Creflo Dollar - The Cross: The Defining Line of the Gospel - Part 1
I'm noticing what's going on in the world today. I'm noticing what's going on with believers today. I'm noticing even what's going on with the Bible today, how people think about the Bible and how it, you know, is becoming a book that people are keeping closed and dust is gathering on that book. And yet it is the only book that gives us information about heaven and hell. It's the only book that gives us information about spiritual things and how to conduct ourselves in the physical world. It is the wisdom of heaven being released into our lives. This book that men are keeping closed and not paying attention to, it is the only information by which we can gain of understanding of how to live successfully in this world. This book, men have tried to get rid of. They've tried to, during the Dark Ages, burn it. They try to go against it.
Now people are saying it shouldn't be read because it's just written by a bunch of, you know, weird men, and this book, it contradicts itself. All of the attacks against this one book, and yet it still remains. Without this book a lot of us would've lost our mind a long time ago. This book, this Bible, is going to be the difference between a journey down a path of great success, or we'll continue to submit ourselves to the wisdom of men and we'll submit ourselves to wisdom that has been passed down from one generation of men to another generation of men as we ignore the answers that's in the book. I heard somebody say one time if you wanna keep something a secret, put it in a book. And it seems like the enemy has taken ahold of that, that human philosophy, in saying, "You know what? All of the answers pertaining to life and godliness are in this book, and now people don't wanna read it".
They come to church and they're listening for a performance. They come to church and they're looking for someone to stir their emotions up. They come to church and they're looking for something on what they can agree on, and it seems like the Bible is not even being opened in church. What's on the line? What's happening? And so, today I wanna begin this series, and I call it "The Cross: The Defining Line of the Gospel". "The Cross: The Defining Line of the Gospel". I've even seen human beings take truth from the Word of God and turn it into a tradition, and then twist it, and then play with it, and then decorate it up and, all of a sudden, it loses its meaning. Christmas used to be a celebration of the Lord Jesus Christ.
How in the world do you get a Santa Claus and reindeers in there? Only to try to distract people from the truth of the gospel. There must be something amazing in this book that the enemy is working overtime to try to keep from humans, because if we're going to rise to that level where God wants us to rise, I believe we gotta open the book, and we gotta look and look and we got to just go and search of what the enemy is diligently fighting to try to stop us from understanding and knowing.
Let me begin by saying this, if you'll go to Hebrews chapter 9, verse 16 and 17, as we deal with this issue: the cross, the defining line of the gospel. One of the things I want you to understand is that the new covenant, the new covenant, or the New Testament... now, throughout the series I will use the word "covenant" and "testament" interchangeably because that's what a testament is. A testament is a covenant. A covenant is a testament. A covenant is a promise between two or more parties, that they will come together in agreement on something, and it will never be broken. It's a powerful, powerful, powerful promise. And so, the new covenant did not begin from Matthew.
Now, if you open your Bibles up and you look in your Bible and you get to the end of Malachi, and once you get to the end of Malachi, you know, you see this big ol' page, and it says "The New Covenant of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ". And everybody is used to that, and I'm telling you right now that the new covenant does not begin with Matthew. Some of you say, "What are you saying, man"? Here it is right here. We turn to the book, and it says "The New Testament of Jesus Christ," and I'm telling you right now that the New Testament does not begin with Matthew. The new covenant does not begin with Matthew. It begins after Christ rose from the dead. The new covenant doesn't begin with Matthew. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, those are books where we see Jesus coming in on the earth realm to fulfill the old covenant.
You know, the Bible makes it very clear that God's not gonna destroy the law. Jesus didn't come to destroy the law, but to fulfill the law. And so, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is an account of Jesus showing up to fulfill the law because nobody else could. He didn't destroy it, but he says, "I'm gonna fulfill every jot and tittle, and not one bit of this old covenant is gonna pass away until it all be fulfilled". And Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is Jesus fulfilling all of this covenant, the old covenant, and at the same time, making a way for this new covenant. But the New Testament, the new covenant, did not, or does not, begin in the book of Matthew.
Now, why am I talking about this? Unless you understand how the Bible is set up, you'll continue to read it wrong, and if you continue to read it wrong, you'll understand wrong things, and you'll live the wrong way, and you'll continue to be in the dark on what God's trying to show you. And most Christians are just satisfied with, "Oh, I ain't got time to hear none of that. How come you just can't pick the Bible up and close your eyes and say, 'Eeny, meeny, miney, moe,' and just wherever your finger land, that's God speaking to you"? Well, you ever thought about this? What if you try that, and you close your eyes, and your finger lands, and it says, "Cut your hand off"? You say, "No, let's do that again". It says, "Pluck your eye out". "No, let's do it again". No, we gotta get rid of these fables about this.
And you know, I know I'm not in a seminary school, and I know I'm not at a Bible college, but if you're going to live by the Word of God, it is of necessity that I back up from trying to preach a message that you'll give me a ten on and say, "Bless God, the major problem today is that nobody is reading the Bible". And then, when they read it, they don't know how to read it. They don't know how to rightly divide it. And so, we just pick stuff up, and then we make up a fable around it, and we mislead a whole lot of people. And now people are saying, "I tried that. It doesn't work. I quit". That's what this is about. So, the new covenant, the New Testament, does not begin from Matthew. It began after Christ rose from the dead. It is a covenant. It is an irrevocable pledge, or promise, that begins. The new covenant begins after the death of Christ Jesus, so the cross changed everything.
The cross is the defining line between what used to be without Christ and what is now with Christ. The cross is the defining line, and if you don't know that defining line, you will take what used to be before Christ, and you'll continue to try to make it what it is today and not understanding that the cross of Jesus Christ is the defining line. Everything changed with the cross of Jesus Christ. Everything changed with the cross of Jesus Christ. Everything changed, and you have to know that. I mean, listen, what does this whole thing mean, Jesus coming, dying on the cross, shedding his blood? What does it mean if everything stays the same? Everything changed because of the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross of Jesus is the defining line of the whole message of the New Testament. It starts at the cross of Jesus.
Let me show you this. Hebrews chapter 9, verse 16 and 17. Let's look at this. He says, "For where a testament is". Now, a testament, we know about the Old Testament, or covenant, but he's talking about, "Where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator". Now, let's say, for example, I leave a last will and testament, okay? And I leave a will and in that will there are a whole lot of blessings for my family. But now understand this: there must first of all be the death of the person that wrote that testament in order for that testament to be available to all of those who it was left for. So, if, you know, in my last will and testament I said, "I leave all the grand-babies a million dollars," they can't get it until I die.
As long as I'm alive, there is no force or ability to be able to take what's in the testament. There must first of all be the death of the testator, the guy who wrote the testament, the last will of the guy who wrote the testament. He says in verse 17, "For a testament is of force," when? "After men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth". So, you get what's in that will after I die, but while I'm still living, there is no strength to that testament, because I'm still alive. If you understand that in your house, say, "Amen". So, you've got to understand something. This is so powerful. Jesus was the testator of the New Testament. Glory be to God. But he had to show up, glory to God, and he had to die so that you could get what was in the testament. He had to die.
Somebody says, "Well, why? What sense does that make? Well, why was Jesus born just to die"? He was born to die so that you can get what's in the will, what's in the testament. And without his death, glory to God, you would not be able to get what's in the testament. But he took it a step further. Jesus was born, died, so now you can get everything in the testament. You can get righteousness. You can get redemption. You can get wisdom. You can get holiness. You can get sanctification. You can get everything he left in the testament. But then, he, on the third day, rose from the dead to make sure that everything he promised, he will be your helper and your guide and your leader, to show you how to obtain what's in that testament. That's powerful. That's powerful. That's information that every Christian needs to know. That's information that every Christian needs to understand.
And you wouldn't believe the number of Christians that have no knowledge of what I just shared with you, and they go around talking about, "Stay woke". You got to get some understanding before you can stay woke. How you gonna stay woke and you've been asleep the whole time? Talking about stay woke, wake up. That's what I'm saying. The Bible says awake to righteousness, and so understand this: in the Old Testament, in the Old Testament, so, you see that the New Testament started after the death of Jesus Christ. That's when it started. It didn't start after Matthew. You see Jesus alive in Matthew. You see Jesus alive in John. You see Jesus alive in Mark.
You see Jesus alive in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, so the testament cannot be enforced until you see him die. And the cross is the dividing line. In fact, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John would have been just fine as a part of the Old Testament with Jesus in it, because the New Testament didn't start until after the death of Jesus. Somebody says, "Why are you talking about this"? Because if we are going to walk down the path of victorious Christian living, we got to understand what's happening in the book. I am calling every World Changer to rededicate your life to the book, to open that book up and let it speak to you. This is the only Bible. This is the only book in the Library of Congress that talks. It speaks. It's alive, the Word of the living God. I ain't trying to get deep these next couple of weeks.
It's time to go back to the basic foundation, that the Bible says without a foundation, what are we gonna do without the foundation? The foundation has been cracked, crumbled, broken to pieces, and you're wondering why you're still sick. You're wondering why you die early. You're wondering why you can't stay married. You're wondering why all of these things are happen. "Where is God? Where is God"? You're wondering now why the Bible says, "In all your getting, get understanding". Trying to get everything else except understanding. Go to church. "I don't wanna hear no Bible. I didn't come here to hear no Bible. I came here so I can shout". You done shouted and screamed and moaned and groaned, and you're still broke, busted, disgusted, miserable because you don't understand. And with all thy getting, get understanding. Understanding of what? Man's wisdom? No. Human wisdom? No. The latest tweet? No. Get an understanding of the written Word of God and how it's divided, amen? I can hear you saying amen. I can see, I can hear you saying amen or "Oh, me," praise God.
Now, in the Old Testament I wanna show you something here. Let's look at Job: Job chapter 9, verse 32 and 33. In the Old Testament, Job sought for a daysman. Write that word down, D-A-Y-S-M-A-N, a daysman. Job sought for a daysman. What is a daysman? A daysman is a middleman. A daysman is a go-between person. To put it simply, a daysman is a mediator, and Job sought for a mediator, a peacemaker, between God and man. There was not in Job's day a peacemaker between God and man. You see, when man sinned in the garden, all of a sudden that sin was enmity between God, and what stood between God and man was sin. And so, there was this big wall between God and man, and because of sin there were a lot of things that God couldn't do because he was just.
And there was a lot of things that man couldn't get because of that sin that was in front of man, but, you know, we saw the grace of God even operating in that particular time. But a mediator, someone that could be the peacemaker between God and man, someone that could be the go-between, someone that could be the intercessor. Not that Jesus is in heaven right now... No, he's an intercessor because he's between. He stands between God and man. He's an intercessor because he is the mediator, glory be to God, between God and man. Look at this in Job chapter 9, verse 32 and 33. He says, "For he is not a man, as I am," talking about God, "that I should answer him". "He's not a man like I am," Job said, "that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment". Verse 33, "Neither is there any daysman," or mediator, "between us, that might lay his hands upon us both".
He says there's nobody that stands between God and man that can have access to both man and God. There's not a mediator, so Job is letting us know something here: there's no mediator. Job, in his own words, acknowledged the missing link between man and God, and Job said the missing link between man and God, there's no mediator. There's no daysman, the absence of a daysman, the absence of a go-between, the absence of a mediator between God and man during his own days. Job said, "We didn't have one in this testament, in this Old Testament". There was no daysman in this Old Testament. He said under the New Testament, you know, I'm sure somebody will say, "Well, what was Moses"?
Moses wasn't Jesus. Moses wasn't a peace offer. Moses wasn't the compensation, or the payment, that would pull down the wall of sin between God and man. There was no mediator like Jesus that could touch both God and man, and under the New Testament, this is not the case. Under the New Testament, this is so important. Remember, the New Testament did not start at Matthew, but it started after Christ rose from the dead. So, in the New Testament we, by the grace of God, have the person of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, as our mediator. So, in the New Testament we have a mediator. We have a mediator. You know, people can, I can see somebody right now, "Well, the Bible says God was looking for an intercessor".
He was looking for a mediator, but he found none. He found none. You see that in the Old Testament. God was looking for somebody to pray. But he found no mediator. He was looking for a mediator. He was looking for a go-between, but he found none. But in this New Testament we have Jesus, who is our mediator, so the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament, in the New Testament we have a mediator. In the Old Testament there was no mediator, or daysman. We now have a mediator, so what does that do? How does that change things now that we have a mediator in the New Testament? How does that change things from the Old Testament that had no mediator to the New Testament that now has a mediator?
Somebody says, "Bruh, we need to see some Scriptures. You're saying a lot of stuff I've never heard before". Well, thank God that's why we're talking about this, so let's go look at some Scriptures before I go on: 1 Timothy chapter 2:5. 1 Timothy chapter 2:5, and then Hebrews chapter 9:15. We'll look at it in the King James and the New Living Translation. 1 Timothy chapter 2:5 said, "For there is one God". How many? One God. How many? One God. Somebody says, "Oh, there are many gods". No, baby, there's just one God. Somebody says, "Well, I got five more". Well, they fake. There's one God. There's one. You ever heard of fake news? Fake god. There's only one God. "For there's one God," and so he says, "and there's one mediator between God and man".
So, who is that mediator between God and man? "The man Christ Jesus". The man Christ Jesus. Jesus is that mediator, that go-between, that peacemaker between God and men. That's in the Scripture. It's in the Scripture. Come on, look at Hebrews chapter 9:15. Let's look at the King James first and then the NLT. Hebrews chapter 9:15, all right, now watch this. Verse 15, "And for this cause he," Jesus, "is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption," or the deliverance, "of the transgression that were under the first testament".
See, there was a first testament. That's that old covenant. "They which are called might receive the promise of," what? "Eternal inheritance". Now look at this in the New Living Translation. This is so powerful, because what he is saying is there is something that happened in the New Testament, where Jesus is the mediator that did not happen in that first testament, where they did not have a mediator. He said, "That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant," he mediates a new covenant, "between God and people, so that all who are called".
So, here's what he said: Jesus is the one that's responsible for this new covenant so that everybody that's called can receive eternal inheritance, the eternal inheritance God has promised them. So, God's made some promises that Jesus said, "We gonna need a new testament so you can get what he promised," because, obviously, you're not gonna be able to get what he promised based on the Old Testament, because you ain't got nobody to mediate it. You have no mediator between God and man, but in this new covenant, this New Testament, you have a mediator. You have somebody between God and man, so now you can get this inheritance that God promised. And Jesus says, "And I'll guarantee it because I will mediate it". Glory be to God.