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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Creflo Dollar » Creflo Dollar - The Stance of a Christian vs. The State of a Christian - Part 1

Creflo Dollar - The Stance of a Christian vs. The State of a Christian - Part 1

Creflo Dollar - The Stance of a Christian vs. The State of a Christian - Part 1

I think it's very important for us to deal with contradictions in the Bible, not just to bypass them knowing that's what we read, but I'm just not gonna deal with. I think it's important to deal with contradictions because I believe within it you find more liberty and more freedom and more understanding. And so I wanna deal with a contradiction this morning between what I call "The Stance of a Christian Versus the State of a Christian". The stance that you have before God and the state of your actual life. And I wanna look at that and the definition that I'll be teachin' from is, you know, I know that we've defined grace over the years as unmerited favor. That is absolutely right, but you've gotta know it's just so much more involved in it, that first of all, grace is Jesus. He's a person, amen?

Grace is not just a curriculum, grace is not just a subject matter, grace is a person, Jesus, full of grace and truth. But grace is unmerited. It's unmerited, abounding provision. Unmerited, abounding... that word "abound" means increases. Unmerited, abounding provision in the unrestricted operation of God's infinite love. So it's unmerited, it's abounding provision in the operation of the unrestricted, unrestrained, at one time, God's love was restricted, but when Jesus died on that cross, not even your crazy is enough to stop his grace. Y'all felt that, didn't you? Oh, glory to God. It's the unmerited, abounding provision in the unrestricted operation of God's infinite love through Jesus Christ for mankind, especially for those who depend on him. An unrestricted operation of his love that comes through Jesus, hallelujah, that is for mankind. It is provision for everything that was messed up in the Garden of Eden. Provision that was even released before the foundations of the world.

Now, let's go look at these scriptures and I wanna set up the contradiction. I want you to see the contradiction clearly, because I wanna show you that you bring nothing to the table and you continue to allow your behavior to determine your identity. And if you keep allowing your behavior to determine your identity, then you won't accept the identify that God has already assigned to you before the foundations of the world. Let's go to Ephesians chapter 2 verses 8 through 9 in the NLT, and then let's pit this against Philippians chapter 2:12 in the King James and then the NLT. 1 Ephesians chapter 2 verses 8 through 9. Now, I'mma tell you something. You did not come here for just a pep rally. Honey, you came here to get your soul nourished. You came here to be fed.

Ephesians chapter 2 verses 8 through 9. He said, "God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God". Anything that's a gift from God, you didn't bring anything to the table to earn it. It's not merited. This is a gift of God. Verse 9: "Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it". Now, notice in verse 8 he makes it very clear God saved you, E-D, past tense, by his grace when you believed. You have been saved. But now look at Philippians chapter 2 and verse 12, let's look at it in the King James and then the NLT. Philippians chapter 2 verse 12 in the King James and the NLT. Now here you'll notice something. "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 do you mean work it out? I'm saved. But here, it says, "Work out your salvation". Look at this in NLT. He says, "Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you, and now that I'm away, it even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation. Obeying God with deep reverence and fear". Now to a new believer, to look at this, they're gonna have to decide now, "Am I saved, or am I still in the process of being saved"? Now, one verse speaks of things as being fully accomplished, while the other refers to it as "in the process of completion". Let's look at some more witnesses. Hebrews 10:10 in the King James. Verse 10 says: "By the which will we are sanctified, or holy".

We are sanctified. We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all time. We are sanctified. But then in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 1 Thessalonians chapter 5:23 in the King James, he says: "And the very God of peace sanctify you," well, I've been sanctified; why am I needing to be sanctified? Why do I need to begin to believe God that the very God of peace will sanctify you wholly? I thought I was already sanctified. So here, sanctification is an uncompleted process, but in Hebrews 10:10, this is a finished work. It's a finished work in 10:10. 1 Thessalonians 5:23, it's an uncompleted process. I've actually seen this take place in real life. One person will declare, you know, "I'm sanctified"! And somebody'll tell, "Yeah, but you know God still got to sanctify you". Another person would declare, "Well, I've been saved". "Yeah, but the Bible said you gotta work out your salvation". We gotta look at that contradiction.

Hebrews chapter 10:14, let's look at one more. Hebrew 10:14 in the King James. He says, "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified". I am perfected forever. But then in 2 Corinthians 13:11, he says this. 2 Corinthians 13:11: "Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect", well, why do I need to be perfect if I've already been made perfect? Be perfect, be of good cheer, be of one mind, live in peace. Here it is again. See, Paul's admonition here, I mean, why should those who have been perfected forever be told to be perfect? So now, this contradiction will leave when you understand the one reference to the believer's standing in Christ or to the believer's position before God.

See, there is a standing before Christ that already is, that already is finished, that's already been done. Your standing before Christ, or your position before God. He is, for example, positionally sanctified, positionally set apart for God's eternal purpose. He's perfect in God's sight because he is in Christ. In God's sight, your position is finished. You are saved, positionally. You are sanctified, positionally. You are holy, positionally. You are perfect, positionally, but in the other case, it refers to the believer's life on the earth, which is called your walk or your state.

So, I have been made holy positionally, but in my life, I'm still workin' on some stuff. It refers to your life on Earth. It's your walk, it's your state. His earthly life should be holy. It should be set apart for God's use. He should live perfectly before God. But God understands that this state is a journey. Life is a journey. Glory be to God. And what you don't wanna do, ladies and gentlemen, is find yourself judging people in the midst of their journey. Positionally, they are everything that God says they are. And that's important because if God has already established you as such, then somehow he's got to accept the responsibility to make sure you arrive at that destination.

Let's look at this now. The believer's standing, then, is that position in which God has placed him and as God sees him because he's accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. You got born again and you're already in a position. Glory to God. God has already put you in a place, praise God. It is God's acceptance of you in Christ as a member of the household of God. He's already accepted you. There are certain things that it, let me use this illustration I used this Sunday. When you are born into the royal family, you didn't do anything to deserve to be born in the royal family. I don't care if you were to live a perfect life, if that was possible, not even living a perfect life can earn the position. And when you get born again and fail to understand what you have been born into, you have been born, the day you get born again, you're adopted into the family of God.

You are sons and daughters of the Most High God, not because of what you are about to do, or if you can do it right. You're born like that before any attempt to try to do something to prove that you can earn it. The fact is you can't earn it. You're born like that. Somethin' happens when you know "I am born a royal, so since I'm born a royal, I am now motivated to live this life as a royal. I now want to walk worthy of who I am. I'm not tryin' to do something' to earn who I am. I now know who I am, so now I'm gonna walk worthy of who I am. Not because it's gonna get me some extra points with God. I got all the points that anybody could want. I've been born into undeserved favor. I'm peculiar. I'm holy. I'm royal".

And the next time the devil tries to come to you and tell you you're gonna die of this sickness, you ain't never gonna be nothin', you're gonna stay broke all your life. You need to say, "Oh, you didn't get the memo. I'm born into the family of God. And everything that goes to Jesus is mine, and not only is it mine, he didn't wait until I proved something. He did this before the foundations of the world". Now I need to get in the Word and prove it to you so you don't think I'm just, you know, just preachin' something. Ephesians chapter 1, verses 3 through 14 in the NLT. Wow, Ephesians 1 verses 3 through 14. "All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has," past tense, "blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places".

So I've been called to every spiritual blessing. It's in the heavenly realm because we are united with Christ. We are, because I've been united with Christ. Everything about this inheritance, everything about this adoption comes because I'm united with Christ. "Even before he made the world, God loved us," he decided to love you and if you came out crazy, he still decided to love you. "God loved us and he chose us, he chose us in Christ. He chose us to be holy". He chose you to be holy. Now you tryin' to be, you're tryin' to become holy and the way you see that change in your life is if you accept that "I have been born with this undeserved privilege, I am holy".

Even though you ain't doin' nothin' holy, "I am holy" is gonna start changing what you're doing. Your stance is gonna start changing your state. "God loved us and he chose us in Christ to be holy," and watch this, "and he chose us to be without fault," watch this, "in his eyes". You still pullin' up all of your faults in your day-to-day walk, and God chose you to be without fault in his eyes, so we got to start seeing ourself like God sees us. "Yeah, but Brother Dollar, you don't know what I did". I'm tellin' you, you're in life right now. That is your state, but you have a stance that's gonna change your state. Glory to God. It's a journey. You're goin' from College Park to California. It's a journey.

There're a lot of things that happen from College Park to California. You might run out of gas. The engine might overheat. You might need to pull over to get some work done. You might need to pull over and get some rest. You might get lost, hallelujah. But be assured you're going to arrive in California. So listen, you don't need to judge me because I had to pull over. Don't send me to hell because my car overheated. Don't condemn me to hell because I got lost. And that's what Christian people do. Why are we tryin' to send people to hell all the time? "Oh, I know they goin' to hell". "You sure enough goin' to hell for that". "You, you sh", honey, I'm on a journey, you understand? I'm on a journey to walking worthy to this thing that God has called me to from the foundations of the world. Please reserve your judgment for yourself. I remind you I'm on my way to California. Hallelujah. I haven't arrived there yet, but I will show up.
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