Creflo Dollar - Righteousness Without Works
If you have your Bibles let's dig into some things and do a little review and really hammer some things in. We've been talking about how to eradicate sin consciousness and in doing so, you know, we wanna take a look, then, at the righteousness of God. If you would go with me to the book of 2 Corinthians chapter 5, and we'll begin there this morning. 2 Corinthians chapter 5. Okay, so when we look at the righteousness of God, you know, are we righteous because we do right? No, but we're righteous because of what Jesus has done, and so we're learning how to have more faith in what Jesus has done, instead of having more faith in what we have done for Jesus.
And so, I wanna begin here in verse 17. 2 Corinthians chapter 5. He says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; and behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath," past tense, "reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath," past tense, "given to us the ministry of reconciliation". Now, verse 18 says, "But all things are from God," in the Amplified, "who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to himself received us into favor and brought us into harmony with himself". That's what he's talking about when he's talking about how he has through Jesus reconciled us. What did he do? He received us back into that favor. He received us back into that grace and caused us to now come back into harmony with himself. And because of what God did through Jesus, inviting us back into that grace, inviting us back into that divine favor, he then gave us the ministry of reconciliation so that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with him.
That we might aim to bring others back into this grace and back into this favor, and then he goes back in verse 19. He says, and I'm still in the Amplified, "It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (the message of restoration to favor)". Restoration to favor. You know, when I read this the only thing I think about is some guy in the street that's full of guilt and full of shame because he's been selling drugs in the street and because he's been committing crimes in the street and because he's an adulterer. And I think about this message that we've been given: to go to them and to say, "Hey, dude. It's all right. You can come home now. You can come home now because it's all right now. God has invited us back into his divine favor. It's all right to come home because he's not gonna hold your sins against you".
Come on home, praise God? Come on home to healing. Come on home to deliverance. Come on home to restoration. Come on home to abundance. It's all right to come home now, because through the blood of Jesus he's not gonna count your sins against you. You can give your life to him, and it's all right to come on home. That's good news to that guy that's in the street. Now, it might be a doctrinal argument to the traditional person in church. He might wanna sit down and fuss with you over this, over that, but I'm telling you I believe that God has been merciful unto my unrighteousness, and my sins and my iniquities he remembers no more. What happens when you get that mindset? It is very difficult for the devil to bring condemnation and guilt, and sin consciousness cannot remain when you begin to understand your part, praise God? And I hesitate to use this to say your part, but when you begin to understand your obedience in the faith where this new covenant is concerned, amen?
Now, we move over to verse 20. He says, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be reconciled". And he says, "I beg you," in the Amplified, "for his sake to lay hold of this divine favor [and now offered you] and be reconciled to God". Now, verse 21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him". Somebody says, "Well, how is it that we can be made right when we hadn't done anything right"? Well, if you can answer how is it that Jesus can be made a sinner without sinning, then you'll have somewhat of an understanding how we could be made righteous without doing it right. Oh, hallelujah. Jesus took on. He received our sins. Glory to God. And God treated him like the worst sinner to ever walk the earth, treated him like the worst sinner ever to walk the earth, turned his back.
Noonday became midnight, hallelujah? But why would he do that? He treated him like the worst sinner to ever walk the earth so that he would be just in treating you and I like the best righteous person to have ever walked this Earth, so he received our sin. He was made sin. He who had never sinned, by receiving our sins and paying the debt off. Not only did he receive our sin, and I don't get tired of telling this story. I think it's time for us to bring Jesus back in the church, and he received our sin, paid the price for our sin. The penalty for our sin Jesus paid and all of the wrath and all of the anger God poured out on his son, and he forsook his son so that he would be just, hallelujah, in how he would treat you where sinned was concerned. That he would not forsake you. That he would be able to do I mean justly to you because of what happened to his son. What a mighty God we serve. Amen.
No, let's go to Romans chapter 4. Romans chapter 4. Hallelujah. I just got started, and I'm all ready for somebody to hold my mule. Oh, Jesus. Oh, Jesus. Oh, Jesus. Hallelujah. All right, Romans chapter 4, verse 6. Now, watch this now. "Even as David also described the blessedness of a man, unto whom God imputed righteousness without works". Now, look at David here. David here now sees this, the blessedness on this man who God credits righteousness apart from the works he does. He credits righteousness apart from the works he does. He credits righteousness. David saw this. He saw a time where man was gonna be credited with righteousness apart from the works he does. And then he goes and talks about this blessing in verse 7, "Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered". How many of you know that is a blessing? That's a blessing, amen? And then in verse 8 he says, "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not," ou me, mean no with conditions plus no without condition is one of the strongest negative assertions you find here in the book of Romans, where he says he will not, not by any means, never impute sin, or he will... "The Lord will take no account nor reckon sin against you who are now the righteousness of God". He will not do it, and I think we spent some time with that.
You know, the word "impute" means to charge a person with a fault or to credit him with something, and he says it's not gonna happen. Now, why impute sin on a man who doesn't sin? See, we have the forever gift of nonimputation of sin. Say that out loud, "I have the gift of nonimputation of sin". In verse 8 here he literally says never shall he never impute sin to you who are the righteousness of God. "Well, now, Brother Dollar, don't you think you're giving people license to sin? Don't you think by people hearing this, they're just gonna go crazy. They're just gonna just let it rip". Like I told you the other day, you don't need license to sin. You've been sinning without one. No. See, you don't know the truth and that's why people go out and do all kinds of things. One of the things we've got to understand is if you believe the right thing, then you're gonna be able to live the right way. If you believe the right thing, you'll begin to live the right way, so when you don't know the truth then you'll live in sin.
See, it's the guy who's walking around in condemnation. It's the guy who's walking around in guilt. It's the guy who's walking around in rejection. That's the guy that's gonna go out and sin more, but when you begin to see God's love through his forgiveness, come on, dude. You have found something you love more than sinning and then you begin to look at what he's done, and you're just trying to get a grip of, "Look at what he's done. He's forgiven me of my past, my present, and my future sin. How is it that I'm gonna go and try to look for a way to sin? Look at what he has done". It's like the story about this guy in the time of slavery, where he got up in the auction, and they kept bidding for this light-skinned woman and kept bidding and kept bidding, and they couldn't believe that this guy was bidding so much for her, and he won the bid.
And so, when she came to report herself to her master, he turned around and gave her the papers to her freedom, and he said, "I bid such a high price so I can set you free". And she took the papers, and she began to walk away, and she said, "Wait a minute". And she came back to him, and she said, "Sir, for anybody that will pay such a high price, I will willingly serve you for the rest of my life". And that's what it's like when you begin to understand this price that Jesus has paid. I'm not interested in going out to try to find another way I can sin. I am in love with this God who did this for me before I was even made a fetus, before I was even born again, and I will serve him for the rest of my life. Are you listening to me? So, the reason why God won't impute sin to you is because he's already imputed your sins in the body of Jesus Christ, and so it's a just thing for him to be able to make this commitment, so instead God imputes righteousness on you. God is imputing righteousness on you, because from the position of righteousness you'll begin to walk in righteousness. See, when you got born again, everything was finished. Everything has been made available.
The Bible says in Titus 2:11 that this grace has come before all men. But why is it that all men don't have it? Because they haven't released their faith to get ahold of what grace has made available to them. It's been available. It's available to you right now. You are the healed right now. You're not trying to get healed. You are the healed protecting your health. You are the delivered right now. Watch this. This is gonna blow your mind. You are the holy. No, I'm not trying to become holy. When I got born again, I was made holy, and from the position of holy I began to walk holy out. "I'm trying to get victory". No, no, no, I got victory. I have arrived at victory. I have arrived in the Promised Land and now I'm not working for victory. I'm working from victory. Are y'all understanding what I'm saying? Say out loud, "I am the righteousness of God". Say it again. "I'm the righteousness of God". And I don't care how many times you have to say it. You keep saying it until you believe it. Amen.
So, in Romans chapter 4, verse 6, most people think that when David was talking about how he saw this man who sinned would not be imputed upon him and that he saw that God was imputing righteousness upon them aside from their work, some people preach that, well, you know, he's talking about himself. But in verse 7 he says "those". It didn't say "him," so he's not really talking about his self. He's talking about those, not him, so David envied them. When David saw this man, he was like, "Man, I envy them," because his sins were held against him. There were consequences for what David did. David was not like this man that he saw. I mean, David lost his son. His kingdom was split. Now, granted there was mercy on it, but he still had to pay for what he had to go through and then he saw this man that had nonimputation of sin. I'm telling you, you are blessed.
Now, David one thing, but you look at Abraham. Abraham is a perfect picture of grace. I mean, check it out. You know, from Abraham it was like what? Four hundred and thirty years before the law, before the law ever came into place, and you look at Abraham. You know, it appears out of all of the stuff that he got into that God never punishes him, or God never condemned him. In fact, God called Abraham his friend. Check it out. He called Abraham his friend. Somebody say, "Well, you must not be reading your Bible right. I mean, God quit speaking to Abraham for a period of time". That's called Abraham tried to get into doing it in his own effort, instead of trusting on God. He called him his friend, yet he got in a lot of trouble. Called him his friend. He got in a lot of trouble. Why? 'Cause God told him, "To leave your family," and he brings Lot with him and, like I said yesterday, because he brought Lot, Lot got him in a lot of trouble.
But if you notice in Hebrews chapter 11, when it begins to refer to the hall of faith, there is no record of Abraham's faults. Think with me. There is no record of Abraham's fault. Now, I'm gonna say this now, and you can do what you wanna do with it, but there is a reason why there is no record of Abraham's fault, because God doesn't record failures in heaven. You see, when I was in college, when I was working for my bachelor's degree, I was in college and a new Christian, and I was told that when I get to heaven there is gonna be a real reel, and they're gonna run the reel of my life when I get to heaven, and everybody is gonna see everything I ever did. And I started thinking, "Well, I don't think I want everybody to see everything I did". Anybody ever heard anything like that before? But then, I noticed what he said in Hebrews chapter 8:12. That God will be merciful unto your unrighteousness and, watch this, and your sins and your iniquities he will remember no more.
So, if God doesn't remember your sins and iniquities anymore, who's got the video? Who's got the video? Because God's not gonna be doing that. I have nonimputation of sins. God's not gonna do that. My failures are not gonna be recorded in heaven so everybody can see it. We confuse the judgment seat of Christ with the great white throne judgment. The judgment seat of Christ deals with Christians in heaven. The judgment seat of Christ is not a place where he's gonna determine whether you get in or not. No, you're in heaven. In heaven you stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of what you did while you were in this physical body. There will be rewards and there will be losses and the book of James tells us the will of God. He wants you to get your full reward, but it's not gonna be a place to determine whether you get in or not.
See, it's one thing to go to heaven. It's another thing how you live when you get there and that's gonna be based on, you know, what did you do with what God gave you. See, I don't wanna get to heaven and find out that my works couldn't stand the fire. I wanna make sure that it's none of me and all of him. I wanna make sure when I get to heaven and they say, "Give a report of your life," I wanna be able to say, "Jesus did it all". Are you listening to me? Now, let's dig around in this a little bit. Let's go to the book of Micah, or your table of contents. Micah chapter 6. The righteousness of God. What else can we learn about this and how will position us? Micah chapter 6 and let's look at verse 5. If you're there, say, "Amen". "O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered with Shittim unto Gilgal; remember this that you may know the righteousness of the Lord".
So, there is something about this story dealing with Balaam and Balak that's gonna teach us something that we need to know about the righteousness of the Lord, so let's go over there. Let's go to Numbers chapter 22, 23, 24. Now, I'll just kinda sum most of this up. The book of Numbers. Look at the story, that you may know the righteousness of the Lord. Now, in Numbers 22 we learn that Balak is the son of Zippor. He was the king of the Moabites at the time, and the Israelites were, you know, having passage through his territory and for some reason this guy just wanted to be a problem. And so, Balak the king is trying to solicit the services of Balaam, who was a foreteller of events.
I like to call him a wizard, a witchdoctor, and so Balak the king is trying to get Balaam to come and to curse Israel. And in numbers 22, verse 12, "God said to Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people," he said, watch this, "for they are blessed". "Don't go and curse them because they are blessed". And this guy, Balaam, operated, of course, out of money. "I mean, I'll do things if the price is right," and they offered him honor and promotion and all of this stuff in verse 17, and in verse 18, "And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord, of God, to do less or to do more".
And so there were some issues that began to take place. Balaam gets on his donkey, and this is where you remember the little sitcom, "Mr. Ed," the talkin' horse? "A horse is a horse of course, of course". Well, this is where they got it from. Because an angel appeared before Balaam on his donkey, and he's gettin' ready to slew him. And the donkey backs up and hits Balaam's leg against, pins his leg in, and Balaam strikes him. And the Bible says, "And the mouth of this donkey opened up". And the donkey started talkin, like, "What's up, man? Why you do that? Why you hit me like that, man? I mean, you've been ridin' on me for the longest, and you gonna come at me like that? How you gonna do that? I thought you and me were boys. What's up"? "And the angel of the Lord," in verse 35, "appeared unto Balaam and he said, 'Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto you, shall you speak.'" And then they went to three different mountains, and they went higher and higher each time.
See, three different mountains, trying to curse Israel. But every time he'd open his mouth up to curse 'em, a blessin' would come out. So he says, "Well, maybe I need to go higher," and he goes to another higher mountain and he says, and a blessing would come out. I'm telling you, ladies and gentlemen, "What God has blessed no man can curse". All right, now, so I wanna pick up in Numbers 23 and look at verse 18 through 20. Verse 18, and he's in the middle of this second mountain: "And he took up his parable, and said, 'Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor: God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and he shall not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandments to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.'" Pshew, verse 21: "'He hath'" Now, look at this verse 21. See, we're gonna learn somethin' about righteousness. "He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob".
Now he's lookin' at Israel and when he uses this word "Jacob," he's talkin' about the descendants of Jacob. "He has not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither has he seen perverseness in Israel". Well, it's not because it wasn't there. It's not because iniquity didn't exist. I mean, they're murmuring all the time. But he says in verse 21: "He has not beheld iniquity with them". "God has not beheld iniquity, for he's forgiven, neither has he seen mischief or perverseness in Israel". Well, it was there. But God says, "I'm not lookin' at it. I'm not beholdin' it". Look what he says. "The Lord his God is with him," and here's what he saw in the camp, "and the shout of a king is among them".
Now, I'm tryin' to figure out, "Well, wait a minute. They had some issues in the camp. Without a doubt, there was as lot of stuff goin' on in the camp. How come God didn't see it? Why did he not behold it? Why? Why? What was it that was goin' on here"? Watch this, 22: "God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of the unicorn. Surely," he said, "there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according this time it shall be said of Jacob and Israel, 'What hath God wrought!'" Ladies and gentlemen, let me show you somethin' here. How is it that God couldn't see it? I'mma tell you how. Because Israel continued to bring offerings and sacrifices at the altar. And God was not looking at their sin, but he was looking at them through the sacrifices. Check me out, now. Through the sacrifices, he saw them temporarily righteous. Not permanently.
Now, our righteousness is permanent because our sacrifice, Jesus, is permanent. But those sacrifices were not permanent. And so, he was looking at them through the sacrifices of the altar. And he wasn't seeing all the stuff that was being done, because he was lookin' at them through the sacrifice and he saw in the camp the shout of a king, and not all of that other stuff that was goin' on. Here's what we can learn. Ladies and gentlemen, look at this now. If he saw righteousness through the sacrifices that were being made, and they were temporary, you must understand that when he looks at you and I, he looks at us through a permanent sacrifice through the body of Jesus Christ, and he sees us as righteous. Are you listenin' to what I'm sayin' here? All the blessings of God will flow in your life when you have righteousness. You understand that?
Righteousness acts like... I see that. Yeah, I'll say it. Christians, our faith is over here workin' on that, and then we got our faith over there workin' on our finances, and I got a faith workin' over here on growth, and we got a faith over here workin' on this, and we got a faith workin' on that. Ooh, man, we got our faith out doin' all kinds of stuff. What if you just focused your faith in on your righteousness? Because righteousness acts like a magnet, and it'll draw the blessings you need. So when you're sick and you declare, "I'm the righteousness of God," your righteousness being established in that will begin to draw your healing. There was a woman who was suffering a serious case of, I think we call it "eczema". And she, for months, would... you know, she was doin' what she was trained, taught to do. And she was declaring, "Well, by his stripes, I'm healed. And by his stripes I'm healed".
And then God just really got ahold of her one mornin' and said, "Why don't you just put your faith in righteousness"? And then she began to declare, "I believe I am the righteousness of God". And then she believed it. She says, "I am the righteousness of God. I am the righteousness of God, and I have a right to be healed". Two days, she got her healing. Righteousness acts like a magnet. It'll draw those blessings. All of those blessings have already been made available to you, and it'll act like a magnet, and it'll draw it to you. The grace of God working through the gift of righteousness by faith in Christ Jesus. So, Israel had righteousness based on the blood of bulls and goats. Our righteousness is based on the eternal sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It's an eternal sacrifice. We have eternal redemption. But then, in Jude verse 11, we are cautioned for somethin' here. Jude verse 11, where he says, "Don't go after the error of Balaam, the error of Balaam".
What is the error of Balaam? It's thinking that God will curse those who he has blessed. Listen to me now. The error of Balaam. We're warned in Jude verse 11: "Do not go after the error of Balaam, thinking that God will curse those he has blessed". God doesn't observe, and what we just saw in Numbers 23:21, he didn't observe or see it even though they continued to murmur in the camp. Israel was sacrificing burnt offerings, which was a picture of Jesus on the cross. And then we see in Numbers 23, verse 23: "There was no sorcery, there was no witchcraft against them," because Jesus, hallelujah, in our day, will cover us from all that. I said, "You're covered". The secret of a guy who's in the occult is before you send an evil spirit against somebody, make sure you find out whether or not they're a Christian. Mm-hmm, because if you send an evil spirit against a Christian, and once that evil spirit gets there, then he gonna turn back on the one that sent him. Y'all don't understand what I'm sayin'.
So, you don't have to be afraid of the crystal ball lady. I remember about, oh, maybe it was about 28 years ago, these folks in the city came, and they had on these black capes, and wore this black, and the guy told me that if I don't let him preach at my church, in five days I'd die. And so there were two days left and it was a Sunday, so he came in. And we sat him right behind me while I was preachin'. It's one of the best sermons I ever preached, and I had that right behind me. See, it doesn't matter. They can Shaka Zulu. They can yabba-dabba-doo. They can do whatever they wanna do, but you cannot reverse the blessing that God has put on me. You can read the crystal ball. You can grease the crystal ball. You can do whatever you wanna do with it. Sometimes I get the temptation of goin' into one of them little places, say, "Read me. And here's my palm, read me". Don't ever be afraid of that. Don't ever fear that.
Somebody shout, "I'm blessed". Say it again, "I'm blessed". Say it again, "I'm blessed". Now, here's the deal. God saw Israel as righteous. God saw 'em as righteous in the sacrifice, but so did their enemies. God saw them righteous through the sacrifice. Their enemies that were tryin' to curse them saw them as righteous. Here's the problem. They never saw themselves righteous, so they continued in sin. And at the end of that story, women were sent into the camp. They were distracted from what they were doing, and a curse came on the camp. But listen, it didn't come from God. Now, they positioned themselves for a curse to come on 'em, but it didn't come from God. Are you followin' what I'm sayin'?
See, righteousness of Israel, it's not permanent based on animal sacrifices, but our righteousness is. Now, listen to this question. Can a Christian experience a curse? Yes. Can a Christian experience a curse from God? No, no. I think y'all are ready for this. Can a Christian experience a curse? Yeah, they do it every day, find themselves in situations. But can they experience a curse and it was sent from God? No. Proverbs 26, boy, this Scripture spent years buggin' me until I figured out what kinda bird that was. Proverbs 26, all right, now, follow me closely here. Gonna take you on a little journey. Verse 1: "As the snow in summer, and as the rain in harvest, so honor is not seemly for a fool. As a bird by wandering, as a swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come". "That the curse without a cause shall not come".
Now, I've gone through this and looked at it, but I finally figured out that the key was this bird. The curse without a cause. And we've got to figure out, as Christians, what is it, or what kinda position do we have to be in for somethin' like that to happen to a Christian? Well, let's look at this bird. Let's go to Matthew chapter 10. Set the Bible to find itself. Verse 29, Matthew 10:29, Jesus is speakin'. In 29, he says: "'Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?'" That's a small amount of money. I mean, worth probably one cent, a penny. "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing"? or a penny, "And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father," as cheap is this bird is, and yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's leave, without your Father's consent or notice or permission. Verse 30: "'But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.'"
That's how intimate, that's how well acquainted God is with you. He says, "Look at this bird for one penny, and they don't even fall to the ground without consent. And I'm aware of the number of hairs on your head. And if you ain't got none, I know the number zero". All right? So, I can get two sparrows for a penny. All right, let's keep goin' here. Look at Luke 12, verse 6. Luke 12, verse 6 and 7, he says: "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies"? All right, so, let's do a little word problem. If I can get two sparrows for one penny, and I can get five sparrows for two pennies, how many of you know he gave me two more and threw a extra one in? They're cheap, right? And then he says in verse 6 in the Amplified: "'And [yet] not one of them is forgotten or uncared for in the presence of God.'"
As cheap as they are, not one of 'em's forgotten and not one of 'em's uncared for. Verse 7: "'But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows.'" What is he tryin' to say here? Jesus is saying that if that curse comes in into somebody's life, the cause will be because they don't have a sense of God's love for them. They don't have a sense of God's love. God is saying, "You are of more value than those sparrows, and yet I am intimately acquainted and aware of these cheap birds. Not one of 'em falls to the ground without my consent. And because you are of more value, how acquainted do you think I am gonna be with you? I love you. And the only way an empowerment to fail can ever even come near you is when you don't have a sense of how much I love you".
All right, now, let's go here for a moment. It cannot be perceived like this: "Well, yeah, God loves everybody". It's got to be perceived like this: "God loves me like I'm the only person on the planet". All right, catch that now: "God loves me like ain't nobody here but me". Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness. Somebody say that: "God loves me like I'm the only one on the planet". Turn to somebody and say that: "God loves me like I'm the only one on the planet". Now, say it like this: "God loves me". All right, say it like this: "God loves me". Say it like this: "God loves me". But now listen to this. I've gotta act like God loves me no matter how I feel. I gotta act like he loves me no matter how I feel. I wake up in the mornin' and all kinds of stuff goin' on. I've got to act like God loves me no matter how I feel.
See, they had a little test done one time, and they found out that bitterness kills, that people get bitter, and they get sick, and they begin to look at divorced women who couldn't let things go, and they found out that right after a very bitter battle, that they would end up gettin' sick. And they did a study with the saliva, and they found out that bitterness in the saliva would produce chemicals that would cause a release of things in the body that would bring about sickness and disease. But then they found out that when they were happy, and when you were joyful, that in that same saliva, chemicals would be released that would cause you to be healthy and would benefit you where your health was concerned.