Creflo Dollar - Living Life On A Divine Plane - Part 2
Now, today we're gonna talk about morality, motivated by, you know the rewards you get from being moral, to talking about the things you do that's motivated by the grace of God and the love of God. See if you're not careful, you'll become this good moral person without Jesus. And to me, what good is it to achieve a high standard of morality but, to do that with the wrong attitude? Or to think, well, I'm moral and in a lot of cases you're moral, so you can gain the congratulations of other people. In other words, there's a motivation behind being moral is that, you know, you know, you get validated for being moral, morally right.
And then people say to you then, you know, "You oughtta do what you do out of just being a good moral person," but this is so much more. And so today I call this "Living Life on a Divine Plane". There is a divine level of living that grace wants to take us to that will produce outstanding life. But we've got to understand that there is a difference, you know? You remember a while back people would say, "Well, why do I need to be saved? I'm good". And what they were saying was why do I need to be saved? I'm morally good. And you remember the response in those days? "Yeah, but good without God doesn't count". That is still absolutely the truth today. What's the motivation behind that?
So, in Philippians chapter 1 and 6, he says, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ". In the NLT Bible, again it identifies that God is the one that's working, he says, "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Jesus returns". Now the performance of this is so very important, the beginning of the work was saved by grace. The performance of it Is disciplined by grace. So he started the work, he is going to continue the work or perform the work and the work that continues and the performance that goes on is the discipline that you get by grace.
As I said to you before, that God never saves a person and then leaves him to himself to finish the good works. God never starts a good work and then turns it over to you to finish it. He not only started the good work in you, but praise God, he's going to finish the good work. But there is a divine plane that grace wants us to live on, and this is going to be a challenge today and I won't say challenge, but it will challenge your religious thinking. The high standards of life which God desires in those who are taught by grace, it comes from the discipline of grace, and there is a high standard of living that comes by understanding grace and the discipline of grace.
It's amazing how God through the Holy Spirit, changes your desires. And here you sit today. I don't know how long you've exposed yourself to the gospel of grace, but there are desires that you used to have that are just not there anymore, you're just not interested anymore. Well, who did that? You? No, if you did it, you could have did it a while back. It was the Holy Spirit, he's been working on you, changing your desires. That's the area the Holy Spirit works on, to change your desires. And so the ideas of Christian conduct are, they are largely limited to high moral standards and we don't want to do that, we don't, you know, and listen, listen, morale being morally good, it's cool, it's just how did you arrive there, okay?
We're not talking, you know, we're talking about, you know, being honest and, you know, don't kill, don't steal, you know, having good morals. And so the evidence of this being true, Is emphasized primarily upon attaining a high ideal or a high level of morality or meeting the call of duty to morality, if you will. This is your duty, you have a moral obligation to do this. or a moral obligation to do that. And I tell you, some Christians could benefit just by doing that. We should be able to achieve those obligations through the grace of God and through the Spirit of grace, and not just a human birth of moral obligation. Does everybody understand what I just said there? So moral conditions as such, are stressed and that entirely apart from the believer's position in Christ.
So we stress our moral position, but we don't stress it from a place of our position in Christ Jesus. So think about what happens, our moral, but without Christ. That's gonna be an issue, okay? We don't have any problems with you doing the right thing or doing the good thing, but it always is going to go back to what motivated you to do that, because if it started with the wrong motivation, it may stop because of the wrong motivation. So all of these by themselves, I mean moral conditions such as, you know, being honest and being conscientious, all those things, I mean that's cool, but it is entirely possible for a natural man to learn to do and to be moral, not only because he must, but also because he chooses to do so.
Again, let me give you a little list because I want you to hear me when I say morals. Moral man is honest. A moral man is conscientious, he's diligent. A moral man is kind, he's loving, he's manly, he's self controlled, he's chaste, he's courteous, he's self-sacrificing, he seeks the welfare of his fellow man all because he esteems these virtues. And he's esteemed because of these virtues. He esteems these virtues, and he is esteemed because of them.
Now I wonder if that will become the motivation for being moral? I'm gonna be more because I'm esteemed. I'm held in high honor because I am moral. People have weird motivations behind the good they do. They have weird motivations behind the good they do, You know, during Thanksgiving, everybody feeding the hungry because it's a... I'm esteemed on Thanksgiving if I'm feeding folks and I ain't got a problem with that, please understand. Good, great, glad, want everybody to feed everybody but when the motivation is out of love, it's not just on Thanksgiving. Give me some time, I'm working on the utterance of this. Man can learn to resist the, what I call the "basier" things of life by the sheer power of his natural self, and I think that Christians would be more useful if they presented and pressed in more on some of these moral ideas, I really do.
I think something is wrong when someone's motivated even by the wrong thing, but the output should be greater coming from people who are motivated out of love and grace than people who are motivated the wrong way. You don't say, well just cause they're motivated wrong to feed the poor, that you don't feed the poor. No, no, no, no, no. I'm saying us who are in the church should be the demonstration of that. We should be the demonstration of morality more than people who are doing it for the wrong reason. So I can't get mad at people who are doing it for the wrong reason, because in some cases they don't do it, they don't get done. You sit around wait the church folks do it, they got to feel something before they do something. I feel led. We'll go and get one of those cars outside, feel some lead and go and do it.
How are you gonna be critical of somebody who's getting the job done and you know, anyway, just leave that alone, So, those qualities alone don't measure up to the high standards of life that are taught by grace. Those morals, those morals alone, there's something about a high standard of life, higher than what I just described that should come by the grace of God. And so the purpose of grace is to produce in the believer a life on the divine plane. Now I asked, I said to myself. I'm like, oh, there's a higher plane, there is a divine plane? And I became interested, what is this divine level? What is this divine plane? I'm interested. I want in on it because the grace of God has changed my life, and so where are we going with this? There's a divine plane? There's a plane that we as Christians, and we as believers of Jesus and we who are being taught by grace, there's a level, there's a standard that we can begin to live on?
And as I became interested in it and started studying it out, I was like, "Oh, this cost". And I wasn't gonna teach it to you because it was still freaking me out, but I figured we might as well go together on the divine plane, cause we're gonna need some help on this journey, all right? All right, so let's begin. Somebody say, I thought we already started? No, I'm trying to fill this thing out and see how we can get it to you. The very purpose of grace, again, is to produce in the believer a life on that divine plane, that's the purpose of grace. It's far more than character building.
Thank God for character, but this is, we're talking about a divine level. I'm not being critical of of moralities, I'm saying, I wanna take it to the next level. I'm trying to move you out of this religious kind of carnal level and let's see, if nothing else, let's take a look at this divine plane, okay? The divine plane, because the divine life is expressed through the human body. The expression is similar if it's motivated by grace as it is the morality and expression of that when we see it through, they both are demonstrated through the body. So whether it was a wrong motivation or a grace motivation, they both are gonna be demonstrated through your body, okay? They both are gonna be demonstrated through your life. So it's far more than character building because the divine life is expressed through the human body. The expression thereof can can be similar or even identical with the expression of the finer qualities of human life.
So, let's take an example now and let's see if we can move into this there. Let's just say you have two persons that may contribute to the welfare of their fellow man. Now in the one case, it may be the expression of a purely human life, in order to gain favor with others, from a sense of fulfilling an obligation, or even because of pleasure that's derived by it. So you got one situation where there's an expression that comes, motivated by the favor that I gained from other people. Some of you already know, a lot of times people do good things just to get favor from other people. A lot of times, preachers do good things to get favor from other people. "Hey, if I do this, they'll give me an award. Hey if I do that, you know, they'll notice me". Really, have you thought about it? Can you do what you do without no favor from nobody but Jesus?
This is always important with everything you do in life, what moves you to do what you do? And you gotta start asking yourself a question, when people all of a sudden want to be connected to you, just pause and say, "Not trying to be rude, but it seem like everybody wants something. Tell me what it is you're trying to get out of this and I can let you know if you're wasting your time or not"? Isn't that right? So it's like why? Why? And so what happens sometimes is, you know, religion has you to use religious stuff to make it seem like you're one up on on people that are doing it out of wrong attitude to be moral. They both are expressed, but one of them is, you know, he's doing it for a favor, he's doing it for the pleasure of it, he's doing it for a lot of other reasons.
Now, in the other case, it is because the love of God has been shed abroad in his heart. When you do it, because the love of. God is shed abroad in your heart, you're not looking for any reward. Whatever comes your way, it comes through grace and by Jesus Christ, but you're not... Let me go back. You're not looking for any reward from man. Now for some people, that's hard. Well, why do it then? Because the love of God is shed abroad in your heart, that's all the motivation you you need. Why do it? Because I do it out of love. "Ah brother Dollar, don't nobody do that no more. Everybody gotta have a reason". No, I do it out of love. I want you this morning to examine why you do what you do. And as a born again Christian, I am praying that is because the love of God that's been spread, that shed abroad in your heart, that moves you to do what you do.
It's kind of weird to meet people who are Holy Ghost filled, fire baptized and they are being moved by the wrong motivation and it has been my experience almost 41 years that when people are moved by the wrong motivation, they don't last long cause if the motivation changes, or if the motivation is no longer there, guess what? They're not either. If they're not getting appreciated enough, "Well, I'm gonna leave because I don't feel appreciated". Oh, my goodness. I thought you were doing this because the love of God was shed abroad in your heart? "Well, I came to the church and I cut the grass and didn't nobody said thank you". Well, I wasn't doing it for no thank you in the first place. When I was serving in my church before I entered in as the pastor, and I would do a lot of stuff, I wasn't doing it to be validated by people, I was doing it because the love of God was in my heart and I know God was checking it out.
Too many Christians are looking for, and I have people tell me this today, "Well people just want to be appreciated". And I get that, it's all right to appreciate people, it's a good thing to do, but if you don't, it ain't gonna move me from where God called me. It's not going to move me from where God called me. Yes, I believe people oughtta be appreciated. I believe people oughtta be thanked, I believe people oughtta be celebrated, but it's not gonna move me out of the place. It ain't gonna move me out of the place if you don't give me no pastor's appreciation once a year. Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? The most important appreciation that I am looking for is when I stand before the Lord Jesus Christ, I need that appreciation and I need. to be all right with just doing what I do, because the love of God has been shed abroad in my heart. Are you following me here?
This is so important to me this morning. Now, so the one... let's go back and forth, each each case you have an outward expression that's the same, but to God there is a difference. The one is a life in self determination and you know willpower and the other one, and for personal gain, self determination and personal gain, that's what the one is, self determination and personal gain. It's gonna look good on my portfolio, you know, if they ever give me an award, they can say that I feed the hungry and I do this and I can sit up there and pat myself on the back and say, "Oh, you are awesome, you are wonderful," and that's... I don't want that. And neither does God. The other one is in dependence upon God and as a result of the teachings of grace.
Now one of the things I found out is that false cults, they place a great emphasis on these finer qualities of human conduct. False cults, demand certain emphasis on morality, and then, like I said, nothing wrong with morality but it's again, why are we doing it? Now look at 1 Corinthians chapter 13 and 3. I think you... I done say that as many ways as I know how to say it, so watch this, 1 Corinthians 13 and verse 3. Paul said this, he said, "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned," or literally, I burn out doing good, moral things, "and I have not charity or love," he said, "there is no profit. It profiteth me," watch this, "nothing". Look at this same verse in the NLT. "It profiteth me nothing". He said, "If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrifice my body, I could boast about it," yeah, "but if I didn't love others, I would have gained nothing".
I can boast about it, we can boast about all the great things we do for other people. We can boast about it, but if we didn't love 'em, I have nothing to gain, except that which the world can give me. Now the last thing I want to do is teach the gospel of grace, only to raise up people who neglect the love piece. And every now and then we have to talk about the love piece. Now in 1 Corinthians 13, the life produced by the teachings of grace has the outward manifestations, but it also has the right attitude towards God. I am moral, but I got the right attitude towards God. I'm doing these things, fulfilling moral obligations, but it's not even obligation anymore, it's having the right attitude towards God to help me to do what needs to be done.
How are you moved when you face tragedy and unfortunate situations that other people go through? I'm teaching this because there's coming a greater experience in our world today, where your brothers and sisters are gonna see how deep we do love. It's so easy to say, "That ain't my problem". Easy, but what happens when you've got people who have sat under a teaching of grace that missed the whole thing where the love of God is concerned? And can't even and won't even think about. if it was me out there with no food, what would I do? That's their problem, I got my own problem. Shoot I ain't eat last night, wasn't nobody trying to give me something, see? It's the wrong motivation to do that, wrong motivation to do that. Dude, I just don't want to be that kind of dude. I don't want to be that person, where I don't have a heart of compassion for people who have a hard time.