Creflo Dollar - Seeing Clearly Through God's Grace
If you have your Bible, go with me to the book of Matthew chapter 5, verse 8. We're going to look at it in the King James and The Message. We've been talking about clarity versus spiritual blindness. And I have a thought this morning that blindness in and of itself is not necessarily bad. It all depends on what you're blind to. I can be blind to something negative and then it doesn't affect me. But what happens when I'm blind to something that is impactful to my life? You know, I can be blind to the operations of a cult versus being blind to what Jesus has already done for me.
So I think to dig a little deeper, it's what is it that you're blind to? There are certain things you might want to thank God you're blind to. Certain things that's going on, folks are like, "Well, I don't know nothing about that", okay. But to be blind to something so significant as the grace of God, and to be blind to something so important as to what Jesus has done and what it means, and the significance of his death, his burial and his resurrection, the significance of having a relationship with him and knowing him personally for yourself every single day, to be blind to that, may put you in a spot where you're struggling unnecessarily, where you're going through emotional problems because of what you don't know and you can't see, because of the lack of clarity, you sweat to try to get something that you don't even have to sweat to get.
Being blind to this very truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the light of God, then leaves you in a position of pain, of not being successful. It leaves you in a position of struggle after struggle until you're convinced that all of life is a struggle. Sure, the Bible says they that live godly shall suffer persecution, but it's not suffering of persecution all your life, but it also talks about the good life. Turn to your neighbor and say, "I live the good life".
So Matthew chapter 5, we talk about clarity. And I understand the basic meaning of clarity: a clearness. Clarity means clearness. It's understanding, it's precision, it's simplicity, it's exactness. But I'm talking about having clarity to be able to see Jesus clearly, clarity to be able to see what he's accomplished. I define clarity as being able to see things through the eyes of grace, to be able to see Jesus and what he has done and what he has accomplished in your life. I told you before Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship with Jesus. And until it stops being a religion, then you will never know what Christianity was about.
It was never intended to be like all other religions, where in every religion it required you to do something in order to get something, and every religion in the world, it's about demands, demands, demands, demands, and meeting the demands, but this is the only thing, this thing called Christianity, it is not religion, it is a relationship and it's the only one that has a Savior, amen, the only one that has a Savior. So when I look at clarity, we're trying to get you to see what's available to you. We're trying to get you to see and behold what has been made available to you so you will stop allowing religion to govern what you call Christianity and understand with clarity what has been made available.
Somebody says, "Why? What's the significance"? Because you can't receive what you can't see. You can't receive what you can't see. You can't receive without having an understanding of what's been done, without having clearness and clarity of what's been done. Salvation's been given, redemption has been given, righteousness has been given, success has been given, a peace of mind has been given and you're still struggling because you can't see, you can't see. There's no clarity in understanding how you can have this, and so until that is made clear, then it becomes very difficult to receive it. If you understand that, say amen.
Now let's look at Matthew chapter 5 in verse 8. Let's read verse 8 out loud together, ready, read. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. They shall see God". I really want you to have clarity. I want you to be able to see God and understand God. I want him in a move from the religious, you know, explanations of the past. I want you to be able to see God and know that's God and know when you hear something else or you see something in your life, to be able to know that's not God or this is God. And people don't have to come to you and say, "Oh, you know that car wreck, that was God. God did that because you hadn't done this".
And you know, you're constantly in a state of condemnation and constantly thinking that God's mad at you. The only way you're going to think God is mad at you is you can't see him. You're not seeing him clearly. God's not coming to beat you up, to destroy you, to punish you, that's not God. That's the result of spiritual blindness. Look at this in The Message Bible, Matthew chapter 5:8 in The Message Bible. Here's what he's talking about, especially when you see this thing, pure. Most people try to define a pure in heart as one that has perfect behavior. A pure heart is not necessarily a flawless heart.
I remember when Oral Roberts was staying at my home, and we were downstairs, and he was talking to me and the Word of the Lord came to me. He knew I was struggling here in this area and he says, "God wants you to know you have a pure heart". And I looked at him and I said, "No, I don't". He said, and it kind of threw him for a moment. He says, "Yes, you do. You have a pure heart". And I'm thinking, "No, I don't". Then he says, "Well, tell me what you think it is"? "Perfect", I said. He says, "No, that ain't what it is". And he broke down crying.
And he grabbed my hands and I cried because I'm like, I'm like "Well, I don't want to disagree with a man of God", but I was so condemned because under the law, you had to do this, and you had to do that, and you had to do that, and how in the world can you say I have a pure heart when I do this, but then I'd fail here? And I'd do this, and I'd fail here, and I'd do that, and I didn't know how much was enough, so I didn't fast enough, I didn't pray enough. This morning, I only prayed 45 minutes instead of an hour. You know, and so I just refused. He says, "No".
He says, "A pure". He says, "The reason why you have a pure heart is 'cause you won't quit". He says, "You keep going after it. You won't give up". And just began to pray in the Holy Spirit over me, and I believe that was a part of what helped to bring me to the point where I can see God. Look what he says here in The Message. He says, "You're blessed when you get your inside world, you're blessed when you get your inside world, your inside world, that's your mind and heart, put right". When I can get an understanding and clarity in my mind, when I can get clarity in my heart, when I can deal with that, he says, "then you can see God in the outside world".
See, when I know who he is, and I have clarity of what the blood has accomplished, and I have clarity of what his grace has made available, and I have clarity that I don't have to, you know, do these things in order for God to do something for me, but Jesus did it for me before I even did those things, and he's asking for me to believe it. When I can have clarity in my mind and in my heart, then I'll begin to see God working in all these areas in the outside world. So when you look at your outside world and it's not going right, he says check out the inside world. Right believing equals right living. Wrong believing equals wrong living. How are you believing?
Now, look at Proverbs chapter 29, verse 18. Let's look at this in the King James and The Message. Clearness, being able to see what Jesus has made available, being able to see what Jesus has accomplished in our lives, wanting a relationship with him, wanting to know him more than anything, ready to resign from image building to building a personal relationship with the heavenly Father. Proverbs 29:18 says, let's read it together with me. Ready, read. "Where there is no vision, the people perish, but he that keepeth the law, happy is he".
Now, of course, this is up there in the day of the law to bring it up to where grace says, you know he that believeth what Jesus already made available. Now, look at this in The Message Translation. There's a couple of points I want to bring out of this Scripture, it's the reason why I showed it to you. He says, "If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves". I thought about that when I read that. When you can't see what God is doing, and in this case where we are now, when you can't see what God has done under grace, when you can't see that he's already healed you, when you can't that he's already delivered you, when you can't see that he's already made you righteous, you're stumbling all over yourself. That's called religion.
Religion's just got you stumbling all over yourself because you can't see what's been done. Religion's got you stumbling all over the place trying to be right with God and he's already made you right with God. Religion's got you stumbling all over the place trying to be redeemed when he's already made you redeemed. All right, notice what he says here. Okay, they moved it, yeah. "If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves, but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed". "When they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed".
You see all last year, I think in the Grace Convention, I think we're over a hundred sessions I believe. Yeah, are we at a hundred yet, over a hundred sessions? A hundred sessions have been given birth to on the subject of grace. Why? Because we're trying to produce something for the world to be able to attend to. The unveiling of Jesus Christ, the unveiling of what his blood has made available to us, the unveiling of what his broken body has done for us, to attend to that and to understand that, and to see that clearly, he says you will be most blessed because you're no longer trying to fast for 40 days to get God to move. You know he's already moved. Amen.
Not saying that fasting is bad or illegal, but you got to make sure you understand, you know, the purpose of fasting and when to do it and all that stuff, understanding what Jesus has already made available. I am the righteousness of God. And I'm going to be righteous today, tomorrow and the next day, and when I fall, I fell a righteous man and I'm going to get up a righteous man him because I'm not righteous based on my behavior. I am righteous based on what Jesus has already done for me. I said I'm righteous because of what Jesus has already done for me, I said I'm righteous because of what Jesus has already done for me, I said I'm righteous because of what Jesus has already done for me.
Can I show you this Scripture? We've seen it a hundred times but I want to show it to you one more time. Galatians 2:16 in the NLT 'cause it says it so clearly. I was at a Baptist convention and I showed this Scripture, and I tell you what, they were so convinced they said please come back and teach us because they read it. They read it. Because all our lives in church, we've been told you got to do this in order for God to do that. You got to do that in order... if you don't keep the commandments you're not going to be impressed with God. We were in darkness, spiritual blindness.
Look at what the Scripture says. Read it with me. "Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, and not by obeying the law". Stop. But we were taught completely the opposite, right? We were taught you are made right by obeying the law. And if you keep the Ten Commandments and you obey the law, then you're right with God. He says you're not made right with God by obeying the law. You're made right with God by your faith in Jesus Christ. And that doesn't mean go and act crazy because what you got to understand is your faith in Jesus is going to accomplish a whole lot more than obeying the law can accomplish.
You know, the objective of Jesus and the objective of grace is to get us to be holy. Grace doesn't cover sin. Grace delivers you from sin. You can't say, "Well, I'm under grace, so this allows me to do this". No, if you're really under grace or under Jesus Christ, he is in the process of transforming you out of darkness into the marvelous life where you won't do what you used to do. He says, "Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ".
So how am I made right with God? By my faith in Christ. I have faith in what he has done. I have faith that I have been made righteous by him, I have faith that I have been redeemed by him, I have faith in what he's done. I find out what he's done, I get clarity on what he has done, I have faith in that and I'm made right with God. And everything else starts flowing like it's supposed to flow.
But man-made religion says I can be right with God through my own efforts. And what we are doing and what we've been taught in church is that try to be like God without God. Use your own rules and regulations to try to be right with God. You can't. You got to, first of all, be clear on what Jesus has done, and then have faith in what Jesus has done, and he says that you will be made right with God. In other words, he says if you'll just do that, I'll do the driving. I will pilot your life. He says, "For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law".
So if I asked you a question right now how is one to be made right with God, how would you answer? Okay. But how would you have faith in Jesus Christ if you don't have any clarity on what Jesus has done? You follow what I'm saying? You don't know what he's done. You're just content in religious activity. You're just content in just, "Oh, well, this is the way we go to church. We go to church, we go to church. This is the way we go to church". And you're content in that. And so, you know how to have church but you don't know how to have a relationship with Jesus. And he didn't say you're made right with God by going to church. You got to get clarity on everything.
Why do I go to church? I go to church so I can continue to get more clarity and precision on Jesus, which allows me to have faith in what I know. You did not come to church for me to come out here to perform, do you? We got to examine what we're doing. We're so content at having church, the words don't even have any meaning anymore. I'll prove it to you. Take a good song with a good beat and it can be saying something that ain't even biblically sound, and you don't even recognize it because that's having church instead of having relationship with Jesus, we did it for years. "Pass me not, oh, gentle Savior. Hear my humble cry". Thought that was really impressive with God, and you know what heaven was doing? "Are you kidding me? Did I not tell them that I will never leave them nor forsake them? I will be with them even to the end of the world and they still don't have clarity on what I promised? So they're still living life as if I'm one day gon' pass 'em by".
So that's why you come to church. That's why you're here this morning, hopefully, to learn some more, to get some more. I got a relationship with Jesus and I got a place I can come back where I can get some precision and some clarity. And I'll tell you, you need precision if you're going to open that Bible. You just can't open the Bible and start reading. I am convinced of that. I'm convinced that a lot of people are confused today because they said, you need to read your Bible. I don't know how to read my Bible. But that's why it says, "I gave you apostles, and prophets, and pastors, and teachers, and evangelists, for the perfecting of the saints so they can do the work of the ministry which is building up the body of Christ", but we can't build up the body of Christ 'cause we don't understand the work of the ministry because we don't even know the purpose for the fivefold ministry gift.
You thought the fivefold ministry gift was given to show an example of perfection. Ain't nobody in the pulpit perfect. And I wouldn't want to follow nobody in the pulpit that's perfect, I want somebody who know what I'm talking about. I want somebody who would've been beat up, and messed up and got up and went across the finish line and can tell me how they did it. But because we didn't have clarity, we kept looking for perfection and soon as you found out that dude in the pulpit wasn't perfect, then you left looking for somebody that... it don't exist.
Every preacher in the pulpit got a issue. Every preacher, every preacher, every evangelist on the field got a issue, every evangelist, every evangelist, every teacher trying to teach got an issue, and what he teach might not be perfect. We just doing all we can do, having, having, having to depend on him. I got to. I don't know this. I got to depend on him. I can't depend on me. Your life is in danger if it's all on me. But I know somebody who's greater than I am and I can depend on him. "Well, I don't like this preacher. He has a flaw in his teaching". Everybody got a flaw somewhere in their teaching. We just keep going and he's giving us a little bit.
You know, God come to you and say, "Africa, you better hold up now, don't move there". You just got a little bit. So stay on in there until you get a complete sentence. Clarity. Clarity, man. We were talking last week and it's like real spiritual maturity is never coming to a place where you say I don't need God no more. Real spiritual maturity is knowing that wherever you are in your life, you still have a need for Jesus. I can get with somebody like that. I can't deal with all this little deep stuff where people running around and they act like they so flawless they don't need God.
You know that's probably the most dangerous position you can be in, is getting to a place where you think you have finally arrived, that because you've been there and done that a hundred times, you no longer need him. But folks, I got to holla at him every day. And I need him to holla back at me every day. I've got every day every day, every day, every day, every day, every day, every day. And if I ever stand up in this pulpit with the arrogance, you know what arrogance is, don't you? It's dressed-up insecurity. With the arrogance of thinking I have reached a place where I know God so perfectly, that I don't need him no more, then you're in trouble, then you need to change your membership. You need to get out of here, 'cause you're dealing with somebody who thinks he's enough without God. Clarity, do what I'm doing, everything I can to hold it together because if it had not been for the Lord on my side, I don't even want to think about where I would be.