Creflo Dollar — Righteousness by Grace
I sincerely believe that what we hear and what we're going to hear this week is going to challenge you, it's going to cause you to go and reevaluate the way you have thought about things for all of your life. I also do believe that it's going to cause you and motivate you to go ahead and make the move, amen? You know, sometimes people just kind of like hover between, you know, things. That instead of making a decision, you kind of vacillate back and forth. And I believe that this is going to settle it.
And so, I'm honored to be the first speaker, and I want to take the time to lay a foundation. There's something about a foundation that we can build on, and I believe that this is really going to help out. And so, if you have your Bibles, go to Romans chapter 1 and verse 7. We're going to look at verse 16 and 17. Now, now, here's what I want to talk about this morning, just believe and don't perform. Turn to your neighbor and say, "Just believe and don't perform". Turn to the other side, say, "Just believe and don't perform".
Now, throughout this week, you may hear some things that sound like we're giving people a license to sin, and I need to start off by saying this, holy living is still the objective of grace. Holiness is still the objective of grace. I like what Pastor Mike Smith says, it's still the gold standard, absolutely. But it cannot be by that old traditional way. You're not going to achieve it through your self-effort and your performance based on the old covenant.
Now, this week, you know, after I lay this foundation today, we're going to spend time looking at the gospel of grace from the perspective of a covenant because God deals with us through covenant agreements. And we have to understand that in that first covenant, that first covenant was a conditional covenant that was based on performance. A covenant is a pledge, it's a vow, it's a promise. It's an irrevocable vow, promise between two or more parties to carry out terms agreed upon, and it can only be broken by death when it's cut in blood.
And we have to understand that if you are still operating under the first covenant, the covenant of law, the covenant of Moses, when Jesus came to give us a covenant that every man can operate in if he just believes, then that's going to be a problem. And it's not the fact of whether or not, "Well, you know, that's your opinion". I'm telling you that there are lots of churches in the world right now that are stuck in the first covenant, that are stuck in a covenant of performance. That covenant says you have to perform. In other words, if you do good, you get good. It also has a consequence for when you don't do good. That covenant is based on your performance.
Another thing about that covenant, that covenant is between God and Jewish people. Jewish people were in a sense the test tube ethnic group for this covenant of law. And because they couldn't keep it all, then everybody stood before God in condemnation and guilt. And so, what you've got to understand is the fact that when Jesus did what he did, perfectly fulfilled the law, no man could do it, perfectly fulfilled it, kept all of it, and as our champion died so we could have a new covenant that wasn't like the old covenant, praise God. And in this new covenant of grace, we became Christians. In this new covenant of grace, we became Christians.
So, if you're still living under the first covenant and you're still living under the law, we now question your Christian status. You call yourself a Christian under the covenant of the law, there were no Christians under the covenant of the law. When people died under the law, they didn't go to heaven. We're already there, you know what I'm saying? They were all in the same general area. There's a region of hell, at the top was paradise, and, you know, at the bottom was torment, but it was still the same. The point I'm saying, they wasn't in heaven. It was what Jesus did that set us free, and the transformation took place, and we went from darkness and captivity to light. And because of Jesus, we have an opportunity to call ourselves Christians. And because of Jesus, we have entrance. We have an entrance through that new and living way, and that's Jesus Christ. The new and living way.
Okay, I didn't start too tough, right? We good? Just trying to give you a summary here. So, one of the things I want to look at is the righteousness of God that comes to us by what Jesus has done versus the righteousness of God under the law where you had to perform and you had to work. Righteousness by works versus righteousness by faith. Under the covenant of the law, the Mosaic covenant, that was righteousness by works. You had to work, you had to earn, you had to perform in order to be righteous. And the weird thing about it is in most churches today, you still have to work and perform to be righteous. But in this covenant of grace, we are righteous because of what one man, Jesus, did. Now, under this covenant of grace, this new testament, this new covenant, the second covenant, under this covenant of grace, this covenant is not based on bloodline, this covenant is not based on performance. This covenant is based on simple faith and believing in the finished works of Jesus and what he has done. It's based on your believing what he had done.