Creflo Dollar - Live Your Life Yielded To God - Part 1
If you have your Bibles, go with me to the Book of Hebrews chapter 5. Hebrews chapter 5, verse 12 and 13. And we're going to continue along the same lines we were last night dealing with the righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ and really move into some things that I think will really help you out a lot. Hebrews chapter 5 and verse 12. He says, "For when for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat". Verse 13, "For everyone that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe".
Now, when we look at this, we see he's telling us about the immaturity factor, that you're immature until you understand the life of righteousness by faith. You're immature, you're still on milk until you understand the life of righteousness which is by faith and not by works or not by your doing things as you disregard God. We've got to be careful not to marry methods to the point where we're not regarding God. You need God. With everything you're going to do, everything you're thinking about doing, everything you're praying about doing, you're going to need God. Don't ever think you don't need God, and there's something that happens when God knows you need him.
Well, here he says you're on milk until you come to the place of understanding this righteousness which is by faith in Jesus Christ, that you are righteous because of Jesus. You're not righteous because of what you do, you are righteous because of what he has done and your faith in that. You have been made righteous because of what Jesus has done. You are not becoming righteous. Before Jesus died, righteousness was achieved through our good works. It was achieved and we were justified by doing good things. It was our performance and doing this and being declared that we were justified based on what we do. But after Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, it is now Jesus who is our righteousness and we are now righteous because of him. It is his righteousness that we have.
So as long as Jesus is all right; we are all right, and that's the deal. It's not you're not all right because of something, you know, you did or you're not all right because of something you didn't do. The only way you're going to be not right, or not all right is somehow Jesus, you know, is not all right. He's all right. He going to be all right. As long as he all right, I'm right. And that's what you tell yourself when the enemy is speaking to you and say, "Ah, you're not right anymore". You're like, "Jesus". He say, "I'm still righteous". You say, "I'm still righteous". That's where our righteousness is based on. Now, when you say things like that, and this is the foundation. Brother Copeland said to me last night it's the center point. It is this place where the enemy is going to be working overtime trying to get you to denounce that part of your identity, and there's so much involved in it. You're righteous because he has been made and he is your righteousness.
Now, let me see. I want to get into this. I don't want to spend too time, let's go to Romans 4, verses 1 through 8. Romans 4 in the NLT. Romans 4, verses 1 through 8. I think this bears repeating. We need to really see this. "Abraham, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right," or righteous, "with God"? What did he discover? "If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about". And that may be an issue in the church today. We're still doing things so we can have something to boast about. When you know God did it, there is no boasting. But if somehow you are taking credit for what was done, you need to go and check that out. "If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God's way". Verse 3, "For the Scripture tells us, 'Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.'"
Abraham's belief. He was accounted righteous because of his faith. Now, let me make a statement here. So if the blessing of righteousness, if the blessing of God is a reward for good behavior, if the blessings of God is a reward for good behavior; if you are righteous because of good behavior, then we get the credit for earning it. If you're righteous because of something you did, if you're righteous for your good behavior, we should give you the credit because you did something to earn it. But if the blessing is a gift and you receive it as a gift, then Jesus gets the credit. So you got to decide. Now, I want you to know I'm setting you up for something big. I'm setting you up. Boy, it's...ooh, I'm going to...last night I just landed, busy week, and I was a little tired. And we made it through, everything went all right, but I got my Wheaties this morning, boy.
You know what I'm saying? I'm going to set you up because a lot of church folks don't understand. You're giving yourself too much credit. You're thinking it's your good behavior. You're thinking it's what you do. You're thinking all that, and it's almost like you're saying that Jesus is not enough. He is enough. He is enough. All by himself he's enough. He doesn't need me to be God. He doesn't need me to be who he is, but we do need him to be who we are. He is the way. He's a way in. He's a way out. Shoot, let me go on and say like I want to. He's the gate, baby. He's enough. Say that. Say, "He's enough". And so if the blessing is a gift, if righteousness is a gift, if the redemption is a gift, then Jesus gets the credit. But if your behavior and your good deeds, if you got it that way then we ought to be giving you the credit. I don't want no credit.
Listen, even if you get to heaven and you get the crown of righteousness and the crown of the soul winner and all that stuff, honey, the only thing you can do with those crowns is cast them at the feet of Jesus because you know without him you were not able to get the job done. Amen. So we talked about that last night. We talked about righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ, and then we went on from there and we began to define self-righteousness. Now, self-righteousness is very interesting because self-righteous people, first of all, they compare themselves amongst themselves and the Bible says that's not good to do. But self-righteous people kind of, they want to be up here, and you say, "Well, you're not perfect". They say, "Well, I know I'm not perfect, but at least I didn't do what they did".
You see. You heard they committed adultery. "You know, I've been married for 55 years, and you heard they committed adultery. You heard they got a divorce". Now, somehow you're making yourself more right as you compare yourself with somebody else and always in a position of want to shame somebody else to make you look good. In fact, I found out that critical people are critical because they have the eye of envy. What makes a person critical? Envy. Envy is a sickening feeling at the promotion of somebody else. Some folks can't even show you their new house 'cause you're choked by the time you walk through the door. There's a motivation behind why we do what we do. Why is it that we're still trying to be like God but we don't want God? Why is it that somehow another self-righteousness seems to show up way too much in our lives as Christians? Self-righteousness just simply is this, and I want to just keep it at this point. It's striving, sweating, and working hard to get right with God.
Look at Galatians chapter 5 and 4 in the New Living Translation. Galatians 5 and 4. It's striving. It's striving to get right with God. This righteousness we talked about last night is the righteousness that comes because we have faith in Jesus Christ. But when you're striving to become righteous, think about some of the things you have done to try to become righteous. Galatians 5 and 4 says, "For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ. You have fallen away from God's grace". And notice that here he talks about, falling from grace doesn't mean falling into sin, falling from grace means falling back into self-performance, self-righteousness. That's what it means, and I don't think we understand that. Do you wake up every day of your life depending and knowing that you need God in order to be who you are and in order to do what God has called you to do?
Now, we compared self-righteousness with religion. Religion is the same thing as self-righteousness. It's man's pursuit to make himself right before God, man's pursuit to make himself right with God. Think about that for a moment. "What have I been doing to try to make myself right with God? What is my pursuit"? Religion, man's pursuit to make himself right with God. See, you got to get this straight because if Satan can come and put a crack in your righteousness and you start doubting it, then a lot of things can come in through that crack. Your righteousness and your faith in Jesus has got to stand the test of this time. "I am the righteousness of God not because of what I have done but because of what he has done, and he is still right".
And that'll kind of help you stay away from some... now, what happens? As you maintain that identity of righteousness, from righteousness wisdom comes, from righteousness even protocol, God will tell you what to do from that. From righteousness, there are things that begin to happen. But, you know, it's more than going around, say, "Well, I'm righteous". And somebody says, "Why"? "Well, I haven't missed church in 2 years". Oh, God. No, no. You're not righteous because of what you don't do, watch this, neither are you still righteous because of what you do; you're righteous because of him. I guess I'm trying...let me say it again like this. We don't bring anything to the table, and none of that freaks you out because you take great pride in your performance as a Christian.
You take great pride in sitting people down and say, "Now here's what happened. I did bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. That's why I'm right with God". Ah-ah, you're right with God 'cause of Jesus. Take him out of the picture, you're nothing. And so let's look at Luke 18 one more time, and then I think I'll be starting almost, kind of, like. Luke 18:9 through 14. I want to read this self-righteous dude. I want you to see what this looks like. Self-righteousness, I told you yesterday, self-righteousness, you know, this guy says, you know, "I'm so holy. I am holy. I am holy". "Well, why are you holy"? "Because I don't drink vodka". And like I said, "But you turn that gin up, ain't you"? "I am holy. I don't use profanity. I am holy. I don't listen to rated R music. And I'm holy. I don't look at R-rated movies. I'm holy. I don't even look at my naked body when I get out the shower. I am holy. I am holy". No. You are self-righteous.
Here's the thing we got to get in the church. Here's the thing we got to get in the church, and it's almost like you're scared to do it. You can't allow yourself to get to the place where you deceive yourself into thinking that you're flawless. You have an issue just like everybody else has an issue. Everybody in this house got an issue. Everybody. Everybody in the house got an issue. Everybody. Everybody in the house got an issue. Everybody. Every preacher in the pulpit got an issue. Everybody. Every singer on the praise team got an issue. Everybody. And that's why everybody need a Savior. Because everybody got an issue you need a Savior, and Jesus is the Savior that you need.
If you didn't have it, it just aches me when I will see, you know, when you're judging somebody you're like saying you ain't got no issues, and we know that's not true. "Well, I've never done this to my wife, and I've never treated this, and I've never done that". But you give that waitress at the restaurant a whole lot of hell because she didn't bring you the right drink. You got an issue with that waitress, and you know, we're so busy trying to please God when you don't understand the number one thing that God is most concerned about is how we treat one another. That's what he's concerned about. He not concerned about how you pray for 3 hours a day if you're not treating people right. Getting mighty quiet in this Catholic church here. What's going on? You stand up in a believers' convention and you've been in a 2-year unforgiveness oat against your mama. Everybody in the house got an issue. He's concerned about how we treat one another.
Oh, y'all don't like me now, do you? "Yeah, but the Bible tells me to do this and do that. And the Greek of that means this, and of course that means that". I don't care. I care about how you're treating your brother and how you're treating your sister, and you don't get caught up in the norms and values of this world. You're not going to allow the spirit of racism to come over you because you are a Christian and you learn to love your brother and sister not because of the color of their skin. You love them because that's your brother and sister, and you're going to treat them right, and you're going to treat them like the Word says, and you're not going to allow any historical racism to come up in you. I don't care what color you are. I'm talking all of you.
Black, white, all of you. You're ain't going to let none of that stuff come up in you because you want God in you to be seen and so you can be a living epistle. Because they ain't reading the Bible, so they're going to read your life. And when they see you, they're going to see how you treat one another and they're going to know that you're saved. But it's kind of hard to tell if some people saved 'cause, I mean, you act like a Christian when you come to believers' convention, but how do you treat your brother and sister when you get at home? What's going on at home? I don't want to hear all that stuff, I want to walk in love.
And sometimes walking in love demands that you walk in love and it's not comfortable, and walking in love with somebody that just been talking about you, walking in love in the middle of betrayal, walking in love when, you know, when your children do stupid stuff, walking in love, you just got to keep doing it. It ain't like they're going to divorce you and get a new daddy. Amen. How do you treat one another? I wasn't planning on talking about that, but that needed to be said. We got to learn how to be intimate with God and spend time with God and let the God that we're spending time with flow through us so then we go to that restaurant and minister to that waitress.
Man, I remember we went to Cracker Barrel, a group of us went to Cracker Barrel one morning, and this young lady she was having a hard time. She was tired, you can tell. And so, you know, she came up there. "Can I help you"? I'm like, "Ooh, how are you doing"? And she went on and everything, and we got together and I said, "Let's bless her. She's probably just tired and need something". And so we got together. We decided we're going to give her a $500 tip. Okay. So she came in, and we just started talking to her, you know, and talking about Jesus and, you know, "We appreciate you so much taking the time to serve us today, and we love you. And can we pray with you"? And all that. She looked at us and said, "Y'all must be church people". I like that, right? Right? I like that.
And so I fold the money up tight and just put it in her hands. She didn't see it. And then she went back in the kitchen and I heard this loud noise, "Lord, have mercy". I said, "I think she just opened her hand". She came back out crying and she said, "I just needed a break. I just needed some money to pay this light bill. I didn't know where it was going to come from, and y'all...thank you. Thank you". Now watch this. "Thank you. Can I get you anything else"?
Now you got good service coming. You understand what I'm saying? The greatest way to soul-win is situational soul-winning. Just take advantage of the situation. It's not hard. Just be who you are in Christ. And if you have had some rough time, use it as a tool to share it with somebody. You didn't go through what you went through for no reason at all. You went through what you went through because God going to take the same stuff you went through and introduce you to somebody who going through the same thing and now you're going to be very equipped to minister to that people and bring them out of darkness into the marvelous light.
This is what Jesus is concerned about, how we treat one another and not us walking around self-righteous. That ain't it. Where's that Scripture? Okay. I'm still on my introduction. Okay. What time we got to be out here? Y'all got to help me. Just tell me so we won't be here till 6 o'clock. Help me now. Help me now 'cause I feel like talking today. My God. I feel like talking, preaching, laying hands on the sick, casting out all kind of devils. Praise God. Stomping on devils, fighting folks who are possessed with devils. They're going to come out one way or another. Glory be to God.