Creflo Dollar — Grace-Based Holiness
Let's begin in 1 Corinthians chapter 1. Give me about 15, 20 minutes to lay the foundation as I set it up, both where we're going and a little contradiction to what you have seen, so listen to this as if you don't know what it is, but I want you to follow this very carefully in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 and verse 30. Let's read verse 30 out loud together.
"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption." Now, look at that Scripture very carefully. He says, verse 30, he says, "But of him are you in Christ Jesus."
Now, how many of you know when you got born again, you are now in Christ Jesus? So, say out loud, "I'm in Christ Jesus." You know, the day you got saved, you are in Christ Jesus. Now, you're in Christ Jesus, and what's the significance of that? Christ Jesus is made unto us. He has been made unto us wisdom. He has been made unto us righteousness. He has been made unto us sanctification. He has been made unto us redemption.
In other words, Jesus has been made wisdom, and now that you're in him, you, now, are a partaker or a beneficiary of being in him. Because he's been made wisdom, you now have wisdom, all right? He has been made righteousness for us, okay? Now that you're in him, then you are righteous.
See, whatever he has been made, you are. If he's been made righteous, you're righteous. If he's been made wisdom, you're wisdom. If he's been made sanctification, you're sanctified. If he's been made redemption, you're redeemed. In him, you take on, you take on all that he is, and so here, this is so amazing.
Wisdom, now, is a person, wisdom. Righteousness is now a person. Sanctification is now a person. Redemption is now a person because he has been made for us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, so the day I got saved, and he was made that for us, then I have to, by faith, accept that, just by being in him, I am him. Just by being in him, I am righteous.
I'm not righteous because I did something right. By being in him, I'm righteous. By being in him, I'm wisdom. By being in him, I'm sanctified. By being in him, I'm redeemed. This has nothing to do with my actions. It has something, everything to do with my position, and, before you see fruit of any of this, hallelujah, you are engrafted into the root of it.
See, once you have the root of a tree in place, you know, we now don't even know what that root is about until it begins to manifest the fruit of what was in the root. You are sanctified the day you got born again, righteous the day you got born again.
All that happened the day you got born again, so you have to be careful when religion comes to you and say, "Well, you know, sanctification, it's a process. It's a process for redeem. It's a process for wisdom". No, no, no, no, no. The day you were engrafted in him, that is the day before you demonstrated any evidence. That is the day you became him. That's the day you became righteous, the day you were redeemed, all of what he was made, you became that day.
Now, what the process is, it's now a process to get to see what you couldn't see the day you became it. You can't see my redemption now, but keep watching because I'm going to stay in him, and, eventually, me, the branch, is going to bring forth evidence of who I was that you couldn't see. That's why you've got to be careful how you judge folks. You're judging something that you can't see yet. Ah, you can't see it yet, but it's in there.
Now, I want to zero in on sanctification. Sanctification and holiness both derive from the same, the exact same Greek word. So, in the Greek, you hear this word, and, you know, I can say it, but why say it? I mean, it's a Greek word. I'll spell it for you, okay? Hagiasmos, which means, H-A-G-I-A-S-M-O-S. It's the Greek word that's translated both "holiness," and it's translated "sanctification."
Now, what's the significance of that? I'm not just saying this Greek thing just to impress you. There's a huge significance here that this one Greek word is translated "sanctification," which means to set apart or to separate apart from, but it is also the word "holiness."
Now, holiness is a fruit of grace. Holiness, there's something about an individual, once we understand the grace of God, all the things I just said to you, we have it by grace. Holiness is a fruit of grace. You cannot be more righteous because you're already 100% righteous by Jesus' blood. How many of you know you're 100% righteous right now? You're never going to get to be more righteous than you are right now today.
"Well, I'll go out and do some more righteous acts." No, no, no. If you go out and do righteous acts, trying to be more righteous, then your righteousness is by works. Your righteousness you got was by faith. You can never be no more righteous than what you already are. Somebody shout, "I'm the righteousness of God."
When you act like a fool, tell yourself you're still the righteousness of God. You can't sin away this. You're not less righteous when you sin. I am engrafted in that root. My behavior is not going to change that root. Now, there are consequences for sinning that you have to do through. We're not talking about that, but I'm talking about your identity is the same.
If you can remind yourself of your identity, and then you really believe that, you will no longer bear that kind of fruit. You will bear the fruit that comes out of who you are. Oh, boy. If you understand that, say amen. But, under grace, you can grow in holiness, in the way you live your life. Under grace, you can grow in holiness the way you live your life.
Now, verse 30, once again, "But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption." Practical holiness is not possible if you don't understand that you're righteous in Christ. Practical holiness is not possible if you don't understand that you are righteous in Christ. Say out loud, "I am righteous in Christ, not in my performance, not in my performance, not in my self-effort, not in myself. I'm righteous in Christ."
So, what make you righteous? Christ. Take Christ away. Are you going to be able to achieve that? No, you'll try to achieve it by works, but you're righteous in Christ. Say it one more time, "I'm righteous in Christ." Now, listen to me carefully now. Here's the first big radical statement I want to make.
Sanctification or holiness is not a conduct. Holiness is not a conduct. In other words, all of our lives, we have been told that holiness means how you carry yourself. Holiness is your conduct. Wrong. Holiness is not conduct. Sanctification is not conduct, and guess what? When you're not behaving right, they'll tell you you ain't acting holy. That ain't holy. Holiness is not conduct. Well, what is it? Holiness is a person.
Did you read the Scripture? He says, "Of him has he been made unto you holy," and you got in him and were holy because of him. "Him" is holy. I said "him" is holy. Y'all don't hear what I'm saying. You've been, the religion's done this with everything. You're thinking what you do, your conduct is holy and not understand it was not your conduct that makes you holy. It's him. "Him" is holy. I know it sounds like we're in nursing school this morning, but "him" is holy, him who Jesus is holy.
So, sanctification, holiness, it's not a conduct. It's a person, so, once you have the person, you have all the things in verse 30, and the first thing I need you to get is he is a person, and, once you get him, you get everything in verse 30. When you get him, you get righteous. When you get him, you get wisdom. When you get him, you get sanctification and holiness. When you get him, you get redemption. It ain't trying to get redemption without him, and that's what religion's been doing. We've been trying to get what he got without getting him.