From Intro & 1st chapter of Grace Revolution- Experience the Power to Live Above Defeat, by Joseph Prince…
A grace revolution is sweeping across the world today. It is a revolution that is tearing down the walls of legalistic Christian religion and bringing a brand-new generation of believers into a deep and intimate relationship with the person of Jesus. As a result, precious lives are being transformed, marriages are being restored, the sick are being healed, and many are being freed from the bondage of legalism. This liberty has in turn given them the strength and power to rise above their challenges.
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In this book you will hear their stories and find out just how a genuine encounter with their beautiful Savior changed everything in their lives. If you are facing some challenges in your own life, you don’t have to get to the end of this book to find the answer. I want you to know from the outset that Jesus is your solution. He is your answer, your hope, your joy, your peace, and your security. When you have Him, you have everything.
The grace revolution is all about bringing Jesus back to the forefront. For too long the Christian faith has been reduced to a list of dos and don’ts. That’s not why Jesus came. That’s not what Christianity is all about. Jesus did not come to point out our faults. Truthfully, many of us know what our faults are, and if not, our spouses do a pretty good job of highlighting them to us!
Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. He came to save, to redeem, and to reconcile us to God so that “whoever believes in Him [Jesus] should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). That’s the gospel right there, wrapped up in the beautiful simplicity called “grace”—eternal life for us paid for by the bloodstained sacrifice at Calvary. The cross is God’s masterpiece. It is also His master plan to save humanity from itself. It is a foolproof plan without pages of complicated caveats that only a trained lawyer can decode. The truth is that uneducated fishermen, hapless harlots, and the poor could all understand Him.
A rising tide of grace preachers all around the world are preaching the unadulterated gospel of Jesus. A pastor who listens to my messages regularly took over a church as its senior pastor when it had an average attendance of about a thousand members. He and his wife started preaching strongly on the gospel of grace and unveiling the love of God. He shared with me that in under six months, his congregation doubled in size—they now have more than two thousand people coming every weekend and they are rapidly expanding to new campuses. Why? Because the gospel works! Why should we be surprised that when Jesus is preached and lifted high, lives are touched, changed, and transformed? Come on, this is the grace revolution!
Grace is not a subject and the grace revolution is not a movement. Grace is a person and His name is Jesus. The grace revolution is an explosive revelation that occurs in the innermost sanctum of your heart when you meet Jesus. It is not an outward revolution but something that is incepted from the inside out.
Even when you fail, you are failing forward. And when you fall, you don’t crash out. Grace imparts hope to those who are hopeless and help to those who are helpless. When you are worn out, torn down, crushed, depleted, and on the brink of giving up, grace is the hand that pulls you out of the miry pit of defeat. Grace is the supply that floods every crevice of need. Grace is the person Who was nailed to the cross for your redemption.
My dear reader, I want to thank you for picking up this book. Thousands of new books are published every year and the reality that you and I are having this conversation is not a coincidence. This is a divine appointment. I prayed that this book would find its way to the right person at the right time. You may be going through a severe challenge in your life right now. Things may seem bleak and dismal. The report you just received may be discouraging and disappointing. It may seem as if there is no way out of the quagmire you’re in.
The truth is that you are not at the end of your rope. Now is the time to lean your full weight on Jesus. Now is the time to stop trying to save yourself and let the Savior save you. Now is the time to step into His love and allow Him to transform you from the inside out.
Would you give these pages a chance? I believe the truths here will give you new perspectives that will challenge you to live above defeat and experience lasting breakthroughs. To help you on this journey, I have identified five practical and powerful keys:
- Grow in Boldness and Confidence
- Build a Foundation for Lasting Breakthroughs
- Value the Person of Jesus
- Speak the Language of Faith
- Receive His Abundant Restoration
As you take time to understand and internalize these five simple but highly effective biblical principles, I have no doubt that you will be greatly encouraged and strengthened. The scriptural truths shared in this book will not only inspire you to live above defeat, they will also serve as a powerful step-by-step guide to piling deep into your heart an unshakable, rock-solid, and immovable foundation for lasting breakthroughs.
This is what the grace revolution is all about. It is about your life touched, changed, and transformed from the inside out. It is about living a victorious life. A life that wins. A life that reigns triumphant over failure and frustration. When you encounter the person of grace and when the veil of Christian religion is removed, there is no turning back. You’ll begin to step away from defeat and take a massive leap toward your victory!
See Breakthroughs Because of What Jesus Did
In taking this journey to understand the grace of God, it is essential you understand the difference between the old covenant of law and the new covenant of grace. To help you accelerate your understanding of law and grace, I want to share with you one of my favorite Scriptures. I have preached this verse around the world, from Hillsong Conference in Sydney, Australia, to Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas.
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
The law was given through a servant. Grace and truth came through the Son. The law talks about what man ought to be. Grace reveals Who God is. In the first miracle of Moses, he turned water into blood, resulting in death. In the first miracle of grace, Jesus turned water into wine, resulting in life and celebration. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (see 2 Cor. 3:6).
Under the law, God demands righteousness from sinfully bankrupt man. But under grace, God provides righteousness as a gift. Now, which covenant would you like to be under? The answer is obvious!
Under grace, God provides righteousness as a gift.
The truth is, through the cross at Calvary, all who believe in Jesus and acknowledge Him as their Lord and Savior are under the new covenant of grace. Yet today many believers are still living in confusion, and get law and grace all mixed up by holding on to some aspects of the law and some aspects of grace in their Christian walk. Jesus said you cannot put new wine into old wineskins. The new wine will ferment and break the wineskins, and you will lose both (see Matt. 9:17). In the same way, you cannot put the new wine of grace into the old wineskin of the law. One will cancel out the other (see Rom. 11:6).
Under the law, God said, “I will by no means clear the guilty, but I will visit their sins to the third and fourth generations” (see Exod. 34:7). But under grace, God says, “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more” (see Heb. 8:12).
There has been a change! Can you see with absolute high-definition clarity that there has been a radical change and it is all because of Jesus?
Yet there are many still preaching the law. They are still preaching that if you obey God, God will bless you; if you disobey God, He will curse you.
Now, that sounds right, but it’s a dangerous teaching because it nullifies the finished work of Jesus. The law is man-oriented and says, “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image…. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain” (Exod. 20:3–4, 7, emphasis mine). Grace is God-oriented and says, “‘I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people…. I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins
and their lawless deeds I will remember no more’” (Heb. 8:10, 12, emphasis mine).
The law is man-centered whereas grace is Jesus-centered. The law focuses on what you must accomplish; grace focuses entirely on what Jesus has accomplished. Under the law, you are disqualified by your disobedience; under grace, you are qualified by Jesus’ obedience. Under the law you are made righteous when you do right; under grace you are made righteous when you believe right. Take a look at the following table, which lists the key differences between law and grace.
Under the law you are made righteous when you do right; under grace you are made righteous when you believe right.
LAW: Given impersonally through Moses, a servant of God
GRACE: Came personally through Jesus, the Son of God
LAW: Reveals what man ought to be
GRACE: Reveals Who God is
LAW: Results in miracles of death
GRACE: Results in miracles of life
LAW: The letter of the law kills
GRACE: The Spirit of grace gives life
LAW: Demands righteousness from sinfully bankrupt man
GRACE: Provides righteousness as a gift to man
LAW: Old, inflexible wineskin
GRACE: New, intoxicating wine
LAW: Sins remembered and punished by God
GRACE: Sins forgiven and remembered no more by God
LAW: Dispenses blessings and curses
GRACE: Dispenses only blessings
LAW: Man-centered—what you must do for God
GRACE: God/Jesus-centered—what God will do for you/what Jesus has done for you
LAW: You are disqualified by your disobedience
GRACE: You are qualified by Jesus’ obedience
LAW: You are justified by your works
GRACE: You are justified by faith
The key differences between law and grace
|Given impersonally through Moses, a servant of God||Came personally through Jesus, the Son of God|
|Reveals what man ought to be||Reveals Who God is|
|Results in miracles of death||Results in miracles of life|
|The letter of the law kills||The Spirit of grace gives life|
|Demands righteousness from sinfully bankrupt man||Provides righteousness as a gift to man|
|Old, inflexible wineskin||New, intoxicating wine|
|Sins remembered and punished by God||Sins forgiven and remembered no more by God|
|Dispenses blessings and curses||Dispenses only blessings|
|Man-centered—what you must do for God||God/Jesus-centered—what God will do for you/
what Jesus has done for you
|You are disqualified by your disobedience||You are qualified by Jesus’ obedience|
|You are justified by your works||You are justified by faith|
Beloved, aren’t you glad the Lord Jesus came and died for your sins on the cross so that you can now come under God’s grace and experience the breakthroughs you need?
The King Came Down
When Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, He said, “Love your enemies” (see Matt. 5:44). Today we have problems loving our neighbors, let alone our enemies. Jesus also said, “If your right eye offends you, pluck it out, throw it away from you. If your hand offends you, cut it off” (see Matt. 5:29–30). Have you seen anyone who’s fighting for the law do that? Have you seen any church practice that? Come on, that church would look like a huge amputation ward! So what was Jesus doing when He said those things?
Jesus was bringing the law back to its pristine standard, as the Pharisees had brought it down to where it was humanly possible to keep. For example, Jesus said that if you look at a woman to lust, you have already committed adultery with her (see Matt. 5:28). The Pharisees thought that unless you physically commit adultery, you have not sinned. You see, Jesus is an expert at using God’s law to bring man to the end of himself so that he will see his need for the Savior. My friend, He didn’t mean for you to pluck out your eye or cut off your hand. (I hope you are not yelling out, “Pastor Prince, why didn’t you write this book earlier?”)
The Pharisees boasted of their law-keeping; hence Jesus demonstrated to them what it truly takes to be justified by the law. He showed them that it was impossible for man to be justified by the law. For instance, the moment you are angry with a brother in your heart, you have committed murder (see Matt. 5:22)! Now, by a quick show of hands, based on Jesus’ definitive and impeccable interpretation of God’s holy laws, who can stand? No one! Yet many are still preaching the law and wanting people to be under the old covenant of law.
Follow me now, I want you to catch a beautiful picture of God’s grace. The good news is that Jesus didn’t stop there. He preached the Sermon on the Mount and then He came down. Spiritually speaking, if the King had stayed on the mountain, there would have been no redemption for us.
Are you getting this? If Jesus had stayed high up in heaven and decreed God’s holy standards from there, there would have been no hope and no redemption for us. But all praise and glory to the King Who chose to come down from heaven to this earth! He came down the mountain. He came down into suffering, crying, and dying humanity. At the foot of the mountain we see how He met a man with leprosy, a picture of you and me before we were washed clean by His precious blood. Imagine: an unclean sinner, standing before the King of kings. There was no way the standards of the Sermon on the Mount could have saved him. There was no way the pristine and perfect standards of God’s holy commandments could have saved us. The King knew that and that’s why He came down to where we were.
The King chose to come down from heaven into suffering, crying, and dying humanity.
In those days people with leprosy were considered unclean, and wherever they went they had to shout, “Unclean! Unclean!” (see Lev. 13:45) so people would know to run the other way lest they became defiled by the disease. Needless to say, those with leprosy were not welcomed in public places. Yet here the man was before the King, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean” (Matt. 8:2). Notice he didn’t doubt that Jesus could; he doubted that Jesus would.
Without a moment’s hesitation, our Lord Jesus reached out and touched the afflicted man, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed (see Matt. 8:3). Now watch this: under the law those with leprosy—the unclean—make the clean unclean. But under grace Jesus makes the unclean clean. Under the law, sin is contagious. Under grace, righteousness and God’s goodness are contagious!
Under the law, sin is contagious. Under grace, righteousness and God’s goodness are contagious!
Grace Brings Victory
We need not fear that being under grace will cause licentiousness, because the Word of God clearly states,
For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Unfortunately, there are people twisting God’s Word today. They preach that when you are under grace, sin will have dominion over you. This cannot be further from the truth! Many have been hoodwinked by this false teaching that makes people fearful of God’s grace. God’s Word is so clear: when you are under grace and not under the law, sin shall NOT have dominion over you. The word “sin” here is a noun. It is the Greek word hamartia, meaning “a failing to hit the mark.”1 So you can say it this way: sicknesses, diseases, eating disorders, addictions, and any form of oppression or bondage (all examples of our missing God’s mark or standard for a glorious life) shall not have dominion over you. When? When you are not under the law but under grace!
This idea that grace will cause people to sin without restraint is from the pit of hell. You cannot be under grace and not be holy any more than you can be underwater and not be wet! It is being under grace that gives you the power to live a victorious life.
You cannot be under grace and not be holy any more than you can be underwater and not be wet!
What willpower and self-effort couldn’t do, God did by the power of His amazing grace. His living and eternal Word proclaims, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). Grace is the power over every addiction that is destroying you. Only grace can give you lasting freedom.
What willpower and self-effort cannot do, God will do by the power of His amazing grace.
Let the revolution begin!