Joseph Prince’s Gospel Of Grace Is Another Gospel – By Lim Ban Seng (Dated 1 Jan 2021)
“In Joseph Prince’s Sunday sermon on 22 November 2020, he referred to Galatians 5:4 “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
Commenting on a person who has fallen from grace, he commented: “This is a very sad situation to be in. We certainly want Christ to have an effect in our lives, whether in the area of healing, provision, or deliverance!”
He said that Christ having an effect as mentioned in Galatians 5:4 is about physical “healing, provision, or deliverance”.
Let’s look at the verse carefully. It says “Christ is become of no effect” when you seek to be “justified by the law”, and when you seek to be “justified by the law” you are said to have fallen from grace, that is, from the gospel of grace which Paul preaches to the Galatians.
At the heart of this verse is the issue of how believers can be justified (or made righteous) before God. It is in the verse. And it is further confirmed by the verse that follows: Galatians 5:5, “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.”
Galatians 5:4 does not say anything about physical and material blessings on earth. It is about man’s eternal destiny and standing before God. It is warning against falling from the teaching of grace into seeking justification by the works of the law. It does not teach anything about missing out on any physical and material blessings that flow from the death of Christ on the cross.
The gospel to the Galatians is that Christ has an everlasting effect on their lives by taking away the curse of the law on the cross: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us …” (Galatians 3:13).
Joseph Prince changes that gospel by adding that when Christ took away the curse of the law, the effect of Christ on your lives is in terms of temporal physical healing, temporal provision of physical abundance and temporal deliverance from physical sufferings and dangers.
No doubt many of his followers would have unknowingly nodded in agreement to the enticing material earthly rewards that Joseph Prince promised – which are not taught in the gospel of grace preached by Paul to the Galatians.
The problem is not that Joseph Prince does not talk about grace or the cross. The problem is that while talking a lot about grace and about the cross, he invariably links them to physical healing, physical provision and physical deliverance.
For instance, this is also what he weaved into his Sunday sermon on 22 November 2020: “Your part is not to earn God’s blessings but to simply receive them by grace. Everything we receive from God is by grace. That includes … healing, provision, good success, happy and healthy relationships, etc. All these blessings are unearned, undeserved, and unmerited.”
This is very subtle: Joseph Prince actually mixes two kinds of grace and makes his followers think that it is all one and the same thing. There are times when he talks about the grace of God in terms of eternal salvation through the death of Christ on the cross. But much of the time, he dwells on his own invention of a grace of God which made possible a channel of physical and material blessings which he claimed are brought about by Christ’s death on the cross.
Galatians 5:9 “A little leaven (false teaching) leaveneth (turns into false teaching) the whole lump (the whole message of the gospel).”
The unbelieving Jews in Galatians used the same gospel which Paul preached but added physical circumcision which was part of God’s dealings with the nation of Israel.
Paul said to the Galatians who were swayed: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that … would pervert the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6,7)
The Galatians heard the gospel of grace but they were taught to believe that they needed physical circumcision as well. Paul said it became another gospel even though it may not appear to be another.
Similarly, Joseph Prince uses the same gospel that Paul preaches but he adds the physical and material blessings which were part of God’s dealings with the nation of Israel.
The real gospel that Joseph Prince preaches is “Come believing because God wants to shower you with abundant physical and material blessings” or “Christ died on the cross so that you can be spared physical suffering, physical deprivations or material failures in your life.”
Joseph Prince emphasizes that the cross brings more than just eternal spiritual salvation. And it is this “more” part that rings the loudest in his preaching career. Week after week, and on many occasions including wedding celebrations, he encouraged his followers to assume, think and believe that they can and should expect an outpouring of physical and material benefits from the death of Christ on the cross. Whether it’s through just declaring it or using Holy Communion or using anointing oil or just listening to and believing his renderings of numerous Bible verses.
Tragically for many of his followers this “more” part is what they would have come or will come to regard as the core of the gospel of Christ. But Paul said, it is another gospel.
It is quite clear that Joseph Prince is preaching another gospel when he said this in his Sunday sermon on 11 October 2020: “If the gospel you’re hearing does not result in salvation (prosperity, wholeness, saving, and deliverance in every area), then it’s not the true gospel you’re hearing.”
Lim Ban Seng
Attending Grace Fellowship, Singapore