Creflo Dollar - Understanding the Trials of Faith - Part 4
The highest kind of faith is rest. Rest becomes the authentication of your belief. How do you know you believe what Jesus believed? Look at me, do you see... am I worried? Am I tripping out? No, I'm not worried, no, no. Somebody says, "Well, you know you got this, you're gonna die". Well, no, Jesus believes that I'm healed, and I believe what Jesus believes and therefore I'm healed. Later. My whole faith life is now I live, I live by the faith of Jesus Christ. I have faith in the faith of Jesus Christ. Here's what happens to a lot of Christians, when you have faith in your faith and you don't see Jesus nowhere, it's like why do you frustrate the grace of God and go back to relying on yourself instead of relying on Jesus?
When you rely on Jesus, it's already done. When you rely on yourself, you're trying to manufacture it. My faith is in his finished works. It's done. The New Testament Christians, the New Testament Christians should be walking around chilling, and instead, you're walking around sweating. Greatest day of my life is when I realized that when I thought I was struggling believing that this can happen, that I went and checked Jesus out. And I saw, oh, he already believes that this has happened to the point where he's made it available. Don't let me find a Scripture where it's already done, because I now, in the New Testament, rest in the faith of Jesus and in what Jesus has already done.
Catch yourself the next time you find yourself sweating trying to get something to happen. Catch yourself the next time where you got five steps trying to make these five steps work. Catch it the next time you time your prayer and say, "If I can pray for two hours at least, God got to do something". God done already done whatever you think he got to do. But now you're going back and forth with having faith in your faith instead of having faith in the finished works of Jesus Christ. We live by the faith of Jesus Christ. Does that make sense? They could not live by the faith of Jesus Christ because there was no manifestation of Jesus Christ. Jesus had not yet died yet. He had not yet shed his blood yet. He had not yet finished nothing.
What do you think he said when he got on the cross and says, "It is finished"? What do you think he was talking about? Life is over? No. He says, "I came here to do a job. Healing is finished. Deliverance is finished. You being made righteous is finished. It is finished, it is finished, it is finished". And we rise up when he says, "it is finished," and we say, "We're working on it". He says it's finished. "Well, one day I'mma prosper". No, he said it's finished. "Well, I'll be healed after a while in the sweet by and by". He said it's finished. You gotta get with him. He lives in you. He moves you. In him we move. In him we breathe. In him we have our very being. It's never happened before what the divinity of God has become one with the humanity of a man. Glory to God.
Man and God are now one, and God is now functioning through a body. He made a new creation. The old you had to pass away, and the new you had to come forth. And now the new you, the creation that came from God's union with you, is working itself out. It's infecting your soul. It's now infecting your actions, infecting your body. And when you turn into this man that's never existed before, you won't be able to give yourself credit, but you'll only have to look at him and say, "This is the Lord's doing, and it's marvelous in our eyes". Now you gotta retrain yourself. I'm retraining my thinking. I don't even want to say, "I have faith that this is gonna happen". I want to say, "I have faith in what Jesus has already caused to happen". Or "I take rest in what has already happened". You gotta change your vocabulary, 'cause it keeps taking you back B.C. The new believer is not to have faith in B.C. The new believer's faith is in A.D. "Well, I don't know about all that".
That's 'cause you still trying to get credit for what you have done, which means when I start talking about sufferings, you gonna have to go through some stuff, 'cause we got to burn that self-confidence out of you until you can come to the place where you can totally depend on God. You arrogant Christians, you gotta go through the fire. You gotta go through fire until you can come to the place where you realize, "It's not by my might and my power. I'm totally dependent on God". Some of you have found your place in the arrogance of your performance. And God got to show you, it ain't never you. It's always him. Now, it might have just happened to you, but he made it happen 2,000 years ago. He got to get the glory. Why you keep trying to find a place to give yourself glory for something you are not responsible for? "Well, it was my faith that made it happen". No, no, contrary to popular opinion, it was his faith.
You just had to learn how to rest in what he already finished. Oh, that disappoints some Christians, because your whole identity is in your performance. "Look at me. Look at what I have done. I pray five hours a day. Look at me, look at what I've done. I've not missed church in ten years. Look at me. Look at what I have done. I know the Greek and the Hebrew. Look at me. Look at what I have done. All yes, God surely loves me because this, this, this, this". And you go bragging on all your works when Jesus said, "The only work I want from you is to believe in the one that I sent you".
Now, look at Galatians chapter 3. I've explained it, now you gotta decide whether you're gonna do it. I'm not going back to me depending on the self-effort sweat of my faith and trust in God when I got something better. I have the promise. I have the promise. Old Testament saints did not have the promise. They trusted God, and they believed in God, and they died with good report, but they did not have the promise, and you and I do. And we live by the faith of Jesus Christ. Say "I live by the faith of Jesus Christ". Say it again. "I live by the faith of Jesus Christ". Christ lives in me.
The most fascinating thing that could ever happen is God kind moved into mankind, and he now can function... Oh, my God. So, that's why you gotta be careful, because you know Satan ain't nothing but a copycat. He said, "Well, I'm gonna try to move in some of that mankind, too," and some of y'all let him. I don't believe in the devil. Then you need to look in the mirror one of them day when you acing crazy. All right, now, watch this. So, in Galatians 3:22, we live by the faith of Jesus Christ. Say that, "I live by the faith of Jesus Christ". Which simply means I live by all of the finished work of Jesus. See, the faith of the Old Testament saints were using their faith and trust to try to see these things come to pass, but the faith of Jesus has already caused them to come to pass. And we live by faith in Jesus Christ and that it's finished.
It changes everything. It changes the way you pray, it changes your confession, it changes the way you live, because you're no longer trying to go and manufacture something, it's already been manufactured. You're just now, your faith is now just, it's a transactional faith to get through rest, glory to God, the currency, to get through rest, the currency, what Jesus has already done and finished. Now, verse 22, "But the Scripture has concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe". All of the promises that are by faith of Jesus Christ are given to them that believe. So every promise that was by the faith of Jesus Christ is available for all of them that believe. Somebody say, "I believe".
All right, now watch this is interesting. "But before faith came". What? "But before faith came". Huh? What he talking about? Then gonna remember the name, "What you talkin' 'bout, Willis"? But before faith came. So there was a time that this faith had not arrived yet. Well, what was up before faith came? We were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster. Before faith came, the law that came by Moses was our schoolmaster, and the law was given not to perfect you, it was given to show you all your issues and ultimately would be responsible for your condemnation, it would be responsible for your guilt, would be responsible for your sin-consciousness. The law wasn't given to make you righteous, because if the law was given to make you righteous, then all we had to do is keep the law and we would be made righteous. "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us into Christ, that we might be justified by faith".
Now, let's go back 22. Let me read it in another translation so you can follow along, and I don't have to dissect a lot of this. Let's go to the New Living Translation in verse 22. He says, "But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin". So before Jesus came, we were all prisoners of sin. Nobody was getting born again before Jesus came. That's why this great gulf, Abraham's bosom, that was in the region of hell. It was the upper region divided by a great gulf, but nobody was getting born again before Jesus showed up and died and rose again. Nope, that didn't happen. But the Scripture declares we were all prisoners of sin.
So we receive God's promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. You are still a prisoner of sin until you believe in Jesus Christ, the promise. Every man and woman, boy and girl that's walking on this planet and they are struggling or have not or will not believe in Jesus Christ, they are still prisoners of sin. Now, here's the crazy part about it is that people that may be members of churches that believe more in their performance and not believe in Jesus Christ are still prisoners of sin. The only way you can get out of prison is you gotta believe in Jesus Christ. I said the only way you gonna get out of prison is you gotta believe in Jesus Christ.
"Well, I don't know about Jesus Christ". "You're a prisoner of sin, and you're going to hell". "Oh, now, wait a minute". No, no, no, no, no, no. You're not going to hell because of what you did and what you didn't do. You going to hell because you rejecting the only solution, the only way out. When you reject Jesus, you reject your peace offering, your sin offering. You reject Jesus. The only way to heaven is by believing Jesus Christ. The way to hell is rejecting Jesus Christ. So all you smart people that don't believe in Jesus, I would say I'll see you in hell, but I ain't planning on going. I believe in Jesus. He said before the way of faith, all right, notice, before the way of faith in Christ. You paying attention to the tense? He's talking about this faith that wasn't there before Christ.
Before the way of Christ was available to us, it is available to us, before that we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. 24, "Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came". He calls Christ faith, because the sum total of your faith in this life is him. It's him. And that's why there are Antichrists in the world. That's why, people, there are people in the world doing everything they can to get you to be religious without Christ. They're preaching, "Ain't no Jesus. Don't believe in Jesus. Jesus was a white man. Jesus, you know, wasn't really, you know, a Savior. Jesus"... Ah! You think I give a hill of beans about what color Jesus was? I don't care if he mixed blue with a touch a burgundy around his hair, it don't make me no... How you gonna enter a racist statement like that about Jesus? Anything to get you to reject him. That's a spirit of the Antichrist.
You got people talking about, "Well, Jesus can't be the only way". I'm sorry, he is. The Bible says "No man can come to the Father except by me," Jesus said. The only way you get to the Father is through Jesus! Like it or not, he is the only way! If you don't believe me, die! He's been dogged out. He's been beat up. He's been talked about. He's been lied about. But oh, in the 2022, you're about to see that knees are gonna bow and tongues are gonna confess that Jesus is Lord. Your cousin who didn't want Jesus is gonna take Jesus. Your old auntie that didn't want Jesus gonna get Jesus. Your friend gonna get Jesus. Through his goodness, he's gonna cause men to repent and change their mind. He said, he said, "Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God," through faith, through faith.
And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as a guardian. Now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as a guardian. "For you are all children of God". How? Through faith in Christ Jesus, I have faith in him. Next verse, "You're all children of God. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ like putting on new clothes. There is no longer a Jew or Gentile emphasis. There is no longer slave or free emphasis. There are no longer male and female emphasis. For you are all one in Christ. And now that you belong to Christ, now you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God's promises to Abraham belongs to you".
I know, I know, I know. This is like Lord have mercy, what are you talking about? And if you don't get on this intentionally to renew your mind with it, you're gonna stay stuck in an era and a season before the promise. And it's almost like a frustration of the grace of God. He gave you Jesus, and you won't receive him. Let me jot some notes to re-emphasize some of this stuff. I jotted some notes down to re-emphasize some of the stuff that I said. Go to 1 Corinthians chapter 6 and 17. Christian faith is the receptivity whereby spiritual union and communion is effective between Christ and the Christian. That's what Christian faith is. Christian faith is about receiving this union between Christ and Christians.
1 Corinthians 6, verse 17 says, "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit". Who ever heard of that before? See, you take it for granted the fact that you can be joined to the Lord, and he moves on the inside of you. That was not possible with Old Testament saints. The divine being, God, is allowed to function within a human being, which is God's intent for mankind, for him to be allowed to function within human being. I tell you, "God, I yield to you".
When you yield to something, you let them go first. And yield to the Holy Spirit is allowing the Holy Spirit to go first as a leader. Let the Holy Spirit begin to lead you. You're gonna need the Holy Spirit in these days. This is Scripture, guys. The Holy Spirit will let you know when something's a lie. And the Holy Spirit will let you know when something's the truth. But if you're just trying to live by your humanity and you're trying to stay, keep the Holy Spirit quiet, he'll tell you, show you the truth, and he'll show you things to come. And you can't live the rest of your life with this symbolic representation of the Holy Spirit but not yield and allow him to function. You need to let him do that.