Creflo Dollar - Grace Faith Balance
If you have your Bibles go with me this morning to a couple of Scriptures. 2 Corinthians, chapter 7, verses 1 through 2 and then the book of Acts chapter 8, verses 1 through 3. This morning, we're gonna talk about how to experience and see real-life transformation. You know, one of the things we shared with you yesterday was how under grace you don't just sit there and not do anything, because we made a distinction between two works: the works of the law, which is where you're trying to do something to do and accomplish what Jesus has already done, and then the works of faith, which you need to understand how to walk in that, because we access this grace through the faith of God.
And so, anybody ever gives you the idea that just because you're under grace you don't need to tithe, you don't need to go to church, you don't need to be faithful, you don't need to pray, then you know that's wrong, because understand that we have a work of faith that we have to produce. Now, what I'm gonna talk about today and show you the root to that. You know, yesterday we talked about all actions should be born out of your faith, should be born out of your belief.
You really believe that chair's ability to hold you. Then it will produce or give birth to an action where you'll find yourself sitting down, but, you know, this new covenant gives us a right to trust in God to be able to live, rather than trusting in ourselves to be able to live. And I'm gonna reintroduce you to yourself, as far as being born-again, reintroduce you to who you are as a result of this born-again, so we're gonna look at the truth about being born-again and how to experience real-life transformation.
In 2 Corinthians, chapter 7, verses 1 through 2 he says, "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man". Now, here the apostle Paul is saying, "We've not defrauded any man. We've not wronged any man. We've not deceived any man". And I'll never forget the first time I heard Brother Copeland teach on this Scripture. He said, in a private time with the Lord as he was reading this, he said, "God, I believe I just caught the apostle Paul in a lie".
Well, why? Why would he say that? Well, in Acts chapter 8, notice what happened in Acts chapter 8, verses 1 through 3. "And Saul", now, this was Paul before his conversion, "Now Saul", notice "Saul". We just read about Paul, but before his perversion, his conversion, and I guess that might have been right, too, his perversion, he was called Saul. All of us used to have a old man. I don't know what your old man was called, but you used to have an old man. "And Saul was consenting unto his death," referring to Stephen. "And at the time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And the devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentations over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women and committed them to prison".
Well, that sounds real clear to me that he has wronged some people, that he has defrauded some people, and yet in the book of 2 Corinthians he says, "I have wronged no man, and I've defrauded no man". So, what's happening here? Like I said before, here in the book of Acts you are reading about Saul, the old man of Paul, but in 2 Corinthians 7 you're reading about a Paul, hallelujah, who has now been born again and has put on the new man.
Now, I don't know what the name of your old man was. The name of my old man was Crefo-loh. I met a guy, was taking my kids to the circus when they were young, and I met a guy, and he was walking down the, you know, the hallway. We were in the arena, and he stopped, and he said, "Crefo-loh Dollar". And I looked at him, and he said, "Man, don't you look at me like you don't know who I am". And he looked at his dad and said, "Daddy, guess, look at who that is". He said, "That's Crefo-loh Dollar".
Then he started talking about all this stuff we did in the past and all that, and I'm like, "You know, wait a minute. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa". And I thought to myself, "Yeah, that sounds like Crefo-loh, but you haven't met Creflo". Are you following what I'm saying? You see, Paul refused to have any acknowledgement of his old man, to the point where he was so, so repentant and so convinced about his new man, Paul, he wouldn't even associate with Saul. To Paul, Saul was dead. To Paul, Saul didn't exist anymore. Oh, how many of you got a old man that you need to make sure you don't associate with anymore? He was so serious about this, that even in the book of Acts chapter 20 and verse 26, flip over there for a moment.
Acts 20:26. He makes this comment, which really just showed me his commitment to who he really is, and here is what he said. He says, "Wherefore I take you to record this day," to record this day, "that I am pure from the blood of all men," and you just read how they took Stephen out, buried him. And yet Paul said, "I am pure from the blood of all men". Something happened and the same thing that happened to Paul, that delivered him from a Saul, is the same thing that happen to each of us when we're born again. You're no longer associated with that old man. No matter how hard he tries to live again, you will never again be a Saul, praise God? You are now a Paul.
Now, this is something that's awesome about people who are born-again. A born-again baby doesn't have a past. Well, let me just say it like born again. I'm referring to you as, you know, but a baby. A baby you have in the natural, a baby doesn't have a past, and so, likewise, you who are born-again you don't have a past. But, listen, we all have a past. I know that, but we just don't live there no more, but for those of us who are in Christ Jesus we've got to recognize the plot of the enemy to try to get you to identify with who you used to be and not accept who you are right now. So, let me take some time now and reintroduce you to yourself, amen?
Let's begin in Ephesians chapter 4:24, and I'm gonna go through some Scriptures and, man, you're gonna be so thankful for this new covenant of grace, amen. And he says here in verse 24, "And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in," what? "Righteousness and," what? So, he says when you put on the new man, you're putting on what? Righteousness and holiness, true holiness, true holiness.
All right, now listen to me carefully here. Let's go back and just, you know, establish some foundation for our study today. Man is a tri-part being. Man is a spirit, he possesses a soul, and he lives in a physical body. You are not your body. You are not your soul. You are your spirit. The real you is a spirit being created in the image of God, the real you. When you got born again, the born-again process did not impact your body right away. I mean, if you were 300 pounds the day you got born again, you were 300 pounds after you got born again.
Didn't impact your body. It did not right away impact your soul. What was impacted was your spirit, so the day you got born again, made Jesus the Lord of your life, the impact happened in your spirit, and so you are a spirit, you have a soul, you live in a body. You are a spirit being. You have a soul. That is, your mind, your will, your emotions. That's your thinker, your feeler, your chooser. You are a spirit. You have a soul. You live in a physical body. Now, I wanna make that distinction because we have used the word "spirit" and "soul" interchangeably as if they are the same. They are not the same. You are a spirit being, praise God? You have a soul. You live in a physical body so you can comprehend physical things in this physical world, but the real you is a spirit being.
When you die, when you leave the earth, you're going to leave something behind. You're gonna leave your body behind. Your spirit and your soul will be absent from the body. You will be present with the Lord. We will know one another when we see one another because we have access to our souls, but I'm telling you in the name of Jesus the real you is not your body. The real you is not your soul. The real you is a spirit and when you put on that real you, you put on righteousness, and you put on true holiness because that's who you are now.
In fact, I'll say some radical things and then I'll prove it to you. I'll go so far as to say this. One-third of you is already perfect. One-third of you is already just like Jesus. One-third of you cannot sin. One-third of you is heaven-ready. Are you listening to me? Now, let's go through some Scriptures and let's examine what he says here. Let's look at Ephesians chapter 1:13. Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 13. Now, he says, "In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation".
You heard the Word of truth. You heard the Word of truth. You heard the Word of truth. Grace is the truth that makes men free. "You heard the Word of truth," the gospel, "the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed". So, after you heard it and you believed this is what happened. After you heard it and when you said, "I believe," here is what happened: "You were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise," oh, praise God, "which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory". You were sealed. Say out loud, "I have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise".
Now, when I look at the word "sealed", you know, they got this new technology where you can seal food, and I mean you can seal it down, and it will be all right. I mean, I tried it. I sealed some cookies one time and wanted to know if they were gonna taste the same and praise God when it was so sealed that the bad couldn't get in and the good couldn't get out. Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. It was so sealed that the bad couldn't get in and the good couldn't get out. Say out loud, "I've been sealed with the Holy Spirit". All right, now watch this. Hebrews chapter 10. Let's look at verse 10 and 14. Hebrews chapter 10, verse 10 and 14. Now, again, we're talking about you. We're talking about the real you.
Now, notice what he says in verse 10. "By the which will we are sanctified". Now, that word, like, sanctification and holiness come from the same Greek word. 1 Corinthians, chapter 1 and verse 30, you know, says that, you know, Jesus has been made unto us sanctification. It's the same Greek word: holiness. All right, so to be sanctified means to stand apart. Glory be to God. If I were to ask you what's the opposite of holiness, most people would say sin. No, the opposite of holiness is commonness. The opposite of holiness is you being like everybody else. See, what it means to be holy is when the world is sick, broke, and depressed you stand opposite to that, and you are healed, prosperous, and full of joy.
See what I mean? That's what it means to be holy. He says, "By the which will we are sanctified," how? How are we sanctified, set apart, and made holy? "Through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all". Now, this entire chapter, like we talked about yesterday, is talking about a distinction between how they handle sin first with the blood of the animal sacrifices, which could only cover your sin, could never get rid of it. They move from that to the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ and through that one sacrifice he took care of our sins once and for all.
Now, look at verse 14. So, the sacrifice was his body. Verse 14, "For by one offering," and that offering was what? His body and his blood. "By that one offering he hath," by the one offering of Jesus, "perfected forever". The Amplified says "perfected and cleansed". And I'm not gonna go to the Amplified 'cause they got a lotta words in the Amplified. I get tired, and I wanna, "For by one offering he has perfected and cleansed forever them who are set apart".
Now, I have good news for you. Those of you who are born-again, you've made Jesus the Lord of your life, you have been perfected and cleansed forever. You have been set apart. I'm talking about the real you. The real you has been set apart. It has been cleansed. It has been perfected once and for all time. Turn to your neighbor and say, "You're good to go". All right, now, let's move on down to Hebrews, Hebrews 12, while we're there. Hebrews 12, verse 23.
Now, remember spirit, soul, and body now. Hebrews 12, verse 23. He says, "To the general assembly and the church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all," watch this, "and to the spirits of just men made perfect," just men made perfect, so we understand that we were made perfect when? When we got born again, amen? In our spirit. Now, look at Colossians chapter 1:28. Just men made perfect. Now, I want you to get ahold of this. We're not talking about the old you. We're talking about the new you, but I need you to accept who you really are.
All right, Colossians chapter 1:28, "Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus". So, the day you got born again you got in Christ Jesus, and he said that every man that is in Christ Jesus is now presented what? Perfect. Now, I can't come to you and say I am perfect in myself, but I can come to you and say that I am perfect in Christ Jesus. In fact, I'll say it to you. I am perfect in Christ Jesus. There is something about you getting ahold of that and grabbing ahold of that and making it yours. Say out loud, "I am perfect in Christ Jesus".
But now guess what else? You're righteous in Christ Jesus. You're redeemed in Christ Jesus. You're delivered in Christ Jesus. You're sanctified and holy in Christ Jesus. Come on, let's say that. "In Christ Jesus I'm delivered, I'm holy, I'm sanctified, I'm redeemed, I'm righteous, I'm wise, 'cause I'm in Christ Jesus. I'm perfect in Christ Jesus". You follow what I'm saying? Now, imagine you saying that at the dinner table on Thanksgiving and all the family is around the house.
And, you know, you know you have to explain things to people, and you forget to lay it out for 'em, and you just say, "Well, bless God I'm perfect". They're gonna look at you and say, "See now. See what hanging around them faith people did to you. You're sitting up here lying to yourself. You know good and well you ain't perfect. I seen what you did last night". No, baby, you don't understand. I'm not looking at the old me. I'm looking at who I am in Christ. I find my identity now in Christ. Say that, "I find my identity in Christ".
Now, you think, "Well, what's the big deal"? It is a huge deal. It is big time, why? Because every attack of the enemy is going to be an attack against your identity, and he is going to use your behavior to try to determine or to dictate to you your identity. And you've got to remember who you are in Christ so that you won't allow your behavior to determine your identity. Your identity has been determined now that you're in Christ, so don't let your behavior, glory to God, determine your identity. Your identity will eventually impact your behavior, so now you're not having to worry about, "Well, what about this? And what about that? And I did this, and I did that".
Hold on, honey. If you will stay intact with who you are and who you are in Christ, you begin to realize, and you'll begin to see how your identity in Christ will impact your behavior in life. That sound like a rap song, but here is the deal. What happen sometimes is we allow the behavior and life to start questioning and doubt our identity in Christ. I am in Christ. All is well with me. Well, say that. Say that. "I am in Christ. All is well with me". All right, now let's do a test. Look at 1 John chapter 3:9. He says, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he's born of God".
Now, the first thing you're thinking about is, "Well, boy, I must have missed that Scripture". No, what part of you, spirit, soul, and body, what part of you was born of God? Spirit. That's what he's talking about here, that part of you that has been born of God. Your spirit cannot sin. It is sealed with the Holy Ghost of promise. Your spirit man is perfect. It cannot sin. If you don't understand the spirit, soul, and body, then what happens is you immediately begin to look at your behavior and now it challenges your identity in Christ. You see that?