Creflo Dollar - The Stance of the Believer - Part 2
Ephesians chapter 2 verses 8 and 9 in the NLT and Philippians 2:12. We've been talkin' about over the last three weeks, "When Will I Be What God Says I Am"? Is it something that I have to accomplish and really work hard in order to see it come to pass? Or does God have another plan in mind? Well, we have to deal with the contradictions of the Word, and I think for such a long time, Christian people, we either ignored it or didn't recognize that there was a contradiction, but God wants to show us some things here.
So, you'll notice this in Ephesians 2 verses 8 through 9, he says, "God saved you by his grace when you believed". When did he save you? When you believed. "And you can't take credit for this," so he saved you by his grace when you believed, and you didn't do anything to earn it or deserved it, so you can't take credit for it. It is a gift from God. It is a gift from God. And our society, you know, it's become so warped, we don't even know how to receive gifts. We even think when somebody gives us gifts, then I need to now give them a gift because they gave me a gift, and that's not how gifts are supposed to work. Gifts are given without you having to earn it or work for it or deserve it. That's what a gift is.
And so, verse 9, he says, "Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done," so you're not saved because you're so awesome and you've done so many good things that he decided to reward you with salvation. He says that's not what it is. He says, "It's not a reward for the good things we've done, so none of us can boast about it". And so, God says I'm doing something. I did something with you that you can't boast about because you didn't have anything to do with it except believe it. You didn't have anything to do with it. My grace made this available to you, and you didn't have anything to do with it. So, you are saved already because of what God did. You are saved and a gift given to you because of what God did, and right there it's like something that has been accomplished by God. It has already been accomplished by him.
Now here's the contradiction. Philippians chapter 2 verse 12, let's look at the King James and then the NLT. He says, "Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling". What? I thought it's done. I thought it's something that's already accomplished, and yet you go over here, and it says no, you need to work it out. Now, you can imagine what happens in the pulpits of America, one guy's preaching you need to work it out and another guy's preaching that it's already worked out. That's why we've got to resolve these contradictions. And then in the NLT Philippians 2, he says, "Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, with obeying God with deep reverence and fear".
So, you see on one hand that, you know, one verse speaks of a thing as being fully accomplished, while another verse refers to it as in the process of being completed. Can't you see how vital it is to resolve that contradiction? And so, we see where the Bible says, you know, you have been made righteous, and then on the other hand, people are tryin' to do things to become righteous. On one hand, righteousness is already accomplished, and then you'll find some other scriptures that, on the other hand, you need to be workin' on your righteousness. We need to resolve this contradiction 'cause we've been fightin' a little bit too long in church. "Well, that ain't what my pastor said" or "That ain't what the Bible tells me".
Well, you know, let's put it together and see what it actually is saying. So, this contradiction leaves when you understand that one refers to the believer's stance or standing in Christ. I've been made righteous, that's my standing in Christ. I am already saved, that's my standing in Christ. Or that's my position before Christ. And then the other case, it refers to the believer's life on the earth, which is called his walk or his state. It is something that still needs to be accomplished in his life. And so, you have on one hand the stance. I am redeemed. I am righteous. I am saved. Already accomplished, nothin' else needs to be done. And then on the other hand, you have the state, or your life itself. Although it is already done in your stance in Christ, in your very life, it's still something that is being accomplished. It is still something that you're having to see worked out in your life.
Well, well how's this thing gonna actually be worked out? Well, let's go the Philippians chapter 1 and 6 in the NLT. Philippians 1 and 6 in the NLT. So, here's the promise with this. There's nothing you can do or offer where your stance is concerned. You're righteous because of what Jesus accomplished. You're saved because of what Jesus accomplished. You're delivered because of what Jesus accomplished. But then we take a look at your actual walk, it's not accomplished in your life. But you need the stance in order for the state to come up to the level of your stance. Well, how's that gonna work? Well, look at verse 6, Philippians 1:6, "And I am certain that God, who began to work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns".
Now this is awesome. He said God began the work in you and has accepted the responsibility to continue his work in you, and said that he promises that it'll be finished on the day when Jesus returns. I don't know about you, but I needed to know that. Because I'm tired of sweatin' like a sinner, tryin' to get some work done that God has already accepted the responsibility for. He really needs me to believe, you remember the scripture I shared when we talked about, and I think it may be worth lookin' at because people, they really don't understand how important this is. If you go to John chapter 6:28 and 29 in the NLT, when I talk about, you know, the major work, and I know that, you know, love produces us doing good works and things to people and all that stuff, that's the only works Jesus receives really, is works that are born out of love, but what works are he talkin' about here?
Verse 28, he says that, you know, they saw the miracle of the bread and the wine, and these guys follow Jesus and say, "We wanna do the works that yields miracles and blessings too". And they replied, "We want to perform God's work too. What should we do"? So, they're lookin' for somethin' to do. And look at how they answer this in verse 29, "Jesus told them, 'This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent". And we belittle the area of belief so much because we're lookin' for somethin' to do, and to says here's what I want you to do. Believe. And basically, what God is saying in a nice way, "Believe and stay out of my way, because I'm going to do the work. I'm gonna do the work in you. I started the work in you. You're born again because of me. I'm gonna do the work. I'm gonna change your desires. I'm gonna take away your desire to want things".
Look at this scripture, I know we keep goin' over this every week, but this is pretty good. Philippians chapter 2 verse 13 in the NLT. Philippians 2:13 in NLT. God's like, "I am gonna do the work. I committed myself to do the work in you". Say out loud, "God is workin' in me right now". My goodness, look what he says in verse... you there yet? Yeah, verse 13, he says, "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him". So, God is workin' in you, so you know, you're workin' real hard to discipline yourself into the desire. And God says, "No, I got this. I got this".
How many of you know God knows how to get you to have a bad taste for something that you used... that used to taste good to you? He know how to snatch that taste completely outta your mouth. In fact, you can look at your life right now. Some things maybe 20 years ago, you had a desire to do. After experiencing life and God in it, you don't wanna do that no mo'. God knows how to do it. And some of us think that God really needs us to do some of the stuff that he does, and God says, "I want you to understand that I'm working in you". Say out loud, "God's workin' in me". What is he doing? He's workin' on your desires. He's workin' on the things you desire. The stuff you've been wanting and desiring, and you haven't even paid him no attention, God knows how to snatch that taste outta your mouth.
That's why I say that tribulations are supposed to happen in our life. That's how we get spiritually mature. "I don't believe that Christians oughtta have no tribulations. Somethin' must be wrong wit' your faith if you go through hard times". Well, the Bible says they that live godly, come on, come on, shall what? So why is it that they that live godly shall suffer persecution? Because persecution knows how to get rid of that filthy position of self-righteousness, move that selfishness outta the way, get you outta that circle so you can see things a little differently. God is workin' on your desires. He gon' give you a desire and the power to do what pleases him. Honey, you might not wanna please him right now, because Nadine, you know, you wanna please Nadine more, Nadine, you wanna please Nadine more, more than you wanna please God. But he workin' on that right now.
Woman, you tryin' to please, you know, Franco more than you pleasin' God, but he workin' on that right now. There's comin' a time in your life, I don't know when that day's gonna be, but you gon' wake up one day and all you gon' want is God. All you wanna do is please God. All you wanna do is believe God. He knows how to do that, and you gotta believe he does. Amen. You gotta believe that he does. And so, the state, your life, your walk, is out of harmony with your standing. The state of your righteousness is out of harmony with your standing in righteousness. I stand in righteousness because of what Jesus has accomplished. I'm actually going through the process of seeing that righteousness in my walk. That's my state.
And so, the purpose of the discipline of grace is to harmonize the state (your life, your walk) with your standing, and your standing is perfect. And your standing is unchangeable. But your state is not on the level with your stance. Now it makes sense. Now it makes sense when you read the Bible and it said, the Bible says you are perfect, and you saw last night you wasn't perfect at all. But you're still walking and you're still working and God's still producing it and you're better now than you were 20 years ago, and there're things now that you don't desire that you used to desire 20 years ago. What's happening? God is causing your walk, your state, to catch up with your standing. Are you listening to me?
Now. Here's what I wanna do this morning. I wanna show you that you keep trying to settle what has already been settled. My righteousness is settled. My redemption is settled. Me goin' to heaven? Settled. It's settled. You keep reevaluating those based on your walk. And you think your walk is gon' be strong enough to change your stance. Lord Jesus. I just say keep standin' in righteousness regardless of how your walk appear. Your walk may not look like your stance, but if you find yourself walkin' crooked one day, hop back in your stance. Oh my God. Get back in your stance. 'Cause your stance is settled. Your stance is what's gonna determine after you leave your Bible. That's why you gotta believe your stance, even though your walk try to talk you outta your stance. Even though your state tries to talk you outta your stance, don't let go of what's already finished.
Oh God. Don't let go of what is already finished. And that's what, the devil's operating in your walk. The devil's there tryin' to interrupt your state. And what he wants you to do is... see there, see there, he wants to condemn you. He wants to say, "Listen here. You goin' around talkin' 'bout you righteous. Well, well what you said last night wasn't real righteous". You oughtta respond to him, "Yeah. That's my walk, but I'm still standin' in righteousness". Man, this, wooo. So, I wanna run through some scripture. I wanna do it pretty quickly. Guys, if you have those scriptures in the back, I may not turn to all of 'em. But all of these accomplished items are effective and they were effective the moment you believed.
The moment you believe, they became effective at that moment you believed. Kinda like when you buy an insurance policy, they tell you that it'll become effective at this particular point, and I'm saying... oh, glory to God, I'm getting' excited, man, 'cause I know where I'm goin' with this. I'm saying that what I'm about to show you, heaven, you goin' to heaven became effective the day you believed it. So, ain't no use you goin' home talkin' 'bout, "Well, I might not make it in 'cause my walk wasn't right today". I'm gonna show you where the Holy Ghost sealed it.
All right, let's go. Galatians chapter 4 and 5. In Galatians 4 and 5, he says, "To redeem them that were under the law," so here's what happened, and you might wanna write some stuff down so you can look at it a little later just for time's sake, man. This is like, you know, I'm gonna call out, like, 21 scriptures, I don't have time to go through all of 'em. I do this so you'll know it's in the Bible. So, if you get home or you go, you start talkin' to some weirdo and they're tellin' you, "Oh no, that ain't true," at least you'll have somethin' to sit your uncle down and say, "Unc, look at this". And then he'll look at it. He'll see it 21 times and say, "Yeah, it might be in the Bible, but I still know".
You know, whatever, Unc. You know, all right. So, Galatians 4 and 5 settles this, "I am redeemed". Galatians 3:13, "I am redeemed". 1 Peter chapter 1:18 to 19, "I'm redeemed. It's finished". So the day I believed I'm redeemed, I'm redeemed. So, my redemption is over. I'm not gonna be redeemed, I'm redeemed in my stance. I'm workin' it out in my state. All right? Romans 8 and 1 says, "No condemnation". So, there's no condemnation. God's not condemning you. There is no more condemnation to people who are in Christ Jesus. So, if you're born in Christ Jesus, by fact that you're in Christ Jesus, no condemnation.
Ephesians 1:7 and 8, you're redeemed. You're redeemed. In 1:7 and 8 says you're already redeemed, "In whom we have redemption through his blood". Hebrews chapter 1 and 3, he talks about how your sins have been purged. Your sin's already purged. Already, right now, the day you believed. Romans 3:24, you've been justified just as if you never sinned. That's already done. That's already done. 1 Peter chapter 2:24, you're healed. I don't care what you feel like in your walk, you're healed. You're healed right now. When I was goin' through all that stuff of the last three years, I kept saying, "I'm healed".
When I saw the cancerous tumors on the inside, I was tempted to say, "Well, I can't be healed because," but I knew I had to keep sayin' "I'm healed". I went back to my stance when my state was contradicting. See, the devil wanted me to say, "No you're not". I'm not gon' disagree with what's already been accomplished. Glory be to God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says I'm righteous. So that's settled. Righteousness is settled. 2 Corinthians 5 and 21. St. John 1, 12 and 13, says I'm a son of God. I am a son of God right now. I'm not a son of God when I get to heaven. I'm a son of God the day I believe. My sonship became effective the day I believed.
St. John chapter 3:36, I have everlasting life. I have everlasting life right now. Glory be to God. I have it right now. It's not timing. I have Jesus, praise God. Romans 6:28, I have eternal life. Romans 6:28, I have eternal... excuse me, 6:23...I have eternal life. The wages of sin is death; the gift of God, the gift of God is eternal life. It's a gift. I have nothin' to do with it. I have it right now. It's effective the day I believe it. Somebody say, "I believe it". Romans 11:29, the gifts and callings of God in 29, "For the gifts and callings of God are without repentance".
In other words, when God gives you a... oh my God, lemme talk about this a little bit. When God gives you a gift, a ministry gift or a calling, he doesn't change his mind about it. So, they're both shocked. So, if he calls you as a prophet, you a prophet while you a drunk prophet, a whoremongering prophet, you still got it. He's not going, I mean, some of you try to run away from it by just runnin' into sin. He says, "I gave you the gift, I gave you the calling". It will be there when I finish workin' on all that other stuff you got in your life. "I'm gonna' change your mind about Mad Dog 2020, Red Lady 21, and Brass Monkey. I'm changing your mind, so when I can change your mind about that, the gift and the calling I gave you will still be there. I give it without repentance".
Man, that's powerful. That's powerful. That's powerful. You think that the gift is not what it used to be. Somebody say it one time, "Well, I used to have the gift of singing". You still do. It's just bein' hindered by all that other stuff you got. That's why God workin' on your desire. But he didn't change his mind about the gift. Clear your throat up and quit usin' it for cussin' and start singin', and the gift will still do what it need to do. Let it do what it do. You know, if he gave you a gift and calling to preach, you gon' preach whether you at a bar drunk, preachin' to somebody. You gon' preach. You'll preach to your dog, your fish, you gon' preach. You gon' preach because he put it on the inside of you, praise the Lord. Glory be to God. My goodness.
And that is in effect the day you believe it. You are an heir. Galatians 4 and 7, "You are an heir, therefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if you a son, then an heir of God through Christ Jesus". That's effective right now. I am an heir. I don't need to be written in. I'm already an heir. I'm already in the will. It is effective. I believe it. I am an heir. I'm an... see, the devil wants to get you to the point where you don't recognize, you know, this whole stance in God. I'm not standin' in myself no mo'. I'm standin' in God, hallelujah. This is how he sees me, praise God. The devil busy tryin' to impact your walk, and tryin' to impact your state, but what keeps you just bouncin' back is for you to realize, all right, the walk lookin' shaky, but the stance is right on time. The stance is standin' right. It's doin' what it needs to do.