Sermon Notes

This Week’s Sermon

Today we are screening— Own Your New Creation Identity preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on May 8 2021, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!

Note: This page is updated weekly.

Overview

    1. Introduction: In a world searching for truth, let your heart trust in the Lord and His Word
    2. You are a new creation in Christ—redeemed and valued by God
    3. A life of holiness stems from knowing your identity as the righteousness of God in Christ
    4. In the face of your struggles with sin and failure, the Lord will seek you out and save you
    5. See yourself free from the chains of sin through Jesus’ perfect work
    6. Your feelings don’t have the final say. Let God’s truth anchor your heart!
    7. Start renewing your mind with positive pictures of who you are in Christ
    8. As a king-priest, you have the power to speak life-changing words
    9. Salvation prayer
    10. Closing prayer
    11. OWN THE WORD (life application)

Introduction: In a world searching for truth, let your heart trust in the Lord and His Word

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms!

Pastor Prince shares a specific word he received from the Lord for women who have been trusting the Lord to conceive a child over the last few years but have yet to see the manifestation happen: this is going to be your year!

WHEN GOD MAKES PROMISES, HE MAKES THEM GENERATIONALLY.

It is the Father’s heart to see you blessed with children as much as your heart desires. When God blessed Abraham, He not only blessed Abraham but also blessed Abraham’s children and children’s children. God blesses generationally. In the book of Psalms, He says, “May you live to see your children’s children” (Ps. 128:6). He also promises to bless your children for generations to come (see Gen. 22:18).

We are continuing from last week’s sermon, Guard the Imaginations of Your Heart.

In society today, our hearts are being targeted. When marketers try to sell you their products, they don’t win you over by enticing you with the details or ingredients of their product but by appealing to your heart. They sell you an enviable lifestyle and feed you with images of what your life could be like with the help of their product.

While many of us today are mature and aware enough to check the facts behind the promises made by marketers, it is becoming harder and harder to verify the facts. We are now living in a world that makes us question which “facts” are real and which are lies. the real facts are. In the last decade especially, there have been many occurrences of fake news being propagated.

In the midst of all this, there is one truth that we can be sure of, and it is the Word of God. We can be sure that God’s Word is always true, no matter the “facts” we see around us.

If you happen to see facts that contradict God’s Word, know that God’s Word is eternal and will outlast every temporal fact. For example, it may be a fact that you have been diagnosed with a physical condition and your doctor has shown you a negative report that proves its existence. But believe the truth in God’s Word that you healed and whole because of Jesus’ finished work (Isa. 53:5). Let your heart trust His Word.

You are a new creation in Christ—redeemed and valued by God

Another eternal truth is that sin has been removed for the believer. So while it may be a fact that you experience sin like angry or bitter thoughts in your flesh, the truth is that Jesus has removed sin from every believer through His finished work at the cross.

Some English translations of the New Testament translate the “flesh” as the “sinful nature,” implying that we still have the sinful nature even after we are saved. However, the original Greek word used is “sarx,” which means “flesh” (Rom. 8:9), and it is distinct from “sinful nature.”

At the cross, Jesus bore all your sins so that you might become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). This is the divine exchange. Today, we do not become righteous by doing righteous acts but by receiving the Lord’s righteousness.

The flesh that remains with us in our mortal bodies is not the sinful nature. It is just the residue of the sinful nature, which has been put to death at the cross. We are a new creation!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
—2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

all things have become new” — The moment you accept Jesus, you are a new creation and your spirit man has become new. There is nothing hard about being saved because Jesus already did the hard part—taking the punishment for our sins on our behalf at the cross—and now our part is simply to believe in Him.

UNDERSTANDING WE NO LONGER HAVE OUR SINFUL NATURE IS CRUCIAL IN LIVING A LIFE OF VICTORY OVER SIN.

At the root of every sin is a heart of unbelief. Long before we commit overt sins in our actions, our hearts are first not believing God.

But even when you fall into sin or you feel the inclination to sin, know that you are just experiencing manifestations of the flesh. While it is a fact that you feel the sensations of the flesh, the truth is that your sinful nature is now gone. In your spirit, you are a new creation in Christ. It is just that in your earthly body, you still have the flesh—the residue or remnant of the sinful nature, which manifests as the propensity to sin. Once the rapture happens and we receive our new bodies that are like Jesus’ glorious body, we will not have the flesh any longer.

Even though right now, your earthly body still has the flesh, don’t see your body as dirty. God’s Word says your body, right now, is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). In the Old Testament, we see that God’s temple has three parts: the outer court, the inner court, and the Holy of Holies where God dwells. And the Bible calls our bodies the Holy of Holies. It is not our spirits that are the Holy of Holies—but our bodies! Your body has been bought by the blood of Jesus.

DON’T DESPISE YOURSELF. YOU ARE HIGHLY VALUED IN YOUR FATHER’S EYES.

The value of something is determined by how much a buyer is willing to pay for it. You must know that when you were lost, hopeless in your flesh, and dead in your sins, God paid with the blood of His Son to save you. Your precious value is proven in this.

You are not unvalued, unseen, or overlooked. God loves you. Even if circumstances look bleak or you are facing a setback, don’t count that as a reason to take your life or believe the depressive thoughts telling you that you’re useless or worthless. You are not!

Your worth is not tied to your circumstances, your occupation, or what people think or say about you. All these things are shakable and movable. You must judge your worth based on something immovable—and that is what God says about you!

A life of holiness stems from knowing your identity as the righteousness of God in Christ

There is a teaching in Christianity today that teaches that even though we have a righteous position in God’s eyes, what is more important than that is to strive to be holy—to obey, to perform, to be more generous and forgiving, etc. All these good works are good things, but what is insidious about this teaching is that underlying message that we must do in order to become. While the intentions behind this teaching might be good, it produces failure after failure because it encourages believers to put their trust in their own works instead of the finished work of Jesus Christ.

The Bible tells us that we do not have to do anything to become righteous because we have already become the righteousness of God through the finished work of Jesus Christ. The way to live above sin and live a life that glorifies God is by first being sure of your righteous identity in Christ. When you know your identity, you will eventually live and act out of that identity.

When Queen Elizabeth II was younger, she was very playful. One day, someone told her respectfully that she was a princess of the British royal family and would one day rule the monarchy as queen. From then on, her mentality changed and she began acting like a princess.

Repentance is simply the changing of one’s mind, and we are to change our minds by simply realizing and believing that we have been made righteous in Christ.

There is a bombardment of the “try harder” Christianity that is not based on New Testament teaching. To try harder to be something implies that that is not what you are. You are trying to get there but you are not there yet. That is not true!

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS NOT ABOUT DOING GOOD IN ORDER TO BECOME RIGHTEOUS. WE ARE TO REALIZE THAT WE ARE ALREADY RIGHTEOUS IN CHRIST AND THEN ACT OUT OF THIS IDENTITY.

When temptation comes, you may feel discouraged because it seems as though you still have your old sinful nature, and then you may try your best to get back into fellowship with God. But that is just the devil bringing you a lie. Realize that you are righteous and created in true holiness (Eph. 4:24).

In the New Testament, we find Paul using the indicative before the imperative. He tells believers who they are in Christ before he tells them how to walk it out in their lives.

Because you are already risen with Christ (Col. 3:1), you can put to death the things of the flesh. Just because you may feel your buttons being pushed at times, you do not have to respond to them. Remember that these things are already under your feet.

In the face of your struggles with sin and failure, the Lord will seek you out and save you

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.”
—Romans 6:12 NKJV

Therefore” — When “therefore” is used, it means there is a preceding verse that this verse is predicated on.

If you have a problem with pornography, forgiveness, a bad temper, depression, or you are in a state of unbelief, you would know that sin makes you miserable. But you can’t overcome sin by trying hard not to sin. That’s the “try harder” mentality, and the Bible doesn’t teach holiness this way.

Many people love “practical” sermons that tell you what to do. The Bible has practical handles for us to learn from, but when the Bible tells you what to do, it is always something you have already received or that you are “now” receiving. The reason and means by which you can do what the Lord wants is always stated.

For example, 1 John 4:19 tells us that we are called to love others and God, and we can do this because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). Only when you experience the depths of God’s love can you then overflow in love for Him and toward your loved ones and others around you. When you wake up, know that you’re dearly loved by the Lord. God has made you holy and blameless, and He has made you lovable in His sight, independent of your actions.

The devil loves to attack women, for women have a greater tendency to want to step up to help the family, especially when the man isn’t acting as the head of the household. But doing this opens them up to more attacks on the imaginations of their heart (e.g. constantly seeing themselves being under-appreciated or taken for granted).

In the Bible, we see Jesus reaching out to women. Back then, women were subjugated under religion, and that is why Jesus’ disciples were shocked to see Him talking to the woman at the well (John 4). The Samaritan woman herself was shocked because Jesus was a Jew and in those days, Jews disliked the Samaritans, and on top of that, she was a woman (John 4:9).

This Samaritan woman had five husbands, and the sixth man she was living with was not her husband. She was looking for love in all the wrong places. However, Jesus didn’t bypass her or condemn her because of her failures. Instead, He took time to talk to her and minister to her. Jesus was the seventh man in her life, and in their conversation, He answered or spoke to her exactly seven times (seven is the number of rest). When this woman met Jesus, her wandering heart finally found rest. Her life changed forever that day, and she went around as a living testimony of God’s grace to others.

Jesus will treat both men and women, even if they are social outcasts, with respect. He calls them by name. Zacchaeus, a tax collector, was hated by the Jews because he collected taxes for the Romans while he himself lived wealthily by collecting money that he kept for himself. Being an outcast, Zacchaeus climbed up the tree hoping to be unseen when Jesus passed by Jericho to preach, but Jesus called out Zacchaeus’ name and wanted to go to his house for dinner. At the end of dinner, Zacchaeus got saved and he paid back all the money he had wrongfully taken from others (Luke 19:1–10)!

Most Jewish people bypass the city of Samaria because they disliked the Samaritans, but John 4:4 tells us that Jesus “must needs” go through Samaria. It was not out of geographical necessity or convenience but for the sake of one woman. Today, He will do the same for you. He knows what you’re going through and He will seek you out.

We serve a living Savior, and He is with you in the Holy Spirit.

See yourself free from the chains of sin through Jesus’ perfect work

The New Testament does not call for us to stop sinning with our own efforts. Let’s find out why the word “therefore” is mentioned in Romans 6:12.

“Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.”
—Romans 6:9–12 NKJV

Death no longer has dominion over Him” — Today, because you are risen with Christ, death no longer has dominion over you. Death causes a lot of tears in this world. Jesus wept at Lazarus’ funeral even though He knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. He wept because death was never part of God’s plan for mankind. Death is the wages of sin, and God hates it.

once for all” — This phrase “once and for all” is “hapax” in Greek. When Jesus died for our sins, it was once and for all, not gradually. We’re not dying slowly to sin. Death is behind Him and behind us!

reckon” — To reckon is to esteem (judge or count) something according to what is true. For example, if you have a thousand dollars in the bank, then you can reckon yourself having a thousand dollars in the bank. If you don’t have that thousand dollars in the bank but you insist on reckoning yourself having that money, you will still not have that money. Likewise, faith is reckoning something based on what is true in God’s Word. Faith is not just positive thinking in order to conjure up something that doesn’t exist. Faith is reckoning yourself, your life, and your situation according to spiritual reality. You are aligning yourself with God’s Word.

Likewise” — The word “likewise” means “in the same manner.” The fact that Jesus died to sin once and for all, and the life that Jesus lives, He lives to God, not looking to die to sin anymore—we are to also reckon ourselves in that same manner. We may sometimes still have negative feelings of anger and frustration, but remember that they are nothing more than feelings. On a rainy day when the clouds cover the sky, the sun is still shining. Likewise, God is saying to reckon our lives based on spiritual reality—not what we see around us.

When you feel temptation, know that it does not reflect who you are and does not define you. You are a new creation created in true righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:24). Reckon yourself dead to sin, and you will live your life unto God. Therefore, because you esteem yourself as dead to sin, you will not let sin have dominion over you.

Your feelings don’t have the final say. Let God’s truth anchor your heart!

Pastor Prince shares a personal story that happened many years ago when a police officer stopped him by the side of the road for speeding and told him to not let his car control him but to control his car. In the same way, we do not need to let our flesh or our feelings control us.

Meekness as defined in the Bible is about having control. When you are meek, you’re not letting people run over you. Meekness is strength under control and not letting people push your buttons.

Going back to Romans 6:

“Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.”
—Romans 6:9–12 NKJV

Here, the indicative comes before the imperative. First, we are assured of who we are in Christ—dead to sin and alive to God in Christ, a new creation. Then, we have the power to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies. The “becoming” (a new creation) happens before the “acting” (not letting sin reign).

Having dominion over sin becomes easy and even effortless when we rest and relax in our identity in Christ. Just like it is easy and natural to speak our mother tongue, it will become easy to live a holy life when we know we are righteous in Christ.

The devil will point out all your failures and tell you you’re the same person as before, stuck in a cycle of sinful habits, but you are not the same person. Even though you might feel it, it’s not the truth.

How to handle the ups and downs of our emotions

Most feelings come and go, and we need to learn to handle both good and negative feelings. It’s like being on a tour bus—the scenery is always changing. Some are beautiful, some are ugly. It is only a matter of time before you move from one scenery to the next. See your feelings in the same way, as fleeting things. You may experience them but they are not you.

When negative or condemning feelings come, throw them back to the devil and declare that you are the righteousness of God in Christ. If you’re feeling depressed, you can renew your mind by saying you have the mind of Christ.

The more you see and believe the truth of God’s Word, what He says about you and what the finished work has done for you, the more you will see your life transformed!

Start renewing your mind with positive pictures of who you are in Christ

That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.”
—Ephesians 4:22 NKJV

That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man” — This verse is not telling you to put off your old nature but it is telling you to see that you have already put off your old nature (your former conduct).

Sometimes, after you get off a cruise ship or a turbulent flight, you still feel the sensations of instability or shakiness when you’re on solid ground. But those feelings don’t change the fact that you are on solid ground. In the same way, sometimes you may feel the sensations of your old sinful nature, but you must know that you are on the solid ground of righteousness in Christ.

Don’t let the former sensations from a past experience determine how you see yourself and see your life today. There are people who experienced a traumatic event when they were young and because of that, they carry irrational fears related to that experience until today (e.g. the fear of certain insects or pests). However, the truth is that it is all in the mind, in the imagination. It is not about the actual object of fear, but what the person believes about it and imagines it to be.

Memory is a form of imagination that represents reality. Your imagination represents those pasts events to you now. The word “represent” is made up of two parts, “re” and “present,” which means to repeat and make present again.

There are different degrees of fear because of past experiences that have crippled people emotionally. For example, someone may have the fear of getting married because of something traumatic that happened when they were a child. The only way to see the imaginations of your heart change—and your reality follow suit—is to replace those negative pictures with positive pictures from God’s Word.

“and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
—Ephesians 4:23–24 NKJV

new man” — The new man which you put on was created in true righteousness and holiness. It was a done deal when you “put off” your old man. When we live our lives, let’s be careful not to look at it as fulfilling a list of must-do’s, ought to’s, and should do’s. We are already righteous by grace, and we can start walking it out and living the glorious and victorious life that God has given us.

Here is a word of wisdom:

WHAT YOU GIVE ATTENTION TO, YOU GIVE POWER TO. JESUS SAYS TO YOU, “BE THE ACTOR AND NOT THE REACTOR.”

Matthew 5:39 says, “But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” Most people are right-handed. This means that if you are to slap someone, you would likely slap their left cheek. In order to slap their right cheek, you would have to slap them with a backhand. In Jesus’ time, to slap someone with a backhand was to challenge that person to a duel. So when Jesus says, “Turn the other cheek,” He is saying, “Don’t react to the provocation. Take control of the situation.”

The same thing goes for us when we face provocation today—whether it is a provocation to anger or bitterness or any negative feeling toward someone. Choose to respond with grace instead.

You are a new creation in Christ. Your new man is created according to God in true righteousness and holiness. Though your thoughts and actions may not be holy at all times, when you know you’re truly righteous and holy, your thoughts and actions will line up with your identity as a new creation in Christ. This is an identity that you must first see on the inside—in the imaginations of your heart.

GUARD THE IMAGINATIONS OF YOUR HEART AND YOU WILL FIND REST.

“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
—Genesis 6:5 KJV

imagination of the thoughts of his heart . . . evil continually” — This is the first time “heart” is mentioned in the Bible, and the law of first mention tells us there is something significant to be learned here. The devil wants to continually bombard your heart with unclean, evil, and fearful imaginations (pictures). With smartphones and social media, we are constantly being bombarded with numerous pictures every day, and many of them are not from God. Instead, choose to meditate on things that are of virtue (Phil. 4:8) and find rest. When God speaks to us, one of the ways He speaks to us is by giving us pictures in our hearts. Let’s guard our hearts by guarding what we see and hear.

As a king-priest, you have the power to speak life-changing words

In Old Testament times, Israel had one king, many priests, and a few prophets. Today, Jesus has made us all kings and priests (1 Pet. 2:9) and He has made the gift of prophecy available to us (1 Cor. 14:1). So the Lord has enabled us to see visions from Him and also given us the authority as king-priests to speak forth these visions and see them come to pass.

When we speak, things happen, and that is why the devil wants us to use our own words against us. He has programmed negativity into our language and culture. Let’s live life aware that the power of life and death is in our tongues (Prov. 18:21).

People can say all kinds of things about you, but don’t speak against yourself. You may not be able to stop them from speaking ill about you, but you have control over your own words.

“(Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he spoke thus: ‘Come, let us go to the seer’; for he who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.)”
—1 Samuel 9:9 NKJV

the seer” — In those days, prophets were referred to as “seers.” God spoke to them by showing them pictures. This is in reference to the prophet Samuel. Today, we may not all be prophets but we all have a prophetic anointing. We also have a kingly and a priestly anointing. We are all kings and priests when it comes to worshiping God.

Pastor Prince shares a word of wisdom in handling our emotions: No one can make you angry. Think about it this way—if someone speaks bad about you and you don’t know about it, you won’t feel hurt. You must know what they say before you can feel hurt. The one making you feel hurt is yourself. You are not as helpless before your emotions as you think.

You can guard the imaginations of your heart by choosing not to read negative comments. We have a propensity to be negative because of the residues of our old nature, but we are learning to renew our minds to think positively. You can put on the helmet of the hope of salvation and have a confident expectation of good.

God’s grace will always exceed sin. If there is a recession, God’s provision will exceed it. He is more than sufficient and He will always provide for you. Even when things don’t go your way, you don’t need to be miserable. You can rise higher and remain in faith.

Pastor Prince closes the service by asking the congregation to declare their identity as a new creation:

“I’m a new creation in Christ, old things have passed away, and all things have become new. Regardless of how I feel, who I am is who I am. My feelings and my wrong actions do not define me. God’s Word defines me. I am the righteousness of God in Christ. When I feel angry, I’m still the righteousness of God in Christ and that anger comes under my feet. I am a brand-new creation. In Jesus’ name, from now on, I’ll think in a new way. I’ll be renewed in the spirit of my mind. I’ll watch my eye gate, and I’ll watch my ear gate and open them only to things that are wholesome, healthy, of virtue, and of praise. in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Pastor Prince prays over these people/situations:

  1. A condition that concerns the intestines
  2. A person who is contemplating taking his/her life
  3. Liver trouble

Salvation prayer

“Heavenly Father, I thank You. Your Word says if I confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and believe in my heart that You have raised him from the dead, I’ll be saved. Father, Jesus Christ is my Lord. And I thank You that He’s risen, death no longer has power over Him. And what happened to Him happened to me. Death is now behind me. I am in Christ with a new self, a new identity. I’m a brand-new creation in Christ. Old things have passed away, all things have become new. Jesus Christ is my Lord. Thank You, Father, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Closing prayer

“Father in heaven, I thank You for Your precious people and everyone that’s tuning in online. Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask Lord, let Your grace, the favor of our Lord Jesus Jesus, be with each and every one of them throughout this week, experiencing Your favor everywhere they go, knowing that they are favored by God Himself.

They are God’s favorite, expecting good things to come out from that favor with God. That You grant them favor with men as well, throughout this week. And Father, let the love of God be something they experience, not just something, Lord, in printed form, but something that they will experience. Give them a special experience of Your love throughout this week, them and their families. And let the friendship, the sweet communion of the Holy Spirit be with every one of them in the name of Jesus.

Be sensitive to the pictures that the Holy Spirit gives you, amen, and act on it. And you’ll see miracles happen. Whatever He says to you, do it. And the water will turn to wine. In Jesus’ name, and all the people say, Amen. God bless you all.”

OWN THE WORD (life application)

Do you find yourself caught in a cycle of sin or unable to shake off habits or inclinations that you know are not good for you? The Lord has provided a way out. It is not to try harder, to muster up more willpower, or to use more strength to change yourself. Instead, it is to own your identity as the righteousness of God in Christ and reckon your sinful nature behind you.

This week, should you face familiar temptations, don’t be discouraged and succumb to seeing yourself as a sinner or failure. Those temptations or inclinations are only the residues of your old sinful nature, but they are not you. You are righteous in Christ. So in your heart, see yourself righteous, blameless, and lovable in God’s sight.

Should feelings of depression or condemnation come, know that these feelings will also pass. Instead of defining yourself by them, define yourself by what God says about you in His Word. Define yourself, see yourself, and declare yourself a new creation—righteous, glorious, and victorious in the Lord Jesus.

The more you see, believe, and speak forth the truth about your unshakable identity in Christ, the more you will find that sin no longer has dominion over you!

We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.

© Copyright Joseph Prince 2021
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.