Creflo Dollar — Law vs Faith
Grab your Bibles. Go with me to the book of Deuteronomy chapter 28. So the radical begins. This is gonna be so good. Some of you are gonna think I fell of a ledge or something like that. I have been thinking about this for a long time, and it was a very interesting morning.
As I was praying in the Holy Spirit, I was praying, you know, which direction to go in, and had about three or four directions, and it was just weird. I was praying in the Holy Spirit, and I ended up in my office and ended up in Taffi's office, and I'm praying, and I reached down and I picked up this little workbook she had, and I read out of the book, thinking that, "Well, maybe I'm supposed to preach this."
And I read an article, and it was on obedience, and it wouldn't go away. That same thing kept coming up: obedience. And I tell you, you're talking about blind. I've known this for quite some time but didn't have enough proof to bring it out, and I wasn't gonna bring it out without enough proof because it would cause confusion, but I got that. I got it. My God, I can't wait to get it out. I got it. Oh, I got it. I got it. I got it.
So I thought, well, like I always do on Wednesday night, you're my, kinda, like test babies, and I come and run it through you and see how it come out, and go back and listen to the tape and just kinda look at it again, but this is good. So here's what we're gonna talk about. We're gonna talk about obedience to the law versus obedience of faith, obedience to the law versus obedience to the faith.
Now every time something happens or doesn't happen, somebody is talking to you about obedience, and, you know, it kinda sounds like this, "You know, if you would be more obedient to God, then God will be able to do this." Or, "You know, make sure you obey him."
And I'm not no way trying to say that obedience is not important, but now it comes a time where I'm gonna have to get just straight with this thing, and I gotta let the Scripture speak to you in order for you to hear what I'm saying. But now listen to me.
Under the covenant of grace, we're no longer the root of the issue. Under the covenant of grace, we are fruit bearers. That's what we do. Under the grace covenant, we bear fruit. Now what I'm gonna do is we'll start in Deuteronomy chapter 28, and again, I want you to start seeing the Bible in context, the whole Bible. Not just the chapter, not just this, but the whole Bible in context. Eventually, the whole thing's got to come together so you can see it.
So Deuteronomy 28 and verse 1. Let's start here. "And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth."
Verse 2, "And all these blessings shall come on thee," condition, "and they'll overtake you," here is the condition, "if you shall hearken..." That word "hearken" means "hear and do." It's obedience, hear and do. "If you hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God," you'll be blessed. Now what is the condition of being blessed, according to verse 2? If you what? If you hearken unto the voice of the Lord God, you'll be blessed.
All right, look at verse 3. He says, "Blessed shall thou be in the city, and you'll be blessed in the field." So the condition here is "if you." This is old-covenant pattern. Old-covenant pattern is always about what you do first will enable God to do second. If you hearken unto the voice of the Lord first, then the result of that will what? Will be the blessing.
And so, this is where we get the term or the phrase "obedience gives birth to the blessing." It comes from that. Obedience gives birth to the blessing. All right, now don't forget under the old-covenant law, the pattern of the old covenant was always about what you do first that enables God to do second.
So the key to the covenant of law, the key to it was what you do first, so obedience was the root issue under the old covenant. It was the root issue. If you failed to be obedient first, then there was no way God was gonna be able to bless you second. Does everybody understand that?
So we're gonna move out of the covenant of the law, and I wanna show you this in Hebrews chapter 8. I didn't write that down, but I wanna show you something, Hebrews chapter 8, as we journey. Go to Hebrews chapter 8. We're gonna look at the new covenant, 'cause I need to support this radical statement I'm getting ready to make. Hebrews chapter 8, and I want you to look at the very last verse of Hebrews chapter 8. Well, let's look at verse 8, verse 9, and then verse 13.
All right, so again I told you the Bible is divided up into dispensations. You have the dispensation under Adam, you have the dispensation of the law, and then you have the dispensation of grace, okay? Now the law, according to what we're getting ready to read, "For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah." The new covenant, all right?
So if the covenant of Moses or the Mosaic covenant or the covenant of the law are all referring to the law, if it was good enough, why in the world would God say, "Let's make a new one." He said there was a fault there. Now what was the fault? Please don't misunderstand me ever. The law was perfect, but we were not. It was too perfect to keep. It was too perfect for a human being to be able to keep it. That was the fault that was found with the law. You couldn't do it, not all of it, anyway.
Go to verse 9. He says, "Now I'm gonna make a new covenant," and he now tells you how he's gonna make the new covenant. "Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in that when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, I regarded them not."
Look at the Amplified, guys, if you all have it back there, verse 9. So what he says is, "The new covenant I'm gonna make is not gonna be like the old covenant," where God said, "My faithfulness is gonna be based on your faithfulness." God said, "What I do is gonna be based on what you do," 'cause you are the root. You are the root of the system."
In the Amplified, it says, "It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day when I grasped them by the hand to help and relieve them and to lead them out from the land of Egypt, for they did not abide in my agreement with them, and so I withdrew my favor and disregarded them, saith the Lord." He says, "I'm not gonna make another covenant where what you do determines what I can do."
So the solution: take man out of the equation of the covenant, replace him with somebody who is gonna be faithful and never ever have a problem with faithfulness. And that was Jesus, and so we became the beneficiaries of what Jesus' and God's faithfulness would always produce. That's an awesome, awesome truth, which we'll teach on a little later.
Now look at verse 13. Now verse 13 says, "In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxes old is ready to vanish away." Look at this in the Amplified. So he's referring to the covenant of law, the Mosaic covenant. He is referring to that covenant as old. Verse 13 in the Amplified says, "When God speaks of a new [covenant or a new agreement], he makes the first one obsolete (out of use)."
He makes the covenant of law obsolete, out of use, all right? "And what is obsolete (out of use and annulled because of age) is ripe for disappearance and to be dispensed with altogether." That's pretty clear that if you're operating under the covenant of the law, you're operating under a covenant that is no longer valid, or you're operating under a covenant that has expired.
So that's the reason why when, that's the reason why when Taffi shares this Scripture with people and then they freak all out, it's important, in Genesis chapter 2:16, "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden not to eat."
And then he goes on, and he begins to talk to the woman. He said, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrows and thy conception; in sorrow thou shall bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." Okay, he shall rule over thee. That's in Genesis chapter 3, verse 16. All right, so imagine all of the men who are stuck in the covenant of the law and reading the Bible and trying to keep an expired covenant.
So what's a part of that expired covenant? Rule over your wife. That's expired. That's expired. You don't rule over your wife. Jesus said, "Ooh, I gotta fix that." That's why they want you to taste the tree in the first place, 'cause this is what's gonna happen. He said, "This is not gonna happen. We're not gonna let this happen, okay? This is not gonna happen."
So we go, and we have a new covenant that was made, and this is a covenant of grace. Now go to Galatians chapter 3, Galatians chapter 3, and when you get to Galatians chapter 3, we kinda get back on task here. Verse 14. I'm a stickler for details. Let's get back on obedience. Galatians 3:14.
Now what was the condition of being blessed under the covenant of the law? What do we have to do to be blessed under the covenant of the law? Okay, which is obedience, right? So we had to obey in order to be blessed. All right, but now under the covenant of grace, notice what he says. He said, "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles," how? How?
Okay, so under the covenant of grace, how does the blessing come on you? Under the covenant of law, how did the blessing come on you? All right, so now watch this now. Under the covenant of law, it was if you obey first, then the blessing will come unto you. Under the covenant of grace, it is what Jesus has done first, and then it will come on you.
In other words, what Jesus has done first enables what you'll be able to do second. In other words, you're not gonna be enabled to do anything if Jesus didn't do it. Jesus had to do it first in order for you to be able to do it second.