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Watch 2022 online sermons » Creflo Dollar » Creflo Dollar - Obedience Is a Gift of Grace - Part 1

Creflo Dollar - Obedience Is a Gift of Grace - Part 1


Creflo Dollar - Obedience Is a Gift of Grace - Part 1
TOPICS: Obedience, Grace

Hebrews chapter 3, now here's what we're gonna talk about tonight: achieving versus receiving when it comes to the grace life. Is the grace life about achieving, or is the grace life about receiving, 'cause we've got to get that straight 'cause there's some people who are trying to be achievers in the grace life, and then some are learning how to be receivers in the grace life. Now, let me give you this again. Hebrews chapter 3. Put it on the screen up behind me, verse 18 to 19. This is why we talked about what we talked about, as far as how does obedience work in the New Testament, in the new covenant, okay? Now, on verse 18, he says: "And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey"? So he says, very simply, if you were disobedient you would not enter into the rest. If you understand that, say "Amen".

All right, verse 19. He says, "So we see that they could not enter in because of," what? "Unbelief". So he's talking about who could not enter in and notice he says, number one, you don't enter in because of disobedience. Then he comes back in verse 19 and he says you don't enter in because of unbelief. We clearly see that he equates here disobedience with unbelief. You clearly see that. You see that. And the above verse, he calls it disobedient, and under that, he calls it unbelief. So in the New Testament, in the new covenant of grace, disobedience is unbelief. In other words, when you walk in unbelief concerning the finished works of Jesus, or when you walk in unbelief in the New Testament, it is disobedience. In the New Testament, to operate in unbelief is disobedience.

And so, likewise, the flip side is true as well: when you walk in a belief, when you believe in the New Testament, that is obedience. Your obedience in the new covenant is believe. Your obedience in the new covenant is believing. And so you got to make that transition in your thinking up here or you will now look at obedience and disobedience as it was in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, disobedience or obedience first of all, had to show up in your actions first. So obedience, under the Old Testament, shows up in your action. But in the New Testament, obedience shows up in your believing. In the Old Testament, disobedience would show up in your actions, so your actions determined obedience or disobedience. But in the New Testament, your believing determines disobedience or obedience. If you understand that, say "Amen". I'll stay there a little longer; we got it?

Okay, all right, now, so with that in mind, and take that throughout this entire teaching tonight, with that in mind you know in the New Testament, somewhere along the line, it's gonna be talking about hearkening and giving your attention to, 'cause those are the things that determine what you believe. Most people say, "Well, you gotta do more than believing". What you don't understand is your believing is what is gonna cause you to get the strategy of action. See, we're doing stuff without believing, and believing gives birth to you doing. We're so achieving-minded, that we're not believing-minded, and you cannot embrace the New Testament by your doing. You have to... the only way you're gonna embrace the New Testament is by your believing, period.

All right, now, so let's compare and contrast achieving versus receiving. So what does it mean to achieve? Real simple. When you achieve something, that just simply means to achieve means to gain or to obtain as a result of exerting or exertion. So you're exerting energy, you're exerting effort. To achieve something means to do, so you gain that thing, you obtain that thing, because of what you did or because of your performance. Your performance and what you do is now responsible for the gain or the obtaining. And so if you look at church today, church today is modeled by achieving. What can I do to achieve righteousness? What can I do to achieve healing? What can I do to achieve prosperity? What can I do to achieve deliverance? What can I do to achieve growth? What can I do to achieve promotion? Am I right? And most of the time, I'm talking to people about their disappointment in not achieving, because you're approaching the New Testament by achieving. You don't embrace the New Testament by doing. You embrace the New Testament by believing or receiving. They're the same.

All right, now, so again, to gain or to obtain as a result of exertion or to do or to perform. Your performance and your to do, trying to get something, trying to gain something, that's achieving, okay? Now, isn't this interesting? When Jesus died, went to the cross, shed his blood, he achieved everything for everybody who's alive today. The achievements are finished. All right now, let's look at this. To receive. What does it mean to receive? It means to take or accept as a thing offered or sent. To receive, to take. When you receive something, you take it, all right? When you receive something, you accept it. It's not just mental acrobatics but, you know, it will affect that area. To receive something as a thing offered or sent. To receive something means to embrace it. To receive it means I embrace it. To receive something means to believe in it. I believe in it.

That's why so often you hear me using, when I say "receiving" I can't hardly say "receiving" without saying "believing" because my believing determines my receiving, okay? So I ask myself the question here, what does that look like? What does receiving look like? What's the picture of receiving? Receiving looks like finally coming to the place where you can admit it. I admit I'm righteous. I admit I'm delivered. I am admitting that everything Jesus did for me, it's mine, I admit I'm blameless, I admit I have wronged no man, I have defrauded no man, I have corrupted no man. I admit that. By me admitting it, just by me admitting it, that's the picture of a person who receives it, believes in it, and embraces it. Does everybody follow me?

All right, what else does it look like? To receive, here's a picture of it. This is the best way I can describe this. It is a carnal intercourse, carnal: senses, five senses, carnal intercourse with the thing you said you receive. Now think about intercourse and I use that word on purpose and very intentionally. When you intercourse with something, you establish oneness. To receive something is like intercourse, you become one with it. I receive I'm the righteousness of God. I have intercourse with that truth and I am now the righteousness of God. I receive that I am redeemed. I have intercourse with that truth and I'm no longer talking about somebody else redeemed; I am redeemed. I have received it, I have intercourse with that truth. Here's a good picture of this: to put on.

When you receive something, you're putting on, you dress with it. I put on righteousness. I receive that I'm the righteousness of God. I put it on. I receive I'm prosperous. I put it on. I put it on. I'm one with it. In other words, when you see me, you can see I've received it. You can see I've received it. If, when I talk to you, you can see I received it, you can look at me and see I received it, my confidence in it, you can see, I have put it on. And I have embraced this New Testament of grace. I'm not just intellectually displaying it; I am it. I wear it. Amen?

Now, let's just pause right there. Do you see the difference between achieving which requires you to perform and to work for it, okay, versus receiving, which requires you to put it on, to embrace it? The New Testament is something you embrace, receive. It is not something that you work for, achieve. It is something that has already been achieved and it requires you to embrace it. And if you don't embrace it, and I were just talking and he said, you know, "Do you realize that the Bible, it wasn't written yesterday? The stuff we're just getting? It's been in there the whole time". We've been working on becoming receivers, but religion has taught us to try to be achievers, achievers of what Jesus has already achieved. I'm trying to achieve something instead of putting it on, instead of intercoursing with it and becoming one with it. Glory be to God.

Now, before I get into this, I'm talking about embracing grace. So obedience under the new covenant is all about receiving and embracing grace. Obedience under the new covenant of grace is all about embracing and receiving it. Embracing and receiving it. So the new covenant man, listen to this now. Obedience is about me believing and embracing the new covenant. So when I believe and embrace the new covenant, I am being obedient to the new covenant. Embracing grace, embracing grace. Just for a moment, let's think that. Embracing grace.

Well, what is it that I'm actually embracing? I'm really tripping out because the people, even people that are teaching grace right now, say, "Oh, whoa, whoa, whoa, get back over here. Whoa, what are you doing? You're mixing achieving with receiving". "Well, Brother Dollar, you know, it's more than just believing". Ahh, that's where you're missing it. It's more than just believing. Yeah, but believing is the necessary stage in order to get to this place where you're producing or doing in line with what the Holy Spirit leading you to do. I'm not doing something to achieve. I've already achieved, so I'm embracing it. You follow what I'm saying here? All right, now, so what am I embracing?

All right, let's look at our definition again. What am I embracing. Somebody says, "You're embracing grace". What's that? "Unmerited favor". That is not working for me. It is unmerited favor. It's just a little piece of the definition. So what are we embracing? So let's look at our definition again. It is the unmerited, glory to God, abounding provision, the unmerited, abounding provision of the operation of his unrestrained infinite love. Grace is the unmerited, abounding provision of the operation of his unrestrained, unrestricted infinite love, glory to God, that comes only through Jesus. So you can't get, you can't talk about grace without Jesus 'cause it only comes through Jesus. It is for mankind because of what happened in the Garden of Eden, but it especially will show out for those who depend on Him. Are you following me?

So here's the first thing I saw in this, what I call a very complete definition of grace: I am embracing his unrestricted operation of love. I'm embracing his love for me. You know what I'm embracing? I am embracing that he can now love me with no restraints or no restrictions. I embrace that. I embrace that. I have a revelation of his love. He loves me with no restriction. He loves me with no restraints. The restraints have been removed when Jesus became the ransom and paid the price for justice, and so now God can love every man on the planet with no restrictions. I embrace it. What's the difference now? The difference is in those who embrace it fully, put it on, and intercourse with that, and those who say, "Yeah, I know he love me, whatever". There's a difference. I embrace it. I embrace his love to the point that I now know that I can't even bear fruit without a revelation of his love.

Somebody says, "I love God". No, no, no, no, I'm saying, for example, you know, somebody somewhere said, for example, "I love God". But the truth is you could not even make that statement without first of all, realizing in 1 John 4:19 he loved us first, enabling us to love him and other people. So it was a revelation of his love that showed us that it bore fruit in our lives. I know God loves me, therefore I can bear the fruit of love. I know God loves me, therefore I can bear the fruit of patience. I know God loves me, therefore I'm enabled to obey or believe or embrace or put on what his love has made available to me. That came from him. All right, let's go a little further here now. So obedience under the new covenant is all about receiving and embracing grace. It's about embracing this unrestricted love. It's about embracing Jesus.

Do you know over the last four months every service we have had, every service we talk about Jesus? We can't talk about nobody but Jesus now. That's how it's supposed to be. How in the world you gonna go to church and don't even mention Jesus? His church and don't even mention Jesus. Just like what it's like walking in my house and not saying hello. All right, now listen to this statement now. "Every gift, every blessing and manifestation of our righteous holy nature in the new covenant, comes through receiving and not through achieving". Every one of 'em. Every gift that you and I have, it did not come through our achieving the gift. It came through Jesus achieved it and it came into our lives because we received it. We embraced it.

Now watch this. Every blessing, and I'm finding this out more and more. Every blessing in our lives, we're not blessed because we achieved the blessing. That's what messed up our giving. We don't know how to give and we think we do. It's like gambling, just throwing stuff, here you are, because you're trying to achieve a blessing, when he says, "I'll run you over with blessings". And you won't receive it, you won't embrace the blessing. So you gotta learn how to embrace it when you're in a ditch, you gotta learn how to embrace it before it shows up. You gotta learn how to embrace it when you don't see it or feel it. When I had cancer, I didn't embrace cancer. I embraced my healing. So I'm healed of cancer, glory to God, not because I achieved my healing... see, I'm preaching, but I received it. I embraced it, I put it on. Every manifestation of our righteous holy nature in the new covenant comes through receiving, not through achieving.

But look at the church today. It's achieving-minded, it's performance-minded. It's the gospel of performance. It's the gospel of achievement. You gotta see what's wrong with that because if you can really be given credit for the fruit, then there would be no need for Jesus. And that would show us how big of a rebel we are, because we would be the only thing that God created that now declares we don't need him. Obedience is a gift of grace, springing forth from a revelation of how much the Father loves us.

Now think about this. Obedience is a gift of grace. You struggle with that if you define obedience based on the old covenant, 'cause then what you're saying is your actions, performance, and achievements is a gift of grace. We're not saying that. We're saying your believing and your receiving, your ability to believe and receive, is a fruit that comes from your revelation of God's love. God loves me, therefore I can believe. God loves me, therefore I embrace his grace, I embrace his finished work. God loves me, I can embrace all that he's achieved for me. Let me make it plain. God loves me; because he loves me, I know I'm healed, I can embrace healing.

God loves me; and because he loves me, I know I can embrace deliverance, I know I can, in fact, I put deliverance on 'cause he loves me. God loves me, so now I can embrace divine protection; I'm protected because I know God loves me. It takes a revelation of his love for you to get a hold of the fruit. He bore the fruit but it's got to be embraced from him, not from you. Now, I'm gonna go and use an illustration. You're a branch, you're a branch, you're a branch. Galatians says the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of the branch. Branches don't produce fruit. Branches embrace it and display it and hold on to it. Branches put it on. I'd tear this chapel up tonight. This is big, this is big. And the crew is here to get it. And when you get it, you know what you gotta do as the crew. You've got to help me preach this thing.
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