(Sermon excerpt and unofficial sermon notes for reference
Joseph Prince sermon excerpt – Got a weakness? God can use you!
Milton Goh Blog – Boasting in our weakness attracts God )
The second reminder I got from Pastor Prince was the reminder of the verse where Paul said that grace is found where sin increased. Pastor Prince emphasizes the fact that sin is wrong, destructive and will take us further than we wanted to go, keeper us longer than we wanted to stay and cost us more than we are willing to pay. But then he went on to explain that grace is still found when you have sinned because when you have made a mistake, God does not write you off. In the very area of your problem, He will provide for you grace after grace to get you out of there. Thanks be to God that with Him, sin is not your final destination, it does not define you.
20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
I think that argument that if people know that grace abounds where sin increase, then people will sin more would never come from someone who has gone through the battle of trying to break free from a habit that was holding them back and just couldn’t do it. Someone who has experienced His love and knows that without Him they would never have broken free. I think that if you have been there, you never want to go back, you just want to stay in His love and favor instead. Pastor Prince in a lot of His messages emphasizes how we love because He first loved us, and knowing His love for us changes us more than knowing the law.
1 John 4
19 We love because he first loved us.
Knowing what He endured for me, and what I have received because of His love is, as Pastor Prince always says, more motivating to live the Christian life than the condemnation and guilt. More so, there is that feeling of assurance that because I have His grace, I will be able to get me out of whatever sin I have fallen into because I know that completely breaking free on my own is just unachievable. With Him though, all things are possible and He always does a perfect work.
Considering that the fearful and the doubting were the first mentioned in Revelation 21, I know that fear and unbelief are two sins that God does not like. I have found myself in fear so many times in the past years that it often leaves me completely discouraged. The reminder that grace superabounds in this area brings me so much peace as I was beginning to worry that I would not be free of the fears anytime soon. I know now that I can move forward knowing that even now, even in the fear, there is an overabundance of His grace flowing towards me. God’s grace is sufficient for me, for His strength is made perfect in my weakness.
41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” … 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
Pastor Prince also gives examples of times in the bible where God used people who would have been disqualified in the natural but not with Him. He speaks of Solomon and the women in the genealogy of Jesus whose backgrounds were not perfect. Pastor Prince reminds us that in Christ, our past does not determine our future. In all my mess, I can trust that His grace is greater and better things are coming. So sin is not our final destination, our life is instead marked by grace. We started this journey by His grace and we carry on through His grace to live the life He wants us to live.
Thinking about this in terms of the vine life I had this view of how sin can be a sort of disease or imperfection that eats away at the beauty in our lives. I am aware that because the Lord Jesus Christ is our High Priest, the Father looks at us and accepts us in Christ Jesus, He does not see our imperfections, but we are still human and we see our imperfections and so do the people around us. And as Pastor said, sin is destructive, it takes us places we never wanted to go and keeps us longer than we ever wanted to stay, so it’s not something we want to experience as Christians. For personally I never actually truly want to do something that Christ would not want for me because I know what He went through for me.
2 Corinthians 5:21
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
However, sometimes the flesh wants something and I end up doing or saying things but I especially find pleasure in it. And the truth is once we are saved, we need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds to align with our new nature. We know that we have victory in Christ over every area of our lives but if we are unaware of this we could get stuck in a never-ending cycle of fighting for the victory we already have. But when we are connected to the vine and are aware of His abundant supply of grace to move forward we are able to fight from victory.
1 Corinthians 15
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So His grace superabounding in my worst moments…truly the best for this journey we are on. So here is my question, if there is disease or damage on a branch on the vine, can the branch fight it off on its own or heal its own damage without the vine life?
What are you thoughts and feelings about this topic? Comment down below or send me a message if you connect with this in any way.
Thanks for reading.