Creflo Dollar - Grace Teaches Us Godliness - Part 1
Let's get into this today. And get your ears tuned in to this and ask God to anoint your ears so you can hear. Pray for me that I can break it down to a place where you can see it and understand it and get it; and then when we walk out of here we walk out of here with some fresh understanding, some fresh revelation, and a desire to just whoop the devil. Amen? Praise God. Titus chapter 2 and verse 11. Let's read verse 11 through 13 out loud together. Ready? Read. "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ". All right. Now, verse 11 talks about for the grace of God.
Now, here's how we define grace. Grace is this unmerited, abounding provision; unmerited, abounding, when something abounds, it continues to increase. It's this unmerited, abounding provision of the operation of God's unrestrained love. It's the unrestrained operation of God's infinite love that works through Jesus Christ for mankind, especially for those who depend on him. So this grace of God is not just unmerited favor. It is unmerited favor, but it's an operation of God's love that is not restricted. It is not restrained. It is unrestricted and unrestrained. That simply means there's nothing you can do to restrict God's love for you, and it is something that happens because of your faith in Jesus Christ and it will especially appear in the lives of people who depend on him.
Now, he said that this grace has been, this grace that bringeth salvation has appeared to all men. So this grace has been made available to the whole world, not just people who come to church, not just people who are saved. He said but this grace has been made available to the whole world. So the difference between those of you who are born again and those who are not born again is you decided to receive it. You made Jesus the Lord of your life, you received his grace. It's available to everybody, but you received it. And so you got a lot of folks who hadn't received it. They're confused. Religion has confused them. But you've received it.
You said, "God, I believe in Jesus. I receive him as my Lord and Savior". And when you receive Jesus, you receive this grace, this unrestricted operation of God's love to work for you. But not everybody has received it. It's been made available, but not everybody has received it. Now, notice what this grace does. It teaches us. Us who? Us who've received. So this grace is not teaching people who don't believe it. It's not teaching people who hadn't received it. The grace of God teaches us. So here you're going to learn today how grace teaches you. The grace of God teaches us that denying or refusing ungodliness...now, ungodliness is just simply a person who disregards God. Ungodliness is not just the people who are not born again; ungodliness can also be born again, church-going people, but they disregard God in everything. They neglect God. They don't involve God in nothing.
To live in ungodliness says, "I do things in my life, but I don't regard God. I go after things, but I don't involve God in anything that I go after. I completely neglect him". That's ungodliness. We thought ungodliness was just, you know, worldly foolishness and all of the wickedness. And those things are ungodly, but the Christian needs to know that you can be as ungodly as those wicked people just by disregarding God. Ungodliness means having no regard for God. So how many times have you done something and didn't even check with God? Are you at the place in your life right now where you're doing things and you don't even see a need to go to God and ask him to bless it? That's ungodliness, and he says the grace of God will teach us to refuse ungodliness. It'll teach us to refuse worldly lusts.
We talked about that last week. But now today we're going to talk about what grace will teach us. Grace will teach us how to live soberly, how to live righteously, and ultimately how to live godly in this present world. So let's talk this morning about how grace teaches us godliness. Let's begin to work on a definition for that. You understand what ungodliness is all about so you know the opposite of that is true. Godliness means to have regard for God, to involve him, to not neglect him. Here's the big part of godliness. Godliness includes voluntary dependence on him. That's huge. Godliness includes voluntary dependence on him. Why do I use the word voluntary? Because you are a human being, you are men and women of God, which means you have a right to decide.
You can choose life or death. You can choose blessings or cursing. You can choose to regard God, or you can choose to disregard God. Godliness is you voluntarily depending upon him, and when you voluntarily depend on him... see, see, listen to me. When you talk about depending on God, when all hell breaks loose you don't try to figure out what you're going to do to fix it. You back up and say, "God, I know you love me. I depend on you". And then he shows up and he does something you couldn't even figure out how to do. That's what godliness is all about. See, when you begin to live this godly life, a godly life is going to be free from doubt as to his wisdom because you depend on that wisdom. It's going to be free from the doubt of his love because you voluntarily depend on that love. You're not going to doubt his goodness 'cause you depend on that goodness. You're not going to doubt his provision because you depend on that provision.
And so when I talk about living a godly life, I'm talking about living a life where you are dependent upon him. You depend on his wisdom. You depend on his love. You depend on his provisions. You depend on his goodness. That's what it means to be godly. Dependence upon God then excludes all dependence upon self. When you are dependent upon God, you are no longer dependent on self. And I don't know about y'all, but I spent too many years dependent on me. How many of you are tired of depending on you? You know, I hear people testify about their children and I just say, "They're going to be fine. They're going to be fine". You know what got me there? I almost went crazy trying to figure out what else I can do to help them out and I just decided, "I depend on you, God. They are yours. You got them".
And, you know, God is going to show up. He is not going to let you down. You're going crazy, hair falling out your head, all kinds of stuff going on, you getting sick, you ain't happy, and...no, no, no, no. None of that no more. That's why it said cast all your care on him because he cares for you. I depend on God. I need somebody to say that with me right quick. "I depend on God". So that's going to exclude dependence on myself. You know, sometimes I think we as Christians are too high strong. We think sometimes we know more than God. We actually think God really needs us to change somebody's life. You must have forgot what he did with you.
When everybody was trying to talk sense to you and you weren't paying nobody no attention, somewhere along the line the power of God entered on the inside of you and you took a look at yourself and said, "I need to change. I need to get something together. I'm too old to be acting like an old fool. I got to", God don't need nobody to help him to change somebody. He can use you if he want to, but he's changed too many people without you. Just 'cause you can't see him doesn't mean he's not impactful 'cause he'll sneak up on you. You'll be sitting in church thinking you bad and all of a sudden the power of God hits you and you crying. You wiping your face not wanting. "Is that tears"? God knows how to change us. So when you're going to live godly, you're going to, and dependent, depend upon him, that's going to exclude you depending on yourself.
Now, pause for a moment and quickly look at the areas where you're depending on yourself. You're depending on yourself for a better job. You're depending on yourself for a better situation. You're depending on yourself, and so when you depend on yourself, you kind of start moving in to all the things you can do to make this happen. I got tired of doing that. I just said, "Lord, I depend on you. If it happen, it's good. If it don't happen, it's still good. I'm on your team. You will make sure before this thing ends up I'd be at the right place at the right time doing the right thing". Are you listening to me?
So now as believers depending upon God is a decision, and for some of us we need reasons why we need to depend on him. Let me give you two quick ones before we get started. A believer is dependent upon God, it's really in a twofold sense. Very quickly, number one, we can depend on God because God reinstated us into Adam's original condition.
Now, here's where I'm coming from. Whatever God creates, he is responsible for taking care of. He's not going to create anything and not accept the responsibility for provision. He's responsible for taking care of it, and a lot of times we don't see that 'cause we don't wait long enough. We insert ourselves quickly, and you have to understand, "God created me. He got to take care of me". He has to. His whole character of integrity is on the line. Now, not only does he have to take care of me, but he is responsible. When Adam sinned in the garden, Adam and Eve, he reinstated me into Adam's original condition. So if he made that his business, he also has to make his business taking care of me. So that's the first thing.
The second thing, he becomes a new, this man, you and I, we became a new creation with a divine nature. Go to 2 Corinthians 5:17 and 18. So I've been reinstated back into the original condition before Adam's sin. But not only that, I have been given a new creation. I've got a divine nature that I didn't have. Look at this in verse 17 and 18. "Therefore if any man be in Christ". So if you're in Christ, you're born again. "If any man be in Christ, he is a," what? A new creature. All right, so when you got born again, you became a new creature, a new creation that's never existed before. All right? "The old things are passed away; behold, all things are become," what? New.
And look at the first part of verse 18. "And all things are of God". All things are of God. I want you to see here God getting involved in this. The creation of Adam was by the unlimited great power of God, the omnipotence of God. God through his omnipotence and his greatness and his power created an Adam, but the new creation, when we got born again, is not only by the power of God but it's also by his grace that was made possible by the death of Jesus Christ. So when Jesus died, that allowed me not only to get born again, reinstated, but now I have a new creation that God gave me through Jesus that he now has to become responsible for meeting all of the needs of that new creation. He created vegetation. He's responsible for it. He created birds. He's responsible for them. He created the fish in the sea. He's responsible for them. He created the flowers. He's responsible for them. He created the sun, the moon, the stars. He's responsible for everything he created, and this is amazing.
Everything that God created ultimately depends on him except for mankind. Sometimes we think we don't need to depend on him, but every other creation has to depend on him. The birds ain't got nobody going to Kroger's to do shopping for the week. They have to depend on God. Everything's got to depend on God, and they know they got to depend on God. They depend on who created them. And all of a sudden man came in the garden and thought that, "Well, I'm like God. I don't really need to depend on God like everything else". And you come to find out since the fall in the garden, that you need God. You come to find out since Corona you need God. You come to find out since the economic crisis you need God. You come to find out that the people that was going, you thought was going to be there and they're not... you need God.
And I'm telling you in the months to come you're going to further begin to understand that you need God. The government not going to be able to help you. The money they give you ain't going to be able to help you. You need God. When all systems fail, you're going to need somebody that still sits high and looks low. You're going to need God. "I need you, Lord. I need you, Lord. When I don't think I need you, I need you, Lord". Hallelujah. When you got the flu and somebody said you get over, I still need him. Glory be to God. When you got money in the bank, "I don't know how much money they're really taking from me. I need you, Lord". "But the news say this". "I don't know about them talking like a... I don't know what they talking about. I don't know what they decided to tell, I need you, God. I need you".
And I am telling you every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Everything God created he takes care of except a human that don't think he need him. And it's not that he don't want to take care of him, you don't want his care. That's a prideful man instead of a humble man. Are you listening to me? And so this doubly guarantees God's ability and willingness to provide all that his new creation needs.
Let me show you this, let's look at the New Living Translation Romans 8:32. I'm trying to convince you, isn't it strange I'm in church trying to convince you that you need God? You would think you wouldn't have to do that in church, but that is exactly where we have to do it because there's somewhat of an arrogance in church where somehow your intellectual understanding of the Bible makes you think you don't need God; and so your self-effort proceeds to deceive you into thinking that you can do this because you've been saved, you know how to pray, you know how to pray in tongues, coming outside and tie my tie, and now I am in church trying to convince you you need God. I need him. I need him. I woke up 4:30 this morning.
You know, if I'm up I figured the Lord woke me up, and I just started to pray till the sun came up and throughout the whole time I said, "Lord, I need you. I know I'm going to preach on today, Lord, but I don't know how to quite articulate it. I need you. There's stuff that needs notes and in these Scriptures I hadn't seen yet. I pray you're my eyes. I need you, Lord. Hallelujah. I need you, Jesus. Glory to God. I need you". And God likes to hear that he's needed. Sometimes he allows certain things to happen just so you can need him. I don't need nothing big to happen for me to need him. I need him to wake me up in the morning. I need him to show me what to wear. I need him.
But look at this Scripture here. "Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave his son up for us all", since he gave Jesus up for us all, won't he also give us everything else? You remember this question in the Bible: Is there anything too hard for God? And somehow you convince yourself that there are certain things too hard for God. He gave you his son. Won't he give you everything else? That is his commitment that, number one, you need him; but number two, he's committed to meeting your need. You got to pause a little bit, and you got to even ask yourself, "Have I even taken the time to go to God and say, 'God, I need you here?' I need you here. Lord, I need you to help me. Show me how to have sweetlips, and show me how to be kind, and show me how to represent you in the best way, Lord, and give me wisdom. I got some knowledge, but I don't know how to use it".
Wisdom is knowing what to do when you don't know what to do. "Show me what to do, Lord. I need you". Or have you gotten so big time that you don't need God? I don't never want to be in a situation in my life where I don't need him. Even if I've done it before, I don't want to say, "I did that before. I don't need God. I already know". You know, God got a million ways of getting you out of debt in 3 days. You don't need but one, but I want to go to him. This is what Christianity is about. It is a personal one-on-one relationship with him where you are depending on him, and your depending on him defines godly living. "I'm depending on him, and I am no longer depending on myself". That's big time right there. That's maturity right there. You got nothing to boast about 'cause you know it ain't you. When you can find yourself only boasting about God, that's maturity right there. Amen?
See, God's getting ready to do something in your life. He's getting ready to use you in extravagant ways, but you can't come out of this thing thinking it was you. God wants the glory out of this. And I don't know about you, I'm going to give him the glory. Every time you got an opportunity to say, "Oh, I praise and thank God," that's what you do. Somebody come and say, "Oh, I like your suit". "Oh, I praise and I thank God". Don't sit there talking about, "You know, what can I say"? All of the vernacular of the world to help desensitize the praise and the glory that's due unto his name. This is an awesome Scripture: "He gave us his son. Won't he also give us everything else"? He gave you Jesus. Won't he also give you everything else? Surely every child of God should exercise unfailing dependence upon his power and unfailing dependence on his love as expressed in his grace.
Listen to what I said. Unfailing dependence. "I depend on his power. I depend on his grace". Maybe you've never been there before, but when your body is hit with something and the doctor say they ain't got no cure for it, you ought not panic. You should say, "You know, I didn't come here dependent on you anyway. I came here dependent on God. And if he can use you I depend on God to figure out how to use you, but if you ain't got nothing I still depend on God. I'm going to trust in God. I'm going to depend on God". I believe this is what has to be awakened on the inside of every believer in these last days; that we will not walk in fear, we're not going to walk in panic, we're going to depend on God.