Posts tagged Joseph Prince
People immediately assume that (in God’s eyes) your faith is dead without works. But, if we dig deeper and look closer, we will see that faith does not need works, in the eyes of God. God sees your faith and that is enough for Him. You and I are different; we must see works in order to say if someone has faith. People cannot see faith; they only see your good and bad works.
Many times we forget to read things in the context. This passage in James 2 gives the illustration of faith in the eyes of man. Check out the following list of people this passage is talking about:
- “if someone,” (not God)
- “if a brother or sister” (not God)
- “and you says to them” (not God)
- “give them” (not God)
- “But someone” (not God)
- “show me your faith” (not God)
This whole passage is not about God seeing your faith, but it is about, “someone” else seeing your faith. Let me ask you a question, can you see faith? No, we can’t see faith; we can only see works.
let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Mathew 5:16
I have no idea what someone believes until I SEE it, with my physical eyes. I see them worship, pray, or sing, and I say, “Oh they are probably a Christian.” Now, can you see that the message James was trying to get across was, “what’s the point of your faith to a homeless man?” He cannot see it; you should have given him some food instead of telling him you will pray for him. Imagine someone is starving and I say, “Hey, I’m praying for you.” That would not help (save) him, in his eyes.
14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can [a]that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “ Go in peace, [b]be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” – James 2:14-16,18
Now you say, “Well, Caleb it’s clear in black and white; faith without works is dead, so it must be true.”
My dear friend, if our faith is dead without works, tell me why did Paul say Abraham (a picture of us today) was justified by faith?
For if Abraham was justified [b]by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. – Romans 4:2
That is the KEY words, “but not before God.” It was not in God’s eyes that he was justified, but he was justified by faith. You and I are like Abraham.
Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM (ABRAHAM) AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 23 Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, 24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, – Romans 4:22-24
Abraham was accredited with righteousness, and, “for our sake also… those who believe in Him (God)” will be credited as righteous. Now, let’s compare these two verses.
• For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. – Romans 4:2
• Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?– James 2:22
One verse said Abraham was justified by works and one says that Abraham was not justified by works. So what is the truth? The truth is that James talks about faith, in man’s eyes, and Paul talks about faith, in God’s eyes.
- Abraham was not justified by works, BEFORE GOD. – Romans 4:2
- Abraham was justified by works, BEFORE MAN. – James 2:22
People Use, “faith without works is dead” to promote the law, but in this context we can see that God only needs to see faith. Salvation is not faith + obedience + our law keeping + our behavior. No, Salvation is faith alone. Know today that you are made right with God, not because of your good works, but you are made right with God because of Jesus alone, case closed!
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God does not give us more than we can bear; He doesn’t even give us anything (heavy) to bear! This idea that God makes us bear things to make us grow is unbiblical. God’s ways are like telling a hungry man, Eat! His ways are easy and not heavy.
So, does God give us more than we can bear?
People have this idea they can handle a whole lot, but thank God salvation and the Christian life is not about us. The truth is that God doesn’t give us anything heavy or burdensome. My Bible says, “You will find rest for your souls” when you follow Jesus. Hey, God is not the one overloading you with burdens! He is the one lifting you burdens off of you!
Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. – Psalm 55:22 (NASB)
God wants to release you from your burdens; He is not the one weighing you down.
People think, “well he doesn’t give you more than you can bear; He just makes you bear the maximum amount.”
As I said earlier, God Isn’t the one overloading you. When you lift weights, you should never lift as much as you can. You can seriously hurt your body lifting your max. If an ungodly trainer can see the stupidity in that workout, what makes you think our loving father would give us the max amount we can bear?
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”- Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)
If anyone says they have a heavy burden from the Lord, I doubt that it is from God.
“But Caleb, God said His gives (light) burdens.”
The reason God’s burdens are light are because He is the one carrying them. You should not be able to feel the burden. His burden is light. According to Strong’s concordance the word light in this scripture means,
1) Light in weight, quick, agile).
During the Olympics pay attention to the clothing they wear. It is quick and light. Imagine Usain Bolt getting ready to run with a huge fur coat and baggy pants! Do you think he would win? No, his clothes are so light he is not held back by it. He cannot even really feel his light weight shoes and clothing. That is the way God’s burden is. It is so light you can run the race with speed. Paul said at the end of His life,
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:7
God wants us to run this race without any burdens weighing us down. If someone believes it is their calling to serve at the church, and every day they serve they hate It, I doubt it’s God that called them. Many people do not enjoy working in youth ministry, but as for me, I loved being a youth leader. I could not wait to go to church and serve in the youth (because God supplied the ability). So, if you feel a heavy burden, that is not my Jesus. The devil wants to burden you to slow you down.
A very nice lady came to me one day; she led the group at our church that prayed before service, and she wanted me to pray before church. She meant well but she asked me one day, “Caleb, do you have a burden of the Lord, to pray for the nations.” I looked at her (with a smile) and said, “I have no burden to pray.” The truth is that I was willing to pray, but I’m not praying because God made me feel guilty; I want to pray because I love God.
Does this mean we don’t work? No, I spend time studying the word, and we work at our jobs, but this verse is talking about the religion they were under (the old covenant). The old covenant was hard; it was all about us. The law says, “You shall not, you shall not, you shall not,” but it does not lift a finger to help you. Thank Jesus; our new covenant is all about Jesus! Jesus has carried all of our burdens on the Cross.
Now, why is our burden light? Someone had to pay. At the Cross Jesus took our heavy burdens and paid for them all. He lightened our load. He doesn’t give us more than we bear because He bore all of our burdens at the Cross!
Also check out Joseph Prince’s message on this topic, “Living By The Unforced Rhythms Of Grace (CD Sermon)”
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Is karma mentioned in the Bible? Karma is the theory that, “what goes around comes around.” Karma says, “If you do something bad today, something bad will happen to you tomorrow.” Some even have karma as a picture of a beaver being killed by a tree because beaver cut down trees all the time. The Christian idea of karma is the often quoted phrase, “what you sow is what you reap.” They believe that if you sow a bad deed, you will reap a bad deed, but is this really Biblical?
Don’t Build a Doctrine on One Verse
The word karma is not mentioned in the bible, but still some Christians hang on to the old covenant verse about sowing and reaping. To first understand if this is a part of the New Covenant, we need to gather up all of the New Covenant scriptures. So, let’s go! I am going to list all of the scriptures below…
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. – Galatians 6:7-8
There is one verse in the New Testament that is about sowing and reaping. This is interesting because you would think the Bible would have more scripture on this, for all of the sermons on this.
So, what is the context of this verse about? Verse 6, 9, and 10 are all talking about blessing especially those who are the household of faith (Pastors, etc.) and those who are teachers of the Bible (Pastors, etc.). People often wonder, why should I give to the church (organization)? It is because if we did not, the Pastors would not have food to eat. They (Pastors) would have to find a 2nd job, and the Sunday messages would decrease in value because they were busy working all week and not preparing a sermon. That is one of the reasons we give offerings/tithes to the church.
An Opinion from the Best
Joseph Prince had a great opinion on this, in his book “Unmerited Favor.”
“Don’t allow anyone to confuse you with faulty interpretations of the Word. The context of Galatians 6:7-8 is about sowing and reaping money. The verses before and after (verse 6 and verses 9 and 10) clearly show that the context is talking about blessing the teachers of God’s Word with all good things, and blessing the household of faith. Hence, sowing to the flesh here refers to using money for self-indulgence instead of being generous for the kingdom of God. The verse is saying that sowing money to indulge oneself leads to results that can decay, whereas sowing money into the kingdom leads to results that are eternal” (Prince 173).
The Big Difference
People quote Hosea 8:7, “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind…” And they quote Proverbs 22:8, “Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity…” But let’s not forget, there is a HUGE difference between the New and Old Covenant! Under the Old Covenant what sin you commit equals punishment; this is why you will find so many Old Testament scriptures on sowing and reaping sin. But, under this New Covenant, Jesus reaped all of the punishment that we sowed, and we reap all of the blessings that He sowed.
In the new covenant there is not one verse about karma or about sowing and reaping sin! Don’t let the world influence your beliefs. Take every belief with the finished work in mind. There is a big difference and it is the CROSS! The fact is that, karma is just not Biblical.
Is it better to go through your life expecting bad things to happen because of your sin (karma)? Or, is it better to expect good things to happen because Jesus paid the full punishment, we deserved?
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