Creflo Dollar - The Full Meaning of Grace - Part 4
How great thou art. You understand when I say I got to serve him? I got to praise him. I got to take all of the talking. I got to take all of it, but look at what he has done for you and for me. Look at what, Jesus came as the compensation for what you couldn't afford. Even you going to hell would not have been enough to satisfy and pay everything that he did. And I don't understand people trying to talk about Jesus, dog out Jesus, "I don't believe in Jesus, he was just a man". But he was your payment. If it were not for Jesus, you would not receive the mercy and the grace and the love and the forgiveness. That's why your crazy will never be able to match his grace. Oh my goodness. Oh my God. I'm not talking some doctrinal teaching for debate. I know this is true.
Have you ever had God to do something for you that you know you didn't deserve? Have you ever had God to open up a door in your life and you know it should have stayed closed? Glory be to God. Have you ever had God save somebody in your family and you knew they were no good for nothing, dirty, but he saved 'em anyway, sanctified 'em, filled 'em with the Holy Ghost? And if that's not enough, look at what he's done for you. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Just for a moment, could you just lift your hands up? Oh my God, my God, my God. Thank you, Jesus. Apart from this perpetuation, there could be no grace of God towards men. Subtract Jesus, subtract this propitiation, this perpetuatory death, subtract it. There would be no grace of God towards men.
Love then did not disregard the law. It satisfied its every demand and it fulfilled and established it and then it made it possible. It made possible a new way of doing things, a new way for God to deal with those who, by faith in this provision, have established the law. By faith in this provision. Look at Matthew 5:17 through 18, sometimes misunderstood but, in light of this context, you begin to understand this. Matthew 5, verse 17 through 18. He says, "Think not that I", Jesus is speaking here. He said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to," what? "Fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till it all be fulfilled".
And now the Bible makes it clear that through this love, you fulfill all the law. Because when you love, you won't kill. When you love, you won't steal. Love starts working on you and working with you. This new way is unrestrained love. There's nothing you can do to restrain God's love. The unrestrained operation of the infinite love of God that comes through Jesus Christ for mankind, especially for those who say, "God, I'm gonna quit trying to make this happen on my own. I'm gonna depend on you, Lord. I've done tried all the medical advice but I gotta depend on you. I've tried all the experts' opinions, I'll depend on you". And then unrestrained love shows up. It is grace, this unrestrained love. Believers are not under the law, because the penalty has been paid. They are under grace, an entirely new and different method by which God deals with man.
Look at Romans chapter 6 and 14 again. Can you see this? You're not under the law. Justice took place doing the law. Things happened doing the law. Sodom and Gomorrah was the result of this justice not being satisfied. Romans 6:14: "For sin shall not have dominion over you: you are not under the law". Because if you were under the law, sin would be dominating you. You are not under the law, but you are under grace, which is why it's so awesome that you're not wanting to even do some of the things you used to do because you're not under the law. You're not being dominated by the past sins and lasciviousnesses of your past. You're under grace. New Testament believers that get born again today are not under the law, the Mosaic law, that is administered by rule-keeping. You are under grace and, by the grace of God and the Spirit of grace, the operation of the Holy Spirit will not administer the character of the Ten Commandments into your life because you're no longer under the law. You are under the grace of God. You are not under the law.
"Well, you know, well, we're still under the Ten Commandments". You're under the Ten Commandments differently than they were under the Ten Commandments. They were under the Ten Commandments and they had to satisfy this justice by trying to keep the rules. You are under the Ten Commandments being administered by the Holy Ghost, and as soon as you're working for God, God's working for you, changing you and giving you a desire to do what pleases him. Because the righteousness of God has been working in you and that righteousness in you, is now determining your behavior. You've received, "I'm a new creation. I'm the righteousness of God," and the day you accept your new identity, that new identity determines your behavior. And you look at a mirror one day and you say, "Oh, my God, the things I used to do, I don't wanna do no more". And it doesn't happen all in one day because some of us hard-headed and we have to go through a pressure cooker before we realize, "I need Jesus".
When justice has been satisfied once and for all, grace becomes sovereign. It becomes supreme. And it begins to reign unto eternal life, and even in eternal life. I'll begin to teach you next week how grace is gonna reign in three seasons and one of those seasons is in the ages to come. Do you know you being raised from the dead is an act of grace? Do you understand taking off your mortal and putting on your immortality is an act of grace? Glory, do you understand to be caught up to meet him in the air is an act of grace? Do you understand heaven is an act of grace? Grace ain't stopping. Grace is gonna continue all the way on into eternity in the ages that are to come. That's why if you are so blessed to get any crowns for anything, the soul-winner's crown or whatever, you ain't got no choice but to cast those crowns at the feet of Jesus 'cause you know you and your smart self ain't responsible for none of it. So let me tell you right now, don't put the crown on your head.
If you get a crown, cast it at the feet of Jesus and let everybody in heaven know, "I know that if it were not for Jesus on my side, I know that if he didn't heal me, I know if he didn't save me, I know if he didn't mature me, it wasn't me. So I cast my crowns at the feet of Jesus". Y'all 'scuse me for hollering but... Thank you, Jesus. Are you listening to me now? All right, that was number four. Number five, as we break this definition of this unmerited, abounding provision, glory to God, of the operation, this unrestrained operation of the infinite love of God that only comes through Jesus Christ. Gotta get Jesus Christ now. All it ain't gonna come through your fancy traditional religion. The Bible says your tradition has made the Word of God of no effect. You better know that Jesus is real and get to know him. Know that your tradition is gonna fool you the day you die and then you wake up and say, "Uh-oh, it was true".
You better understand God's Word is real. You gotta ask yourself, if your tradition is so good, how come you still got so much hell in you? You ain't changed a bit. You unforgiving, you mean, you got a bad attitude, and you go, and then when it's Sunday you talk about your tradition. Your tradition is making the Word of no effect, and you walk around deceived under your bad tradition. Did y'all... some dude on the news in one of the religions, I ain't gonna talk about it, but talking about he baptized people the wrong way and saying, instead of saying "I baptize you," should have said, you know, instead of saying, "We baptize you," you should say, "I baptize you," and sent out a notice to everybody that you baptized, you did it wrong. We gotta do it again. Do you actually think that God gives a hoot about a "I" or "we"? "Well, my baptism didn't take. I had my wig on. I should have taken it off. He should have touched my real head and not a wig". "Well, you ought not get a tattoo 'cause if you get a tattoo, you gonna go to".
Do you really think that God's gonna keep somebody out of heaven 'cause they've wrote on their arm instead of paper? What's the matter with us? Full of religion, that's what's wrong. We don't know God. 'Cause once you know him, the religion can't stand up in the presence of the Almighty God that saved you and raised you and... Baptized a man, oh, 30-something years ago, maybe over there in the chapel, and we were over there, and Brother Bob walkin' in and some of my deacons that have gone home to be with the Lord, we baptized this one lady and they found out the heat pump had gone out so the water was cold. And if we did it outside, it was gonna be cold anyway so we went ahead and did it. And the dear sister came up. Now you gotta read my lips on this. I can't say it. If I say it, y'all gonna say, "Rev. up there cussing now," you know. And so she came and she said, "Oh, Lord, oh, thank you, Jesus. Ah, Jesus, ah, Jesus". And I said, "I baptize you in the name of the Father," "Oh Jesus, I, oh", "in the name of the Son," "oh, Jesus". "And in the name of the Holy Ghost". "Oh, Jesus". And she went down. We put her in the water and she came up, she said, "Ah..."
Now, if you didn't catch that, I can't do that no more now. Deacon Bob looked at me, he said, "Well, Pastor, you think we need to take her down one more time? I don't know if that took". And at that time, I didn't know nothing about grace, but I said, "I don't believe we do. God was gonna have to clean her up of that anyway". You can't know God, thinking stuff like that, 'cause when you start knowing him and you're talking to him every day and he's speaking to you and you're walking with him and you sense his presence and, you know, that's so easy, you know, with some people, they sit and they listen to me. But I've seen this. I've seen people supernaturally healed. I've seen prayers answered. I've seen lives changed. Over these 41 years, the stuff that I have seen, you can't convince me that he's not real. You too late. And somebody say, "Well, how you know he real"? Well, how do you know that your pound cake is a pound cake?
You went in the kitchen, you followed the recipe, and it produced what it said it would produce. Well, I went into the spiritual kitchen, I took the Word of God, and I began to bake what this Word says, and it showed up in my life, in the life of my family, and I am convinced I have the right recipe. If you don't believe what I'm preaching, go and cook it for yourself, baby. I just wanna pick this whole thing up and just throw it. Somebody say, "Why"? That's just, he's just good, he's good. He's so good, he's so good. I got, I'm not gonna say I can't take it. Bring it on. Keep bringing it on, Lord. He's so good. Woke me up this morning, didn't have to do it. Started me on my way, didn't have to do it. I looked outside, it was a new day I'd never seen before. He didn't have to do it. Blessed my family, blessed my wife. Didn't have to do it. I'm still alive and aware, hallelujah. He didn't have to do it. He didn't have to do it. But there's nothing I can do to restrain his love.
This gospel has got to be preached. And I'm willing to preach it, no matter what it cost. It might cost me some friends, it might cost me some invitations, folks who don't want me to come preach at their church no more. They'll call me a heretic and all that stuff. But I gotta preach it and when it's all over with, then the Lord will let you know. It'll be all right. Forty-something years ago, I was a part of all those movements, a big part. Thousands of people would show up in basketball arenas. I don't even know how many thousands that showed up in Uganda, it was like bigger than a football game. And I didn't understand this. And once I understand this, I'm like, "Lord, give me a do-over". I got it now. And you know what I got? It's all about Jesus. It's always been about him. Ah, let me get it together. Boy, I started to fall out on you all and just stay pfft. And then y'all said, "What we gonna do? He on the ground". And somebody say, "Fall out too, I guess".
All right, let's go to another slice of this definition. Here's the fifth slice: Grace is on behalf of man, especially all who depend on him and believe. Grace is on behalf of man, and when I say "man" I mean mankind. I mean wo-man with a womb, man without a womb. Man. Grace is the operation of God's love on behalf of man. Now this is pretty amazing here because grace seems to be reserved for man only, for man alone. That's interesting. Grace seems to be preserved for man alone, not angels. You know what hell is. Like, hell was a part of God's justice for Satan and his angels. And there's a part of the atmosphere. I don't wanna get in that right now, that's holding certain demonic forces in chains. It was not ever created for man. This grace is only for believers in Jesus Christ. All right now, go to Titus chapter 2. Let's read the King James. Titus chapter 2:11-12. I know that the Bible says that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world.
What does that mean? For everybody that's ready to believe, salvation is available. It's available for everybody who believe. The only difference between some of us and people who are not believers, you believed and so grace is now for the ones who accepted the gift and believe. Watch this: "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation, it has appeared to all men". People who are not saved, this grace has made salvation available for them. But they have to receive it. They have to believe it, because, listen what it says in... go ahead. Go ahead with this Titus 2. He says this grace "teaches us," not the unbeliever. It teaches us, not the world. It teaches us, and that's amazing. "Grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts". How do you say that, you know, under grace you sin when grace is what's teaching you not to sin? Grace teaches us, and the "us" is clearly referring to those who have received and believed in him. Grace teaches us.
One of the basic acts of God's grace is to declare righteous the sinner. That's the basic act to justify the sinner. And let me give you proof of this from the Scripture. From the NLT, look at Romans chapter 3, verse 21 and 26, from the NLT. One of the basic acts of God's grace is to justify the sinner. That's what he wants to do. But it doesn't stop there at justifying the sinner. He wants to teach us. Now watch this. I say, what, 21 through 27? 26. All right, "But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law". Look at that. He's shown us the way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law. "As was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God," how? "By placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who," what? "Who believes".
And so, everyone who believes will be made right with God, "no matter who we are". Next verse. "For everyone has sinned," for we all have sinned and missed the mark. "Everyone has sinned; and we all fall short of God's glorious standard". That literally means we've missed the mark. We've fallen short of the standard that God has placed. "Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight". How did he do this? How did he make us right in his sight? "He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins". When he satisfied, you see what you learned today? When he satisfied that justice.