Creflo Dollar — Freedom by the Cross
We're about to knock over some sacred cows. I mean to the point where you're gonna think, "What in the world have I heard?" I am not here this morning to try to preach a ceremonial message because it's Easter. I'm not here this morning to try to see if I can get a ten because it's Easter.
I just need you to listen to me for about 58 minutes. I need you to just pay attention, because the Bible says, "Your tradition has made the word of no effect." That means a person can get used to believing something for so long that they're not even open to even the truth of it. You can get to the point where you say, "I heard when I was a little boy, and I heard my mom and dad say this," and you can listen to it for so long that when you see the truth, the very inside start fighting against it.
So, what I'm gonna do this morning is I have to lay this out by Scripture. I've chosen Romans chapter 6, and a few weeks back I began to just start planting little seeds there, just sticking it in your head so you can see it, but we're gonna see it. We're gonna let the Scripture tell the story, because here is the issue. If you were to go outside today and ask people "You know, explain to me what does Easter mean to you, and what happened when Jesus died on that cross?"
And most of them will say, "When Jesus died on that cross, he freed me from my sin." Well, if he freed you from your sin, why are you still sinning? So, either something was wrong with Jesus, or something is wrong with our understanding about what happened, and so we need to look at this. "Oh, Jesus freed me from my sin." That was last Easter. This Easter, the same thing. "He freed me from my sin."
How many times do you suppose he freed you from your sins and you're still sinning? Now, please don't misunderstand me. I'm not here to beat you up about your sin. I'm here to encourage you about what he's already done and to strip away the demonic religion that Satan has put in people's heads, and when you walk outta here today, I need you walking outta here fully equipped to help me preach what I'm about to teach to you. I'm gonna preach it to you, and I need you to teach it to about 20 other people.
See, you're getting to some places where I can't get. I won't be able to get to some of your houses, I won't be able to come to the places where some of you are, but today we begin a Jesus revolution. If you have your Bibles, go with me to the Book of Matthew chapter 1 and let's begin. Matthew chapter 1. In Matthew chapter 1, we'll begin at verse 20 and 21. Freedom by the cross. Freedom by the cross.
Verse 20, "But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins."
Objective of Jesus coming and dying on the cross: to save his people from their sins, and it's got to be more than just a religious statement. He came and he died and went through everything he went through to save his people. Now, here specifically he's talking about Jewish people, but now we are now part of that covenant, so that involves everybody: to save his people from their sins.
What does this mean, and did he do it? Now, you'll say, "Oh, yes, he did it." Why are you still sinning? He said he came to save us from their sins. Now, either he did it or he didn't do it, or either we understand it or misunderstand something, and that's what we gotta clear up today. So, let's begin in Romans chapter 6. Romans chapter 6. Do I have your attention? In fact, let's go to Romans 5 and start at verse 19 and move down into Romans 6. Romans 5, verse 19, and then we'll move into Romans 6.
Verse 19 says, "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Now, look at verse 19, "For by one man's disobedience many were made sinners." Who is this man? Adam. By what one man, Adam, did. What Adam did is responsible for making us sinners. In other words, every man, after what Adam did, his disobedience in the garden, it caused every person to be born into sin and shaped into iniquity.
So, every person that's born in the earth is born a sinner. That's why it's necessary to be born again. "So by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Who was this guy? Jesus. So, by Adam many were made sinners. It was not because of what you did. I mean, what could you have done? You're in the womb. I mean, do you think the egg had to fight with the sperm and somehow you all cursed each other out and you were born a sinner? That's not what happened. You were born a sinner because of what one man did. You are now born again because of what one man did.
Now, watch this. "Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded," or increased, "grace did much more abound," or increase. So, he says that when sin increase, grace increase more. In other words, sin will never be greater than grace. No matter what happens with sin, grace will always be able to outdo sin. Ain't nothing you're gonna ever be able to do to outdo grace. He says, "That as sin has reigned unto death," sin reigned unto death, "even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ."
So, let's deal with the first issue here. That sin has reigned unto death. For years, we have read Scripture without recognizing that there is a difference when you use a word one way versus another. For example, this word "sin" is being used as a noun, but everybody that's born again or every Christian that I know of in the past, they're using it as a verb, sinning. So, every time you see the word "sin," you're thinking it's the action, sinning.
Now, listen to me very carefully. When you begin to look at this, and just in the book that we're looking at today, in the Book of Romans, sin is used 48 times. Forty of those times the word is used as a noun. Forty of those times it's used as a noun. Remember your grade school. A noun is a person, place, or thing, so 40 of the times it's used as a noun referring to the sin man or the sin nature.
Now, that makes a difference because if you read verse 21, he says that "as the sin nature has reigned unto death." That sin man that you used to have was ruling you. He wasn't talking about sinning, the action, was reigning unto death. He was saying that man, that sin man, that sin nature that everybody have when they were born, it was ruling unto death. And so, only eight times will you see it in the entire book being used as a verb.
Now, we're getting ready to look at Romans chapter 6, and the word "sin" is only gonna be a verb one time, and that's in verse 15. So, every time you see the word "sin" from this moment on in chapter 6, it's a noun. It's referring to the person of sin, the sin nature. It's referring to that body of sin.
Now, if Jesus is coming to deliver us from our sins, he's got to deal with the root of sin. If you can deal with the root, you can take care of the fruit. So, Jesus didn't come to deliver his people from sinning. He came to deliver his people from the sin nature that caused the sinning. Are you following me now?