Creflo Dollar - What Is Ungodliness and Worldly Lust? - Part 1
If you have your Bibles this morning, go with me to the book of Titus, chapter 2 and verse 11 through 13, the book of Titus chapter 2, and 11 through 13. Now, there are some things you have to catch, some revelations you have to catch, but I'm convinced that in this time and in this world, I don't know, I don't quite understand where people are getting stuff from, if we say we live by the Bible. And so this is going to be a big confrontation about where we get stuff from. Titus chapter 2, verse 11 through 13, and it reads, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation, it has appeared to all men".
So, the grace of God that's responsible for salvation, salvation has been made available to everybody on the planet. Anybody that wants to get saved can be saved. It's been made available for everybody. All right, now watch this. He says this grace teaches us. Now, here's a distinction. Grace teaches us. It doesn't teach people that have not yet made a decision to make Jesus the Lord of their life. Grace teaches us. So, grace teaches us. But what does grace teach? It teaches us that denying ungodliness and denying worldly lust, that we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. So, how can people say that grace is responsible for increasing sin and careless living, when grace is the number one agent of Christian character and Christian conduct?
Grace teaches us to deny ungodliness. It teaches us to deny worldly lust. It teaches us that we should live soberly. It teaches us that we should live righteously. Grace teaches us to live godly in this present world. So, if anything's responsible for teaching Christian conduct, it's grace. But grace has gotten a bad rap. People have said that "Well, under grace, people sin more. And under grace, people are involved in..." No, no, no, I don't know what kind of grace you're talking about, but this grace teaches us godly Christian conduct. Next verse. Now watch this. In the middle of this, he says, "And grace is teaching us to look for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ".
So, while I'm looking for the return of the Lord... how many of you know that Jesus is coming back real soon, amen? This is a good time to get it together. Jesus is coming back, and the grace of God is gonna begin to teach us. Now, I want to go back and look at verse 12, and we want to break this down over the next several weeks. It says that it teaches us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust... what is ungodliness and worldly lust? That's what we're gonna talk about today. What is ungodliness and worldly lust? Popular conception limits ungodliness to that which is wicked, immoral. Those are the things that we say are ungodly, and they are, but we limit ungodliness to wickedness, immorality, depraved, debased, dishonorable, dishonesty. This is what we have learned.
All my life, when I see ungodliness, I was only told about the wickedness part and the dishonorable part. And while that is ungodly and while that is true, here's what I've discovered: that's not the whole truth. It is truth. Wickedness is ungodliness. Dishonesty is ungodliness, but that's not the whole truth. You see, that which is highly moral, that which is cultured, that which is refined is as ungodly as are those immoral, wicked, depraved things. "What are you saying, Pastor Dollar"? Well, I just decided to just do something to just look up a word. I realized I hadn't gotten the whole truth on this. I just went to Noah Webster's 1848... Webster's, it's the, I wrote it down 'cause if you can get it, it's the American Dictionary of English Language by Noah Webster, 1828. I just wanted to know, Noah, how were you defining the word "ungodly"? The word "ungodly" is defined as not having regard for God. Uh-oh.
This word "ungodly," it's a disregard of God. It's neglecting God. When you disregard something, it means to omit, to take notice of it. To disregard means to omit to take notice of God, not even taking notice of God, to neglect to observe. We neglect to observe God. To slight as unworthy of regard or notice. Very simply put, it includes all that is done without taking God into account. That's ungodliness. All the things that church folks do, Christian people do, but they don't take God into account is also ungodliness. Some speak of unsaved as ungodly, but they fail to realize that everything that a saved person does without taking God into account is also ungodly.
Now, see, ain't nobody ever told me that before. I thought as long as I was saved, I was considered godly, until I found out that ungodliness is not just wickedness. Ungodliness is when I start doing stuff, and I don't even take God into account. And I freaked out, because I'm like, that's what it is. That's what it's defined, but I just was taking stuff from the pulpit, failing to go home and check it out for myself, and I got one side of it, and in some cases became self-righteous to those ungodly people while in my own life, and yours, too, in my own life, I was coming to church, learning Scripture, but there was ungodliness in my life, not because of a sin action, but because I didn't even think it was necessary to notice God in what I proceeded to do.
If you understand that, then I can go on. Say amen. The saved, you and I are saved. I know that we are godly because of our standing in Christ. I am godly because of what Jesus has done. I'm godly because of Jesus. I'm righteous because of Jesus. I'm redeemed because of Jesus. I am godly. But many, many, many Christians, we tolerate ungodliness in our lives, even being godly, see, I'm godly because of Jesus, but there's still ungodliness that's tolerated in my life, because in my life I'm doing things without taking God into account. How many activities have you've started? How many businesses have you started? How many ministries you started? How much stuff you doing right now and ain't took not now second to find out, "God, what you want me to do with this"?
Every act in a believer's life that does not take God into account is ungodly. Everything that one cannot ask God to bless is ungodly. That means you actually will begin to do something and have such a disregard for God, you don't even bother asking him to bless it. That's where we are right now. "Oh, I've been in church all my life". And you still need God to bless it. Getting married and God ain't blessing it. Starting a business and God ain't blessing it. Buying a car and God ain't blessing. Did you get him involved? "Lord, you think I ought to buy this one"? He'll tell you. "Nah, that's a lemon". What happens when we get so busy that we don't even see a need to get God to bless us? Get up in the morning. You feel like you don't need God to bless you. You don't need God to take care of you. There's no leaning on God. There's no noticing God. There's a total disregard by church people who are godly because of Jesus, but tolerate ungodliness throughout their lives. The true nature of godliness is best understood from man's relationship to God, and that's where you can see this, our relationship with God.
Man came into being by a creative act of God. Look at Genesis chapter 1:27. I cannot, because of what happened to me by getting one side of ungodliness and godliness, I can't afford to teach this without being very thorough in the presentation of it. Verse 27, read it out loud with me. He says, So God created who? Who? I mean, you can keep reading if you want to. I just need you to know where you came from. "God created man in his own image; in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them". And so man came into being by a creative act of God. Agreed? Man came into being by a creative act of God; therefore, all that man is and all that he has is of God. He who created can also supply everything or every need to the creature. He who created can supply everything, every need that the creature needs. He created man. He can provide everything a man needs, why? Because in this case, the Creator is a love. His care for us or his care for the creature is assured because of his love. God cares for us. God loves us. God is well able to take care of whatever you need. Glory be to God.
All right, so now putting just Genesis 1:27 together, the only proper attitude of the creature towards the Creator is one of absolute dependence upon him in all things. If you put it all together here, how it should be is that the Creator, who is love, made us, then we should absolutely have an attitude of dependence upon him for everything. That should be my attitude as a man. I'm depending on him for everything, no matter what it is. Because he's the Creator, and I'm what he created, and he's love, I should indeed be dependent on him for everything, like the birds. I want to hit it myself. I'll slow up. Dependence upon the Creator is then the basic law for man. Dependence upon the Creator should be the basic law for man. Everything the Creator creates depends on the Creator. Huh. Dependence upon him should be a basic issue where man is concerned, just like it is for all of everything else that God created. If you understood everything I just said to this point, say amen.
Can I go on? You with me, right? Now, there is, however, a fundamental difference between man's dependence upon God and that of most of his creation. So, you've got everything God created, and then you've got man. The whole universe depends upon God's provision, for its maintenance. Look at Colossians 1, verse 17. Let's look at it in the King James and then the NLT. The whole universe depends upon God's provision, for its maintenance. I mean the earth depends upon God to make sure it does what it does: the sun, the moon, the stars. How's the animal kingdom eating? Watch this. Colossians chapter 1 and verse 17, "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist". That means they're maintained and held together; by him all things consist. They are maintained and held together.
Look at this in the NLT. "He existed before anything else". So, please understand, everybody who's praying to the universe, God didn't come out of the universe. The universe came out of God. Hm? Start didn't start God. God started start. In the beginning, everything was in the beginning except for God. The beginning came out of God. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. And it seems like all of everything he created is holding together pretty good, except for men. The universe is made up, now follow me here just a tad bit of little science, just a tad bit. I don't want nobody saying, "Well, where we at, in school this morning"? Oh, absolutely. Oh, yes. The universe is made of matter. And all of the matter has fixed properties. Everything that God made, matter, that thing we can see, feel, and touch, all that came out of God. Mm. Mm. These properties respond to physical laws, by which God controls and sustains all matter, and he controls and sustains all energy.
So, here's God, and then matter came out of God. Then he put certain physical laws that are responsible for making it do what it do. Everybody understand me? Because the material universe is inorganic. In other words, it didn't derive from living matter, but the material universe didn't derive from matter. It wasn't a big bang, and then everything came out of the matter that came from the big bang. It was God, then matter. Ah. And the Creator is the one that applies certain fixed laws that said the earth rotates on its axis, and that's how it's gonna be until he tells it to stop. He's now responsible for all of that. In order for you to understand this, let me compare the vegetable kingdom with the animal kingdom, with us, as far as the creation is concerned.
All right, so you've got the vegetable kingdom. It also depends upon the Creator. It's governed by fixed laws, but these laws of life by which light and heat are received from the sun, and rain comes from clouds, and elements out of the earth and air, and all of these are provided by the Creator, and they're received automatically by the planet, because the Creator is not going to create nothing and not set stuff up for you to automatically be taken care of. If those laws are not broken or violated, the vegetables are going to be all right. I'm gonna show you how our kingdom just trying to mess up everybody else's stuff. Sometimes, if you just back up and leave stuff alone, it'll correct itself. We saw that during the pandemic. Certain places that were highly polluted, when they shut folks down, the earth just did what it needed to do. They saw blue skies, and they hadn't seen them in 20 years.
Let's look at the animal kingdom. Likewise, it depends on the Creator, and it's preserved through natural laws. And so these laws are of higher order, and these laws include instinct with the animal kingdom, instinct so a gazelle knows by instinct to run from a lion. Certain things they know by instinct. I have a kind of dog. I got this dog. It's a Caucasian shepherd, and it, by instinct, it protects. Since I had him, he's always protected. And I saw an amazing work yesterday, just looking through my window. There were two coyotes that showed up, and they were trying to get in his domain. And that big old tail went up, and he got big like, "I'm Mufasa. You don't come in this area right here. I've got people I'm protecting right here. By instinct, I've got to kill all of y'all if y'all come over this border". Certain things they know by instinct. And all of this speaks in no uncertain terms of creation's dependence upon God's bountiful provision, but all is of reflex, or it is of nonvoluntary nature. They know how to do these kind of things.