A little game I sometimes play is I switch over to the local Christian TV channel and see how long it takes for the preacher of the moment to mix law with grace. It’s not a game I enjoy! The more I appreciate the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice, the more sensitive I become to those who try and tell me it was not sufficient, that I need to do stuff to stay forgiven/holy/righteous. Nothing makes my blood boil faster.
Anyway, a few months ago my wife and I were playing this game and we came across Joseph Prince, a Singaporean preacher of grace. What a breath of fresh air is this man! Don’t be deterred by his accent or style, if that’s not your thing, and miss the substance of what he preaches. He is a giant in the world of TV preachers and we watch him every night. Here in New Zealand he’s on Shine TV weeknights at 6:30pm. In Asia I believe you can find him on God TV on the weekends. He also has a YouTube channel here. Be warned, whatever you watch will have a lot of promotional material on it. But again, don’t let that distract you from the substance of this man’s message.
If you’ve never heard him preach, you’re missing out. At the end of each 22 minute segment we are usually so inspired we want to leap up and start celebrating Jesus. Mr Prince is an excellent communicator. He makes deep water revelations simple and easy to grasp. To give you some idea of this, I have picked 20 of my favorite quotes from his outstanding book Destined to Reign.
1. “The law justified no one and condemned the best of us, but grace saves even the worst of us.” (p.124)
2. “God does not leave you wondering whether you are saved or not. He tells you outright that you are His and that nothing can ever separate you from the love of Christ. Not even sin because His blood is greater than your sin!” (p.95)
3. “The way some people portray God today creates the false impression that His mercy lasts for a moment, but his anger lasts forever!” (p.211)
5. “Sometimes, when I hear the way some preachers preach, I really wonder, has the cross changed anything? The system of being blessed when you do good and being cursed when you fail was already in place before Jesus came. Why are they still teaching that we are under that system today?… Don’t negate the cross of Jesus. The cross of Jesus changed everything.” (p.295)
6. “Knowing that you are completely forgiven destroys the power of sin in your life.” (p.100)
7. “I have been accused of being an antinomian (someone who is against the law of Moses). The truth is I have the highest regard for the law. And it precisely because I have the highest regard for the law that I know that no man can keep the law… It is us grace preachers who have the highest regard for the law!… I am for the law, for the purpose for which God gave the law… God did not give the law for us to keep. He gave the law to bring man to the end of himself, so that he would see his need for a Saviour.” (p.122-3)
8. “Anyone who doesn’t focus on Jesus Christ and His finished work has neither the wisdom of God nor the power of God…” (p.199)
9. “Believers are often exhorted to repent from sin. However, in the New Testament we are actually exhorted to repent from dead works. You see, sin is simply the fruit, dead works are the root…. Dead works are not sins. They are the religious things people do, thinking that by doing these things, they are gaining righteousness with God. If you pray because you think that praying makes you right with God, that’s a dead work. But if you pray because you are right with God and you know that He loves you, there is power there.” (p.234)
10. “Let me teach you how to discern if the grace teaching that you are hearing is doctrinally sound. When you hear the new covenant of grace preached, it is always Christ-exalting. It always reveals more and more of Jesus… There is no grace without Jesus…. Grace is not a doctrine. Grace is a person and His name is Jesus. Therefore, there is no grace teaching without Jesus Christ. You cannot separate Jesus and grace!” (p.32)
11. “The law is about you looking at yourself. The new covenant is all about you seeing Jesus.” (p.196)
12. “There are still people who insist that we have to preach on repentance. Well, I disagree! I think we should do it God’s way – preach the goodness of God and allow the goodness of God to lead people to repentance. Such repentance will be true repentance. It will not be motivated by the fear of judgment and indignation. It will be a genuine repentance that is motivated by His grace, unconditional love and compassion. After all, our ability to love God stems from our first tasting His love for us.” (p.232)
13. “True repentance from the heart results from a revelation of God’s immense and unyielding love.” (p.232-3)
14. “The Holy Spirit never convicts (Christians) of your sins. He never comes to point out your faults…. It does not take a revelation from the Holy Spirit to see that you have failed. However, when you know that you’ve failed what you do need is for the Holy Spirit to convict you of your righteousness.” (p.135)
15. “Sin does not stop God’s grace from flowing, but God’s grace will stop sin.” (p.249)
16. “Look at all the people who received miracles from Jesus during His ministry on earth. Not a single one of them deserved it. They did nothing to earn their miracles… On the other hand, we don’t find any record of those who were trying to deserve blessings from God – the Pharisees – receiving anything from Jesus!” (p.278)
17. “A Christian cannot commit the unpardonable sin… There is no sin the Christian is not forgiven of.” (p.90-1)
18. “We don’t have to confess our sins in order to be forgiven. We confess our sins because we are already forgiven. When I say ‘confess our sins’, I’m talking about being open with God… Confession in the new covenant is just being honest about your failures and your humanity. It is the result of being forgiven and not something you do in order to be forgiven.” (p.104)
19. “People give their lives to sin when they feel rejected and unwanted. But when they know that they are God’s beloved, no temptation can succeed against them.” (p.296)
20. “Beloved, there is nothing you can do today to make God love you more, and there’s nothing you can do to make Him love you any less… Beloved, it’s not enough that you know that God loves everyone. You need to know and believe that He loves you, and let that revelation burn in your heart, especially when you fail.” (p.300-1)