Creflo Dollar - Real Life Transformation
All right, now I think we're ready. 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and verse 17. Now, I'm going to read this in the NIV. I'll read in King James first. You're familiar with this. "Therefore if any man be in Christ"... How many of you are in Christ? All right, you see what you say? Everybody's in Christ, right? All right. "Therefore if any man be in Christ," he is a what? Who's a new creature? The man in Christ is a new creature, making reference to the fact you're not the old creature. He says old things are what? And behold, all things are become what?
The NIV says it like this. He says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here". Oh, praise God. Praise God. The old is gone, all right? So that you can gain concept of what I'm saying here, what makes you a Christian? Is it because you read your Bible? Is it because you come to church? Is it because every year from this year on you're going to be at the believers' convention? So what makes you a Christian? Jesus living in you. You are a Christian because of who's in you. You're a Christian because of who's in you. You're not a Christian because of your behavior.
Now, good behavior is important, but you're not a Christian because of how you behave. Don't go ahead of me. I'm going to show you how your behavior can be corrected. Behavior is important, but you're not a Christian because of that. You're a Christian 'cause Jesus lives in you. And if you understand that Jesus lives in you, he living in you and you living in him will eventually impact your behavior. Tithing doesn't make me a Christian, but because I'm a Christian, I tithe. Coming to church doesn't make me a Christian, but because I'm Christian, I want to go fellowship. Singing in a choir don't make me a Christian, but because I'm a Christian, child, I got to sing sometime to give God praise and worship. You understand what I'm saying?
All right, now watch this now. What makes you, or what made you a sinner? Because you sinned? Listen, we think, "Well, you know, I'm a sinner because I sin". And then you spend all your life fighting sinning because, you know, somehow you think that, you know, that makes you a sinner. All right, listen to me very carefully. Because people don't go to hell for sinning. People go to hell for rejecting Jesus and keeping their old man. So what makes you a sinner? Again, it's the root that makes you a sinner. It was when the old man, when the old man, the sin nature man was living in you. It was what and who you had in you that made you a sinner. And because of who you had in you and it made you a sinner, then you are going to produce the fruit of sinning because of who's in you or who was in you.
So you were a sinner because of that old sin root nature lived in you. But now that you're born again, that nature is gone. You now have a new nature. You now have the new creation living on the inside of you. So now with that new root, you cannot be expected to produce some new fruit because you don't have that old root that produce that old fruit, but notice something. The old fruit still on the branches because you have a new root and you keep contradicting the new root because of the old fruit.
All right, now watch very carefully now. Let me go to the Book of Romans, and here's where our journey will begin. Book of Romans chapter 6. Verse 6 says, "Knowing this", now, there's something we need to know, "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin," which is that old man, "or the body of sin is destroyed. Henceforth, we should not serve sin". Now, this has always complicated things because of one little issue here. It's how the word sin is used. In this chapter, sin is used as a noun every time except in verse 15; which means when you read this, you have to read sin as the noun old man, as the noun sinful man, or you'll continue to read it as sinning the action, the verb, and it's only a verb one time in verse 15.
So now as a result of this, what we see in verse 6 is a noun referring to the old man. Now, this is how we've been reading it. "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sinning actions". But now look at the very context of the verse. "Knowing this, that your old man," man noun, "is crucified with him and that the body of sin, is destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve," old man, "body of sin". So he's saying, "Know this. The old man's been destroyed. The body of sin has been destroyed. The old man has been crucified. So you don't have to serve the body of sin or the old man".
In other words, you don't have to serve the old root no more because it's been destroyed, it's been crucified. You don't have to serve it anymore 'cause it's been destroyed. You don't have to serve, see, before you got born again, before you got rid of the old man, you served the old man. Why? Because it was the root to your system. It's like an apple tree has the root that will produce apples. So inevitably, an apple tree will have apples on its branches because it has the root of an apple tree. So likewise, before we got born again, we had the root, the body of sin. That's what was on the inside of us. That was the center of everything. And so it will eventually produce sin on the branches. But you no longer have the body of sin. You no longer have this old man. So you don't have to serve this old man, this body of sin because the root is no longer there.
Turn to your neighbor and say, "I got a new root". Is everybody with me? I got a new root. Now, I want to go backwards and work my way down. Now, listen carefully. Romans chapter 6 and verse 1. Oh, boy. Yeah, let's do some cooking. Oh, man. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in". Noun old man, old nature, this old root. Shall we continue in that, that grace may increase? Now, look at what Paul said. He said, first of all, God forbid. And then the first three words: "How shall we"? Now you understand how shall we? He's like, "You don't have that root anymore. You're asking me something and you know you don't possess that root anymore. How are you going to continue in something that's dead and been crucified? How shall we"? And then he continues, "How shall we that are dead to that," noun, sin nature?
How are you going to continue in the sin nature when you're dead to that sin nature, you're dead to sin and you live any longer therein? You don't live any longer to that nature 'cause you're dead to it. Everybody follow me? Verse 3, "Know you not, that so many of us were baptized into Jesus Christ". When we were baptized into Jesus, we were baptized into his death. So when he died, we died. Watch this. "Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death," referring to that old man, "that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk," watch this, "in the newness of life". In the newness of life.
Say this out loud: "I have the new creation in me. Therefore I should walk in the newness of the new creation, the new root". All right, look at verse 5. "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection". You see what he's talking about now? All right, watch this. Go ahead. "Knowing this", this is how you're in likeness of his resurrection, "Knowing this, that the old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve the body of sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin".
Question, according to this description we just read, are you dead to that sin nature? Now, how many of you know when you're dead to something, you're not dying to it? I mean, I know we love to use what Paul said. I think it was in 1 Corinthians 15 that Paul said I die daily. But if you have to read the whole thing in context, if Paul had to die daily to sin, that means that this didn't work. So you know he wasn't talking about dying daily to sin. If you'll read it all in proper context, Paul was like a man that said, "I am being persecuted so much for preaching this gospel of grace that I feel like all the perils that I go through could kill me at any time. So I'm prepared for death every single day through the persecutions that I'm going through".
I believe that's what he's talking about. But when you're dead to something, you're not dying to it. You know how frustrating it is to try to accomplish something that has been accomplished? Let me show you what I'm saying. All right, you're seated right now, right? All right, now watch this. Sit down. Now, imagine you trying to carry out what I just said. Sit down. You're looking like, "What's the matter with him"? Sit down. "Well, I'm already seated". That's exactly right. It's no difference than I say, "Die to sin". And you sit up there, "Oh, God. I'm trying to. I'm trying to". No, you're already dead to it.
Say out loud, "I'm already dead to it. I am dead to the sin nature. I am dead to that old man. I am already dead". So if I'm already dead to the sin nature, then I'm free from the sin nature. I am free from that nature of sin. You remember in Romans chapter 7 it uses the illustration of a woman, they said now once you're divorcing your husband, you are free to marry. Well, you know, it's kind of like, you know, she was married to Mr. Law and she divorced Mr. Law not so she could be free to do whatever she wants to do, but she was free now to get with Jesus. I'm telling you, you are dead to that old man. You are dead to that body of sin. And at the same time simultaneously as you are dead to that old root, you are free from that old root. So you don't have to produce according to the old root. You can now produce according to the new creation root. Is everybody following me?
All right, now watch this. Verse 8, verse 8, "Now, if we be dead with Christ, if we be dead with Christ," we believe that we shall also what? "Live with him. Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth"... Do you understand that? Do you know Christ is not dying anymore? Do you know Jesus is not going to hop on a cross every time you sin? You sinned. We'll sinned again. Somebody else did. Somebody else did it. You're like Michael Jackson. No. "Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, he dieth no more. Death hath no more dominion over him". Verse 10, "For in that he died, he died unto", that nature, that sin thing what? Actually, he died all of the sins that you... oh my goodness, don't even let me get there.
See, he who had never sinned... Oh, glory. All of your sins were charged to his body. Oh my god, every sin, every cancer, every type of depression, every type of tumor, every type of swelling, the Bible says he didn't even look like a human, it was all charged to his body. The reason why he took on flesh is so he could have a flesh body to sacrifice for all of our stuff. I don't know how you would not want to worship somebody like this for the rest of your life. "For in that he died, he died unto sin", how many times? Once. "But in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin".
The word reckon is very interesting word. When you reckon something, you're reckoning something 'cause it is the truth. If I say to you, "I reckon I have $100 in the drawer in the kitchen". If I say that to you, it is because I indeed have $100 in the drawer in the kitchen. So when I reckon something, I am resolving this thing to be the truth. That it is true that this is. And so he says, "Likewise reckon ye," I reckon or I conclude that this is the truth, "also yourselves to be dead indeed to that old nature of sin. But you're alive unto God". How are you alive unto God? Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Come on, folks. We're going there.
Verse 12. All right, now watch this. Therefore with all of this because you are dead to it, let not Saul... reign in your mortal body. You all see what I just did? Let not this nature that you're dead to... now see, it's important that the... let me finish. Think about this for a moment now. When you died to that sin nature, when you died to that old man, you received the new creation on the inside of you. So you don't have to serve that old man anymore because you have the new creation inside of you.
Remember when I told you when you died physically you leave something behind? Well, when that old man passed away and the new creation came in, that old man left something behind too in your soul. What did he leave behind? The residue of a way of thinking. See, you got born again, but you still need to renew your mind. Most important thing that a person, a human being can do is to be born again. The most important thing for a born-again Christian to do is to renew your mind. Why? Because you can have the new creation and still have the old software. So now what happens when you have the new creation and the old software? It's almost like you're born again, but still living like you're subject to the old root. Now, renewing the mind is not a one-time event, it's a lifetime process.
So, now, here's the deal. You get this person. They're born again. And what we do a lot, we celebrate the birth of Christianity, but we neglect the discipleship of Christianity. So you get people who are born again, it's almost like a baby being born and somebody says, "Hallelujah. The baby's born". And we just leave them on the floor. You have to disciple them. If you don't disciple them, that means that one of the things I've come to recognize, we've got like 30 churches now, and one of the things I recognize people kept talking about church growth and the Lord said to me, "I don't want you to focus on church growth. I want you to focus on church health". He says, "Because whatever is healthy will grow by itself". Because health begins to attract sickness, and then people know how to be healed and well.
And so what I began to recognize in this whole deal is you get saved but you keep the same software that was the program of the old man, then you're going to continue to do some of the things you used to do. I submit to you that what's going on in that old software, I call it the flesh. All right, now watch this. Let me give you an illustration of how this works. The question is, if I am now born again and I am free from the old nature, then why am I still sinning? Why am I still having the actions of sin when I don't have the root of sin? I got born again. Why am I still sinning?
You know, I used to have a beeper. When I was employed at the hospital, I wore a beeper. I don't know if the phones were out or if I was too cheap to get one, but I just had a beeper. And anytime an emergency would come up on a unit, I would get beeped and just kind of knew how to respond. But now that the cell phones are in, the iPhone and all these things... you notice they started off with iPhone 1. I don't know where we are now. I think it's like, somebody said eight. It could be eight, but here's the deal. Every time they upgrade, I rebel because I'm usually the last one to get it.
And so what happens is I get a little notice on my phone that says it's time for a new download, update, download, update, and it gives you an option to do it now or later and I would always hit later. And then it comes up again, now or later, and I would hit later. Now after a while if I don't update it, it starts malfunctioning and then I'm forced to get the update. Well, see, the same thing happens. You got born again, but in order to act like that new series, you need to get the download. And the problem with a lot of people is they get born again, but they don't get the new download.