What is the true grace of God? How is it perverted? What is the consequences of this perversion according to Jude chapter 1 verse 4?
Some people argued that the gospel of grace preached by Pastor Prince is perverting the true grace of God and encouraging licentiousness. They try to prove this by pointing to Jude Chapter 1 verse 4. But I think this is an inappropriate reference.
Firstly, the perversion referred to here leads not only to sensuality or licentiousness but a denial of Christ. The connecting word is “and” which means both must happen. So, this perversion leads to both licentiousness AND the denial of Christ as Master and Lord.
Pastor Joseph Prince has always upheld the Lordship of Jesus Christ and Him as the only way to eternal life. He places Christ squarely in the centre of our lives. His weekly sermons exhort us to read, study and meditate on the Word of God and uncover God’s love for us.
His focus on the gift of righteousness and on the goodness of God makes people uncomfortable because it seems to be condoning sin. But he isn’t.
He is telling people THAT to stop sinning and lead holy lives is to STOP thinking about how to stop sinning. We should focus on Christ and meditate on how good he is.
Stop focusing on yourself and focus on Jesus. Remember this hymn?
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full into his wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace
How true! The things of Earth, human stuff turn dim when we look full into Jesus’ face, his wonderful face, not his angry face.
I think I can say with some confidence that the goal of all believers is to live right, that is, to have a meaningful and abundant life, filled with God’s presence. But the way to live right is to believe right.
What is right believing?
38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.Acts 13:38-39
There is no condition in this proclamation. Everyone who believes is freed from the bondage that come with the law of Moses.
In Deuteronomy, it is clear that the law of Moses is basically conditional love. God blesses only if we obey. But Christ’s love isn’t. For whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
I think this is so true. Recently, I realised that I have over-reacted to someone’s comment. I immediately felt really guilty. That out-of-sorts feeling is quite uncomfortable. I could not stop thinking and feeling bad.
Once I recognized that I was focusing on myself, I began to focus on Jesus. On the truth that I am still accepted by God, loved by Him. Peace returned to my heart and I can move on.
What about the wrath of God?
Is God angry with us? The answer is no.
His wrath had been appeased once and for all at the cross. Or do we not believe that Christ’s redemptive work is complete and perfect? If perfect and complete, it would cover all our past and future failings would it not?
What about the whole counsel of God? (Acts 20:27)
This phrase appears only in Acts 20:24-32 sandwiched between Paul saying that he had been faithful testifying to the gospel of the grace of God AND commending his audience to the word of His grace.
24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. 26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. 32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.Acts 20:24-32
Think about the historical context of Paul’s message here.
Who was he contending with?
What is the most prevalent religion and beliefs of the land?
Isn’t it Judaism? And what was missing from Judaism? Isn’t it the saving grace of Christ?
In Romans and Hebrews, Paul spoke strongly against those who want to re-introduce Jewish rituals and practices that will once again be used to “measure” one’s faith and state of salvation.
Therefore, the whole counsel of God refers to the truth that God’s love is unconditional.
That’s the true Grace of God!
This personal study on Jude chapter 1, Acts chapter 13, and chapter 20 is inspired by a sermon entitled “Will the Real Gospel Please Stand Up?” by Joseph Prince of New Creation Church, Singapore.
Listen to the excerpt
Find the full audio message at:
Find the full videostream message at https://www.josephprince.com/sermons/will-the-real-gospel-please-stand-up/video?sku=20140608VJ