Creflo Dollar - What Does It Mean to Obey In the New Testament - Part 2
So for the Galatians and for us today, obeying God was and is a matter of believing the gospel. Obeying God was and is a matter of us believing the gospel. So you can, you see how you got to rightly discern that now because if I go talking to you about you're not obeying God; I'm not talking about based on something you're doing or you're not doing, I'm basing on what you're not believing. I can say to a person who comes up to me and they say, "Well, you know, I'm having problems believing, you know, what Jesus said about my righteousness". And I'll say to them, "You're in disobedience". They're thinking, "Well, what have I done"? I'm not talking about what you've done, I'm talking about how you're believing. You're not believing. Does everybody see that now?
All right, now go with me to Romans chapter 6. This is going to be pretty amazing here. Romans chapter 6 and verse 16. Romans chapter 6 and verse 16. Let's look at this in the New King James Version as well. Now, verse 16 says this: "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey". Now you see something getting ready to happen here, right? "Slaves to obey, you are that one's slave whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness". Now, let's do some deep study here now. You know, I don't feel the need of telling you, "Well, you know, the Greek word for this is this," and then shaka doum doum. And I ain't got that, I'll just tell you what it means in Greek, okay? It ain't like you, maybe impress it to the guy who's speaking, but I'm not doing that. Okay?
And there's nothing wrong with that, okay? But I want you to stay hooked up to what we're talking about. So this word obey right here at verse 16, in the Greek it means to listen, it means to harken. It means to listen. So when he says here, "Do you not know that to whom you present yourself slaves to listen or to hearken to," that word harken means to pay attention to or to heed what is being said. So literally what Paul is saying is you are slaves to whomever you pay attention to, you are slaves to whomever you listen to. You are slaves to whoever you take heed to what they are saying. You are a slave if you listen to, pay attention to, or take heed to what they're saying. So Paul is not talking about performance and obeying the law here, but it's talking about the message that we are listening to. He's talking here about what we believe.
Are we listening to the one whose sin was unto death, Adam; or to the one whose obedience is unto righteousness, Jesus? In other words, do you believe that you are still in Adam's sin as a sinner, or do you believe you are in Christ's righteousness as a saint? That's what he's saying. The whole time we've being going around trying to figure out, "What have I done"? He's like, "No, you are going to be a slave to who you believe. Do you believe", you're going to believe what you're hearing. You're going to believe what you're paying attention to. You're going to give heed to what you're hearing, what you're paying attention to.
So if I continue to preach this sin unto death that came from Adam and you start believing that, okay, versus me preaching obedience unto righteousness which came from Jesus and you believe in that... do you believe that you are still in Adam's sin as a sinner? He says, well, if you hear that, that's what you're going to start believing, and he's going to call that believer and he's going to say you're obeying that form of doctrine that you're listening to. Or do you believe you are in Christ's righteousness as a saint? He says what you believe is going to be determined by what you are hearing, hearkening to, and taking heed to because your belief system is going to be based on what you hear the most. That makes sense?
Let me show you this little Scripture in the NLT, guys. Romans 5:18 and 19, Romans 5:18 and 19 just to let you know it is here. Romans 5:18 and 19. I feel an awesome responsibility to lay stuff, get it recorded because once it's recorded and it's on all these platforms, then I believe it, I was praying God, "How do I make a sermon perpetual so you're not the only one to just hear it and it ends after we get the benediction tonight". But I'm believing that after the night is over with, this sermon is going to travel around the world. And you know it's happening. It travels around the world and I don't have to get sad like, "Oh, I wish the chapel was packed tonight". But even if it's packed tonight, it's still with not enough people. Even if the Dome is packed full time, it's still not enough people. I want to get this gospel around this world so people can hear it. All right?
Look at what he says in the NLT. "Yes, Adam's one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ's one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone". Verse 19, "Because one person disobeyed", or what? Did not believe. Because one person disobeyed or did not believe God, he said what happened for that one person, I cannot wait to show you this. Calm down. I was so blown away at my study time yesterday. Do I have time to go over this? Probably not, but the Bible says he'll teach us how not to be ungodly. You know what ungodliness is? It's when you do something and don't see a need to get God to bless it, or it's when you do something and don't involve him in it. It's totally disregarding him, not involving him in what you do. Somehow the Creator created you and now you don't think you need him.
That's what happened to Adam. When the devil came up to Adam and said, you know, what God said, and he says, "You're like God". What he was saying was, "You can go independent from God". Everything else God created depend on him. Flowers depend on him. Grass depend on him. Animals depend on him. Birds depend on him. Everything he ever created depend on him, and in the Garden of Eden we became rebels, oh God, and we no longer depend on God as if you take things on your own and you say, "I can do this. Don't need you to bless it". When I saw that, you should have seen me today. Everything I did, I got God involved. "I need you to bless this, God. I need you to bless that, God". Because it was saying to me that, "I need you. I'm your creation. You're the Creator. I need you to bless it. I need you to bless it". Y'all excuse me. I just had to get that out of me. Okay, you see that?
So the church as a whole doesn't understand the fact that we are under grace. Romans 6:14, you remember? Turn there real quick. The church as a whole, you do and a lot of people, but I'm talking about a church as a whole. They not only not understand that we're under grace, they just are not willing to hear it. "Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God's grace". You no longer live that way. You live this way. You live under the freedom of God's grace, all right? Grace is all about supply; the law is all about demand. The law demands righteousness from man and man could not obtain it because it was a perfect righteousness, but under grace God supplies that perfect righteousness through Jesus to be received as a gift. That's why I get all the blessings and none of the curses.
Now look at Romans 3, verse 24 in the King James Bible. The Bible says that we are made righteous freely. We're made righteous freely. Look what he says in verse 24. "Being justified," or declared righteous, "freely", how? By his grace. So I didn't have to earn it. I was made righteous freely by his grace. Let's look at that word freely. Interesting word. In the Greek here it means without a cost. I was made righteous freely, without a cost. We are all justified in God's eyes. We have been made righteous without a cause in us. There is no reason in you for God to declare you righteous. None. None. All the reason is in Jesus. You remember what he said? By one man's disobedience, Adam's disobedience, many were made what? Sinners. By obedience of one man. Who? Jesus Christ. They were all made righteous.
Now, let's look back at Romans 6:17 just for a moment. Well, I'll look at verse 16, but let's go to the New King James Version to confirm that it's what you believe, to confirm it's what you believe. Romans chapter 6, verse 17 in the New King James. He says, "But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you believed from the heart". You see that? You see that? Yet you believe from the heart or obeyed, because obedience and belief are synonymous in this New Testament, just like unbelief and, what, disobedience are synonymous in the New Testament. He says, "But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you," believed or, "obeyed from the heart". You believed or obeyed from the heart.
See, in the New Testament it's belief. You believed from the heart that form of doctrine. What is doctrine? Teaching. You believed from your heart that form of teaching to which you were delivered. You follow that now? You believe. So doctrine, it means teaching. Obeyed, or believed, or listened to, or you gave attention to from the heart this teaching to which you were delivered. Now, this is so heavy. So I believed from my heart. I gave attention to it from my heart. I listened to from my heart. You know what I just described to you? The process of renewal of our minds. We're now renewing our minds to the truth of our new identity in Christ as his righteousness. Renewing the mind is not just, "Let's find out what the Bible say and stick it in our head". We're renewing our mind with the truth of the gospel. We're believing the truth of the gospel. We're paying attention to the truth of the gospel. We are giving heed to the truth of the gospel. We are obeying the truth of the gospel.
What am I doing? I'm renewing my mind to the truth of the gospel. I got to show you Ephesians 4:23 through 24. Where'd that come from? That's what I'm saying. It's like somebody says, "All right, you need to renew your mind". How? Where? With what? Renew your mind. To renew your mind is not a one-time event. It's a lifetime process. Renewing your mind should be renewing your mind in the truth of this gospel away from the law. And when we talk about that, you know, there's a great large percentage of the church, they're not, it's being done, but they're not renewing their mind in the gospel. They're kind of renewing their mind in religion and not the gospel, and that's what he's saying. "What are you believing? What doctrine are you believing"? Wow.
Ephesians 4:23 and 24, Ephesians 4:23 and 24. He said, "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind". Verse 24, "And that you put on the new man which was created according to God", what new man? The one that was created in true righteousness and holiness. So the day you got born again, you put on that new man created in true righteousness and holiness and you're renewing your mind with the new creation, the new covenant, the new man. Praise God. So the teaching of the new covenant shows us that he alone is our righteousness. He lives in us, and we are one with him. We are a new creation formed in true righteousness. We are a new creation formed in true righteousness, formed in holiness. We have the mind of Christ. We have a new heart. We have a new spirit on the inside of us, and we've got to renew our mind to line up with that new identity that we have. Amen?
Okay, we got a few minutes left. Now, how God deals with disobedience in the New Testament. How does he deal with disobedience in the New Testament, how does he deal with disobedience in the New Testament. If you read carefully, in the Old Testament a lot of them died. That's why people were afraid and fearful. Sin and disobedience, this is shocking, but give me a chance to explain it. Sin and disobedience are not the issue. In the New Testament, sin and dis... I just love it when people get just jack quiet. Why is it not the issue? Because God has already dealt with those things through the obedience of Christ and has sworn, has sworn not to be angry with you neither to rebuke you again. Let's see where he did that. Isaiah 54 and verse 9. We keep making sin and disobedient actions the issue, and it's an issue that's already been dealt with. I'll show you.
Hebrews 54:9, and then, guys, I think, what did I say, Isaiah 54:9. And I'm thinking about this Scripture in Hebrews. I think it's 9:28 in the NLT. Get ready to pull that up, too. I think that's it. He says, "For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth". And he put a token, put the rainbow up. That's why the rainbow, a rainbow was a token or sign of his promise just like the wedding ring is a sign of a covenant in marriage, okay? And it appears after you have a hard rain seem like it's never going to stop, but that promise is still today. Isn't that awesome? We see the origin of the rainbow and we still see it today in our life. It was a token. He says, "For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you". That's a covenant promise that he made. And then look at that next Scripture. I believe that was in Hebrews chapter 9 and verse 28 in the NLT.
So here's what he says. "So also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people". Did you see what he just said? So Christ was offered how many times? For how long? As a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. "He will come again, not to deal with our sins". So why is he not coming to deal with our sin? It's no longer an issue. It's no longer an issue, right? "Not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him". We keep making sin and disobedience the issue. Christ has already dealt with our sins on the cross and he desires for all men to come to the knowledge of this act through a full revelation of the New Testament. A full revelation of the New Testament is for us to come to that. There's a Scripture for that. 1 Timothy chapter 2 and 4. Go there in the New King James. 1 Timothy chapter 2 and 4.
We've got to come to the knowledge of this, and we got to get a revelation of the new covenant. And in 1 Timothy chapter 2 and 4 he says, "Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth". All right, so let's deal with the truth. The truth is grace. I'm going to set up a little progress for you. Here's Jesus, and then from Jesus grace, and from grace truth. That's how it all goes together. It ultimately, everything we're talking about is Jesus, okay? Everything, when we talk about Jesus, we're talking about grace, Jesus full of grace and truth. When we talk about Jesus, we're talking about truth. "I am the way, the truth". Okay, we can't pick stuff out and call it the truth, we can't pick stuff out and call it grace, and we can't pick stuff out and say Jesus end, he says he wants us to come to that full knowledge of the truth, which is the full knowledge of grace, which is the full knowledge of Jesus. He wants us to come to that.
Jesus has got to be preached. And while I'm trying to preach on Jesus when I get in front of you guys, there are others around the world who are saying that's, "Leave him alone. He is the devil". Well, that's not the first time they accused him of being Beelzebub and the devil and all that kind of stuff, but we've got to understand where we're going and how this works. I got a few minutes left. Let's go to St. John 16 in the New King James Version. That's a really good version. I was reading that today. It's a really, very accurate translation. Some of these translation got to be careful of 'cause they add stuff and I'm like, "That ain't what it said". But this is translating it directly from the Greek and the Hebrew, the original languages of the Bible. It's pretty good translation. New Living Translation is pretty good translation, too.
Now, when you get in all those other translations, I ain't gon' call no name, be careful. They're in a whole another level I'm like, "What"? Be cautious. Okay, John 16:8 through 9. He says, "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they do not believe in Me". Okay? All right. So what matters as a primary focus, what matters is not your lifestyle but your belief system. I didn't say your lifestyle was ignored; I am saying we're trying to get a primary focus here, and the primary focus is your belief system because what you believe will directly influence your lifestyle, what you believe will directly influence your behavior. But we keep focusing on the lifestyle, okay, instead of the belief system, and because of what you believe you are going, it's going to influence your behavior.
And this is why Jesus said in verse 9, he states that the Holy Spirit convicts non-Christians of unbelief, unbelief. Another thing to check out here is that the word for convict in Scripture is convince. It means to convince. So God desires to convince non-Christians of their unbelief. That's a work of the Holy Spirit. I've got to believe that everybody in my family that's believing wrong, that the Holy Ghost is going to convince them about their unbelief. In other words, they're going to be walking around like, "I know I don't believe". He'll convict them of their unbelief so that they can come to believe and rest in the all sufficiency of Jesus more and more and then they're going to find success, they're going to find the abundant life that God desires for them to have. They get tired of being sick and tired and sick and tired and sick and tired he's going to be right there to show them, "This is what you ought to believe".