Joseph Prince from New Creation Church in Singapore has preached at Oslo Christian Center at several occasions. He shared the following message a couple of years ago, and is one of many messages from him that have had an immense impact on my life and led me from legalism into the grace walk.
In Matt 8:5-13 we find the story where Jesus healed the centurion’s son. Jesus gave the man the testimony that he possessed great faith. From the communication between the centurion and Jesus we might get the impression that he was given this testimony because he had understood how obedience and authority are interconnected, and that he knew this due to the fact that he himself had authority and was under authority. Many have deduced from this that we lose authority and diminish our faith when we are disobedient to God and sin.
There is, however, at least one more person in the New Testament who Jesus praised for having great faith. We find the story about the woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years in Matt 9:20-22. She was very poor and had spent all her money on doctors. She had no authority and was not under any authority, and there were not any other factors in her life which resembled the centurion’s. Joseph Prince thought this odd and therefore asked the Holy Spirit to enlighten him on what the common denominator between those two persons was, and what made them both receive the same testimony.
Both were Gentiles, was the answer Prince was given. It means that none of them had any part in the Jewish heritage. They were neither familiar with the Ten Commandments nor the Moses Law. They owned a simple and pure faith in Jesus, that He was the person he claimed to be and that He was empowered to work miracles. The Holy Spirit obviously wanted to accentuate the point that if we put ourselves under the law we are under condemnation and without faith. Instead of a simple faith in Jesus we believe that we are entitled to God’s favor by keeping the Law. In John Jesus repeatedly says that there exists only one kind of obedience that God is interested in, which is the obedience of faith that states that Jesus is all we need.
We are Gentiles. We have never received the Ten Commandments or the Moses Law. After several centuries with law preaching, however, the Law has become a part of our nature and culture. There is perhaps no wonder why there is so little faith among us. People are in desperate need for this revelation which tells them that it is the Law and not sin that keeps God’s blessings from them, because the Law was fulfilled by Jesus at the cross and sin was annihilated through Jesus at the cross.