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Watch 2022 online sermons » Creflo Dollar » Creflo Dollar - Grace Teaches Us Godliness - Part 3

Creflo Dollar - Grace Teaches Us Godliness - Part 3


Creflo Dollar - Grace Teaches Us Godliness - Part 3
TOPICS: Grace, Godliness

Let's begin here in the book of Titus chapter 2, verse 11 through 13. We're continuing in the series "How Grace Teaches Us Godliness". We know that ungodliness is a total disregard of God, and basically, to be ungodly is more than just the wickedness that we list in our list, but to be ungodly is a person who neglects God. They disregard God. They don't even think it's necessary to ask for God to bless a thing anymore. That is ungodly, and the Bible says the grace of God'll teach us to refuse that. But godliness is the opposite. Godliness is to have a regard for God, but at the very base of this, the very base of a godly lifestyle is a voluntary submission to live a life that's dependent upon God. A voluntary submission to live a life totally dependent upon God, and that's something, as Christians, that we have to learn how to do in order to allow grace to teach us godliness.

So let's look at this Scripture in verse 11, Titus chapter 2. Let's just review just a little bit. Verse 11, says, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men". So, "The grace of God that brings salvation appears to all men". So just so you can get a mental picture, Jesus is grace. The Bible says, "Jesus, full of grace and truth". Now look at this progression. Here is Jesus first, and out of Jesus comes grace, and out of grace comes truth. They're all the same, but, ultimately, grace is not a curriculum or a subject matter. Grace is a person. His name is Jesus, and grace comes as a result of Jesus, and truth comes as a result of grace. So you can't just preach anything and call it truth.

So, in the New Testament, when the Bible makes reference to truth, he's making reference to grace. He's making reference to Jesus, "Jesus, the way, the truth," you see? And so we've got to start, kind of, identifying these terms so we can follow along with what he's tryin' to show us in the New Testament. He says, "For the grace of God, it brings salvation," and it's been made available to every man on the planet. Everybody that's alive had the same opportunity as you and I had. They have an opportunity to make Jesus the Lord of their lives, receive him as Lord and personal Savior and to get born again. Everybody on the planet have that opportunity. Now, you, hopefully, have taken advantage of that opportunity and said, "Yes, I believe, and I receive Jesus as my Lord and personal Savior," but this grace, this opportunity to be saved, then, you didn't deserve it...it was made available to the whole world.

Now look at verse 12. He says, now, this grace teaches us. So this is amazing. Grace, Jesus, grace, teaches us. Teaches who? Teaches us who have received him. It doesn't teach those who hadn't received him. Grace was made available to them, but they didn't receive, and because they didn't receive, then grace doesn't teach them. So grace teaches us. Somebody, say, "Grace is teaching me right now". Grace. I mean, he's accepted the responsibility to teach all of those who believe and all of those who have received him. Grace teaches us. Well, what is he gonna teach us? He's gonna teach us to deny, that word "deny" means "refuse". "He teaches us that, denying ungodliness", we're gonna refuse ungodliness, which means we're gonna refuse this life of disregarding God.

We're gonna refuse this life of neglecting God. We're gonna refuse to live a life without having God in that life, okay? It's gonna also teach us to refuse worldly lusts. It's gonna teach us to, get us to the point where we are not going to allow, worldly lusts is all about those inside cravings and desires that are valued greater than God, those inside cravings or desires that you value greater than God. See, I can't necessarily look at you in your life and see all of the worldly, lustful things that you do because some of it is in hiding. It's hiding in your heart. It's a craving that I might not be able to see.

It is a desire that I might not be able to see, but I wanna make sure you understand that, if you have a desire to value something in this world greater than God, then that is worldly lust, okay? He says, "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts," he said that "we should be sober, live soberly, live righteously," and here's where we are, that "he wants to teach us to live godly in this present world," and while grace, while Jesus is teaching us, notice what he said to do in verse 13. He says, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ". So while grace is teaching us, we're looking for the return of the Lord.

Now, things are getting crazy every day, and you think it's getting crazy with the shootings and all of that. That's not the end of this. It's gonna get more, you're gonna see stuff that's gonna just blow your mind. You're just like, "This is crazy," and it's gonna get more crazy, okay? The only thing that's gonna stop the progression of the craziness that this world is about to see is the Rapture of the church. The Rapture is gonna interrupt all of this stuff that's goin' on right now, and we are, we who have believed are in the process of allowing Jesus to put the final touches on our lives. The finished works on our life, amen? So I'm not just reading to you. I'm not just telling you this. You better open yourself up and get ready.

The return of the Lord Jesus Christ is at hand. In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, the dead in Christ will rise first, and those of you who are alive and remain shall be changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, and you shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and there shall you forever be with the Lord. He says, "You start looking for that 'cause that's about to happen". Systems are gonna fail, and they're not gonna recover like they used to recover. They're not gonna rebound like they used to rebound. There are certain lies that are told, and then, all of a sudden, one day, you're gonna realize you'd been lied to. You better let the Holy Ghost teach you how to live a godly life. Are you listenin' to me now?

All right, so let's define godliness once again. Godliness, it means to have regard for God, and it includes a voluntary dependence upon him. Godliness is all about voluntary dependence upon him. A godly life is gonna, for example, it's gonna be free from doubt as to his wisdom, doubt as to his love, doubt as to his goodness, doubt as to his provision. You're gonna depend on him, and you're gonna totally trust and believe him where his wisdom is concerned, his love, his goodness, his provision. Listen to this very carefully: Dependence upon God excludes all dependence upon self. Dependence upon God excludes all dependence upon self. So Grace is tryin' to teach us to depend upon God and stop dependin' on you 'cause you're gonna find out, some of the stuff even you depended on, you depended that you could be able to do this stuff, it's not gon' be like that no more.

All of us will be put in positions where you won't be able to fix it, but God can, and I don't want you to wait until the last minute to work on and start practicing dependin' on God. You need to depend on God and start dependin' on him, RAT, "rat now," quick as a rat. You need to do it rat now, amen? Opportunities to depend upon God. And then every child of God should exercise unfailing dependence if we're talkin' about ungodliness. Our dependence upon God should be dependent on God where his power and his love is expressed through grace. So I depend on God's power, the ability to get the job done. I depend on God's love for me. I know God loves me. I know God loves me. I know God loves me. My faith rests in the love of God. I know God loves me, therefore, what he promised me will come to pass. I know God loves me, therefore, I'm healed. I know God loves me, therefore, I'm delivered. I know God loves me. And even if you don't get the answer right away, you still gotta know God love you, and he's workin' somethin' out, a'ight?

Now, it is so important to recognize that godly living includes this unfailing dependence upon the grace of God. I want you to hear that over and over again. Godly living is all about this unfailing dependence upon the grace of God. The believer in Christ cannot be said to be living a truly godly life until he is brought to a place where he bows his head, he bows his heart to the grace of God. So the humble attitude here of complete dependence upon God, this attitude will express itself in voluntary submission to God's will, and you will submit yourself to this little wonderful Scripture, 1 Corinthians chapter 10:31, where it says, "Do all things to the glory of God". "Do all things to the glory of God" will become the rule for your life. As grace teaches you about godliness, it'll eventually come to the place, "Do all things to the glory of God".

Now, here's what I'm gonna show you this morning is that, when you make a decision to live a life of dependence upon God, you are giving God glory. That's how you give God glory by dependin' on him. I don't know how we've defined it in the past, but you give God the glory by exhibiting your dependence on him, and every time you wake up and you decide to live a life dependin' on God, at the same time, simultaneously, you are giving him the glory. Somebody says, "Well, what you gon' do about this"? "Well, I'm just relyin' on Jesus". You just gave God the glory. "Well, what you gon' do about that"? "Well, I'm just dependin' on God". You just gave God the glory. God's tryin' to show you that he doesn't need you to change somebody's life. He can do that on his own.

Sometimes, I think we think God's more dependent on us than we should own him, amen? And so this becomes pretty vital in what we're tryin' to do. So the world's religions, for example, let me give you an illustration on how thick I think this is today. The world's religions, they all have moral codes. Pick a religion. They all have a moral code. They have some moral rules and standards that they expect you to live by, but even if you conform to it, it would not be called "godly living" because you decided to conform to some godly ways of living, why? Because "godly living" is dependent on God. Your conformity to a rule does it make it godly. You may conform to somethin' that looks godly, but to conform to somethin' that even looks godly, but it doesn't depend on God. It's not godly. Even if you, let's take, for example, the golden rule or the Mosaic Law, and, you know, you have conformity to the golden rule or to the Mosaic Law.

You know, it would be godly living only if it could be in full dependence upon God, only if you're dependin' on God to help you with the golden rule or help you with the Mosaic Law, and it's done to his glory. See, we got this thing called, you know, this pious, devout religious living. Some religions have these pious, devout rel...living. However, self-sacrificing is not necessarily godliness, why? Is it dependent on God? Self-sacrificing is not necessarily godliness if it's not dependin' on God.

Now let me give you a illustration for the church in our community today. Godly living is not mere service for others 'cause we come to church, and we think that's the thing we should do. And it is good. It has value temporarily, but God wants to move us out of the temporarily. He wants us to get into some eternal things. Godly living is not mere service for others, the present-day social service programs, being neighborly, the things that we do, the goodwill of many churches that we show. Our church, for example, we are feeding people, what, twice a week. I mean, that's cool, but if we're not dependin' on God to do it, it's not godliness. Oh, we got people, and we put 'em all in hotels. Oh, that's good, but if it's not done, dependin' on God, it's not godliness. And what the church has done is we do stuff to make us look godly, but we're not dependin' on God for what we're doing. I'm gon' keep nailin' it in. We do this.

You know, in some churches, you can have a bunch of hellions out there, passin' food out, and they're not dependin' on God. It's the thing they do probably to make them feel pretty good about themself. If not in dependence upon God, it's not for his glory. It may have temporary value, yeah, the food we give out, and it may have temporary value until the next week and the next week and the next week, but now what happens when the church is not dependin' on God to keep the food goin' and the people that are comin', gettin' the food are not dependin' on God to have the food, and that whole system is shut down, and you still don't know how to depend on God. It had temporary value until we recognize that your roots were messed up, and you were not dependin' on God. You were dependin' on the church to have it. No, no, no, no, no, the church ain't God. The pastor ain't God. You've got to learn how to depend on God for yourself. That's what grace wants to teach you. He wants to teach you godliness and how to depend on God.

Now, I'm about to enter into somethin' that has probably taken 41 years for me to figure out how to articulate it, and, now, I need you to hear it. I really thank God for this church. I thank God that you're students of grace. I thank God that you know how to sit. You know how to listen. You know how to eat dinner. You're not eatin' just food. And maybe I might not get it right as far as how to articulate it today, but I think it's time for me to attempt to do this. Now, there are five ways, we probably won't cover 'em all today, but the believer's life that should be in complete dependence upon God is taught in many different ways throughout the Scripture, and we may not have recognized it, but there are five different subjects that are taught in the Bible that have been designed to teach the believer complete dependence. I wanna look at the first one. The complete dependence upon God is taught through, here's the first one, through the teachings of faith. Through the teachings of faith. Faith is a teaching that is supposed to teach the believer, the believer about complete dependence upon God.

Now, let me show you these three Scriptures. We're just gonna read 'em. You're probably gonna interpret them as you have always in your past, and then I'm gonna become an enemy to those three Scriptures, but let's read 'em, first of all. The first Scripture, Hebrews chapter 10:38, Hebrews 11, in 6, and Romans 14:23. Let's go to Hebrews 10:38. I'm gonna show you that, oh, man, why it's so important to get this thing in context because grace was supposed to be the teacher of complete dependence upon God, and I don't know if that happened. Let's see. "Now the just shall live by faith". Yeah, he's supposed to be livin' by faith. "But if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him". Okay, so the question is, okay, "So how was this supposed to teach me about complete dependence upon God"?

All right, let's go to Hebrews chapter 11:6, settin' it up now. Hebrews chapter 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him". Well, I know God is pleased when we live a life of godliness, and we're in complete dependence upon God, but how does this accomplish that? "For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he's a rewarder of them that diligently seek him". "He rewards those that diligently seek him". All right, let's go to Romans 14:23. Romans 14:23. See, it's easy for you to read this and define these Scriptures based on what you have learned about faith in the past, and I'm tellin' you, you've gotta ask yourself, even based on what you've learned in the past, "How does that teach me complete dependence upon God, and how does it teach me godliness"? Verse 23, "And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith, for whatsoever is not of faith is sin".

All right, so now, right now, ladies and gentlemen, it's obvious that an understanding of the word of faith is needed to bring out the full meaning of these Scriptures. I have got to give you an understanding of the word of faith. If I don't give you an understanding of the word of faith, you will continue to look at these Scriptures, and I guarantee you, it's not gonna be teaching you complete dependence on God. Somehow, you come out having more dependence on what you can do. You follow me? Now let's go to the book of Romans chapter 4. Romans chapter 4, verse 18 through 21. I wanna read it in the King James and then in NLT, because one of the clearest explanations of faith is found in Romans 4:18 and 21. I mean, we've struggled. I remember when we start teachin' this, it's like, okay, so, what is it? For what is it?

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen". And so what is it? What is it? Well, faith is actin' out on God's Word. Well, what is it? And what is it? And I'm not saying I got a problem with any of that stuff, but the clearest definition of the word of faith is found here in these set of Scriptures here. Are you ready? This is Abraham talking, and Abraham was promised, especially Sarah, I think it's Genesis 18. He says, "You're gon' conceive". She started laughin' at him. Then, I think God's like, "Are you laughin'"? "No, no, no, I'm not. I'm, just, kind of, I'm happy". Abraham's sayin', "I'm...what? I'm gon' be 100 years old and have a kid? What"? And then God showed up later on, in Genesis, and said, "Now I am here to fulfill what I promised. Now, I told you, Sarah, you're gon' conceive. Now I'm here to bring it to pass". And God puts somethin' on that 100-year-old man and that 90-year-old woman, and I tell you, there was somethin' goin' on up in that tent that they ain't seen in a long time. You understand?

All right, now, watch this. So Abraham gets this, and he says, "Who against hope, he believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, 'So shall thy seed be.'" Verse 19, "And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead," which means there are no seeds. There's no life-giving force. It ain't workin', a'ight? "when he was about 100 years old," and then he says, and he wasn't just the problem either. "Neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb". Ain't no live eggs in there. What's goin' on? Watch this: "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but he was strong in faith, giving glory to God". Watch the next verse, and here it is: "And being fully persuaded that he had promised, he was fully persuaded that, what he had promised, that what God had promised," Abraham says, "I'm persuaded that what God has promised, that God was able to perform it". Did you see the dependence right there? Abraham said, "He promised it. He's able. He's able".
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