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Watch 2022 online sermons » Creflo Dollar » Creflo Dollar - Understanding New Testament Obedience - Part 2

Creflo Dollar - Understanding New Testament Obedience - Part 2


Creflo Dollar - Understanding New Testament Obedience - Part 2
TOPICS: Obedience

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 their testimony of Jesus fulfilling the law. That's why you got to 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 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 will be done".

So, you know, he was doing both of them, which is fine. But you got to 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. He tried to give a little something to that rich young ruler, and the rich young ruler just kept just, you know, he's like, "Good master, what do I need to do to have eternal life"? And, you know, Jesus basically told him, you know, "Believe in me". But he kept going on. He says, "Okay. Well, keep the commandments and you will have eternal life". And then this boy had enough guts to say, "I kept all the commandments". Jesus said, "Oh, all y'all think that".

But this time he's going to prove it to this guy that he hadn't kept all the commandments. He says, "Take all the things you have, give it to the poor, and come and follow me". And he's like, "Oh no, I can't do that". He says, "You done flunked the first commandment, thou shall not have no other god before me. You value your possessions more than you value me. Boy, get on out of here". He had an opportunity to take Judas' place. He was going to be Judas' replacement, but, you know, he was all stuck up in the, Jesus, you'd have to read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and you can see Jesus giving us a little peek into the new covenant of grace after his resurrection, and that's when it started. It started after he was raised from the dead, not when he died. But when he was raised from the dead, then the New Testament that was given by his blood, praise God, showed up.

And so I see a lot of Christians taking Scriptures from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and they don't realize it is still, some of those cases, be careful. Somebody said, you know, "I'm just going to read the red". You're going to, the red has got something like, you know, if your hand offend you, cut the other one off. You know, because there were a lot of things Jesus was doing. He even said that. He says, "You have heard that if a man commits adultery, then this should happen; but I say unto you if you look at a woman in a strange way or something like that, then you've already committed adultery".

You know, Jesus was trying to make it totally impossible for you to think that you can be successful in keeping the law. He says, "You think that, you know, you say, you know, you've never committed murder". He says, "But I tell you, if you hate your brother you've already committed murder". He was just trying to tell you, "Don't come up here trying to act like you were able to do this". And that's in, you know, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I mean, that's... and so you got to be careful not to... the worst thing that can happen in church is for you to mix mixtures. Take the law and mix it with grace. You know what happens when you mix the law and grace together? You know what happens? Nothing. He says you cannot take old wine and put it in new wineskin. What happens? You lose both of them. Okay? Is everybody following me?

I know I'm throwing a lot of deep stuff at you and, you know, some of you are like... You'll be all right. Just breathe in, breathe out. You'll be fine. All right, so now watch this. He says in verse 3, he says for, and here's the deal. Here's why I'm more, I'm very comfortable about it. Either you believe it or you don't. I'm not going to, I love you, but that's what this is a matter of. It's just a matter of you disconnecting from the law-based living, which is all about you working for God, and connect it to the grace-based living, which is all about God working for you. You still think you're working for God. See, good works that are acceptable to God will be good works that are born out of love. That's acceptable, when you're doing things born out of love, but it's not a replacement for what Jesus has already done.

In other words, you can't use your good works to say, "Well, I'm saved because of my good works". 'Cause you're not. You're saved because of Jesus. You can't use your good works, although they may be acceptable. You can't use your good works to say, "I'm blessed because of my good works". No. You're blessed because of Jesus. Okay? So that's what I'm saying. God accepts good works. But you're not saved by good works, you're saved by grace. You're saved by Jesus. You're saved by what Jesus has done. And so don't get all into your good works to try to say, "Well, I don't really believe in Jesus, but I'm going to do some good works". You're going to hell with your good works. Somebody says, "How do you go to hell"? By rejecting Jesus. That's how you go to hell. You go to hell by rejecting Jesus.

"Well, I thought you go to hell because, you know, you didn't do a lot of good works". Well, you know, first of all, when you get Jesus, love is going to move you into doing some things that are going to be a blessing to people, but works can't save you. They never can. They never will. You don't go to hell because of what you do, you go to hell because you reject Jesus and you refuse to believe in Jesus. That's why you go to hell. And you can be a nice person and sweet and speak to everybody and cook dinners for everybody on Sundays; and if you don't believe in Jesus, if you reject Jesus, you've rejected the only payment, the only bail that can get you out of hell and keep you out of hell. "Well, what if you don't believe in Jesus"? Hello, hell. I can guarantee you're going to hell. "Well, how you know"? 'Cause the Bible said it. Can't you read? All I'm doing is reading.

"Where Creflo getting all of this stuff from"? I'm reading. I'm reading the Bible. Let me show you some of the stuff I've been reading. Look at this, verse 3, "For we who have believed, we who believed", and so now the synonym here is what? Obeyed. We who have believed or obey do enter that rest. And he said, "So I swore in my wrath, that they shall not enter my rest, although the works were finished from the foundations of the world". And then look at verse 11. This is cool. He says, "Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience". What's the synonym here? Unbelief. Unbelief. So your unbelief, see, if you are alive today and you don't believe in Jesus, you are presently operating in disobedience. "Well, I don't believe". You're in disobedience. "Well, I can't believe that". Well, you're in disobedience.

God's maturing me. I've grown. You know, I used to think I had to explain every jot and tittle to everybody. They asked this deep question that it took us 3 months to find the answer to because, you know, they're not being diligent in their own personal study time and relationship with God, and I just like, "Well". You know, I just answer it just straightforward and, you know, they're not going to understand it because they're not willing to put forth the effort to develop a relationship with God and to fellowship with God. I'm not playing these religious games anymore. It's like, "Dude, why don't you know that? How long you've been saved for"? "Thirty years". "And you still don't know? What's your relationship with God? What did he say to you this morning"? "Well, I haven't heard from him in a week". "Man, you need to you... I don't know, bruh. It's kind of slim".

Christianity is supposed to be about a personal relationship with God and your belief in him. All right? Okay, so now watch this now. Let me make this statement. Our actions are not the first place where obedience must occur. Obeying God is a matter of believing the gospel. Our actions is not the first place where obedience must first occur. That was true in the old covenant, but not in this new one. The new one it is, "I've got to believe in the gospel". That's the first place where my obedience shows up, believing in the gospel. Now, here's the thing about it. If you start believing in the gospel and his finished works, it will now begin to work on your behavior and your lifestyle.

See, any problems you're having goes all the way back to what are you believing. If you're stuck on believing tradition and what the Old Testament is telling you to do as far as your efforts and actions, you know, it's going to affect your behavior, you know. You're going to walk around condemned. You're going to walk around in shame. You're going to walk around struggling. You're going to walk around making a list of 20 things you need to do every day in order to get God to do this. You're going to walk around condemned, and you're going to walk around depressed. Now your emotions are being affected because, you know, if you believe right you're going to live right, but if you believe wrong you're going to live wrong and all that's based on how you believe. And so you got to ask yourself, "Am I believing right, man"? And that's where it is.

If I start believing right, and believing right is believing in Jesus, believing right is believing this gospel of grace, believing right, if I believe right, it will impact my behavior. My behavior will start lining up with the way that I believe. My behavior will start lining up with the doctrine that I have been hearing, harkening to, and believing. But the problem is, is if you're, you know, "Well, I believe in Jesus," but you're operating under the old way of living that he died and shed his blood to deliver us from. You wouldn't believe the number, if you just, not to judge people, but to sit and just like, "Wow, they don't know that they've been delivered from that. They have no idea that they have been delivered from that".

And so now the key is believing that God loves me and believing in Jesus and all the things that he's done for me; and that now is going to begin to govern my actions, govern my behavior, govern the things that I do instead of you, you know, in the Old Testament it's always you got to come up with something to try to get God to do something. "I got to do this so God can do that. I got to do this so God could do that". And he's like, "No, no, no, no, no. I need you to believe. I need you to believe in me. This is the only thing I want you to do. I want you to believe in me". That's what he said in John chapter 6. They said, "What do we need to do to do the works of God"? And he said, "The only work I want you to do is to believe in the one that I sent you". He says, "The only work I want you to do is to", why? 'Cause if you start believing in him, then all of the other works will be born out of love and born out of belief and you'll find yourself doing as you are being governed and inspired by your faith in Jesus Christ and your belief in Jesus Christ.

And I don't know why that is so hard for people to understand. Well, yeah, I do. Once it becomes your tradition, then your tradition has made the word of grace of no effect, and you can't let that affect you. Now, let me show you some things. If you don't do this, if you don't make the change and get the understanding of how to obey according to the New Testament, here's what you're going to do. You're going to read Scriptures like this. Let's look at this one, 1 John 2 and 5. Look at it in the King James and then in the NLT. 1 John 2 and 5, King James and the NLT. And I know I'm going real fast, but I only got 7 minutes left, but I'm trying to get everything in so you can go home and study it real good and look at it real good and then, you know, God will speak to you about it and you'll know how to do it yourself and I won't have to be feelin' like I gotta to do these kind of things.

You understand what I'm saying? You heard what I'm saying? All right. He says, "But whosoever keepeth his word, whosever keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in him". Now, another version says obey. Look at this in the NLT. Keepeth his Word. Okay. "But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him". All right. So you're going to be going around talking about, "Well, I obey. I obey. I obey, and I'm proving to you that I love God. I obey". But he's not talking about obeying action. Let's use the synonym him, here. But those who believe God's words, you see how important it is?

See, you're about to get an Old Testament interpretation for something that's not what you think it is. When you say obey, you're thinking about action. He's talking about before action there's got to be right believing. "But those who believe God's word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him," because we believe him. Look at this, Hebrews 5 and 9. Let's look at this straight in the NLT. Hebrews 5 and 9. That's why it's important that we make these trends. We transfer over. We have a new and living way. Okay? The old has gone, the new is here; and we keep trying to mix, and mixture is probably the best way to define the church in today's time. Mixture, mixture of law and grace. And when you do that, you know, you get nothing. All right?

And that's basically what's going on with the church right now. They can't figure out why they ain't getting nothing. 'Cause you're mixing stuff. Okay? "In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal life for all of those who obey him". So if you get that mindset of that happened because they obeyed in their actions and not obeyed in their belief, you're going to miss the whole thing. All right, the synonym here would be what? Belief. "In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who believe him". Wow. And then Acts chapter 5, verse 32 in the NLT.

You see the importance of, you got to make this move here, man. You got to make this move or you're not going to be even in comprehending what you're reading. He says, "We are witnesses of those things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God". The Holy Spirit was given after Jesus. Amen? So you know he's not talking about obedience showing up in your actions. But he uses the word here. He says, "Who is given by God to those who," what? Believe him. But he uses the word what? Obey. I can't tell you how vital it is for you to use the right translation in the New Covenant or you're going to have a mindset that's going to be stuck in you having to come up with some action. And then guess what happens? And then when the blessing doesn't come, you know the first thing you think about? "What did I do or didn't do that caused this to happen"? And now you're back in bondage.

In fact, the Bible says this. You have fallen from grace because you've fallen back into your performance. You fall from grace. You don't fall from grace when you sin, you fall from grace when you go back into your performance trying to get God to do something based on what you do instead of believing him for what he's already done. Wow. Okay, and one more. Galatians chapter 3 and 1 in the King James Bible. Galatians 3 and 1 in the King James Bible. Praise God. He said, "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth". Now think about it. Listen, when I read those Scriptures, I'm thinking like, "Oh, I didn't obey the truth. The truth told me to do this and I didn't do it".

So I kept looking at obedience occurring or showing up in my actions and I never questioned my belief system. He says, "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you? Who changed your minds? You guys were running well. What happened, that you should not obey the truth"? The synonym here is believe the truth. "Who changed your mind to cause you to not believe the truth before whose eyes Jesus Christ has been evidently set forth, crucified among you"? What am I teaching you tonight? How vital it is to rightly divide the Word. And if you don't rightly divide the Word between what is true in the Old Covenant and what is true in this New Covenant, look at the stuff you'll be missing. You will be... somebody says this is a small thing. This is big. This is huge. We place obedience in our actions as a big thing in religion and in church, and Jesus was like saying, "Dude, I don't care how you... you can obey all the laws, 613 of them, but they will never make you right with me. They will never make you right with me".

Only your faith in Jesus Christ is going to make you right with me. And, you know, it's right believing. It's right believing. I wrote a definition down. Obedience to the faith is believing in the unrestricted operation of God's love for you. It is simply right believing obedience to the faith. I believe in this unrestricted operation of God's love for me. I believe in Jesus Christ. That's where everything starts. If your actions are going to be pure, if they're going to be accepted, if they're going to be something that God receives, it is because your right believing is what motivates your right actions. But basically the main key is, here's the sentence I want you to take with you tonight, that our actions are not the first place where obedience must occur. That's what we believed in the Old Covenant.

Our actions are not, and people are doing things and, you know, hailing themselves to be most pure because they talk about what they do, but they don't talk about how obeying God is a matter of believing the gospel. It's a matter of believing the gospel, and faith still cometh by hearing and hearing the Word of God. So it's got to be taught, and I got to teach this and that's what I'm teaching and.. it's real soon, but I'm going to have to teach on giving because it's going to make the entire body of Christ mad. They're going to cuss me out, send me letters and tell me I'm a heretic, but I've been studying it for 2 years and I just wouldn't teach it until I got it down, and I got it down. Our teaching has been wrong where that is concerned. Under grace you don't give by a commandment, you give out of a grateful heart to a grateful God.

You're motivated to give out of a grateful heart to a grateful heart, God, and if that's not how you're giving, and if you're mixing it, which I see a lot of people do, nothing happens. Aren't you tired of nothing not happening? It's supposed to be happening. Stuff happen. When I switched over, man, stuff's happening to me that God got to tell me it happened. I'm like, "Boy, that did happen, didn't it"? I'm telling you God is ready to do things for those who believe in Jesus and believe the gospel. Let's obey God. How? By believing Jesus Christ. Let's get out of disobedience. How? By getting out of unbelief. Let's enter into rest. Somebody says, "Well, why do we want to rest"? We're not talking about ceasing to work. When I use the word rest; I'm not talking about ceasing to work, I'm talking about resting in the confidence and the assurance that all is well.

The number one way to authenticate whether or not you really believe something is when you enter into rest, when you're not the one that's stressed and worried and all of that stuff and you just chilled. Somebody say, "What's up"? "Well, first of all, God loves me". And that's the first place. Your faith should rest in the love of God. Every time something happens, first base for you and first base for me first base is "God loves me". That's first base. "Well, you know, I love God". That's another thing we messed up. This is not about you loving God because you could have never loved God, 1 John 4:19, until he loved you first. We love him. Why? 'Cause he first loved us. So you have got to believe in the love of God. And so thank God for Bible study. It gives me an opportunity to put a lot of stuff out for you guys to figure this out and make it happen.

Father, we thank you for our time tonight. Blessings upon the body of Christ. Blessings upon World Changers Church and this World Changers nation. And I ask that you will do exceedingly abundantly more than what we can ask or think, and we thank you that we're learning, we're understanding. Now help us to apply. Help us to understand that everything is about this unrestricted operation of your love. No matter what we teach, no matter what we learn, everything eventually has to go back to this foundation for our lives as Christians. It is having faith in this unrestricted operation of your love that you will do, especially for those who depend on you. We give you praise for that now. In Jesus's name, amen.

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