody is safe? No.
Let me be very clear on this. Pastor Prince does not believe in universal salvation. I don't believe everyone is automatically saved, alright? It is for everyone who believes. What do you do when you believe, you do nothing, what can you do but to receive a finished work? It's a proclamation, the work has been done, whether you are, you wanted the work done, you didn't want the work done, whether you had a heart for God, you have no heart for God, God did the work, God sent his Son, his Son died on the cross for our sins, God took our sins, put it on his Son, his Son died as our sin offering, and on the third day God raised his son from the dead without our sins, which means what? All our sins are effectually put away by Christ once and for all.
And this proclamation is sent all over the world, but the problem with us ministers, we preachers of the gospel, is that we try to qualify so much that people don't understand what's the gospel anymore, and therefore there is no power of God being released for people's salvation. In spite of that, many people are still getting saved, thank God, but we need to get back to the full gospel. Truly, the full gospel so that the full salvation will be released. And then he says this, by him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed. It's not something to be attained, it's something done already.
Have you received forgiveness of sins? And the forgiveness of sins is for your entire life. If the issue of fresh sin, let's say you commit a fresh sin, and you question again the forgiveness of sins, alright, then the forgiveness of sins was never really forgiveness of sins, because they had a form of forgiveness that was piecemeal basis in the Old Testament. They would go to the temple and they were forgiven, alright, once a year on the Day of Atonement, alright. Or, I should say, once in a year they had the Day of Atonement, and it makes them covered for another year, but Jesus Christ came so that the forgiveness would not be piecemeal, year after year, he gave us a forgiveness that is forever. In other words, this morning when you came here, alright, and you lost your cool on the road, you are forgiven.
Now, some people don't like to hear that, alright, but the problem is this, when you have your forgiveness, you experience forgiveness and you bask in it, what's gonna happen is that you will have the love of God shared and brought in your heart. You might even pray for the joker that cut you just now. You might even, yeah, but the problem, instead of that we try to go into our rigamarole trying to get right of God so that we obtain forgiveness, no, forgiveness is a given. When John wrote in 1 John chapter 2, verse 2, John wrote to the people that he was writing to, this is what he said in 2, verse 12, "I write to you, little children," the word little children are not children based on age. Spiritual growth.
In the same chapter there is fathers, there are young men, and there are children. Now, later on you'll read that in this same chapter, but fathers, young men, children here, are all about spiritual age. There are those who are fathers, they can produce and take care of many, okay. Then there are young men, alright, the Word of God is strong. Then there are little children. Unfortunately, in the King James, they used little children as if it's the same word here, but this word here is teknon, little children is teknon, it's a generic word for all the children of God. It means dear children of God, precious children, whether you are old Christian, advanced Christian like Paul, or just a young born again Christian, only a few hours; you're all teknon, you're all children of God, you understand? But in the fathers, young men, and little children there, the word little children there is not teknon, it is phyrio, referring to age, referring to, you know, their growth.
So, this one is for all believers, teknon, and what does it say? Your sins are what? "Forgiven you for His name's sake," it's a proclamation. Your sins, does John know everyone that he's writing to? Does John for one moment look at a church like this, alright, John wrote to all these people, okay, look at all the people that's watching, okay. Every Sunday now we have about 24,000, around there, alright, that comes to our church. Now, Paul is writing, Paul, John, they are writing to more than 24,000. Alright, everywhere that's watching, reading their episode, by now they'd have more hits than anybody else on YouTube down to the years, how many understand that? Okay, so how can John, unless it's no more relevant for us today, okay, how can John, how can we read this and say is it God's Word for us today? But of course, every Scripture must be read, alright, the New Testament especially, as to us. This is not Old Testament, how many understand that?
Now, how come John has the confidence that I'm writing to you because your sins are forgiven. Doesn't John know there are different people in the crowd? Hmm? Someone ought to police John, tell him to write with more qualification, more conditions, but look at the word forgiven. It's in the Greek, it's in the perfect passive indicative. Passive means it happens to you instead of you making it happen, you are forgiven, you are not the one forgiving yourself. It's not active, it's passive. You know what's perfect tense, perfect tense means once and for all, it cannot be repeated. When Jesus cried, "It is finished," it was in the perfect tense in the Greek, which means once and for all. It cannot be repeated. Are you listening, people? How are you forgiven? Come on, how are you forgiven? Talk to me, somebody. How are you forgiven? Little children, beloved children of God, how are you forgiven? Is it because you are good? Is it because you repent strong enough? You confess large enough? You pray long enough? Then for who's sake? Does he tell you? It's for his name's sake.
So, you know, church, we gotta wake up every day and realize, this truth about forgiveness is not foundational. Some people are not teaching on this anymore. You know why? They say that "well, you know, when they heard the gospel, all right, they all received Christ. They know they are forgiven of their sins. Now, they must really get serious with God". And the serious is actually living in the realm of Pauline revelation, which is higher and going down back to kindergarten. That, to them, going back to the law, is actually deep. Isn't it wonderful to realize that when you wake up, the whole day, you are forgiven. not that you look out to sin. Like I said last week, no one gets up and say, "Today, I'm gonna irritate my teenager. Today, I'm gonna give my wife a repartee. I will talk back. I will have the last word. Yes, dear". Last word. Okay. Now, no one gets up to get into sin. I'm talking about this truth is for people like all of us.
Now, perchance, there's, "Pastor Prince, don't you know there are always people"? Okay, why don't you, who feel that I need to qualify my statement, go back to Paul's sermon. When Paul preached this, you should have gone up to Paul and said, "Paul, Paul. Momento, uno momento. You should say 'For those who repent.' You should say that, okay"? "That through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins," for those of you who repent. For those of you who repent long enough. The problem is this church, there is repentance involved, but the word "repent" is the word "metanoia," which means you used to believe you can save yourself by your works, all right, now you don't. Through this man you believe, you receive. There is a change of mind, and it happens, many a times, unconsciously because the goodness of God leads you to repentance.
"Well, Pastor Prince, preaching forgiveness of sins is basic". Well, I told you just now, great theologians, great men of God, tells us it's not as basic as you think. It is our daily life. Because the moment you don't sense that, everything that you do, whether you are confessing God's Word, whether you are praying, whether you are fasting, whether you are worshiping, even like we worshiped just now, all right, some people cannot participate. And their prayer sounds hollow, and their confession of faith, all right, sounds like empty, you know? Why is there no life? Let me let Martin Luther, one of the greatest men besides the apostle Paul, that was one of the greatest gifts to the body of Christ. I'm so grateful for Martin Luther. He's like another Apostle Paul. Martin Luther says this, and it is said, Martin Luther delights to say these words. In other words, many a times, he will preach along these lines. He will repeat these words more than once.
Have you heard Pastor Prince repeat some words more than once? Because I love those words, all right? Those are words that changed my life and changed multitudes all over the world. These are the words of Martin Luther. He loved to say this, "Where there is forgiveness of sin," say it, there is what? "Life and all blessedness. We do not obtain forgiveness by good works, but through the forgiveness of sin come good works". See, the more I preach forgiveness of sins, the more good works we'll see, why? The more conscious you are that you're forgiven, guess what. Good works is a byproduct. But if you're not confident that you are forgiven of all your sins, you know what's gonna happen? Your conscious is not clear, then you try to produce dead works. Hey, there's a difference between dead works and good works. God wants his people to produce good works, not dead works. Just because there's a lot of activity, a lot of institution, and a lot of work being done, even missionary work and all that, it can be a dead work to God. It can benefit a lot of people, but still be a dead work to God, as far as you are concerned. I don't want dead works. I want good works. I want life works. Can I have a good amen?
So, "Through the forgiveness of sin come good works". Now, this is powerful, the last line. "First remove sin from the conscience, and it will also be dethroned in the heart". This is what Martin Luther knew. This is what he loves to say. And this is what I love to say is this, the reason we are trying to assure people that they are forgiven, the more they realize they are forgiven, the moment their conscious accept it. In other words, the sin debt is no more on their conscience. They don't feel like they come to God that something's not cleared yet. Right now, let me ask y'all a question. Yo, let me ask you a question. If, right now, an angel comes down, "Yo". Sorry, this angel looks like Bruce Lee. "Oh," okay, sorry, sorry. Sorry. Try again, okay? That was almost... Okay, I won't drop down, it looks like fallen, okay. An angel comes to you and say, "Brother Richard, let's go". "Go where"? "Go to heaven right now, right before the throne of God". "Huh? Right now"? "Yeah, right now, right now". "Can I confess my sins first"? "No, right now you're going to God".
Are you assured that you are ready to meet God? No, no, not die, okay, right now? Now, you don't mind praying, that shows how many of our works are without life. But the moment an angel come and say, "Right now, let's go to God's throne," something inside you, and it's based a lot on teachings, on upbringing, on what you hear other people tell you, that actually, if the truth of what Paul is preaching is in your conscience, you say, "Anytime, amen, I'm very comfortable there". You come before God and God's glory is all around, his Shekinah is all over you, his angels are singing, his holiness is awesome. Holy, holy, holy, the thrice holy God, who was, who is, who is to come, the God Almighty, El Shaddai, Yahweh Elohim, the Creator of heaven and earth. And I'm at home, and his holy eyes cannot find one speck of sin on my life.
Now, for those who are not well taught in the gospel, they will say, "How can you say that"? Because his holy eyes found all my sins on the body of his Son at the cross. And today I stand before God in the completion of what his Son has done. It is the glory of his Son. That's the light of the world. The moment Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, "Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more," he gave her the gift of no condemnation first to empower her to go and sin no more. The very next verse, many people are not familiar, they stop there. The next verse Jesus says, "I am the light of the world. He that follows me shall not walk in darkness". It is not a light, when you are in his presence, it's not a light that expose your sin. It is a light that expose the perfection of his removal of your sins. And you know something, church, you grace people? Do you know something? We still need to be reminded of this, every year, every year.
And you know what Martin Luther says? He says that, "every day I must preach the gospel to somebody". He says, "You know why? Because every day I forget". Poor Martin Luther, he didn't have the iPods, iPads, the way we have today. Church, every moment we fail... okay, every moment might be too, every day we fail, right, in thought, word, or deed. But guess what. You can breathe easy. God is still with you. He'll never leave you. And we are continuing from last week when Jesus rose from the dead when he says, all right, he appeared to all of them and says, "Peace be unto you". Every one of them, whether their hearts are believing, not believing. In fact, all of them didn't believe the women when they came back and say, "He's risen". They didn't believe. All of them didn't believe, not just Thomas who was not present for church. He missed church one Sunday only, became an unbelieving believer.
But even Thomas, all right, when Jesus appeared the next Sunday to Thomas, Jesus says, "Yo, Tom, come over here. Feel the nail prints in my hand". He didn't say, "Thomas, don't come near me. Have you confessed your unbelief? Don't come near me". There's no, "Don't come near me," when it comes to Jesus. From whence did all this idea come from that you gotta get yourself right before you come? No, he is the bath, church. We gotta be conscious of God's forgiveness of sins.
"Well, Pastor Prince, I just feel that if you tell people they are forgiven of their sins"... Not me, Paul. Go back to Paul again. Now, do you find any qualifications there besides belief? Belief is not actually the qualification for you to do. It's just to believe the message. The work is done. There's no work on your part. It's a full, unqualified proclamation. And if you believe it, you are saved. So today, we have people saying, "Well, nowadays the gospel has become easy believism. You know, you just believe in Jesus and you are saved". What's wrong with that? In other words, they are saying, "Now, now, we put that aside. Let me present to you a new gospel. Faith, plus something you do". Man is always hankering for self. There must be something from self. No, none of self, all of Christ. And you gotta be careful because today when people say things like that, then I hear another so-called teacher who is trying to teach grace, and he says, "As far as Christians are concerned, grace is just forgiveness of sins," almost like despising the thing. And he says, "Grace is to empower you".
My friend, without understanding forgiveness of sins, you will not be empowered. Jesus told that woman, "I don't condemn you". What sin was it? Adultery. "Jesus, you should be more thorough". No, Jesus says, "I don't condemn you. Now go and sin no more". Jesus knew if she would receive the forgiveness of sins in her heart, it will empower her to go and sin no more. Empowerment comes after forgiveness. It's almost like people despise, you know, nowadays, forgiveness of sin. The problem is that people don't believe this, and that's why we don't see this, empowerment, amen. I'm telling you, even this church needs to be reminded. The devil, of all the words that he steals, he steals this word. When Jesus says Satan comes to steal the word from the heart, what word do it think it is? You read carefully, the sower sows the Word of the kingdom. It's the Word of God.
Do you know that Paul considers the entire Scripture? In Galatians 3:8, he says, "And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith". He calls the entire gospel the Scripture. Wow. As far as he's concerned, the whole Scripture is the gospel. If you have not preached the gospel, you have not preached Scripture. Are you with me? Somebody in the synagogue, when Paul says "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes". Everyone who repent enough, who confess all their sins, everyone who is sincere? "Everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses". Nothing for you to do but to believe, all right?
Now, this is what we should do. This is what some people would do, rather, with Paul's proclamation. If Paul was here today, if Paul was in a church today and he preached like this, all right, maybe the pastor will come out and say, "Paul, excuse me. Uno momento". What he means is all those of you who are sincere, you really have put away that sin. You really want to be right with God, all right? You have really repented enough. Now, once you put... self, self, even the repentance becomes a work, when actually it's a fruit. The goodness of God leads you to change your mind, repentance. But, instead, it becomes now a work. Everything is within self. Man is still hankering after self. "So, Paul, continue". He just killed the whole spirit of grace.
"But Pastor Prince, the people understood Paul". "And by Him everyone who believes is justified"... "Pastor, I think back then, they understood the gospel". Oh? Okay, let's continue. Next verse, Paul says, "Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you: Behold, you despisers'". You know what despisers? Despisers of grace, those who just despise what he just preached about forgiveness of sins and justification. He says, "Behold". He warns them, "'You despisers, Marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, A work which you will by no means believe, Though one were to declare it to you.'" I used to wonder what in the world is Paul talking about? When God says, "I'm gonna do a work that, when the work is proclaimed", all right, the Bible says, "You will by no means believe". Many of those despisers of grace will by no means believe. Why did Paul end such a glorious proclamation with a warning? You know why? Because he knew there'll be those who will despise grace. Even though God has done a work, they will not believe.
Keep on reading. "So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged, the non-Jews, begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath". Poor thing, they didn't have CDs. They cannot line up to buy CD of Paul's sermon, so they begged. "Paul, those words you said just now, can you say it again the next Sabbath? We'll come back next week". They begged. Who begged? The Jews begged. Sorry, the Gentiles begged. The Jews went out of the synagogue. See, in the synagogue, there were Gentiles as well, non-Jews. But it was the Gentiles that were touched. Why do you suppose that's so? I submit to you, look at Paul's proclamation again, the last part. "By Him everyone who believes is justified, made righteous, from all things". How many things? "From which you could not be justified by the law of Moses". And they are proponents of the law of Moses.
See, they were despising grace. They exalt law. Even many Christians today exalt law above grace. Grace is nothing more than forgiveness of sins. When you try to keep the law, you fail, you go to Mr. Law... sorry. Go to Mr. Law first. If you fail to keep, you go to Mr. Jesus for forgiveness. Grace is nothing more than a bath for them, but they leave with Mr. Law. We studied that last week, Romans 7. That's called spiritual adultery. God wants you to live with Mr. Grace all the time. Are you with me? Okay, so go back again to the result. "So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath". Next. "Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them persuaded them to continue in," what? To continue in what? Paul's concern is what? Continue in what? The law of Moses? Continue in what? The grace of God.
"On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God". Wow! Do we see this anywhere? Do we see a problem where people say, "There's not enough room. People are here to hear the gospel"? That's what good news does, yo, bro. Come on. Good news! This is good news. There's enough bad news in the world. Who divorced who? Who killed who? Who bum who? Which stock, who's stock, what stocks is doing good? What fell down? Which country is, you know, it's bad news. And some of you only have a dose of good news once a week. It's almost like you're some of them. "I'll be back next week to hear good news". Then from Monday to Saturday, you hear so much bad news, no wonder you are sick. Toxic. You gotta hear it every day. By the way, there's something called daily devotional. I recommend Joseph Prince one. There are many good ones, okay, but I recommend Joseph Prince one, okay? Because it will help you continue in the grace of God.
"On the next Sabbath almost the whole city", in Antioch Pisidia. I've been there. I've walked on the 2,000-year-old cobblestone leading to the synagogue. As I walked down there, I was thinking, you know, by myself "Paul was walking here," you know? And I felt like the calling of the gospel is so great. And the city was a huge city, Antioch, Pisidia. Almost the whole city went to the synagogue, and the synagogue isn't big. The overflow was more than in the synagogue. Pastors, leaders that want to grow your church, I just gave you the secret. It is no secret. It's all the time there in the Bible. They didn't come because Paul was such a good looker, amen? Neither did you. People are the same, back then and now. The Jews, some of them, many of them actually, followed Paul, all right? They were keen. But watch this. "On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God". Watch this. "But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul".
Notice, there was no contradiction. There was no opposition until the crowds came. Their reason is not because they were fighting for doctrine. The reason is that there are too many people going to Paul. Do you think this kind of thing can happen today? Really? Hey, y'all frighten me. Y'all really think this kind of thing can happen today? You preach the gospel of grace, everybody should say, "Hallelujah, Jesus. Paul, thank you. You made your way all the way to Antioch in Pisidia. Thank God you came". "Pastor Prince, wherever he goes, right"? Everyone loves him, isn't it? There is nothing but good on the internet, isn't it? You mean, this kind of thing still happens today? And what was the reason? Some of them are opposed because they reject the gospel of grace. Some people cannot believe. "it's that simple," they say. Simple doesn't equate cheap. Simple, in the sense you believe, all you gotta do is just believe a finished work. But it took God his gift, his greatest gift of all, his Son. And Jesus bled and died to give us this wonderful salvation, amen? All the work is done.
So, don't think for one moment, "Wow, I'm enjoying love, joy, and peace". See, I feel it right now, the more you preach forgiveness of sins, the more you know that even the bad thought you had of me just now when I stand down here when I just came out just now, you know that critical thought you had? Aren't you glad it's forgiven? Yeah, you must believe that it's forgiven, then you will have love for me. Because the moment sin... what Martin Luther says? Sin is no more in the conscience, it's dethroned from the heart. Your heart will be filled with love. Wow, "When the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul". Next verse, "Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, 'It was necessary that the word of God'". He calls the grace message the word of God. Faith comes by hearing this. "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles".
You don't want it, too bad, others will hear it. That's why don't get discouraged trying to get your colleague to believe the gospel of grace. If they don't believe, find out somebody who will. Because the loss is not yours. Maybe you heard somewhere before if you don't win souls, alright, your blood will be on your hands, alright, maybe, alright, you heard that before, that's from Ezekiel, alright. Don't run to the Old Testament. When God says through this man that has preached to you the forgiveness of sins, it's every sin. Can I have a good amen? Alright, so the loss is theirs, not yours. The gospel is Jesus's finished work, it's glorious. It's up to you, I present it to you for you to believe. If you don't want to, no loss for me. Not just loss for you, eternal loss. I turn to somebody else, those who will gladly listen.
So, don't spend your time trying to get somebody to believe, there are so many who will believe. And whether you believe or not doesn't change the gospel. You say I don't believe the sun is rising, look around you, light's here, light ball here, these are fake suns, alright, there's no such thing as a sun. Do you feel the sun now? No, right? If I don't feel it, I don't believe it. If you go outside, and it's very cloudy and it's raining, no, no, where's the sun? There's no such thing as a sun. Whether you believe, alright, you don't believe will not change the fact the sun still shines, okay? No, go ahead, clap, it's common sense. That's deep for some of you, okay, never mind. I know you're excited. "For so has the Lord commanded us: 'I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.' Now, when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord".
Mark this, the Word of the Lord is "Through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by him all who believe are justified from which you cannot be justified by the law of Moses". Justified from all things. That's the Word of the Lord. Now, some of you say, "Well, this is the Word of the Lord," and it's something heavy. Last time, when I was in the charismatic circle and someone comes, "I got a Word," and the way they talk, you know something heavy is coming. "Brother, I got a Word from the Lord for you". Never be afraid of a so-called prophet, amen. Never be afraid. And if they come to you and point out a sin that Jesus has forgiven, alright, he is operating by a familiar spirit, okay? Because only the devil can remember your sins. All your sins, the main clause of the new covenant, all your sins and lawless deeds, God says, "I will remember no more". Every scholar in the house that's watching this, check the word no more. It is the double negative in the Greek. I will in no wise, in no way remember anymore.
God is all powerful, he can make himself forget, but he has a just foundation for it, you know why? He remembered all our sins in the body of Jesus. You think God only took your sins from the day you were born until the day you accept Jesus, only your past sins? No, he knows you inside out until the day you meet Jesus face to face. He took all your sins, and every sin was paid for, and that's what it means that now you are forgiven for his namesake, because he paid it all. Ah, this one you can clap. This is the gospel, amen. Sun shining on it, it's okay. Isn't that wonderful?
Verse 49, "And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region," and that was the Word of the Lord, we saw the Word of the Lord, we saw. Thank God that the Holy Spirit documented for us the only sermon Paul preached, alright? "But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, expelled them from their region. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit".
So, in other words, when people start, you know, the honorable women and the Jews stood up, all the VIPs, and they started using their leverage to persecute Paul and Barnabas, what Paul and Barnabas did is just like, turn around... Amen? They'd be in another city. That's Jesus's attitude. If one city does not accept him, he just turns and go to another city, but no leper was cleansed, no blind child's eyes were opened, no dead were raised. It's the loss of the city. You know, I got no resentment towards anybody who say anything against me or the gospel of grace, because the loss is not mine. I pray for them. The reason there's not enough love for God and also for others is because this part here, the root, if we know how forgiven we are, we forgive.
You say, Pastor Prince, I'm so sorry. Forget it, it's okay, amen. That doesn't mean there's no correction, the Lord corrects us. That doesn't mean there's no confrontation, the Lord confronts us, alright, but always in the context of forgiveness. Amen? Pastor Henry just now was led by the Spirit when he was leading, you know, in holy communion. He gave this verse, which is the verse I plan already, actually, to give you all. Psalms 130, David says to God, "If you, LORD, should mark", make an itemized account one by one. "If you, LORD, should mark iniquities", sins, "O Lord, who can stand"? Who under the sound of my voice can stand if God counts your sins one by one? "But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared".
People say, "Pastor Prince, don't you think there's no real reverential fear of God nowadays in church"? Why? My question is why? Okay, slowly, why? Why is there no fear of God? Because we are not preaching judgment, we're not preaching all the awesomeness of God, we are not preaching how majestic God is. No, you see, your thinking is very fleshly. It's a soft tongue that breaks the bone. I tell you this, the way true fear of God is produced according to David, he's an expert in divine relationship with God because God calls him a man after my heart. David says there is forgiveness with God. David lived in the consciousness of forgiveness, and the result is that, "You may be feared". Hallelujah, are you with me? Peter, remember Peter? Last week, saw Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. Did Jesus tell him three times, vaya con dios, sayonara, goodbye? No. But then Peter heard Jesus say, if you deny me before men, I'll deny you before my father who is in heaven.
Now, before he died, that's what he said, and yet the first thing Jesus did was tell the angel when he rose from the dead, go tell my disciples and Peter, and we saw how the Lord restored him with love last week, didn't we? This Peter wrote an epistle, he wrote a letter, Peter. In 2 Peter, Peter wrote this, "For this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, to brotherly kindness love". I tell you this, any husband full of this, any wife full of this, that's a marriage in heaven, huh. For, now watch this, why is it that we lack these things? "For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ". It's a year of unceasing fruitfulness, but why is it that some of these things are lacking, alright? The Bible says God doesn't want you to be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Next verse, "He who lacks these things", say again with me. "He who lacks these things," what things? Self-control, virtue, brotherly kindness, love, knowledge, those who lack these things, Peter, who denied knowing Jesus and knowing the power of forgiveness, Peter says, "Those who lack these things is shortsighted," he is shortsighted, cannot see far, cannot see into the plans and purposes of God. Like the priest Eli, he was shortsighted. Eli's eyes were dim, the Bible says in first Samuel. He represents all the priesthood today who cannot see afar off into God's plan, and why is his eyes shortsighted? Because the Bible says, "Even to blindness", because he who lacks these things, "has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins". If you forget you are a forgiven people, you're gonna have problems. Are you listening, people?
So, those who count on the fact they are forgiven in Christ are people who manifest all these virtues. You know what? Many a times they manifest it without showing off, it just comes out. You look at them, they're not even aware it's coming out of them. Like Eli, blind, God had to raise a younger generation up, Samuel. God rejected Eli. It's a picture of a priesthood that's gone shortsighted, blind. Why? According to Scripture, he has forgotten he's forgiven. Let me close with this. There are five instances in the Bible, five times in the Bible where Joseph, the Bible records for us Joseph wept. Now, you all know Joseph's story. It's the closest to the person of Jesus than any other type, than any other character in the Bible. Joseph was the beloved of the Father, right? So is Jesus. Rejected by his brothers, so was Jesus by his Jewish brothers. He came unto his own, his own received him not, alright? And when they rejected him, he became the bread of life to the gentile world, so is our Lord Jesus for 2,000 years, but Israel is still, overall, still blind. Not many Israelis are saved, but you know what? More and more are.
I've got a best friend right now preaching the gospel of grace in his synagogue or in his assembly, alright, in Jerusalem, alright? He just called me up the other day and asked me for some tips. He's gonna preach the next day, so I gave him some, man, and he's preaching the gospel of grace in Jerusalem, and he's a Jewish guy, praise God, and it's spreading like wildfire now, amen. So, Jesus became the bread of life to the gentile world, but God has not forgotten Israel, neither did Joseph forget his brothers. When he saw his brothers the first time, the Bible says, he recognized his brothers. they didn't recognize him, alright? And his heart was so moved he wept. First time he wept, okay. There are five instances he wept. He wept, and he refreshed himself, came out to them again, and acted like, you know, he didn't know them. Then after that the second time he wept was when he saw Joseph, okay? Sorry, Benjamin. Joseph saw Benjamin. When Joseph looked at his own mirror, and he wept. That's a problem, isn't it? Okay. So, he saw Benjamin, he wept.
Now altogether, let me just jump right down to the last two, okay, because of time. Look at Genesis, "When Jacob", his father, you know that he wept also when he met his father. After a long, long time he didn't see his father, he ran and cried and cried on his father's neck. That's a very touching scene. So many years of separation, he must really have wept, you know. Even though his father forgot him, he never knew that his brother's lied about him, isn't it, to the father, said that he died. He must have wondered as a young boy, how come his father never looked for him? And finally when he saw his father, he wept and wept and wept on his father's neck at their reunion. But finally, in Genesis 49, his father came to a place where he's about to die, prophesied over all the sons, and then Jacob, "When Jacob had finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed".
I love the way this old man dies. He was styling on them, watch this. After he finished commanding his sons, wow, you know, he blessed them and command them, he drew his feet into the bed, breathed his last, was gathered to his people. How cool is that? Okay, ah, you all blessed already, ah? Blessed already, ah? Got all the commands already? Now let me pull my feet up, poom, okay, that's it. And he didn't go nowhere, he went, he was gathered to his people. There's life after death. "Then Joseph fell on his father's face, and wept over him, and kissed him," alright? Here's the fourth time, okay? Now, after his father died, he wept, Joseph wept again. Don't forget, it's a big picture of Jesus, Joseph picture of Jesus, right? During the time of separation from his brothers he had a gentile bride, Joseph had a gentile bride, 2,000 years, Jesus's church is made up predominantly of gentiles, okay? But he's not forgotten his house.
So, his father died, he wept the fourth time. The fifth time he wept is the last reason why he wept. I submit to you, the reason I'm showing you the parallel within Joseph and Jesus is so that you will know what grieves Jesus today. Because it's the last chapter of Genesis, the Book of Genesis is actually the book that tells you the end as well, okay? So, in the Book of Genesis it tells you the final crying of Joseph, weeping of Joseph, why did he weep? So that you understand in these last days why is Jesus weeping. Maybe they say he's weeping because there's so much sin in the church. You know why he came? To die for sins. Sins doesn't shock him, alright? We are not for sins, I said just now already very clearly, we are for holiness, but it's how to get there. Some people believe it's by your works, I believe it's by grace, alright.
So, why is he weeping? The answer is here, because God hides even future events and truths in Genesis. Alright, drop down, "When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead". We'll read this and then we'll close, okay? "They said, 'Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.'" Now has he forgotten, has he forgiven them? Yes, remember that, when he said, "I am Joseph, your brother," right? he forgave them. he said, "Come near to me," remember that? He forgave them already, so that's like the new birth experience. But is it possible to be saved and still doubt the Lord's love? Look at his brothers, "'Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.' So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, 'Before your father died,'" They lied, okay? He commanded, saying, "'Thus you shall say to Joseph: I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.'"
They were lying. The father didn't say that, so they lied by saying your father actually said you are to forgive us. They didn't believe they are forgiven. "'Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.' Joseph wept when they spoke to him". This is the last cry, five cries of Joseph. The last cry tells us what Jesus is weeping in the last days. The church doesn't know, doesn't believe she's forgiven. Preachers don't really believe this is an all-important truth, some preachers think this is just basic. And the last one, drop down, "Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, 'Behold, we are your servants.'" Joseph says, "Don't be afraid, am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now, therefore, don't be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones". And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Next, "Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father's household. He lived one hundred and ten years. Joseph saw Ephraim", Ephraim is his son, "children to the third generation". Look up here. This is the last few verses of Genesis, the last chapter. Why is Jesus weeping today? We're not making a big thing about why he died. What's the reason he died? We are forgetting the cross, it's no more the central message, people are no more conscious of forgiveness. There's a lot of unforgiveness around, a lot of bitterness around, why? Because people don't even believe that God has forgiven their sins, they cannot believe that God is that good. And then when preachers come and proclaim the truth, there are other preachers who would come against. Like what happened to Paul, contradicting, blaspheming, opposing the things that are said.
So how can the church rest in the forgiveness of sins? This is spiritual warfare, are you listening? But church, we have discovered the real gospel. Will the real gospel stand up? Amen, give us Acts 13 again, the last proclamation, I speak to all of you now if you're not saved, even if you're saved believe this, "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren", brothers, sisters, "Through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him", everyone of you who believes, you are justified, "from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses". Come on, believe it, hallelujah, amen. It's not just true now, it was true 2,000 years ago, it is true today, when Monday come it's gonna be true, it's gonna be true the end of this year and the next year, hallelujah, amen, praise the Lord.
Every head bowed, every eye closed, praise God. I preached myself happy, man. Every head bowed, every eye closed all across this place and also in the overflow. If you are here, my friend, you just heard the gospel being proclaimed. Believe it, believe it. It's not so important that you understand everything about the Bible, but the gospel you need to know, and the gospel has been preached to you, and my friend, if you believe, you believe that Jesus Christ is God's gift of love for you, God sent him to die on that cross for your sins, he was dead, he was buried, but he rose from the dead, he conquered death to see no corruption, and he says, "Because I live, you shall live also". The same Jesus who carried your sins rose from the dead without them. That means all your sins are put away. Believe it, thank him for it. Jesus would say it like this, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven. So, be cheerful, amen. Believe it. Pray this prayer with me. If you want Jesus Christ to be your Savior and Lord, you believe, then pray this prayer with me right now. Say:
Heavenly Father, I believe that God loves me and sent his Son to die for my sins. Jesus was raised from the dead as a proclamation that all my sins are put away. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior now and forever, thank you, Father. I am saved, blessed, and loved in Jesus's name, amen.