Creflo Dollar - The Full Meaning of Grace - Part 2
God's love was expressed through his grace, so grace is God's love in action. Grace is God's love in action. Think about some of the stuff that God has done for you since you've been born again, grace is his love in action. Think about when you were on the brink of life and just couldn't figure it out, and you done tried your best and you didn't know, and you thought that God didn't love you, and you walked in condemnation, and you walked in shame, and you were so condemned and so beat up, and you were trying to live right, and you were trying to do the Word, and you were trying to come to church and be a good church member, trying to be a good choir member, trying to be a good usher member, you were trying, and somewhere in there in your life, Satan convinced you that you ain't all right with God no more.
Satan convinced you that no, no, no, you ain't going to heaven no more. Satan convinced you no, no, no, no, no, no, no, God can't bless you no more. I mean, listen, I was in the ministry and questioned, am I gonna make It? Am I gonna make it Lord? 'Cause some people think, well, you know, preachers gonna automatically... No, I know some preachers who ain't even saved. But the grace of God, God expressed his love through his grace, and he saved them. He saved those guys, and I get so excited anytime I hear of any preacher, who's a New Testament preacher, who've decided to preach Jesus Christ and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ 'cause that's the gospel. That's the gospel. Okay, let's go to the second piece, the second slice of this definition of grace.
The first slice of course was grace is the operation of God's love. Here's the second slice, this is important. God's love is infinite. God's love is infinite. Look at 1 John, I think 1 John 4:16 in the NLT if you have that Bible. God's love is infinite. Now why is that so important? Well, look at this, he says, "We know how much God loves us". I pause because I don't think a lot of people know how much God loves them. "We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love".
See, we spent so much time, religion, religion had us spending so much time on the issue of how much you love God, and the issue is not how much you love God, the issue is how much do you believe that God loves you? See that's where the devil was attacking people. They were getting people convinced that you have done something and now God don't love you no more. No, no, no, no. The issue is, will you believe the love that God has for you? That's where the power is. Do you believe that God loves you?
I believe God loves me; therefore, I believe what God says in his Word. I believe God loves me; therefore, I believe he'll heal me. I believe God loves me; therefore, I believe he will prosper me. You won't go around talking about, well, maybe God doing this to punish me and to show me something. I believe God loves me; therefore, I believe I'm not gonna die of this cancer cause God loves me praise God. I believe God loves me and so if you got corona sometime in that whole process, I believe God loves me; therefore, I'm coming out of this praise God. I believe God loves me; therefore, somehow I'm gonna pay these bills, I don't know where it's gonna come from but I do know God loves me. I believe God loves me you're in jail and somehow or another I'm gonna get up out of this and get vindicated. I believe God loves me and when you believe the love that God has for you you'll believe the power.
We know how much God loves us and we have put our trust in his love, "God is love, and all who live in love, live in God, and God lives in them". Something missing. When our Christianity is all about how much more money we can get, how successful we can be, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Your Christianity should be clearly defined by the love that we have for one another. Yeah, you don't ever get no shouts on that one do you? How much love we have for one another. God is looking to see how we treat one another, he died for his enemies. You don't even speak to yours. You ain't even thought about doing nothing.
Well, I ain't got no enemies. Yes you do. You sitting here minding your business at church somebody talking about you, you just don't know they talking about you, but we walk in love. It doesn't matter. We walk on a higher level, God is love and his love is so powerful it must infect us. I pray that you all will be infected by love and that we'll have a pandemic of the love of God that you catch love, glory be to God. That you catch love praise God. I've learned in my life that in order for me to do that, I gotta let stuff go. I can't, if people will keep stuff, all that's gonna do is infect you with the wrong kind of stuff and then you gonna end up by yourself because ain't nobody got time for that. I love you, but I'm not gonna love you in a situation where you know, instead of you forgiving me, you for sale your forgiveness. I'll forgive you if you do these three things. That ain't no forgiveness that's for sale.
You said, if I for sale these three things then you'll forgive me, that's not what love is. Love is patient, it's kind, it's long suffering, it's all the things that church people don't appear to be these days. So as God is infinite, so are his attributes, so is his characteristics. God is infinite his love then is infinite. Therefore that love which he is must be infinite. This love is infinite and again, God's love is infinite because the measure of it, his only begotten son is infinite. There is no dead end for God's love, uh uh. I don't care how crazy you get or do, there is no crazy that can be produced from a man that will ever block up, stop up God's love. The grace of God, flowing from infinite love is inexhaustible. Can't be stopped. It can never fail.
And this is the grace that he has began to seek upon your life who believe in him. I am now gonna deal with you with love that that's inexhaustible. I'm gonna deal with you with love that cannot fail. My love cannot fail. Now here's the problem, as Christians people, we've not known how to receive that love by faith. And I just showed you, Lord I believe you love me. I believe you love me, Lord so you're not gonna let me be a complainer all my life. I believe you love me Lord, so you're gonna show me how to live my life away from my past, I think I prayed this, this morning. I can't alter my past, but I can bring my past to the altar and his love never fails. That's the grace of God, I believe the love. Say it, say, "I believe the love". Say it again, "I believe the love". Say it again, "I believe the love".
That's how you receive that. You have to remind yourself over and over again, I believe God loves me, I know God loves me. In the midst of crazy time, I do not know, the lights just went out and you don't know, you have nothing to pay those bills, God loves me that's why there's gonna be a way he's gonna make a way for me to be able to get outta this. God loves me, that's why I'm gonna operate in promotion. God loves me, that's why I'm gonna be the best husband, the best wife, the best children. God loves me and so it's, he can't fail. So I can't do nothing and won't do nothing without reminding myself he loves me, especially when I get concerned, and when I get hurt, I have to remind myself, God loves me, God loves me, God loves me. I mean, my wife will tell you for about a week or two, I wasn't sleeping too good.
And I just got in the Word, cause God loves me. God loves me, I don't need to be going around talking about all of the scientific reasons for why I ain't sleeping. That ain't helping me, I'm sleepy. And I got into Word and I looked up every scripture I could find on sleep. And the one that did it for me was when my head hits the pillow, I lie down in peace and my sleep shall be sweet. Man, when I got that verse, 8 hours that came up, I wanted to take a picture and put it on Instagram or whatever. Taffi, here, send this out let everybody see, just show them the time I got up this morning. And you know what I did, I just started praising God for his love. You love me, this can't go on. You love me because you love me, we gonna figure whatever, you love me.
Those of you looking for a job, God loves you and God wants you to have the best job, he wants you to have a job where you can state your own salary. He wants you to have a job where you can state your own salary, state your own situation, they gonna come up to you and tell you, you wanna work home and you want an office. I wanna stay, I wanna stay home. What else do you want? You need a car to get around and what else do you want. We know somebody that they did it, they got everything they wanted. They got a bigger salary and they ask, what else can we do for you? What else can we do for you? That's the inexhaustible love of God, that's the grace of God. It wasn't because you were so outstanding, it's because he's so outstanding.
Alright, number three. So we know grace is the operation of God's love, it is infinite, it never can fail, here we go. Number three, it's unmerited. Now this is the part that's gotten us I believe in church, it's unmerited. It's undeserved, it's unearned, you can't qualify for this. See, man can do nothing or contribute nothing to that which God does in grace and nor do we do anything to merit it or deserve it. You can't contribute nothing. We think we can, because religion's taught us do these three things and that'll happen, do this and that'll happen, do this and none of those come out of your heart, it's coming out of an attempt to try to get God to do something for you.
Look at Romans 11:6 in the NLT, Romans 4:4 in NLT and Luke chapter 18 and I'll give you verse in NLT. Man can do nothing or contribute nothing to that which God does in grace. So everything that God does for us, he does it in grace and you still think you're contributing something. Somehow you trying to brag on something that God did. Oh, the reason why that happened 'cause see, what you don't know is I went on a 5 day fast, didn't even have no water. You can't contribute anything to which God has decided to do by grace. He's already, whatever issue you're facing, he's already decided for the best outcome for you. And you think you can make God do it and then we got to the point where we think we can be like God without God and that's called religion.
Look at this in verse 6, "And since it is through God's kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case God's grace would not be what it really is free and undeserved". His grace is free and undeserved. His grace is unmerited. His grace is without your contributions. At this point, somebody said, "Well, what do you do, then"? If you're spending all this time with God, the only thing left for you to do is just flow with him. Do what he tells you to do, don't go out and try to fix, what we do, we've been trying to do something trying to make him do something instead of working with him. You have plenty to do, God will tell you to do this, he'll tell you to do that here, just flow with God, just do what God tell you to do. Just walk in this wonderful obedience, towards the Holy Spirit as he leads and guides you along the way.
What gets you is this, you can't figure out how to do something where you can't boast about it. You know, church folk love to boast about what they did. You can't do it, the Bible says we're saved by grace, we get it through faith lest man should boast. You know what it did, he said the grace gave you salvation, you ain't got nothing to boast about, 'cause you didn't have nothing to do with it. You didn't deserve it, you didn't earn it, he said this grace is free and clear. If it was by works, then grace would not be what it is, free and undeserved. Well, I deserved it because, and this is what gets me and I can't wait to get to this part of the sermon. I'm a tither.
What in the world that mean? Like that gives you some type of, oh, give me the word, some kind of entitlement. Look at it entitlement when I came in the church. You think you are entitled to be blessed because you are a tither? "Well, you know, Pastor, this was a good person and he was a tither too". Well, that don't qualify you for nothing. You can tell I've been holding that a while, huh? I'm a tither, so therefore I should be able to have these privileges. I'm a tither, that's not entitlement. You know, that's what's wrong with our world right now? So entitled. Now watch this, look at Romans 4:4 in the NLT. "When people work, their wages are not a gift, but it's something that they have earned". Grace is a gift to work for it, turns that gift into a payment for something earned. So anytime you think you can do something to earn it, you've turned what God released as a gift and turned it into a wage, something that was earned.
Now, look at Luke chapter 18 verses 9 through 14. I'm gonna look at this and then we'll stop right here. Luke 8, verse 9, we're gonna read 9 through 14. "Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else. Two men went to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer. 'I thank you God, that I am not like other people.'" I'm not, I'm not a cheater, I'm not like other people, cheaters, sinners, adulterers, I'm certainly not like that tax collector. Seriously, that was a prayer? "I fast twice a week and I give you a tenth," there it goes, "of my income. But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed, instead he beat his chest in sorrow saying, O God, be merciful to me for, I am a sinner". Next verse. "I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted".
See, what that Pharisee was doing with self-righteousness. Self-righteous people always like to compare themselves with somebody else. Self-righteous people always say, "Well, at least I ain't do that". That's self-righteous, I don't do this, I don't do that. That's self-righteous. Your self-righteousness enough is sin. But somehow, Satan convinces you that you are doing that and that's gonna earn you God's grace. It doesn't work like that. That's not how that happens, that's not how it works. Therefore works as a means of obtaining God's favor and grace are completely excluded. Listen to this, God's grace always acts first on behalf of man before man can act on behalf of God. Hear this, God's grace always acts first on behalf of man. So God's doing something first for you enabling you now to act on behalf of God. There's an excellent scripture to show you.
1 John chapter 4, verse 19, in the King James. 1 John 4:19. See, man can't ever act on behalf of God, unless God has first of all acted on man's behalf. We love him because he first loved us. We can't love him first, he got to love me first. It's his love for me that enables me to love him. We love him, but he acted on our behalf. First of all, we didn't act on his behalf, but grace is more than just unmerited favor, it is favor towards those who deserve the very opposite. Grace is favor on those who deserve the opposite. The thing you supposed to get, you don't get and grace operates for those who deserve the opposite.
Look at Romans 5:8 and Romans 5:10 in the NLT. Romans 5:8 and 5:10 in the NLT. That's something grace operates on on behalf of somebody who deserves the opposite of grace. "But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us", when? "While we were still sinners". Christ died for us. Verse 10, "For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, he restored us". We were all enemies of God please understand that. He says, "We will certainly be saved through the life of God". So by the grace of God, Jesus died for sinners. Jesus died for his enemies. Sin therefore does not in fact cannot limit the grace of God. Sin cannot limit the grace of God. Now that don't mean you're going just sin to test it, and it won't happen 'cause grace is teaching you not to sin.