Creflo Dollar - The Root Cause of Sin
If you have your Bibles tonight, join me in the Book of Saint John chapter 16, and verse 8. We want to talk about the root cause for all sin. "And when he has come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment". So, the Holy Spirit is going to convict of sin, but it doesn't mean convicting people have things they do that are wrong. Now, that's the first thing you think about. Well, the Holy Spirit's going to come and reprove the world of sin, and the first thing I know I used to think about was he's gonna come and convict you for the things that you do, the wrong things that you do, okay?
So, you know, and how many of you ever thought the same thing? I mean, the Holy Spirit's gonna convict you of doing wrong? And so, I was literally told that when the Holy Spirit convicted me when I did wrong, that was good. At least you know you had the Holy Ghost, but that is not right. It's not right at all. I'm gonna show you that the Holy Spirit doesn't come to convict you of doing wrong, but he comes to convict you of believing wrong. He comes to convict you of not believing, that's the issue here. Look at verse 9, he says in verse 9 he says, "Of sin, because they believe not on me". Now, that's the whole deal. "Of sin, because they believe not on me".
Now, the thing I want you to see again is that the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, is not sent to convict you of doing wrong. He was sent to convict you of not believing. He wants to convince you of not believing. Now, I know, I know your religious insides are just screaming loud because all we've ever learned in church is, you know, the Spirit of God came to deal with us for our wrongdoing. No, the Spirit of God came to deal with us because our not believing on him. Jesus said he was sent to convince, or to convict you, or to reprove, reprove you of not believing on him. Now, what does it mean to believe on him? To believe on Jesus is to believe that he lived, and that he died, and that he has forgiven you of all of your sins. That's, you know, and you believe in his finished works. That's believing on Jesus.
Now, now, the thing, the reason why this is so hard to swallow for some Christians is 'cause I am saying to you, he didn't come to convict you of your wrongdoing. He came to convict you of not believing on him. Well, the Scripture says he came to convict you of sin. Well, and then you say, "Well, sin is wrongdoing. Hold on a minute, it ultimately is, but listen to me, I'm gonna say this, this came out of my mouth this past weekend in New York and it's just, I still hadn't gotten a hold of it. Wrong, every action of sin is a reaction of unbelief. Think with me now, every action of sin, every action of sin is a reaction of unbelief. In other words, unbelief is the root cause for every action of sin, unbelief is. Unbelief, see, one, one, this one area of unbelief is responsible for every area of sin, the one area of unbelief. It's almost probably safe to say that unbelief is the root cause for all sin.
Now, the reason why we struggle with this issue of sin versus unbelief is this: we've never clearly studied in the Scripture that unbelief is sin. Unbelief is sin. It is not only sin, unbelief, all by itself, is responsible for every action of sin. In fact, your sinning is a reaction of your not believing. So every time you find your... I don't care what the sin is, the root cause of it is unbelief. So, what you're doing is just reacting to unbelief. It's almost like your sitting is a fruit that derived from unbelief. So yeah, you hear me right. So, if you can fix your unbelief problem, then you're not gonna be reacting anymore to unbelief. But every time you react, see you may not consciously see it as a reaction, but every time you react in sin, it's because you're reacting from that unbelief.
So, every sin action, every action of sin is a reaction of unbelief. So, unbelief is the route cause. It is the cause of all of the, I mean, you name it, jealousy, stealing, killing, adultery. It is the root cause of the sin behavior. It's unbelief. And we have been so focused in on the reaction, that we have not zeroed in on the root of that reaction. We've been focused in on the behavior that we have not focused in on the cause of that behavior, and that is unbelief. So, I submit to you now that unbelief is sin. Unbelief is the sin that is the foundational cause of every sin. Now, I done I said that at least five specific, different, you had to get one of them, amen?
Now, "The Holy Spirit came," the Bible says, "because they believe not on me". That's called unbelief, unbelief is sin. Say that, "Unbelief is sin". Now, let's give a couple of illustrations. So, the Holy Spirit is not going to come and convict you of your lack of giving, your lack of tithing, no, you gotta go to the root of it. What's the root of a lack of giving? It's a lack of trusting, it's a lack of trusting and believing. I'm gonna use those anonymous terms tonight, trusting and believing. You see, when you don't trust God where your finances are concerned, then the reaction to not trusting God with your finances will be not giving, not tithing, because the root of, or the root cause of not giving and that tithing is not trusting and believing on what Jesus has promised where that is concerned.
The amazing thing is that now we're getting ready to go look at some Scripture and all of a sudden, just by you understanding this, I mean, think about it. The next time you are tempted to sin, pause and say, "There's an area of unbelief that I'm dealing with here". "Oh, I'mma steal something". "I don't believe he can provide for me". "Oh, I'mma go work so I can be righteous". "I don't believe that he's the righteousness of God for me". Every area, every area. "I'mma go commit adultery". "I don't believe that what he promised me about marriage can come to pass in my life". In every area where there's a temptation, the ultimate place is this place of unbelief.
ow, we showed you this, it wouldn't be bad to show it to you again. In Matthew chapter 3:16 moving into Matthew chapter 4 and 1. One of the issues here you look at Jesus going, being led by the Spirit to be tempted of the devil. Now, the temptation is not gonna be legitimate unless he can get him to walk in unbelief. Okay, you can see this, Jesus in verse 16, Matthew 3:16, "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying". Now, this is the thing, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased".
Now, I want to pause right there. Imagine the things you'll be tempted to do if you don't believe what he just said about you. "This is my beloved Son". Imagine what life is going to be like now if you walk out of that place saying, wondering if you're really his beloved son. Imagine the destruction that of the life of Jesus that would have occurred if he walked out of that wilderness that day doubting whether or not he was who God just said he was, all right? All right, so he goes on here next and go into the next chapter. And notice in the next chapter, Matthew 4, and 1, "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil".
Now, this temptation now is, watch this, he was led to the wilderness to see if he believed what he just got. You're gonna believe it, or you're gonna not believe it. Everything's gonna start right here. Look at the next verse. "And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards and hungered". Verse 3, this is pretty awesome. And when the tempter came," that's the devil to him, "He said," now, watch this, "If thou be the Son of God". Do you see that? Do you see that? All right, so think about it. If he didn't believe he was the Son of God, now watch what he asked to do. "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to be made bread".
Question, if he didn't believe he was the Son of God, how would he have responded here? He would have turned the stone into bread, which, and what would he have been indicating by turning the stone into bread? Now, if he could not have turned the stone into bread, it would not be a legitimate temptation. But for a lot of leaders, people have thought the temptation was, oh, he was tempted to turn the stone into bread. Now, let me show you what temptation really is. It's pressure applied to your flesh to get you to contradict a promise that you said you believed. That is as accurate as I've ever known. It's pressure applied to your flesh or your mental capacity to try to get you to contradict what you believe.
Now, so here's the deal with Jesus in the wilderness this day. The deal was, what was the temptation? The temptation was not turning the stone into bread. The temptation was not believing what he said when he said, "You're my beloved Son in whom I'm well pleased". That was the temptation for him to turn that stone into bread he would have been saying, "I don't believe that I am the Son of God," and now he's trying to prove something to try to, you know, because he don't believe he's the Son of God. So, if you start looking, it's all over. It's all over the Scripture. It's the answer to a lot of things that have kind of confused us over the years where this is concerned.
Let's go to Hebrews. I don't want to go to Hebrews. Yeah, let's go to Hebrews 4:15, Hebrews 4:15. I'm telling you, even if you deal with the temptation in your mind and the tempter comes in your mind and you find yourself hungry for doing something you know you're not supposed to do, pause and say, "Let me locate the area of unbelief. By doing that, that's gonna cause that thing to just wait a minute, they know something. This is humongous, all right? "For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities or the weaknesses of our flesh, but was in all points he was tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
All right, I used to think well, just look at my sin reactions, you know, smoking, and cussin', and whatever I did. Jesus right here must have did the same thing. Well, I can kind of prove to you he didn't do some of the same things. He probably didn't have access to some of the same type of stuff we have. So, if it wasn't that, then what was it, you know, in like manner that he was tempted? It's the root, the root, the same root tempted to walk in unbelief, tempted, tempted. He could have, in other words, it wasn't pressure. He could have, he could have made a decision to walk in unbelief. He was, you know, but was in all points tempted like we just saw one point when he was tempted. The tempter showed up to try to get him to, what? Not believe.
The Bible, this is so awesome. Jesus meditated in the word day and night and became what he was meditating on. If he meditated in the Word day and night, how many know you and I got to meditate in the Word day and night and become what we meditate on, all right? He was tempted in all points, what point? He was tempted, you know, to walk in unbelief. Listen, it goes all the way back to Adam and Eve, look at the first thing, the same thing there, just tempting them to walk in unbelief. "Hath God said"? The whole thing, see, we've been looking at the behavior stuff that they did, you know, what you do wrong, but you're not understanding that your wrongdoing is a reaction of your unbelief. You know, you learn how to deal with unbelief, you gonna deal with all of that stuff. My God, my God, my God, my God, amen?
And so, he was tempted just like your, so, if he was tempted, and you just saw that in the wilderness, if he was tempted to walk in unbelief, dude, come on. You listen, but if you just zero in on it, I now know the area of attack, unbelief. All right, so what's the reason I come in here and preach on healing, you go outside and start coughing and fall out. It's a temptation not to believe. You know what fear is? You know what fear, the ultimate definition of fear is? Fear is not believing that what he promised will come to pass. That's ultimate fear, not believing that what he promised is come to pass. And what do you call not believing what he promised will come to pass? What do you call that? You call it unbelief. You call it unbelief. It is almost like we have gotten to the very guts of the devil and we can issue some serious damage.
So, every area, you wake up every day of your life, you got to settle what you believe and what you believe is Jesus. You believe on Jesus. Say, "I believe on Jesus". And the Holy Spirit has been sent to convince you, go on and believe on Jesus. You know, I was maybe it was sometime last week, I was upstairs meditating on some Scriptures for the weekend, and I was making some confessions. I have these confessions that I make over you, and over my family, and over our finances, and everything. And I got to this Scripture where it says, "And there is no lack". And the Spirit of God says, "You've not yet understood this". I say, "Well, yeah, praise the Lord". He said, "I believe that there is no lack". And he says, "That's good, but here's what I'm saying to you, there is no lack". And I said, "Well, I just said that". He says, "No, no, you said, I believe there's no lack. I'm trying to show you well then, there is no lack".
Are y'all following what I'm saying? See, see, you trying to talk yourself into believing that there's no lack. He said, "But there's no way that lack can exist if you believe on me". And even if it's then I said, "Well, well, well, you know, there's some lack". He says, "You see what your temptation is? You're now being tempted based on what you can see, versus what you say you believe. And when you say you believe something, it now governs how you see and what you say". Your mouth will start speaking stuff born out of unbelief, or your mouth can start speaking things born out of what you believe. But if you believe on Jesus Christ, you can settle the issue of lack. There is no lack, why? Can't be, why? 'Cause I believe in the provisions of the Lord Jesus Christ. Man, I said, "Oh, oh". And I got up from that place and I said, There is no lack. There is no lack. And the only thing, and even if you have it physically manifested in your life, even if you have it, that belief is gonna change it. The only reason the lack showed up was to tempt you to not believe.
Are y'all hearing what I'm saying? The only reason anything happens in your life is to tempt you to resign from your belief and to present unbelief which is the sin that he can build upon and create all kinds, allow all kinds of things to happen in your life. Somebody shout, "I believe". See, this is why it says, "Only believe all things are possible if you'll believe on him". Man, that's seriously, I could just say, okay, go home and just do just what I just said and your entire life will change. It's like demons are trembling. You know, when you pull the blinds down over people, our eyes for so long, they just don't even have no clue. I mean, think about it before you understood grace versus law and how you were walking around trying to, through your self effort get God to do something and look at the peace and the rest that your life is in right now and how the Holy Spirit's changed you on the inside.
And you can't ever be, you know, I can't believe that I actually used to believe that as a man, it was my job to dominate my household, dominate my wife, control everybody, and there I used Scripture for it. That's what I was taught, you know, a man ought to control his wife and control his household and if you don't, then you're worse than an infidel. You know, and I sit back and I think, I can't even believe I thought like that. I can't even believe I thought like that. and religion is an, I believe, is a top tool that the enemy uses to keep you in unbelief, hallelujah. Glory be to God.
Now, let me attempt to go after something here. Romans 14, and 23, let me attempt to do something here. Oh boy, pray for me now. I ain't never been down this path before so pray for me. The context of Romans 14 is very interesting, it's a chapter that was talking about whether a guy ought to eat meat or not, and it was really talking about, you know, if a guy really believes that he shouldn't eat it, then a brother shouldn't make him eat it. And it just really runs down the line here. But verse 23, it comes to this point he says, "And he that doubteth is his damned". You know, when something is damned, it stops anything from getting through, right? That's probably the last thing you want to do is damn God. You see what I'm saying? Watch your mouth. "And he that doubteth is damned if he eat". Now, the issue is not what he's eating, the issue is he's doubting because he eateth not of faith. Watch this. "For whatsoever is not of faith," is what?