For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. - Romans 8: 15 (KJV) Let me begin today by exclaiming that God is our Father! He created us. He cares for us as our Father. He loves us as our Father. This is not an exercise in saying one name for God is better or more important than another. They all matter because they all are who our God is. He is our provider. He is our banner. He is our righteousness. He is our deliverer. He is our Lord. He is our King. He is our Father. The second observation I would like to state is that the sermon I am commenting on today, while containing some factual and hermeneutical errors, is not necessarily a big deal on its own. Within the overall context of balanced theology, there is absolutely nothing wrong with reminding us that God is our Father and we can go to Him as such. Images of the Father in the Prodigal Son comes to mind when I consider God as our Father. Always searching the horizon for His child to come back home. It is a glorious presentation of the Father's love and willingness to accept back His wayward children. That being said, the problem is that this sermon is given by Joseph Prince and he has an overall gospel that is contrary to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Prince openly admits that he has been given a different gospel, a gospel of grace, through divine revelation. Unfortunately for Prince, this definition renders his entire gospel as anathema according to the Bible: But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. - Galatians 1: 8-9 (ESV) In previous discussions regarding the divinely revealed "gospel of grace" that Prince preaches we have seen the necessity to twist and contort the Word of God in order to fit the revelation. This is of course an extremely dangerous habit to engage in as a preacher. We should always approach the Word of God wanting to hear what God wants to say - not trying to prove what position we might already hold. We have seen Prince twist the parable of the 99 and the 1 into a new definition of repentance; meaning just consenting to be loved. We have seen him twist the verse in Revelation from Jesus about spewing the lukewarmness of the Laodicean Church into yet another poor comparison of law and grace. How we handle the Word of God is extremely important. Mishandling it leads people astray. People led astray may very well end up with them on the last day saying - "Lord Lord." Here is a link to the sermon from Prince we will be discussing today: We must remember that a major part of the problem within hyper-grace is that it seeks to change the nature of God by overly focusing on the positive and pretending the negative no longer pertains to believers. I have heard hyper-grace preachers flat out say that Christians should discard the Ten Commandments. So within hyper-grace God is always love and His wrath is always for someone else. Recently I wrote about Prince preaching that Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 must have been unbelievers because God would not pour His wrath out on them as such if they were. Any coherent, competent reading of Acts 5 in context clearly reveals that Ananias and Sapphira were in fact believers. But when your job is selling hyper-grace they cannot be or else your whole gospel is revealed to be a fraud. In this latest sermon Prince is determined to "daddify" God into this sugar coated caricature that fits his hyper-grace model. Listen to the sermon snippet, as it is less than 10 minutes and then let us consider the following: 1) The term "abba" does NOT mean daddy. I know this will come as a shock to many but if you do your research and check with language experts you will discover as I did that abba does not mean daddy. It actually does not even require that much in depth research. Barnes Note on the Bible for example: Abba This word is Chaldee (אבא abba), and means "father." Why the apostle repeats the word in a different language, is not known. The Syriac reads it. "By which we call the Father our Father." It is probable that the repetition here denotes merely intensity, and is designed to denote the interest with which a Christian dwells on the name, in the spirit of an affectionate, tender child. It is not unusual to repeat such terms of affection; compare Matthew 7:22; Psalm 8:1. This is an evidence of piety that is easily applied. He that can in sincerity, and with ardent affection apply this term to God, addressing him with a filial spirit as his Father, has the spirit of a Christian. Every child of God has this spirit; and he that has it not is a stranger to piety. The usage of the word father in the text is greek, so essentially Paul presents two words, both meaning father, in two distinct languages. As Barnes points out, it may be for effect, even childlike, but the word remains father. The best translation is probably "dearest father." As far as linguistics go, Greek has a word for daddy; pappas. Is this a big deal? Well, it seems to be the crux of the argument presented by Prince. But rest assured Joseph Prince always must bring every message back to the premise of hyper grace. 2) He gets there about half way through this clip when he declares that the entire context of Romans 8:15 is speaking against fearing God. He is correct in pointing out that it deals with a bondage to sin and law and that the grace of God has set us free but the overall statement urging listeners to no longer fear God is not only inaccurate biblically but it is pure folly. The Bible still says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and that we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. There is nothing in Romans 8:15 that changes these verses. 3) Prince goes on to discuss excerpts from Matthew 6 about God feeding the birds of the air and that surely He cares more for you. All true but being used here in another attempt to slather everyone so much with the love of God while avoiding the context. Prince never goes down a couple lines where Jesus summarizes these thoughts: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. - Matthew 6: 33 (ESV) Seek His grace? No - seek His righteousness! Prince never skips to the next chapter, which is still the same Sermon on the Mount where Jesus warns about people who think they are heaven bound but are not: And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ - Matthew 7: 23 (ESV) Why are they not heaven bound? Lawlessness! Well that doesn't fit the hyper-grace model too well! Beloved, is this one sermon in and of itself problematic? Not really. It is poorly put together, especially when he claims that the name "Father" is greater than all of the Old Testament names for God. But therein lies the problem. The gospel Prince teaches affirms that this New Testament god is greater than the Old Testament God. No need to call Him Lord or revere Him - just cry out daddy daddy. But Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. I do not need a revelation given to Joseph Prince because I have all of God's revealed will right here in the Bible. Even under the umbrella of fathership, Prince misses the larger picture: It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. - Hebrews 12: 7-11 (ESV) No good father would ignore the behavior of his child. No good father would spare the rod. The entire foundation of the hyper-grace message falls apart when you look at the totality of Scripture. It is maddening to talk to someone who has drank the Prince kool-aid because all they can do is sputter out any Bible verse that contains the word "grace" as if those in disagreement somehow disagree with grace. We do not. We disagree with those who would cheapen it. Those who would cheapen the work of the cross. Those such as Joseph Prince. Rev. Anthony.