Creflo Dollar - Spiritual Blindness
If you have your Bibles this morning, would you please go with me to the book of Acts chapter 26? Acts chapter 26 and beginning at verse 14. Acts 26 and beginning at verse 14. Now, one of the things I really believe that one of the greatest issues and I had an opportunity to see this yesterday morning in Washington D.C. One of the greatest issues amongst the body of Christ right now is spiritual blindness. In other words, being blind to what Jesus has already accomplished.
And so, what happens is if you're blind to that then what is it that you cannot see? And if we don't understand how vital it is to know what has been accomplished and what has been made available then we'll continue to carry ourself in a religious manner. And one of the Latin meanings of religion is a return to bondage. And we're certainly not wanting to return to bondage.
You know, Pastor Mike talked yesterday about self-righteousness and self-righteousness and religion, they go hand in hand. They are both motivated by fear. They're motivated by guilt. And this whole deal of constantly attending church and hearing that you're going to have to do this in order for God to do that, or you're going to have to do this this long in order for God to be able to do this, and if you want God to be good to you then bless God, you're going to have to be good. I'm telling you that is just absolutely the wrong age and this is the wrong dispensation to be talking about that. There was a time where that was true but that time is not now.
So, I want to take this opportunity this morning and take you through some things I think will be a blessing to you and at the same time be able to lay a foundation for all of this wonderful teaching that we're going to receive today and all this week. Let's begin in Acts chapter 26, verse 14, "And when we were fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, 'Saul, Saul,'" now this is Paul's name and before he became Paul, referred to him as Saul, "why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks". Now, notice in verse 15, "And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, 'I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose.'"
Now, here's getting ready to explain to us why he appeared to Saul. In other words, we're getting ready to see Paul's mission, Paul's assignment, Paul's calling. He says, "I appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee," verse 17, "Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee".
Now, how many of you know if God's going to be able to use you to help deliver people you've got to be delivered from people first. I'm going to tell you when you deal with the Gospel, you need to be delivered from people because, you know, you can't be so weak that, you know, you crumble when people say things about you. Dear God, I can be a witness to that. You're going to have to have a strong backbone. You've got to be delivered from people. Like I said, grace people, we've got to learn how to be gracious people.
Now, just because you preach grace doesn't mean anything if you're not gracious, and maybe happen to have some patience with people because you know, it takes a revelation to get ahold of this grace. And you don't want to become condemning every time you run into somebody and they're operating in this way. You want to be gracious and you want to be patient. And you know, knowing that it took you some time to get ahold of it. Then extend that same grace and patience to other people so they can get it as well. But I have come to understand that if God is really going to be able to use you, you've got to be delivered from people in order to be delivered to people, okay?
Now, watch this, verse 18. He says, now, this is power, look at what Paul's assignment is, "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified," or set apart, or set aside. In fact, the same Greek word, I believe, for sanctification is the same Greek word for holiness. "And by faith that is in me". Now, look at this now. Let's pick this just for a moment. "To open their eyes," so obviously their eyes, they are blind to something that if they could have their eyes opened to that, it's going to turn them from darkness to light.
So, the thing that they're blind to is obviously now responsible for them being in darkness, and if Paul can open their eyes to this, it's going to turn them from darkness to light. But not only that, if their eyes are opened to this thing, it's going to turn them from the power of Satan to the power of God. So, now, all of a sudden, I want to know what is this called, this assignment that Paul has because it's going to turn people from darkness to light. It's going to turn from the power of Satan to the power of God.
Now, watch this, here's a little key, "That they may receive forgiveness of sin". When their eyes are opened, they're going to receive something that's been made available. He didn't say, "Open their eyes so they can work to get forgiveness of sin". He said, "By opening their eyes they're going to receive forgiveness of sins". And he says, "Not only will they receive forgiveness of sin," he says, "They're going to receive an inheritance".
Think about what it must be like to be saved but blind. Think about what it must be like to be a Christian, coming to church, you love God, but you're blind, and you're working to get forgiveness because you don't know that Jesus 2,000 years ago has already settled that and now if you can get your eyes opened to this thing, you can receive what's already been made available, and you'll find out you have an inheritance, and that God's not mad at you, and he's not in a bad mood where you're concerned, and he didn't kill your little baby, and he didn't cause the car wreck, and you don't have to fast for 90 days in order to be blessed, and you don't have to beat yourself up because you missed a Sunday of church, or you didn't go out and witness to people. I mean, dear God, think about it.
I remember when I was living like that in church, and religion, the thing that keeps religion going is fear and guilt. Man, I thought, "You know what? I just might as well go get me something to drink". And I'm not talking about Kool-Aid but I got so frustrated. I thought, "This is hard". And what I later on discovered, you know, living the Christian life, you know, somebody says, "Living the Christian life is just as hard". No, it's impossible if you try to live it without Christ. You need Jesus to live this life, and so, by opening their eyes, you're going to receive something that's already been made available. You get ahold of your inheritance, and it says, it's already been set aside for those who are sanctified.
That's what happened when you got born again. I'm sanctified because when I got saved, I got in Jesus, and he's sanctified, and I'm sanctified because I'm in him. He's holy, and I'm holy because I'm in him. Oh now, that's what people. "Now, now, now, now wait, hold on now, you know, you got to, you know. Like the Bible says without holiness no man shall see the Lord". No, I can't wait to get ahold of that. You are holy the day you got in Jesus. What happens is you're in the root, and from that root will produce fruit on the branches of holiness.
See, you might not have no fruit of holiness right now but you are holy in Christ, and if you believe you're holy in Christ, then you'll produce holy fruit. See, once you get in Christ, life is about bearing fruit. I'm just mentioning stuff. Somebody will pick it up and take it a little farther, a little deeper. I'm holy today. Say that, "I'm holy right now". Because you do holy, no, because he is holy and you're in him. That's where it starts. He's holy, I'm in him, I'm holy. Now, I'm righteous too. Why? Because he's been made righteousness for me and I'm in him, and because he was made righteous, I am righteous because I'm in him. "But wait a minute, I hadn't done anything right". No, you've got to understand, the beginning part of you doing something right is believing that you are right. I'm the righteousness of God.
Listen, ultimately, everything the devil's tried to do has been something that's going against trying to contradict, trying to get you to not accept your identity in Christ Jesus because if he... I had a guy this past week in New York, he said, he had been in jail, you know, he was the guy who you would hire to murder people, and he got born again, and gotten ahold of the grace message. And I hate to use grace message because grace is a person but Jesus is grace. Jesus full of grace and truth. And every time I say grace message something goes off on the inside of me like, Jesus, amen?
So, Jesus, you know, forgive me if I have to use, if grace message comes out but grace is a person and his name is Jesus. But anyway, he said, he heard this, he said, "Satan said, 'You're a bad boy.'" And he said, "No, I'm not a bad boy". And I said, "That's the greatest thing you could have ever done". I said, "What did you say after that"? He said, "I'm the righteousness of God". See, if he can use your misbehaving to get you to not accept who you are. Are you listening to me? Then what he can do is if you'll believe you're a bad boy, you'll continue to do bad things. But even when you did bad things and you turned around and said, "I'm the righteousness of God," the day you really believe that, you'll do what's right. Satan is after your identity in Christ. Don't let him have it.
Turn to your neighbor and tell them, "I'm the righteousness of God. I'm sanctified. I'm holy. I'm redeemed. And I have the wisdom of God. I am wise. Rat, R-A-T, rat now". Rat, quick as a rat, rat now, rat now. You're going to learn some things about how we articulate things here in College Park. "Don't you mean right now"? No, rat now. R-A-T, rat now, quick as a rat. Alright, now, all of these things have been made available to us, and by faith, we take it. Faith takes what grace has made. Grace makes, faith takes. Grace makes, faith takes.
Now, let's go to Acts 20. Alright now, watch this, Acts 20, verse 24. Now, look what Paul now says about his mission, what is it that he was called to do? "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus Christ," what is that ministry that you received of the Lord Jesus Christ? "To testify the gospel of the grace of God". Now, the reason why I stopped at gospel because you've heard that word all your life. You hear that word in a religious church. "Oh, I preach the Gospel". But I don't know about that. The Gospel is not just preaching the whole Bible and somebody says, "Well, the Gospel is the good news".
Well, there's some bad news in the Bible. So, precisely, what gospel? The Gospel of this unmerited love, this unmerited favor. The gospel he tells you here, precisely, what gospel? The good news. What good news? The good news about the grace of God. That's the Gospel. The good news about the grace of God. The good news about this unmerited favor. You know, I've discovered going around the world, I thought the Gospel had been preached everywhere, and I discovered, man, the Gospel has not been preached as I thought it was. And people, you know, preachers proclaim, "I preached the Gospel". And I'm going to say it pretty boldly. I eased into this last year but I'm going to say it pretty boldly.
If you're not preaching the grace of God and the good news about this grace, you're not preaching the Gospel. I don't think you hear me. If you're not preaching, see because we want to think, "Well, oh, well, that's nice, you're preaching a foundational message on the grace of God, hallelujah". No, if you're not preaching the good news about this unmerited, unearned favor of God, you're not preaching the Gospel. The Gospel is the grace of God. The Gospel is the grace of Christ. The Gospel is Jesus, who is full of grace and truth. Grace is the truth that will make men free. The Gospel is the Gospel of Christ. The Gospel of grace, amen? So, when you say, when I hear gospel, I hear grace. When I don't hear grace, I don't want to hear you say gospel, amen?
Now, let's look at some things here. Ephesians chapter 1:16. So, Paul has the mission and the mission is to open their eyes where this grace of God is concerned. Let them see this unmerited, undeserved favor. Let them see what has already been made available to them. Let them see what was already finished 2,000 years ago. Let them see this and when they see this gospel of grace, their eyes will be opened. They'll be turned from the power of Satan to the power of God. They'll be turned from darkness to light when they can see this gospel of grace. If you understand that, say amen.
So Paul said, "Listen, I cease not to pray," verse 16, "and I cease not to pray and to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers," look at what he said, verse 17. He says, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in," what? "In the knowledge of Jesus". It says, "I pray that you get wisdom and revelation concerning Jesus". Verse 18, "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may," what? "Know what is the hope of his calling, wha tis the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints," come on.
He says, "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe according to the working of his mighty power," come on. He said, "Which he wrought in Christ," which you're in him when you got saved, "when he raised him from the dead and set him as his own right hand in heavenly places," come on. "Far above all principalities, and powers, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come". You know what he was praying here? "I pray you get a revelation of all that Jesus is, and all that he's made available, and all that has been extended towards you. I want you to get a revelation of who you now are in him".
Oh my goodness. Look at Hosea 4:6 just real quick here. How vital it is for us especially if you're in the ministry to realize that you may have people that are saved but blind. To me, I just, I don't know that just does something to my heart when I realize you're saved but you're blind. And religion wants to keep you where you are. Religion wants to have a church full of people but I tell you what. I believe there's a grace revolution that's exploded. The table, the spread is being laid out and there's a feast being prepared for these last days, and people who are at the end of their self effort, and they're fed up with performance based religion have a place where they can come and sit down at the table, and eat from this revelation of God's unmerited favor and love. Hosea 4:6 says this, I want to just mention this to you. He says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge".
Ladies and gentlemen, let me say this to you. What you don't know can be very expensive. And I wonder how much has it cost you to maintain ignorance? How much has it cost you to continue to be ignorant of this grace, ignorant of what Jesus has already made available, ignorant of the fact that healing's already been made available and it awaits your faith to take hold of what's already been made available. How much has it cost? How much have you had to see and look at and struggle day in and day out because you didn't have a revelation of Jesus, and your eyes were not opened?
So, what you don't know, it can hurt you. In fact, what you don't know in some cases can kill you because if you don't know what Jesus has already done, you will accept what the devil is doing, and just consent to it. Do you understand you have to give Satan consent to do things in your life? He just can't do it. He can't do anything to you without your consent. And you give that consent ignorantly not knowing what you're doing, what you're saying, you know, what are you opening yourself up to.
You know even sometimes we have to deal with the extremes of grace, you know, people think, "Well, under the grace of God you can just go out and sin". I'm going to tell you something, the grace will teach you how to live right. You know, you're supposed to, you know, if you say to me, "Well, what are you saying, 'We can just go and sin?'" You're just confirming that I'm teaching it right but I need you to understand there are consequences for sin. If you go out and just start sinning, you're opening the door for the devil, and he's going to come in. I mean, if you go steal something, the popo going to arrest you, and you're going to jail. You can't holler grace. They're coming to arrest you. "Grace"! You know, the law said, "Hallelujah".
"Well, the Bible says if I grace, grace, then he'll take a mountain and reduce it down to the plateau". Yeah, but you let the devil in and there are consequences for you sinning. So, when you take that attitude, "Well under grace I can just commit adultery, and under grace, I can just cuss people out, and under grace," well first of all, I'm questioning whether you're really under grace because if you're really under grace, it ain't going to teach you to do all that. So, be careful of these guys going around talking about, "Oh, well praise the Lord, we're under grace".
You know that extreme view of grace produces a very, a very passive Christian. You know, they think you don't have to pray anymore. They think you ain't got to go to church no more. They think you ain't got to do nothing no more. You know, forget about everything. No, that's not what that, that's not grace, that's almost like stupidity. Okay, let's go to 2 Corinthians chapter 4 and 3, and let's get this started. 2 Corinthians chapter 4, verse 3 through 4. "But if our gospel," I hear grace, "if our gospel," you see what I'm saying, how important it is to know that. "If our gospel be hid," if this good news about the grace of God be hid, "it is hid to them that are lost," verse 4, "in whom the god of this world," Satan, "hath," past tense, "blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them".
Now, Satan knows that. He said, you take a sinner, an unbeliever, he's heard religion. He probably grew up in that. But you take him and you expose him to the light of this glorious gospel. Satan says, "I will use everything I can for that not to happen," why? Because he's confident that if you get ahold of this light, of this gospel, it will change your life. It'll change your life. Now, in light of what I just shared with you I need to take you to a place now. I need to get very precise with you about what I'm saying here. What are men blind to? And what is that men can't see? Here it is. Men are blind to the grace of God. Men can't see God's grace because they're blinded by the law. Men can't see God's grace because they are blinded by the law.
Now I want to talk to you about dispensations for a moment and if you could write this down. Let's give a definition for dispensation. It is a divinely appointed order for a particular time period or a particular age. A divinely appointed order for a particular time period or a particular age. So now what's been going on here is that we're not rightly dividing dispensations. And so, we will take an order for particular age and put it where it doesn't belong. For example, you have the dispensation of Adam and Eve in the garden. You have the dispensation of Moses and the law and then you have the dispensation of grace.
Well, what happens if you take somebody who's operating by the requirements of the law based on that dispensation and you try to apply that to another age that it wasn't intended to be applied to? Alright, let's talk about this for a moment. Let's look at Adam and Eve in the garden. The agreement for being blessed was if you will not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then you'll be blessed. But if you do eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will be cursed, okay? Now, notice a couple things here.
Number one, they ended up eating from that tree and they ended up, based on that agreement, based on that agreement in the garden, they ended up receiving exactly what he said would happen when they did do it, alright? And so, we're now moved from that dispensation to the dispensation of Moses and the law. Under the law, the law that came by Moses, "if you". And that was the basis of that law, "if you". That's the pattern of that dispensation: "if you". The pattern of that dispensation was if you do good then God'll be good. If you do this then God will do that. And it also says but if you don't do this, you'll be cursed. So under the law what God was able to do under the law was based first of all, what you would do.
In other words, your faithfulness to do the law would then determine God's faithfulness where you're concerned. So if you were not faithful to be good then God could not be faithful to be good to you. So anything that happened to you under the law from God was gonna be based on what you did first. If you're obedient first then God will be able to bless you second. If you're good first then God'll be able to bless you second. It was all based on what you did. Those first two dispensations were based extremely, I mean after the fall of man, was based extremely on your faithfulness to God which would determine his faithfulness to you.
Alright, now let's go from that dispensation to the dispensation of grace. Under the dispensation of grace, the agreement is all about what Jesus has already done and will you believe what he's already done? In this dispensation, your faithfulness is not the key to you getting blessed; his faithfulness is the key. And under this dispensation, because Jesus has been faithful he will now enable you to be faithful. Because Jesus has loved you first he will now enable you to love because what he has done first, in this dispensation, enables you to be able to do what you could not do in your own ability. You could not do in two dispensations, you could not be faithful. Eventually you were going to fail.
So he is not going to come to this dispensation doing the same thing after seeing you fail, you were removed from the equation, replaced by Jesus who would never let you down, and now we are the beneficiaries of his faithfulness. And 1 Timothy says even when you are faithless he still will be faithful. Alright now, now what I'd like to do is kinda break that down and show you some things in Scripture real quick. Go to Romans chapter 6, verse 14. That's a summary of some of the things, I need to add some precision to what I just said to you. Romans chapter 6 in verse 14. Alright, let's read verse 14 out loud together. Ready? Read. "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law".
Stop right there. So there's an insinuation here that says under the law sin will dominate you. Sin dominates you when you're trying to live life under the law, when you're trying to perform in order to try to deserve something. When you're trying to, through your self-effort, trying to get a hold of something. He says the only thing that's happened here is that under the law the result of that is going to be sin because you're still in a performance based religion.
I mean, you remember, most of our churches that we came from, we went to church and it sounds something like this: "You know, you go to do this in order for God to do that. You know what? You didn't do that so that's why this didn't happen. You know what? You know, you really oughta be ashamed of yourself for carrying yourself like that". And the notion was nobody sinned until they broke the big Ten. Man, I'm so glad we're delivered from that, amen? "For sin shall not have dominion over you," watch this, "for you are not under the law". You are under what? You're not under the law, you're under what? Grace.
Now let me let you in on something, the law that came by Moses was extended to Jewish people only. So, if you're not Jewish you were never invited to the party. I shouldn't even have to be talking to you about letting go of the law 'cause you were not invited to that agreement; you're not in that agreement. And we got all these Gentile folks: white Gentiles, black Gentiles, all y'all got the Ten Commandments on the front door. Cuss people out if they talk about your Ten Commandments and you have never been invited to that party. But now there is an agreement that you've been invited to and the problem is, is somehow you think you're a part of that other agreement and you don't even know about the agreement that you were actually invited to.
You still going around talking about "Thou shall not kill, thou shall not do that," and you done broke all the "thou shalts," and then you ain't even doing their agreement good and getting mad at me when I'm telling you about your Ten Commandments. My mom was so funny, my mom got these little statute, little Ten Commandment things on our front porch and I said, "Mom, you still got them things out there". And she said, "Well, I understand the difference just leave them, they look good, leave them alone. Don't come teach me, I'm the mama".
Alright, now, go to Hebrews chapter 8:6, let me introduce you to the new covenant. This is the agreement that we all are under. "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant," or agreement, "which was established upon better promises. So the agreement we have in this age of grace that we are under, this dispensation of grace that we're under is better than the first one the law that came by Moses. Look at verse 7: "For if that first covenant," now that's referring to the covenant of law, the Mosaic covenant. "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second".
Now let's deal with the faultless part. Sometimes people get the idea that grace and the law are in opposition to one another. Please understand this one thing: the law is perfect. The law came from God who is perfect. The law is good. The law is just. But see, the problem is with this it is flawless; it is perfect. There's no room for negotiation. It's not like, you know, when you get a ticket: "Hey man, could you let me slide with this one"? And the police might let you slide. The law is perfect and not only that, if you break one of these, you're guilty of breaking all of them.
So we just finished 4th of July and if you're living by the law, and you had a pork rib sandwich, you done broke the law. Or the Bible talks about keeping the law of the land and you came here this morning and you on a 55 mile an hour zone and you drove 56, you goin' to hell off a technicality, man. All right, listen. So the first covenant had been faultless. What was the fault? It was too perfect for man. "What are you talking about"? The law was perfect, we are not. So now watch him. But it says I'm gonna give you something better. "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second".
Alright now, right here there's a second. Verse 8: "For finding fault with them, he saith, 'Behold, the days come,' saith the Lord, 'when I will make a new covenant,'" a new covenant, "'with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.'" Verse 9, and he's gonna tell you how he's gonna make it. "I'm gonna make a new covenant, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not saith the Lord. He says, "I'm not gonna make this covenant like I made that first covenant".
Let's look at this in the Amplified real quick. Because what was he talking about as far as not doing in this covenant that he did in the first covenant? He says, "It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day when I grasp them by the hand to help and to 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 withheld my favor". He says, "I'm not gonna make a covenant where you get to determine what I can do and what I can't do. I'm not gonna make a covenant where your faithfulness determines my faithfulness". This covenant's not gonna be based on your faithfulness, praise God. "This covenant's gonna be based on my faithfulness and I'm gonna always be faithful". Man, are you listening to me?
Alright, now, move on down to verse 13 real quick. Now notice this I'm gonna read this out of the Amplified, verse 13: "When God speaks of a new covenant or agreement, he makes the first one obsolete or out of use. And what is obsolete and (out of use and annulled because of age)". Now listen, he didn't say it was annulled because it's aging as far as, you know, it's old. He's saying that's it's annulled because the age where this was intended is no more; this is the wrong age for that. This is the age of grace to try to apply the law from the dispensation where it was in operation over into an age where it no longer applies. He says where are annulling it because it doesn't fit in this age, doesn't fit in this dispensation.
He says, "And what doesn't fit in this dispensation is ripe for disappearance and to be dispensed with altogether". Oh my goodness. Alright now, go to Hebrews chapter 7, verse 18 to 19. Let's stick with the Amplified on that. Hebrews 7, 18 and 19. Now I want you to notice here because we are in the age of grace, you go to understand this covenant of grace. "So a previous physical regulation and command is cancelled," why? "Because of its weakness and ineffectiveness and uselessness," verse 19, "for the law never made anything perfect".
Now remember we told you, the law's like a mirror; it will show you what's wrong with you but it won't do anything to fix it. "The law never made anything perfect but instead a better hope is introduced through which we now come close to God". And that "better hope" is that new covenant. Now, let's put all this together go to 2 Corinthians chapter 3, verse 5. 2 Corinthians chapter 3, verse 5 and I want to spend the rest of my time on that. One of the things I never want to do in this conference is to assume you understand the basis. There's something about training in something that you go over the basics over and over and over and over again, amen?
Now watch this: "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think that anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of," who? God, amen? We got to be careful not to think that we're the source of our own prosperity. Verse 6: "Who also has made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter," which the law was, "but of the Spirit," praise God. See, the Holy Ghost will let you in on some knowledge and then show you what you need to do to repair it, praise God. The Holy Ghost will let you know when your wife mad at you and tell you exactly what to do to resolve it.
You walk in and the Holy Ghost say, "Don't say nothin', just go in and hug her, don't say nothin' now. Hug her and don't let go". Verse 7: "But if the ministration of death, written and engraved in stones, was glorious". Now what was written and engraven in stone? The what? The Ten Commandments. And he says it was glorious for that dispensation for what was it designed to do? It was designed to bring men to a death of their performance, an end of their self-effort, to bring them to the place where they could finally admit, "I can't do this without Jesus".
This all started in Exodus 19:8 when they thought and they said out loud: "We can do everything that you tell us to do and we don't need you to judge us based on your merit, you can judge us based on our own merit".
And he's like, "Really? You really think you can do that? You really think you got out of Egypt because of good behavior? Do you understand it was my favor that was responsible for bringin' you out? You think you cross the Red Sea because y'all were all that? Don't you understand that was my favor and grace that did that? You understand that water that came out of that was my favor that did that? You really think you can do all this without me? Okay, I'mma give you the law and I know you're not gonna be able to keep it all so at the end of me giving you the law, I'm gonna institute the sacrificial offering system so that through the sacrifices I will be able to at least bless you and cover your sins for a year. You can't do this without me".
And the Ten Commandments, it was glorious at that time, "so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses," remember this, "for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away". Next verse, "It was to be done away. How shall not the ministry of the Spirit be rather glorious"? So he calls the Ten Commandments the ministry of death. And he says it was good for its age, for its dispensation. It did exactly what God intended for it to do. But he said, "This ministration of the Spirit under this new covenant is much more glorious in its age than even that in that age".
In other words, boy, if it accomplished what it accomplished in this dispensation, guess who only imagine what the Holy Ghost is about to do in this dispensation. And oh by the way, I believe that something was tuned on. I believe that this third and final outpouring has begun and God's about to pour his Spirit in your family, in your finances, in your ministry, and everything that has been tough in the last several years, there's a spirit of ease getting ready to come over your life, praise God.
Alright, let's go to 9. Woo, glory to God, I kinda felt that a little bit. I was about to take off runnin'. Somebody say, "What you doin'"? That's just for me right there, hallelujah. Verse 9, "For if the ministration of condemnation," look at what he just called the Ten Commandments, "the ministration of condemnation". That's exactly what happens when you couldn't keep one of those laws, condemnation would come.
You know the power of condemnation? Condemnation is what keeps sin as a cycle in your life. You remember the woman who was taken out of the very act of adultery? I mean, sheets and all, and you got these self-righteous men who thought, "Well, you know, the law said". And Jesus began to... somebody says, "Well, what was he writing"? I think he was indicating, "Who you think you're talking to? I wrote the law". And Jesus said, "Fine, those of you who don't have any sin, go ahead and cast the first stone". They all dropped the stones and they left. Jesus said something so amazing, he says, "You know what? I don't condemn you, go and sin no more". He gave her a free gift of no condemnation. And with that free gift she was now equipped to sin no more.