Creflo Dollar — The Gift
Matthew 1:20-21: 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 shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
He shall save his people from their sins. I call this word today "The Gift." You know, there are traditional reasons that people celebrate Christians and we compare in contrast the real reasons to celebrate Christmas. I don't know about you but after so many Christmases, you know, if you're not careful you'll begin to focus on the trees, and nothing's wrong with the trees, and the lights, and nothing's wrong with the lights.
And you'll focus on exchanging gifts, and nothing's wrong with that, and you'll focus on some of the traditions you've created in your family, and those things are cool. But after so many years, if you're not careful, you'll find yourself not feeling what some people say "the Christmas spirit."
But I got news for you. If you born again, you ought to sense the Christmas spirit every day of your life because he lives on the inside of you. But what you don't wanna happen is you don't want every year, you know, you have to go through this thing because, you know, you're just losing the excitement for the traditional things that you do.
And yet, the real reason to celebrate Christmas is the fact that we were all in bondage, destined to hell. Everybody was. The laws were given and it was inevitable that we were eventually not gonna be able to keep the laws, even if we would go 50 days keeping 'em right, even if we went 5, 10 months keeping 'em, all of a sudden there would be a time that we would eventually break them.
And the deal was when you chose to break the law, then the wages of sin would be death and we would find ourselves in a burning hell and no one would be able to get out of this. And so one day, just because he decided to, God got inside of flesh, came to do us a favor and through him, we could be set free from that horrible destiny of a burning hell.
He presented to us a gift. And as I said to you before, a gift is not yours until you receive it. Even though it's available, if you don't take it, it's not yours. And so we read in the book of Romans chapter 6 and verse 23, if you allow me to establish this foundation here.
Romans 6:23, and he says in verse 23, very simply: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life," and you get that "through Jesus Christ our Lord." Now, he's not talking about the gift of God is living forever, although that will happen. But he says the gift of God is eternal life, the very life of God.
In The Mirror translation, verse 23 says: "The reward of the law is death; the gift of grace is life. The bottom line is this: sin employs you like a soldier for its cause and rewards you with death. But God gifts you with the highest quality of life all wrapped up in Christ Jesus our leader."
Now, I know for some it may be a little confusion because in the King James it says: "The wages of sin is death," and yet in The Mirror Bible it says: "The rewards of the law is death." Well, how do you hook that together? Well, first of all, understand the devil is not trying to get you to sin. He's just trying to get you to keep the law because if he can get you to keep the law, you will sin.
You see, Romans chapter 7 says: "For without the law, sin was dead." There is no sin without a law. There's no transgression of a speed limit if there's, first of all, not a law that gives you a limit, a speed limit. So without the law, there is no sin. Without the law, sin will have no opportunity.
And what many people think, they think Satan's trying to get you to sin and Satan's trying to tempt you to do this or to do that wrong. No, no, all he's trying to get you to do is to keep the law. And if you'll keep the law and with your own effort and with your own performance, try to keep it in your own ability, you'll eventually sin because without the law, sin has no opportunity in your life.
And then in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 and verse 6, he says that "he strength of sin is the law." The strength of sin is the law. Well, ladies and gentlemen, if the strength of sin is the law, then the strength of righteousness is grace, amen.