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Watch 2022 online sermons » Creflo Dollar » Creflo Dollar - Understanding New Testament Obedience - Part 1

Creflo Dollar - Understanding New Testament Obedience - Part 1

Creflo Dollar - Understanding New Testament Obedience - Part 1
TOPICS: Obedience

Deuteronomy 28 and I'm gonna start at verse 1 and I'm gonna read verses 1 through 13 as we talk about understanding New Testament obedience. Deuteronomy 28 and verse 1, he says: "And it shall come to pass, if thou..." Now underline "If thou". That's very important, "If thou". That's the pattern of the Old Testament. The pattern of the Old Testament is always, "If thou". It's a condition you have to meet first in order to get the blessing. And, of course, under the covenant of grace, the only condition you meet is to believe in Jesus Christ. All right, now watch this. "But it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do," there's the action, "all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And then the blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee," if this condition is met, "if thou shalt hearken," or obey, "unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed shalt thou be..."

Now here's what will happen as a result of hearkening or obeying, okay, the commandments. He says you're gonna be, "blessed shalt thou be in the city, blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall thou be the fruit of thy body, the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of all thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou cometh in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goeth out. The Lord shall cause his enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouse, and in all that thou setteth thy hand to; he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. The Lord shall establish thee a holy people unto himself, as he has sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways".

And you're talking about 100% of all of the commandments being kept, so we're talking about perfect obedience. We're not talking about keeping two or three or what you can and then, "Lord understand. He know my heart". That ain't what he's talking about right here, okay? He's talking about absolute perfect, perfect obedience and he says, "All the people of the earth," verse 10, "shall see that thou are called by thy name; they shall be afraid of thee. And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in good, in the fruit of thy body, in the fruit of thy cattle, in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee. The Lord shall open up unto thee his good treasures, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, to bless all the work of thy hand: thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; thou shalt be above only, thou shalt not be beneath," and he says, let me remind you how do you get this, "if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe to do that".

And so, you know, all these blessings come in the Old Testament if you keep those commandments. There are 613 of them, okay? And if you can keep all of those commandments and operate in perfect obedience, then those blessings come upon you. All of those blessings come upon you. Okay, nobody, nobody has ever been able to walk in perfect obedience except Jesus Christ. Nobody. So that explains to you why he said what he said. See, we hear all these blessings. We get all the blessings because Jesus gave us the gift of his perfect obedience. The gift of his perfect obedience. But now you'll understand what he says here and, well, before we get to Matthew 5, let's go to Deuteronomy 11. I wanna add a little bit more to that. A little bit more to that.

Deuteronomy chapter 11, verse 26 and 27. He says in verse 26: "Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse," okay? He says, "A blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: a curse, if you will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which you have not known". Wow, that's pretty heavy. You keep the commandments, you get the blessings. You don't keep the commandments, you get the curse. That was under the old covenant. Somebody says, "Well, I'm sure God'll let you get away with a few". Well, look at James chapter 2. James chapter 2. You're gonna be thanking God for Jesus tonight. James chapter 2 and verse 10, he says in verse 10: "For whosoever shall keep the whole law," somebody say, "the whole law," "and yet offend in one point, he's guilty of all".

So he says, you know, we're talking about keeping the whole law 'cause if you violate in one, if you violate one, okay, he says you've violated the whole thing. It just seemed rough. And we still have people today trying to keep the law and he's like, you know, "99 and half won't do". It's 100%. If you miss out on just one, you get 100% of the curse. I hope you see how serious this is. Now, Matthew chapter 5 then shows you the solution to man's inability to do this. One day I'll teach on the history of how this all started. It all started off with, you know, bringing the commandments in the first place and man says to God, "Oh, we're well able to do this," and basically he implied, "We can do this without you". And in the next chapter, he says, "Okay, we'll see," and he gave the Ten Commandments and surrounded them with a bunch of rules and regulations and he says, "Before this is over with, this law is gonna bring you to a end of yourself".

The law was given not to transform you, but for you to fall. It was given for you to be condemned. It was given to shame you. That's what the law does. We'll talk more about that a little later. But Matthew chapter 5, and look at verse 17 through 18. Matthew 5:17-18. He says in verse 17: "Think not," this is Jesus talking. "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets". So he says, "I didn't come to destroy the law, or the prophets". Somebody says, "Well, why are you trying to destroy the law"? No, no, no, it's all, Jesus, look what he said. He says, "I'm not come to destroy the law, or the prophets". He said, "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till it all be fulfilled". Jesus says, "I've come not to destroy, but to," what? "Fulfill". He says, "I didn't come to destroy, but to," what? "Fulfill".

So now why do you reckon he said that? Why'd you think he said that? "I didn't come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it". He says, "Not one jot and not one tittle's gonna pass away 'til every bit of it is gonna be fulfilled". Why do you think he said that? C'mon, class. We couldn't do it. We couldn't do it. And somebody had to do it or mankind was doomed. No man had ever done it. And it amazes me today in the church today, church folk walk around like they've done it. Like they have perfectly kept the law. They hadn't. Follow 'em home tonight, I bet they might break one right before they go to bed. Jesus became a man, the Son of Man, the Son of God became the Son of Man. The Son of God became the Son of Man so that sons of men could become sons of God. But he had to first of all... that's why he's our champion. He kept every jot and tittle down to the "T". Kept every bit of the law.

And that's why, you know, Jesus says, "Satan looks at me and he can't find nothing in me". That's why hell couldn't keep him 'cause he looked like sin 'cause he took our sin, but he had never sinned. He is indeed our champion. He is our payment for sin, he is our, oh Lord, have mercy. He is our peace offering for sin because he could keep, he kept all the law, so when you see Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, what is he doing? He's fulfilling every bit of the law and, at the same time, opening the door for this gospel of grace, but he's fulfilling every jot and tittle of the law. Every bit of it, he's fulfilling. And he was so cool at it because when they were stoning that woman, getting ready to stone that woman, Jesus came in when they tried to get him caught up, and Jesus, you know, Jesus is like, "I'm not gonna tell you that it's wrong to stone a woman," 'cause they said, "The law said if you died, it's all right. What do you say, Jesus"? Jesus says, "I'm not gonna even question it but if you don't have no sin, go on and stone her".

Boy, he was, man, he was tight. You understand? All right, so that's why he said that in Matthew chapter 5. Now, so we see you have that perfect obedience to get the blessings. Perfect obedience. Okay, let's... no Jesus and it's just mankind and the law. You would have to obey the law perfectly to walk in those blessings. Glory be to God. Now, let's show you what happened here. So Jesus comes in. He fulfills perfectly the law. Then we'll look at Romans chapter 5. I think I can get all these Scriptures in and then I'll just have a good time with 'em. Romans chapter 5, verse 19. Now, I'm gonna read backwards. I'm gonna go from 19 to 18 to 15, and you'll see why in a minute.

All right now, notice in verse 19: "For as by one man's disobedience," that one man is Adam. "By one man's disobedience many were made sinners," so many people were made sinners because of what Adam did in the Garden of Eden. He says, "So by the obedience of one," that's Jesus. "By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous". See, that just blew my mind because right here I see, "Oh, here's perfect obedience to fulfill the law. By his perfect obedience. By the perfect obedience of one man we have been made righteous". All right, look at verse 18. He says, "Therefore as by the offence of one," that's Adam, "judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one," that's Jesus, watch this, "the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life".

One of the things I didn't see is that because of what Jesus did, versus what Adam did, he gave me a free gift of his perfect obedience allowing me to have what I don't qualify for and to have what only he qualified for. But because I believe in him, I get all the blessings with none of the curses. So instead of me getting the curses, I get mercy. And mercy is the bad you deserve, you don't get. So Jesus showed up and said, "Now, through me, I'm gonna give you my perfect obedience so you can get the blessing". Now watch this. Verse 15: "But not as the offense, so also is the free gift," and he's referring to righteousness. "For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, has," increased or, "abounded unto many people".

Now, so it's real simple. I'll get to it in a minute. You're gonna see the Bible clearly stating and equating obedience with belief, and disobedience with unbelief. So in the New Testament, he's requiring belief from us which is our obedience. In the New Testament, if you don't believe in Jesus and what he's done, you're in disobedience. It's not occurring with your actions first in the New Testament. It's occurring with your belief first in the New Testament.

So let's move on down and see what the Bible has to say about this in the New Testament. Go to Galatians chapter 2:16 in the NLT. Galatians chapter 2:16 in the New Living Translation. Now watch how this unfolds now. So now we're gonna get into the mindset of the Apostle Paul as he begins to address obedience in the New Testament versus obedience in the Old Testament. He says, "Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ". That's how we're made right with God. You're not made right with God because you did something to deserve it. You were made right with God because of your faith in Jesus Christ. He says, "You were made right with Jesus by your faith in Jesus Christ, made right with God by your faith in Jesus Christ, and not by obeying the law".

You're not made right with Jesus by obeying the law, he says. "And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law". You're not right with Jesus because you have obeyed the law. "For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law". What is he referring to? You're not gonna be made right with God by allowing your obedience to occur in your actions first, like they did in the Old Testament. You're not right with God because you are obeying the law. You're right with God because you are believing in Jesus. You're right with God because you have faith in Jesus and your believing in Jesus is called obedience. Your believing in Jesus is called obedience.

Now, move on down to, let's look at Philippians chapter 3, verse 1 through 11 in the NLT. Philippians 3:1 through 11 in the NLT. Now this is really gonna show you how to value Christ. Paul is speaking here. This is so powerful. He says, "Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith. Watch out for those dogs," dang, Paul calling people dogs. My mom used to whup us for calling people dogs. "Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, mutilators," wow, "who say you must be circumcised to be saved". That was true under the Old Testament, okay? "For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could".

Now Paul says you don't put confidence in your human effort but if I wanted to do it, I could really do that. He said, "Indeed, if others have reasons for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more"! And now he's gonna tell you why. He says, "I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am pure-blooded citizen of Israel. I'm a member of the tribe of Benjamin, a real Hebrew if there ever was one. I was a member of the Pharisees, who demanded the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was a zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault". He thought. "I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done".

I need you to consider those traditional things you used to do worthless. Your effort to try to keep the commandments, your efforts to try to, I need you to consider it like Paul did. Consider it worthless. And look what he says. He says, "Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law," my actions, "rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead"! Here is a man who understood what it was like to be required to walk in obedience in your actions where the law is concerned. And he says, "I don't value that anymore. None of that is useful to me now under this new covenant. It's my faith and my belief in the Lord Jesus Christ that is now my obedience".

Now, look at Hebrews chapter 3, verses 18 through 19 in the New King James Version. Hebrews chapter 3, verses 18 and 19 in the New King James Version. Now, I just wanna show you once again how clear it is in the Bible concerning what I'm just telling you, you know, 'cause what you're gonna do is you keep running up, you're gonna run into people who their tradition is telling people they need to obey this, they need to obey that by actions, you gotta do this, you gotta do that, you gotta do that in order for Jesus to do this. And basically, they're telling you, you gotta obey the law, you gotta do all these other things, and you need to hear me, hear me real clearly now, okay, 'cause it's gotta change or you're gonna make a lot of mistakes in trying to understand the Bible. All right, now watch this. "And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest. He swore that to those who did not obey".

So what is he saying? He is saying, talking about Israel during that time, you wanna take rest from your enemies, he says, "You're not gonna enter into rest if you're not gonna obey," all right? All right, look at the next verse. "So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief". He equates disobedience with unbelief. Can you not see that in verse 18 he equates disobedience with unbelief. In the New Testament, when you are operating in unbelief, it is called disobedience. In the New Testament, when you are operating in belief, it is called obedience. That's what it is and I'll show you several Scriptures where that fits. Now, look at, while we're there, Hebrews 4, verses 3 and 11. Hebrews 4, verse 3 and 11. So I submit to you right now, that under the grace of God, after Jesus was raised from the dead, I'm not talking about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is... they're testimony of Jesus fulfilling the law. That's why you've gotta be careful.

You know, if I wrote the Bible, the New Testament would not start until those Gospels are over with. I would not start it in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I'd start it after John, okay? Because that is the disciples, and the reason why it's allowed is because he not only was fulfilling the law, but he was also making a way for the new covenant. He would say things like, you know, up until now you've done this but there's coming a time where this'll be done. So, you know, he was doing both of 'em which is fine. But you gotta be careful when you read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John when Jesus says something, he is operating as a prophet under the Old Testament fulfilling the law. So you can come tell me, "Well, the Bible says Jesus said this". Yeah, he said it as a prophet under the law.
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