Creflo Dollar - The Cross: The Defining Line of the Gospel - Part 4
Before the cross of Jesus, under the law, God held man responsible for his sins. Before Jesus died and shed his blood, God held men responsible for their sins. Now think of that, man. Look at this in Leviticus chapter 5:17. Let's look at it in the King James and the New Living Translation, Leviticus 5:17. In the old covenant and under the law, God held men responsible for their sins which meant when you sinned there was gonna be a judgment coming. Now, if that's the case, dang, we ought to be, we should be receiving it. Let me read the Scripture and if this is true today, then we should be under what I'm getting ready to read to you today, and you should be seeing it.
Look at this, verse 17: "And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the Lord; though he wist it not, yet he is guilty, and shall bear his iniquity". I mean, right here, just showing, you know, even, what he's saying is even if he didn't know something was wrong, he's still gonna get judged. Look at the New Living Translation, watch this. "Why you sharing all these Scriptures"? 'Cause the only way I'm gonna get you to see this is you just gotta see it, you gotta see it. You can't go to sleep, you gotta wake up, you gotta see it. Ha, ha, ha. Someone said, "Why are you screaming"? I'm determined. I will preach this 100 times if I have to. You gotta get this, look at this. He says, "Suppose you sin by violating one of the Lord's commandments. Even if you are unaware of what you have done, you are guilty and will be punished for your sins".
All right, if that's true today, I ain't got no hope. You ain't got no hope. If that's true today, basically what he's saying is, you know, if you walked in, you know, where the Bible says: "Whatever's done not of faith is sin," so if you did something that was not in faith, that's sin. You've got to, there's a punishment coming. The Bible says to know to do good but you don't do it, is sin. Well, there's a punishment coming. I mean, you had a bad attitude with the waitress or the waiter, there's a punishment coming. Imagine living life like that. Imagine living life over your shoulder, "Oh, God's gonna get me today. Hadn't happened today". Imagine living life, imagine waking up knowing that you're responsible for your sins and that you're gonna get a punishment for it because you're held responsible for your sin. I would have no hope. I might as well jump off a bridge, man, 'cause I'm doomed every single day of my life. And here's the thing about it.
Some Christian people are like, "Well, no, not for me". It's like they have conquered the sin issue. No, you're not. You may be, you don't commit the Big Ten, thou shall not kill, commit adultery, and stuff like that, but them little 603, you tear them things up. Everybody, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Everybody's got a issue that God is, through the Holy Spirit, is working on you and perfecting you and you're getting better and better all the time, but what if we had to look forward to the guilt and the condemnation and the punishment that came every time to know to do good. "I didn't know I was supposed to do good right there, God. How you gonna punish me for that"? Because it's sin and you're held responsible for it. Yeah, that's what it was before, and now I'm glad that Jesus delivered me from that. So is that same thing true in the New Testament? Is that same thing true under this? Well, look at a couple of things.
Look at Hebrews chapter 9. See, because there are a couple of things that happen. You are not only, you're responsible for all your sins and because man couldn't deliver himself from his sins, through the ritual of animal sacrifices, year by year, so back in the day right here, God instituted animal sacrifices to cover the man's sin for a whole year but he'd have to keep coming back every year. He's gotta remember to come back every year 'cause he can't deliver his self from his sins. Man developed now a sin consciousness. Now think about that. I'm so conscious of sin because, you know, I gotta go and do this animal sacrifice so I can get my sins covered. Imagine what it's like. You go in, you present the animal sacrifice. Your sins are covered for a year but on the way home you and your wife have an argument, cuss each other out. God dog, you gotta wait for a whole 12 months to go back and try to get that covered again.
So you spend all your life in sin consciousness. Look at Hebrews chapter 9 and 9 and then I'ma go to Hebrews chapter 10:1 through 4. Hebrews 9 and 9, now watch this. This is so important. "Which was a figure for the times then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service," talking about the priest. "That could not make him that did the service perfect," so in other words, the priest receiving the sacrifice still could not make the guy who presented the sacrifice perfect as pertaining to the conscience. In other words, the priest would receive the sacrifice but he would still walk away with a sin conscience. So the priest could not make you perfect. When you see this word "perfect," especially in Hebrews, it's not really talking, it's not talking about flawless, it's not talking about you're flawless. It's saying that, you know, perfect as pertaining to your conscience.
In other words, a perfect conscience is a conscience that's no longer a sin conscience. And so he says, "Even though they participated in the sacrificial offerings, they could not be made perfect as pertaining to their conscience". They still walked away sin conscience, wow. Look at Hebrews 10, Hebrews 10. "What you got, why Creflo talking about all this sacrifice stuff like that"? You better listen to me 'cause the devil is defeating you every single day until you learn how to step into this covenant that Jesus has given us. Look at verse 1: "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the thing, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereto perfect". And you know he's talking about as pertaining to the conscience.
Verse 2: "For then would they have not have ceased to be offered"? If they were now being able to no longer be sin conscious they would cease to offer these sacrifices "because that the worshipper once he's purged he should have no more conscious of sin". 3: "But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year". Still sin conscious. "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sin". It wasn't possible that that would happen. That could not happen. That sacrificial offering could not take away sin. It could only cover sin and it would leave you sin conscience. Think about how bad it is to live a life just sin conscious. You wake up in the morning and you pray over your breakfast: "Lord, forgive me for the sins I hadn't committed yet".
Sin conscious, sin conscious. I'm not good enough. Oh, God, I know I did that but there's still something wrong. Sin conscious, sin conscious. You can't serve God 'cause you're so sin conscious. That was all under that old covenant. But now, after the cross of Christ Jesus, we both have redemption. We have redemption and we have forgiveness. Under the blood of Jesus, under the cross, after the cross, after the cross, after the cross of Jesus Christ, we have forgiveness of our sins and we have redemption of our sins and by the blood of Jesus we are cleansed of all of our sins and what does that do? It frees us from a guilty conscience because God remembers our sins no more. We have been freed from a guilty conscience and now we can serve God.
Look at what he says here, Hebrews 10. Let's go back there. Look at verse 5, verse 10, 11, and 14, look at this. Hebrews 10, now watch this. This is after the cross. I just read to you what was before the cross. Look at this, this is after the cross. He said, "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offerings thou wouldeth not, but a body hast thou prepared me". Verse 10: "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all". So Jesus Christ, his body became the final sacrifice for sin. Verse 11: "And every priest standing daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifice, which can never take away sin". The animal sacrifices could never take it away. They could only cover it.
Verse 14: "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified". What he said is now through the one offering of the body of Jesus, he has perfected which means he has gotten rid of sin consciousness forever, for those who have been set aside, those who have been sanctified unto God Almighty. So under the new covenant, because of Jesus Christ, my sins have been forgiven, I have been redeemed, I'm no longer an enemy of God because of my sins. All of my sins have been placed on the body of Jesus Christ. Jesus has taken care of all of my sins. Therefore, I don't have to be conscious of my sin because I can be conscious of my forgiveness, conscious of my redemption, conscious of what Jesus has already done, and Jesus is that final sacrifice and I am only righteous because of him.
So as long as he is all right, I'm all right. I'm the righteousness of God. I am no longer being held responsible for my sins. Jesus has accepted the responsibility. Now you tell me which truth do you want to abide in? I wanna abide in the truth of what happened after the cross and what happened because of the death of Jesus. I don't wanna abide in that other truth where I am gonna be punished and held responsible for everything I fail to do or don't do. Wow, wow, watch this, real quick. Before the cross, it was always "Thou shall not". That's all you read in the Ten Commandments. "Thou shall not this, and thou shall not that. And thou shall not that". And you know what? Christian people today are still living by "Thou shall not, thou shall not that, thou shall not this".
Christians people are living, "Thou shall not". And that lets you know you're sin conscious. "Thou shall not and thou shall not and thou shall not". That was before the cross, "Thou shall not". Always, "Thou shall not". But after the cross, God reversed the order and now it is as God says, "I will, I will, I will". Under the New Testament, it's "I will". Under the Old Testament it is "Thou shall not". Let me show you this in Hebrews chapter 8, verses 8 through 12. Under the New Testament, God is always talking about, "Here's what I'm gonna do. I'm responsible, I will, I will, I will". Under the Old Testament, it says: "Thou shall not". You're responsible. "Thou shall not". You're responsible, wow. Look what he says: "For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will," there's the first one, "I will".
It wasn't something you did. It wasn't something we decided to do. "I will make a new covenant". Thank God that he brought it up. "I will make a new covenant". If it were not for him, there would be no new covenant and we'd be stuck in that hole. And lots of people died under that old covenant, under the commandments of Moses. A lot of people died. If you don't believe me, read the part, the first part, when he says, "You'll be blessed when you obey," but then the second part of the curses, people died for sometimes showing up with a bad attitude, showing up with no joy in their heart. He says: "For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, with the house of Judah".
Verse 9: "Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hands to lead them out of the land of Egypt". He says, "I'm not gonna make a covenant like the first one. This is gonna be different," okay? He said, "Because they continued not in my covenant, I regarded them not, saith the Lord". Verse 10: "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord". Now notice this: "I will put my laws in their mind".
Now, notice, some people say that under the new covenant you're free from all laws. No, there are laws in the new covenant. There's the perfect law of liberty, the law of love, and the law of faith. And God says: "I will put those laws in your heart". That's why he sent the Holy Spirit, to pour the supernatural love of God on the inside of you. And you're no longer operating by rule and regulation to love. That love and ability to love has been poured in you. It has been written on your heart and it'll come out of you and you will find yourself loving things that are hard to love. He says, "I'll put my laws in your heart and in your mind, I'll write them on your heart: I will be to them a God, they shall be to me a people".
Notice, he didn't say nothing about what you gonna do, what you've got to do, what thou shall do about not. He said, "I will, I will, I will". Glory be to God, glory be to God. "And they shall not teach every man his neighbor," and so forth and so on. And "Know the God: for thou shall know me, from the least and the greatest". Let's look at verse 12 since I mention it. "For I will be merciful to their... I will. I will be merciful, I will be merciful". I'm not talking about thou shall not because if you do, then I still will be merciful, I will be merciful. He's talking about what he's gonna do. "I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more".
Under the Old Testament, he remembered every last one of 'em. Under the New Testament, he says, "I'm not gonna remember them anymore". He says, "I will be merciful". In other words, the bad you deserve, you're not gonna get because of my mercy. You're not gonna get it because of my mercy. "I will be merciful to their unrighteousness. Your sins and your iniquities I will remember no more". Who's gonna turn us down? What a deal. Who's gonna turn us down? Are you kidding me? Why would you fight me over this good news? Now you understand why he calls it the gospel. It's almost-too-good-to-be-true news. And you go around and try to prove to people, "No, God ain't forgot your sin. He still remember your sin. He gonna judge me by tonight. Nah, I don't know what Creflo and them talkin' about. God gon' get you. He's gon' get you".
No, why would you fight this? Because you've got sin that needs to be taken care of. You can't take care of your own sin. You ought to be doing cartwheels right now. You know what you did last night in the booth in the back in the corner in the dark. And I'm telling you that God says, "I'll show you mercy". And you're saying, "No, he ain't gonna show you mercy". What's the matter with you? Let me calm down. "And their sins and their iniquities". When I first read this, I'm thinking, "No way". I read in my office. I'm like, "No way, 'my sins and my iniquities I will remember no more'"? You know what? Some of you who won't let go of your past, some of you who have been beat up by shame, some of you who have been beat up by guilt and tormented by the condemnation. What you don't realize is that the only place that your past sins exist, is in your mind.
God's forgotten about it. It's been thrown as far as the east is from the west. It's in the sea of forgetfulness. And the only place that your sin is still living is in your mind. That's sin consciousness. And you've been set free from that. And you won't let it go. And you lay up in your bed and think about all everything you done did. You go back to 1969, thinking about what you did when you were in 1969. And Jesus has died and shed his blood, and God let it go. He says, "I will not remember no more". God ain't even got it no more. And if God can forgive you, don't you think it's time for you to forgive yourself? That's what you have in this new covenant. This is what makes you grow in love with God. It's like, how great thou art.
How can you do this for somebody so undeserving? Well, that's what grace is. You don't deserve none of this. And look at what he did. I'm gonna show mercy to all your unrighteousness. I'm gonna choose to not remember or carry in my remembrance none of this stuff. Are you kidding me? He got me, he got me for life, he got me for life. And you know what happens? You start wanting to do right, instead of trying to fulfill some rules. I wanna do right because you are His Majesty the King. Who is like unto thee, O God? Who is like unto thee, O God? And this is what Jesus died for. And this is what he shed his blood for. And you're gonna remain ignorant and turn your back to it? And act like it doesn't exist when he did all of that and gave his life so you can have mercy?
Oh no, no, I'm in it for life. I'm in it for life. Neither depths nor height, it's no principalities, no powers, no things from above, or things from beneath, nothing will separate me from the love of God and his mercy and his grace. There is absolutely nothing. First of all, 'cause I'm blown away that somebody would love like this. That's why he has such a problem with us not forgiving other people. After how he's forgiven you? And you can't forgive somebody else for some Mickey Mouse thing that they did to you? Nah, no, I go back and I consider him lest I be wearied and faint in my mind. C'mon, let's go a little farther. Let's go a little farther. Before the cross, righteousness was demanded of a sinful and fallen man. How do you even do that? How do you demand righteousness from a sinful fallen man? And yet, in that first testament, righteousness was demanded of a sinful and fallen man.
Look at Deuteronomy 6:25 in the NLT. Deuteronomy 6:25 in the NLT. Here is what was required in that first covenant. Deuteronomy 6:25 in the NLT. He says: "For we will be counted as righteous". When will we be counted as righteous? "When we obey all the commandments the Lord our God has given us". So he says you're not gonna be counted righteous until you can obey all of the commandments that the Lord God has given you. How do you do that, how do you do that? How do you do that in this day and time? You don't even know how many commandments? You know there's 613. You don't even know all of 'em. And he says you're not gonna be counted righteous. I mean, before the law was given, even God counted Abraham righteous because he believed. But under this covenant right here, this first testament after the law was given, he says you're not gonna be counted righteous unless you can obey all the commandments of our Lord God has given us.
So that means, if that were true today and if that was for us today and if it were not for the death and the blood of Jesus Christ, none of us would ever be counted righteous, ever. That was before the cross of Jesus Christ. But after the cross of Jesus Christ, look at Galatians chapter 2:16 in the NLT. After the cross of Jesus, our righteousness is a free gift given to everyone in Christ Jesus. Look at what he said. In Deuteronomy 6:25 he says: "You can only be counted righteous when you obey all the laws and the commandments," but in Galatians chapter 2:16, after the cross, look what he says: "Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Christ, and not by obeying the law". Whoa, we just read in Deuteronomy 6, it says you're gonna be counted righteous when you obey the law. But over here, after he died, he says, "No, you're not gonna be made right by obeying the law. You're gonna be made right because of your faith in Jesus Christ".
Can you see how confusing this can get? Can you see how people can say that the Bible contradicts itself? Because they don't know how to correctly analyze and rightly divide the word of truth. You see where it's coming from now. One preacher over here preaches, "You're not righteous unless you obey the law". That is the truth under the old covenant. But we're no longer under the old covenant. Now under the new covenant, he says, "You're no longer gonna be made righteous by obeying the law". You're gonna be made right, "Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, and not because we have obeyed the law. For no one," under this covenant, "will ever be made right with God by obeying the law".
See the difference? That's true under the agreement that he died for. But under the agreement of that first covenant, you will never be counted righteous until you obey the law. Right here, he says you'll never be made right with God by obeying the law. You see that? Can you see why people say the Bible contradicts itself? 'Cause they don't know how to read it. 'Cause they've not been taught how to rightly divide the word of truth. And when I teach this, people freak out. Dollar done went crazy. And I'm like, "Oh, my goodness". When I saw this, I'm like, "I wish I'd have known this 40 years ago". I know I got more than 40 left so I'll spend the rest of those years just preaching this gospel until people get it.