Finally Understanding The Gift Of Righteousness And Experiencing Abundant Grace
I used to attend a church that preached a mixture of condemnation and grace. The longer I stayed in that church, the more condemned I felt. It came to a point where I was so afraid of my church leaders that I prayed to God to get me out of the grip of condemnation that I felt being under them.
I did not expect to even leave that church, much less my home country. But the Lord miraculously gave my husband an outrageously generous, out of this world, job offer in the United States (US). So my husband and I moved from Hong Kong all the way to the US.
However, I remained severely depressed for a long time. Though the voices of my condemning leaders were gone, the voice of condemnation did not stop. Whenever I thought about my previous church, tears would run down my face for a few hours. The sadness was too much to bear. I couldn’t find comfort in reading the Bible because I would remember the way it was interpreted—always condemning, fault-finding and accusatory. I prayed to God for a way out.
One day, as I was surfing on the Internet to do some research for my music assignment, I came upon the word “JUSTIFIED.” The passage I was reading had nothing to do with faith but yet, the word stirred something inside me and immediately, I was crying non-stop.
I started to have this little argument with God: “I don’t believe You. Don’t tell me that I’m justified. This is not what my church leaders have told me. They said that I have to obey them to perfection in order to be justified!”
I continued crying until I tired out and then, in the silence following, I heard the word “justified” spoken to me softly yet very affirmatively in my spirit. I didn’t argue anymore but just accepted it, even though I still didn’t understand what God seemed to be saying to me.
I asked the Lord to reveal to me what was going on and shortly after that incident, I stumbled upon Pastor Joseph Prince’s preaching on YouTube in April 2010. At that time, I didn’t know him and I have no idea how I ended up clicking on his sermon. Just as I was about to click away from his sermon, I heard Pastor Prince speaking on the subject of justification! My goodness! The Lord was revealing the answer to my prayer! So I stayed on.
In his message, Pastor Prince explained how the lamb was used as a sacrifice in ancient Israel to justify those who broke the law. I was crying as I heard it. I finally understood, without a doubt, that I am justified by the blood of the Lamb of God, Christ, even though I am still not perfect in my conduct! My life changed so dramatically after that episode. I began to watch all of Pastor Prince’s sermons on whatever media they were made available on because the Spirit in me kept bearing witness that all I heard him preach is true.
Now, the Bible has become so dear to me. Every time I read it, I get revelation after revelation of His grace and loving kindness. The fulfilment that comes from reading and hearing His Word is so satisfying.
The years of living under condemnation had caused me to age very quickly. But ever since I began partaking of the Holy Communion, I’m looking more and more youthful and energetic. I’ve learned to rest in Jesus, and the pain and discomfort I was feeling all over my body disappeared without me realizing it. Pastor Prince’s preaching of Jesus and His loveliness has caused me to focus on the Lord Himself. I was so preoccupied, so captivated by His beauty that I’d forgotten about the pain, and the pain left on its own.
Since I started to pursue His righteousness instead of mine, I’m also always at the right place at the right time to experience miracles. They are too many for me to include here but they range from big issues like buying/selling our house or finding a new job, to small, trivial matters like getting our cat temporary lodging during our move. It no longer matters whether we are able to do everything the right way as all things work together for our benefit. We always end up getting the best price, best house, best job offer—the best of everything beyond our imagination, all of which we do not deserve.
It is just amazing to live a life under the abundance of His grace and gift of righteousness! I want to thank Pastor Prince for expounding the beauty of Christ and the perfection of His finished work. It is the knowledge of Jesus Himself that lifted me out of deep depression and despair to a path of joy, peace and hope. It’s the best thing that has ever happened in my life!
Thank you, Pastor Prince. And all glory be to my dear loving Savior, Jesus!
New Jersey, United States