Creflo Dollar - Living Through the Lens of Grace
Are you living your Christian life as if Jesus never died? If you're living by the Old Covenant, you're living as if Jesus never shed his precious blood on the cross. He died so we can live under a new covenant and a better covenant. Your impression of God will determine the experience you have with him, and you need to understand the nature of God in order to maintain an authentic relationship with him. We're looking through the lens of God's grace. Stay tuned.
Let's begin in Saint John chapter 1, Saint John chapter 1, and I want to call this Living Through the Lens of Grace. Living Through the Lens of Grace. Saint John chapter 1, let's begin at verse 14 and 17. Now, remember this is a foundational message, which means I've got to take you through a lot of scriptures to establish the truth. I'm not going to establish the truth based on my opinion. I'm not going to establish a truth based on what I think. I have to establish the truth with the word of God in proper context so that we can establish that this thing is true.
Now, Saint John chapter 1:14, let's read verse 14 out loud together, ready, read. "And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth". Now, this scripture is referring to who? Jesus, Jesus was the only begotten of the father, right? Jesus, he said Jesus, the only begotten of the father, and notice what he says about Jesus. Jesus, Jesus full of grace and truth. So, now, let's establish this in your thinking, that grace is not just a subject matter, that grace is not just a curriculum, grace is a person, his name is Jesus, Jesus full of what? Grace, and once you learn grace, you get the truth.
So we're talkin' about a person, we're talkin' about a person, grace is a person, not just the subject matter, even though we're talking about the subject of grace, even though there is a covenant of grace, do not forget that grace is a person, his name is Jesus. So in this series, we're going to unveil Jesus, we're gonna unveil Jesus, so you can see that this entire covenant of grace is all about Jesus. Everything about our Christian life hinges on him. There's no option other than Jesus under this covenant. There is no personality on this planet, no personality that exist, that this grace hinges upon except Jesus. You understand that?
Now look at verse 17. He says now, "For the law was given" by who? Now the law. You can find the law in the book of Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, all of those those first books in the Bible. Genesis is more of a book of generations, but you see the law in those books. It's 613 of 'em, 10 of 'em were written on stone. The rest of them were written on scrolls. So we're not just talking about the Ten Commandments, the Ten Commandments, they are included in the 613, but these are laws that were given to try to in a sense curb sin. There were things that were wrong, and in a sense, God had to create a consciousness of that what you were doing was wrong.
So a law had to be given, laws had to be given so men would at least know that there are the boundaries. And so there were ceremonial laws, there were dietary laws, there were different kinds of laws that came up to 613, the laws that came by Moses. So he said, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth" came by? Grace and truth came by? Who's responsible for the law? Who's responsible for grace and truth? Now, we're not talking about grace one and in addition to the grace truth too. No, grace is the truth. You'll remember when Jesus was talking to these Jews, in John chapter 8, and he was saying to these Jews, he said, "If you continue in my word, you will be my disciples indeed, and you'll know the truth. And the truth will make you free".
Well, he identified, he was talking to Jewish people. Now, please understand Jewish people were trained in the law that came from Moses. They were trained, there was a celebration of their training called a bar mitzvah, where they would demonstrate their understanding of learning of the law, and the law that came by Moses. Jewish people were trained by the law that came by Moses. So Jesus comes up to these Jews, and he says, "If you continue in my word, you'll know the truth". Watch this. "And the truth will make you free". What was indication here? Talking to Jewish people. The truth that you come to know will make you free from the law. That's what that was talkin' about. He, Jesus, in Galatians was born to set those who were under the law free from the law.
So he said to Jewish people, The" truth that I'm going to tell you is gonna make you free from the "law. Well, what was that truth? Grace. Say this out loud: "Grace is the truth that sets men free". And say it again, "Grace is the truth, grace is the truth". Now why do I say that? You come to church and somebody says, "Well, you know, if you continue in the word, you'll know the truth, and the truth makes you free". And they open their Bible up and say, "See? The truth is the whole Bible". No, no, no, we can't do that anymore. We've got to have precision, we've gotta be precise, because it's not the whole Bible. It is rightly dividing the word from the law that came by Moses from the truth that came by Jesus Christ. And the truth that came by Jesus Christ is called grace. Say it again, "Grace is the truth that sets men free from the law".
Now, I gotta tell ya, if you don't know it, mostly all of us in here came up in church under the law. Most all of us were trained in the law. You got to do this or this is going to happen. You gotta keep the Ten Commandments, or that's going to happen. If you want God to do something for you, you gotta do these three things, but we will all trained up under the law. The law was a performance-based situation, and you had to be trained to do this in order for God to do that. And so what has happened over the last seven or eight years in our church is now you've been educated in grace, and the grace that you've been educated in has set you free from the law. You're not Jewish, but you took on the law that Jewish people had because you thought you were supposed to, 'cause that's all you understood about religion.
So you studied the law, you studied the Ten Commandments, you studied all the things you've got to do to be a good a good Christian, you studied how to go to church, this is the way we go to church, and you studied all that stuff, and then one day, Taffi and I popped out here and say, "We need to make some adjustments. We need to talk about this grace of God". And the more... those of you who hung in here... and I hope... A whole lot of folks left. "I don't know about this grace". You write you should've set yourself here long enough.
So you can know about this grace, because you were in bondage, and you didn't know it. The law was given to put a curse on you, and you didn't know it. But now that you know about this grace, somebody shout "I'm free from the law". Say it again. "I'm free from the law". Look at Romans 6:14 right quick. That's not on the list, but look at Romans 6:14. So you see in verse 17, there's a distinction between the law that came by Moses and the grace that came by Jesus. Grace didn't come by Moses, grace came by Jesus. So you gotta rightly divide everything from the grace that came by Jesus and the law that came by Moses. If you don't do that, you're just gonna have a run-on all the way through, and you won't recognize that there is truth under the law that came by Moses, which will be different truth under grace that came by Jesus. What most Christians are doing is they don't know that, so they live by the truth that's under the law, because they don't know the truth that came by Jesus. If you understand that, say amen.
All right, well, look what he says here. Let's read it out loud together in Romans 6 verse 14, ready, read. "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law". Say out loud, I'm not under the law, I'm under grace. All right, why does God not want us under the law? Well, look at the scripture again. He said "Sin shall not have dominion over you," stop. So sin, when you're living under the law, and sin is a result of living under the law, you do understand that, right? I'll show you scriptures later. Sin is gonna be a result of living under the law. Sin is going to be a result, 1 Corinthians 15:56. All right, look at this: The sting of death is sin, the strength of sin is the law. So the law strengthens sin. So, Satan is not necessarily tryin' to get you to sin as much as he is tryin' to get you to live under the law. 'Cause if you live under the law, the law will eventually strengthen, entice, and put you into a place where you sin.
So most of the sin in a man's life is taking place because somehow he keeps falling from grace back into the law, tryin' to now fix it hisself, and sin is a result of that. So he says the law came by Moses. Listen, God didn't allow the law to be given to make you perfect. The law wasn't given to make you perfect. The law was given to give sin the advantage over you. The law from Moses was not given so that you can have advantage over sin, it was given so sin can have an advantage over you, amen. So, sin, when you're living under the law, sin dominates your life. Sin shall not have dominion over you anymore. I announce that every life that is being dominated by some type of addiction, that some type of sin, today, if you'll continue in this word, you're going to be set free from the domination of sin.
In fact, those of you who are under the grace of God, I declare you are free from the domination of sin. In other words, you don't have to sin no more if you want to. Under the law you sin because you wanted to, but under grace you don't have to sin if you don't want to sin. You can still sin, but you don't have to sin if you don't want to sin, because under the grace of God, the sky is the limit, but you choose Jesus. Alright, alright, now let's get back to to the sermon. So law came by Moses, grace came by Jesus. There's the dividing line right there. The law by Moses, grace by Jesus. So, now, in order for you to understand the Bible, you've got to understand that there was some truth that came dealing with the law that may not be the truth dealing with grace, but if you try to make it a general truth all the way through, you're gonna end up in deception.
Now, let's go to 2 Timothy chapter 2 verse 15. Let's start off in the King James and then in the Amplified. Second Timothy chapter 2:15 in the King James and then the Amplified. Now I want you to watch this very carefully here now. This is so, so very important. Read verse 15 out loud with me, ready, read. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed rightly..." Do you hear what he said? He said what? Rightly?
Okay, so if you can rightly divide the word, what happens when you wrongly divide it? What happens when you wrongly divide it? When you wrongly divide it and then you get the wrong impression of God and you misunderstand the nature of God and then that spirit of religion gets on you and you start acting religious and saying a bunch of religious stuff that's not even the truth under grace, it might be the truth under the law, but it's not the truth under grace, now you're confused because it's not working. Rightly dividing the word of truth. So, how do you start rightly dividing? He says when you read the Bible, you got to know, "Oh, that's the law. Oh, that's grace. Oh yeah, that's the law. Oh yeah, that's grace".
So you see something that says, "Oh, that's the law". First thing you say is, "Wait a minute. I don't live by the law". Romans 6:14, "Sin has no dominion over me for I'm not under the law," but I'm under what? So you have to rightly divide the truth so you can see what pertains to you under grace. The whole Bible don't pertain to you, you're looking for the truth of grace. But what's been happening? We've been read the whole Bible not rightly dividing it, and now we're taking something that's not true under grace and tryin' to make it work, and that's not truth under grace. And so rightly dividing simply means I've got to divide between what was true under the law that came by Moses and what is true concerning the grace that came by Jesus Christ. If you understand that, say amen.
Now, let's look at this in the Amplified. Oh, Lord it's like how can I get this message out to the entire world? Just preach it 100 times, I guess. All right, now watch this. Read this with me. Put it on the screen so everyone can see it. Read this out loud with me, ready, read. Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing rightly handling and skillfully teaching... Did you see that? All of a sudden that scripture by itself has gotten rid of this little thing that you know, "Well, I'm a Christian. I can read". Just 'cause you can read doesn't necessarily mean you're rightly dividing it when you read it.
I'm always dealing with these Christians who want to correct you and say, "Well, my Bible says," and I'm thinking yeah, but you're reading truth under the law. So my question is are you living under the law? Or are you living under grace? 'Cause if you come to me and talk about, "Well, my Bible tells me that the curse goes, you know, to four generations. And my Bible tells me about generational curses". And I'm thinking that's true under the law, but under grace we ain't talking about no generational curses. Under grace Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law.
Now we're talkin' about generational blessings. And I speak generational blessings over your life right now. I command generational blessings come to you right now in the name of Jesus. You see what I'm saying? We're not talking about no generational curses. Any preacher that comes up to you and says, "If you don't do this, I'm gonna curse you". He is an Old Testament, out-of-order prophet that is obsolete, 'cause New Testament prophets don't put no curse on nobody. For comfort, for exhortation, and edification, not cursing. "I'm a prophet. You do this again, I'm gonna curse you". You are of the devil, or you're tryin' to act like what was okay to do under the law.
You remember when Elijah prayed fire in 1 Kings? Fire to come down and consume 102 men. You remember that happened? Now imagine somebody tryin' to do that today. In fact, when Jesus was on the Earth, in Luke Chapter 9 his disciples tried that. In fact, they were goin' to Jerusalem, they had to go through Samaria, and one of the disciples said they wouldn't let 'em have the meeting there, because there was some ongoing strife between the Samaritans and the Jews because of traditions and all that kind of stuff. And what happened was they said, "No, we're not gonna let you have no meeting here. And you're goin' down there after you know what they did to us"? And Jesus' disciples said, "Shouldn't we call fire from heaven like Elijah did"?
And you know what Jesus did? He rebuked 'em. He said, "You don't know what spirit you are of. That was okay then because men couldn't get their nature changed, and they couldn't get born again, but now I'm here, and the result of me being here is that men are going to be able to get their nature changed and get born again. Don't you call fire down. We don't need find no more, because I am the hope of transformation in the life of those people".
See, so what truth are you preaching, obsolete truth or present-day grace truth? So he says here, you gotta rightly handle, watch this, God help me on this one, skillfully teach. I just don't understand. Some people stand and certain churches, and you know it's not skillfully being taught. You're just satisfied with them saying just enough so you can shout. And church has got to be more than you come into church and just getting on somebody's nerve 'cause you shoutin' amen every other sentence. People tryin' to listen to the word, and you, "Amen, amen, Amen, amen".
How 'bout shut up, shut up, shut up, and listen and listen and listen? I mean, you sound like some kind of programmed robot, "Amen, amen, amen," because you picked it up from religion. "Well, what's wrong with that"? What's wrong with that is faith cometh by hearing, and if I can't hear, it can't come, and you've got people around you, even in this church, you've got people around you tryin' to hear, but they can't hear because you're tryin' to demonstrate that you religious. Amen, Pastor. Amen.
One day you're gonna be sitting around the wrong one, and they just got saved like last week. It's not necessary. It's not necessary. I certainly don't need it. I'm completely delivered from the responses of people. I don't need responses to let me know whether or not I'm doing good. I'm not tryin' to do good. I'm on assignment. I'm just tryin' to do what I've been assigned to do for the day. I'm not looking for applause, and I'm not lookin' for you to give me a perfect 10. I'm going to preach what I need to preach, you can fall asleep. It ain't my fault you falling asleep. I ain't boring. It ain't my fault, you just didn't go to bed early enough.
That's you. That's religion, and I realize people get excited sometimes, but that's religion. We don't know how to honor the word when it's going forth, because that religion got in, "Amen, amen, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah," especially when they got to a loud, squeaky, irritating voice, "Yeah, amen, yeah, yeah," and you just sitting up there, "Oh, god," and you're working on temperance, like, "I could just choke the amen out of her. If I can just choke all the amen, maybe I can get the doggone notes. I couldn't hear what he said". And you sitting up there fighting strife instead of being filled with the word. Y'all know I'm telling you the truth. That's why y'all quiet. You're sittin' there lookin' at the person next to you like, "Mm-hmm".
Now you want to shout, "Uh-huh, say it now, preacher". Of course I'm not tryin' to put you in a bunch, but I'm just just showing this is what religion has done, and then skillfully teaching it. We say amen to stuff that's not even correct. We shout over truth that's obsolete from the law. You can literally go to church and sit there and realize what you're sitting in, and when you go to a church that's under the law, all you gotta do is follow the breadcrumbs. There is sin. If the preacher is preaching a whole bunch of law, and every time he stands up he says you don't need to commit fornication, y'all need to be ashamed yourself committing fornication. He probably got some fornicating going on somewhere.