Pastors Joseph Prince, Darren Sim and Ray Watson, at the New Creation Church pastors luncheon in Singapore, July 2011.
In July 2011 we visited Pastor Joseph Prince’s New Creation church in Singapore. After spending time with Pastor Prince and discussing at length the importance of teaching the grace message, as we were parting he said to me, “You now have a responsibility to take the grace message to New Zealand.” My wife and I are passionate about this, as our own lives have been greatly impacted by his teaching, and we would love to see New Zealand come into the fullness of everything that God has planned for us as a nation.
At Pursuit Church, (Auckland, New Zealand) we love to teach on the wonderful gift of God's amazing grace and the righteousness of God imputed to every believer. We hold firm to the belief that such teaching produces victorious Christians, destined to reign with Christ in this life.
The article below is a summary of the transcript of Pastor Ray’s teaching on the doctrines of grace following his visit to Pastor Joseph Prince’s New Creation church in Singapore, July 2011.
The doctrine of grace is not a message it’s a person. Paul said he preached nothing but Christ and Him crucified. I have often wondered how this could be, to preach nothing but Christ and Him crucified. The answer is to have Jesus as the focal point of all that we teach. When you realise that grace is not just a message, it is the person of Jesus Christ, then you cannot separate the two. When you separate the two, that’s when you have error. Sometimes when the gospel is preached, you don’t sense the presence of Jesus. You know then, that even though the “gospel of grace” is being preached, something is missing.
The grace culture does not mean you do not correct people, but the pulpit is meant for feeding not telling people off. There are many preachers who mean well, but their books and messages have caused much harm, brought bondage and legalism, and we don’t recommend you just wander on down to the local book shop without some discernment in these matters.
God gave the law to bring man to the end of himself. Before the Law man’s relationship with God was based on grace, but at Sinai everything changed. At the foot of Mt. Sinai the Israelites told Moses, “All that God commands we are well able to do.” That was the beginning of the Law. God in effect said, “If you want to have fellowship with me on the basis of holiness, here is my list.” Jesus came to restore grace to our relationship with God. Unfortunately, many in the Body of Christ, while believing themselves to be New Testament believers, are still living under the Law – they perceive their right standing with God to be dependent on their performance.
Self-control is a fruit. So much christian effort is of the flesh and profits nothing.
I asked the importance of praying in tongues. Praying in Jesus name, is not just using Jesus name in the prayer, but it is a new kind of prayer as a result of Jesus coming and sending the Holy Spirit. The gospel of grace came to Paul after a long season of praying in tongues. You get revelation after praying in tongues.
David said, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute sin.”
If you read the book of Hebrews you only hear the faith report of these heroes of faith, but they had many failures. In the hall of faith God does not impute or record sin. When people fail, don’t notice. When they do well, never forget. If people make mistakes you just treat them as if they haven’t. That is grace. God does not impute sin and neither should we. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t deal with issues, but it’s the heart we’re talking about. The heart of judgement has to come out of the church.
I have stopped asking God for forgiveness. Now that is a challenge to our religious tradition! But God has already forgiven all our sins past present and future. I continually thank Him for my forgiveness and right-standing with God through the cross, but continual confession of sin only brings sin-consciousness. Paul does not mention confessing sins in his writings. This does not mean we take sin lightly, or do not make every effort to maintain our walk with the Lord. But an over-emphasis on confessing sin has crippled the church. When you preach messages like this, unfortunately there will always be someone who misunderstands what you are saying. Martin Lloyd Jones once said words to the effect, “When you preach grace, if you are not being misunderstood then you are not preaching the gospel of grace that Paul preached.”
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He can go into your past, present and future. He goes into your past to affect whatever is affecting your present and future. This type of grace based teaching gives us hope.
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