Creflo Dollar - The True Meaning of Obedience - Part 2
Jesus said, "My yoke is easy," and we're makin' being a Christian hard. We're sweating. Christians shouldn't be sweating, and you sweat all the time. You can't even be who you are because you're so busy tryin' to be who you think other people want you to be. Still lookin' and seeing what they think about you clappin'. I can't clap 'cause they watchin' me. The worst bondage you can have is people bondage. You're still concerned about what somebody think about you. How is God gon' use you when you're still in bondage to people? Hmm, I knew I shouldn't have came here this mornin'.
Well, like I told you, I've already preached to empty chairs. I'm good. I will never go back to the bondage of that religious propaganda that tells me that "Jesus is not enough, and I need to continue to try to do somethin' because what he did wasn't enough". I ain't doin' it. "Well, that ain't no real Christian woman walkin' around, showin' her shoulders, causin' men to lust". Don't nobody cause you to lust. You put that devil on every mornin'. Nobody cause you to lust. Don't be blamin' 'cause she got beautiful shoulders. "You cover your shoulders up," and the people walkin' around with blankets and cover you. Yeah, don't look. How about that? Try that. Try this, try this, don't look.
Let us return back to our text. All right, let's begin the sermon. God Almighty. 1 Corinthians chapter 15. Are you understandin' the importance of gettin' this gospel? 1 Corinthians 15, verse 12, I'm gon' read in the New Living Translation. All right, now, this is gon' be radical now. If I was in bondage to people, I could not preach the gospel of grace. You talkin' about somebody gettin' dogged at, talked about, you can't preach the gospel. "He preachin' a watered-down gospel". For real? Let's get a cup and see who got more water, you or me, because here's the thing that I have to get, that no matter, no matter how bad I'm slandered, I must be gracious because grace people must be gracious people, amen?
And now watch this. This is so good, verse 12, "But tell me this: Since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead"? "We're preachin' that Christ rose from the dead, but we say there's not gon' be any resurrection from the dead". When you die, you're just dead. "For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless". If Christ wasn't raised from the dead, the preaching is useless, your faith is useless, and you comin' here today is useless. It's a big waste of time if Christ wasn't raised from the dead. "And we apostles would all be lying about God, for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can't be true if there is no resurrection of the dead".
See, I'm tellin' you, when we die as Christian people, we're gonna be raised from the dead. There's gonna be a resurrection from the dead. "And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins". "If Christ has not been raised from the dead, your faith is useless," which means my faith is not of use without Jesus. Oh, listen to me, "Without Jesus, your faith is useless". With Jesus, your faith has use. "Without Jesus, your faith is useless". Jesus is the reason that your faith is useful. Oh, man, this is, you know where I'm goin' with this, right? This is, "Without Jesus, your faith is useless". Throw it away. You have to have Jesus, who has been raised from the dead, in order for your faith to be useful. Faith can't be useful without Jesus.
Somebody said, "What are you getting at"? And then he says, "If he hadn't been raised from the dead, not only is your faith not useful, but you're still guilty in your sin," because right now I'm telling you, "Have faith in Jesus that he's taken care of your sins". "Well, I don't believe Jesus was raised from the dead". Well, you're still guilty in your sin. You're still in your shame because that faith is to be used for all that Jesus has done for us. He made me righteous. I have faith in Jesus that I am righteous. He redeemed me. I have faith in Jesus that I'm redeemed. He healed me. I have faith in Jesus that I'm healed. I'm not sayin', "Have faith in healin'". I'm sayin', "Have faith in Jesus". That's why you're healed. I'm not sayin', "Have faith in your righteousness".
Have faith in Jesus. That's why you're righteous. I'm not sayin', "Have faith in your prosperity". Have faith in Jesus. That's why you're prosperous. All that stuff you seek can't happen if Jesus was not raised from the dead. All right, watch this, watch this. We have, oh, gosh, spent so much time developing faith for our selfish desires. "I'm usin' my faith to get a car, but I ain't usin' my faith to believe Jesus has already made that available". You see what can happen? All of a sudden now, you think that's you usin' this like some kind of tool, and you forgot about faith is useful only with Jesus. We took faith that is useful for Jesus, and we said, "I'm gonna make this faith useful for me".
You see how you get off now? He ain't in the picture no more. Now we got a lot of principles of how you can use your faith to get rich, and you can use your faith to get healed, and you can use your faith to get your family, and you can use your faith, and Jesus ain't nowhere, like you can be okay without Jesus, and he is sayin', "No, back up". It's you can't push him out the picture and think all this is gon' work, somebody, hear me. I feel kind of like the apostle Paul. Paul said, "I know about the law because I was zealous about the law". And I'm sittin' there, thinkin', "I know about what I'm talkin' about 'cause I was one of the top preachers of all of this stuff".
All right, now watch this, Romans chapter 8, verses 31 and 32 in the NLT. All right, watch this, "What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us", say out loud, "God is for me". Say, "God is for me". So we settled that. "If God is for us, who can be against us"? All right, you watch this, watch this, "Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't he also give us everything else"? Do you see the picture here? "I gave you Jesus. Why are you making everything else an issue? Because, when I gave you Jesus, I gave you everything". The car, the house, it all, so I wrote this down so I won't ever forget the day that I actually said it.
So we've got to make a distinction between faith in Jesus versus faith in stuff. Faith in Jesus versus faith in stuff. You're not gon' lack stuff because of your faith in Jesus. He says, "I gave you Jesus. Won't I give you everything else? What's a job? I gave you Jesus". In other words, "I have faith in Jesus, therefore I got the job". "I have faith in Jesus, therefore I'm gon' get the favor". "I got faith in Jesus, therefore I'mma get the car". "I got faith in Jesus, therefore I'mma get the desire of my heart". "I got faith in Jesus. My faith has got to stay there with Jesus. My faith has gotta stay there with Jesus".
So God's cure for disobedience, what he plans on doin' is heaping upon us grace after grace, grace for grace. It is to speak the good news over our lives, and the more I speak this good news over your life, it's elevating us. We're being elevated with the message of Christ. We're being elevated every time you hear what Jesus has done. You're being elevated every time you hear what Jesus has made available for you. And now what happens? We soak up this message, and we begin to understand how much God loves us, and that is the key. Your faith should rest in the love of God. Your faith should rest in how much God loves you. You know what religion did?
Religion got you focusin' on, "You gotta love God. How much do you love God"? You love God? "You don't love God. If you loved God, you'd do this. If you loved", no, no, no, no, no. You can't love God unless you, first of all, receive how much he loves you, 1 John 4:19. He loved us first. The issue is not tryin' to convince everybody how much you love God 'cause God know. The issue is how much you believe he loves you. So my faith is in the unrestricted love of God for me, and now I say, every time somethin' happens, I say, "God loves me. That's gon' be all right". "God loves me. Aw, that'll handle". "God loves me. I'll get another job". "God loves me. Because God loves me, I'll be healed. I know the doctor says I'm supposed to be dead in two days," but I have prayed with people who was supposed to die in a month, and they're still livin', why? Because I didn't sit there and talk to them about ten things you gotta do to be healed.
I sat down there, and I said, "Do you believe that God loves you"? "Yes, Pastor, I believe God loves me". "Well, then, you'll live". "Why"? "Because there's nothin' to restrict or stop God's love for providing whatever you need to live," and they are still alive because their faith is in the love of God. Religion wants to make everything so technical that you move Jesus out the way. "I believe God loves me". Somethin' goes on, some confusion, and you're like, "Hold on, let me get rid of this. God loves me. It's fine. It'll be all right". Some kind of debate goin' on that's bothering you. You can't sleep. You wake up, "God loves me. I'll be all right". "Oh, God loves me. That's gon' be taken care of". "Oh, God loves me. My house will sell". "Oh, oh, God loves me. I know what they did wasn't fair, but he got it. He'll take care of it".
And then you just walk in peace. "Oh, God loves me. It'll be fine. Well, I know they said they hate me, but God loves me. He got the thing. He gon' do it. God loves me". And we're not seein' it. We treat love like this, "Well, I already know that". And that's the problem. You know more than what you understand. Are y'all hearing me? And so, as we soak up this message, we begin to understand how much God loves us, and we effortlessly manifest the fruits of God's Spirit, and we walk in belief, we walk in obedience, which qualifies for the blessings to show up because we believe. The gospel message reveals to us the righteousness that we've obtained in Christ, and then, watch this, the message effortlessly produces God's faith in our lives. I see he's made me righteous. I see he's delivered me.
You see, Jesus does not want us to be, watch this, self-focused, self-focused, to live by faith in ourselves, live by faith in ourselves. God don't want you livin' by faith in you, self-help books, self-help this, self-help that. "You can do it, here are ten ways to do this". That stuff, mm-mm. I've been there, did that, done that, uh-uh, 'cause all that stuff has a expiration date, and when it expires, then what? He don't want me havin' faith in myself. God does not want me striving to try to be important. That's what pride is. Pride is a man that he works so hard to be important. That's not what this is about. I don't wanna be important. I'm a preacher on my way to heaven. I realize that. That's who I am. I'm a preacher on the way to heaven.
Now, I can't help what other people think about me, but my objective is not striving to be important, and then when you see other people just like that, striving to be important, then y'all buckin' with one another, and y'all don't like one another because he look like he's bein' more important than you bein' more important. Now y'all competin' to see who could be more important, and both of y'all two fools. He don't want me to have faith in myself, where we are constantly under the mentality, 'cause I have faith in myself, I'm under the mentality of right versus wrong. I'm under the mentality of disobedience versus obedience. Instead, as we remain in this atmosphere of grace teaching where we can hear and believe the good news, that good news continually does, what? Convinces us to rest in Jesus's all-sufficiency, and what it does is it eradicates unbelief from our lives because we rest in his sufficiency.
I have found rest in his sufficiency. What do I mean? I can rest that Jesus is more than enough. He's enough. God doesn't need me to be who he is, but I need him to be who I am and who he called me to be. My job for the rest of my life is to try to wake you up from this traditional, religious propaganda of wrong belief and pushing Jesus out of the way. "Well, I don't believe in Jesus. You know, Jesus was a white man, and I don't believe in no white Jesus". Oh, Lord Jesus, I don't care what color he is. He went to hell for me. And besides that, he was Jewish. I don't care. I don't care. He went to hell. He spent three days, three nights. He paid the ransom so I can get out of prison. He paid the price that I could not afford to pay. And you gon' talk about what color he is? And they start a movement? "We's the black new Christians".
Think about it, think about it. Do you think they're gonna have those rallies in heaven? My sufficiency is in him, and as bad as people have been dogged out, you've got to figure out how to trust him 'cause you can't trust this system. Everything's falling. You're going to see in a few months everything's falling. Everything you've trusted will not be available. Systems will fail. The way things used to be are not like that anymore, and you're tryin' to figure out, "Well, why is God gonna let all that happen"? 'Cause he loves you enough, 'cause he's trying to get your attention. "Hey, I'm still here. It ain't in you, it ain't in your government, it ain't in your money, it ain't in your system, it's in me. Hey, you need to get your attention back on me".
You done listened to the world. They're doin' their best to try to explain this, but they can't explain, they can explain this, and somethin' else happen. They can't explain that. And why has that happened? And how is that happenin'? "And how come my new hair order ain't got to me yet? I ordered my new hair about eight months ago, and it ain't got here yet". COVID, COVID. "It ain't here yet. Where my sofa at"? "Where my car at? Oh, I want a new car". "Well, we ain't got none". "Well, what happened to 'em"? "They all fell in the ocean". What happened? You can't trust what you used to trust. Things are about to change, and you better know somebody that sits high and looks low. You better know a God who has gone to hell for you, suffered, bled, and died, and rose up on the third day. And you're still trusting systems.
Money about to get funny. Food is about to, "Well, I know you're supposed to be here this time". "It ain't comin' like it used to come". Experts are gonna go back into research because what they thought they knew is being changed, but if I were you, I would move out of Egypt and come on over here to Goshen. Join the people who trust their God. Join the people who believe Jesus. Join the people who rely on him 'cause don't nobody wanna keep havin' church when it ain't workin'. I don't know why you wanna do that. That's what woke me up. When I had a loved one who had cancer, was dyin', I did all the principles. I even put on the Jewish thing.
I went on a long fast. I took the oil out. I did everything they told me to do, and it didn't work, and there was a string of it, and it didn't work, and I'm like, "This ain't workin'," and then, like what Satan so famously does, he now wants to condemn me for it not workin'. "You ain't doin' somethin' right". Now I'm in condemnation, so, on top of condemnation comes fear that it might not work 'cause I might be out, and I done did somethin', I don't know what I did, but it's gotta be me 'cause they said, "It's gotta be somethin' wrong with your faith. That baby died 'cause somethin' wrong with your faith. That mama lost her baby 'cause something's wrong with your faith". "You got a divorce 'cause somethin' wrong with your faith". That's not God. That's condemnation all day long.