Creflo Dollar - The Sin Of Unbelief
The greatest fear that Satan wants to put on Christian people is the fear that what God promised in his Word won't come to pass. Now, you're gonna have it. You know, I see how the world operates in fear, but it's while you're saying, "God says this". And you say, "I'm gonna stand on that". Well, for you it is he's trying to get you to be afraid that what God said won't happen. "Yeah, I know God said that, but what if it don't happen"? That's fear. That is the purest form of fear that attacks a believer, "I don't know if this gonna happen or not", and that's where you go to fight. That's where you close the door, that's where you go in the bathroom, that's where you go outside, and you start speaking to yourself.
Anybody ever done that before? You start speaking to yourself. I mean, I get to preaching to myself, I have to slow down. I'm like, "No", especially when I got that diagnosis of cancer. I had preached, I mean, the first day I preached to myself every 15 minutes. This thing was working 24 hours a day to kill me, and I can't slack. I had to go for it. I had to keep going, I had to keep going, I had to keep going, and I had to keep going. I had to keep going, and I had to keep going. And I know if people saw me, they'd think I was crazy. They would probably say, "You need to go to a psychologist, and they need, you're losing it. You're losing it". But I believe God, and I don't have time to prove to you. I believe God. You have to really just count things up. It's like what are my other options? I don't have...
See, what I've done is eliminated all the options so I'll always have one option, and my one option is Jesus. That's my option, is him. Listen, either this thing is real, or it is the biggest lie that has ever entered the planet, and I got too much evidence... See, he's already done enough. I can't ever go back to Doubting Thomas days. Every last one of you probably have some situation where something wasn't supposed to happen, and it happened, and you're still trying to figure out how. Or when you prayed a prayer and before you could finish saying "amen" God was already working on it. And some of you, I know you've been in a place where you thought, "I'm going to lose my mind". And where did the sanity come from? It came from that Word.
See, he's already done too much for me to forsake him. I will not forsake him. He will never forsake me. I will never forsake him. I'm in it for the relationship. Call me Crazy Joe. It don't make no difference. I'm in this thing for the relationship. You cannot defeat a guy like that. See, you gotta understand something. What you don't understand is I'm in my physical body right here. I'm in my physical body, so something really stupid happen, all I did was slide over to my spiritual body. "You ain't won nothing. You ain't never won nothing. When I'm with Jesus, you don't win. Devil, you don't win when you..."
Once you get connected to Jesus, the possibility of him being a winner is over. Satan is a loser. I don't even know why he wasting his time. He can never even hope to be a winner. His days are over. He has been stripped. He has been embarrassed. He has no authority. His teeth have been pulled. His claws have been plucked. There is no possibility that the enemy can win against you. He's got to get you to use your own authority against you to defeat you. If he gonna have any remnants of victory, he's gonna have to do it by tricking you into doing it to yourself, and that ain't gonna happen. And he clapping his hands and just having a good ole time right now, until he come around here to them doggone World Changers.
"Them doggone World Changers act like they ain't got no sense". He come up with this, "You're gonna get a virus". And we say, "I wish you would. Jump on me and see don't you die instantly in the name of Jesus. You don't know who you fooling with, brah. You don't want none of me". You gotta get yourself stirred up, man. You gotta get yourself stirred up. I mean, trouble for you is just the opportunity to stand in the victory that you already got. Trouble to you is just another opportunity to let loose on the devil. It ain't like you gotta do much, 'cause Jesus has already whipped him. Every now and then he try to stand up, just put your foot. Just stand there, and you might do this. "Sit down". He under your feet. And what did the Bible say? He under your feet. He need to stay under your feet, praise God?
No weapon and every tongue. You will condemn it. I said you have the condemning power. You can condemn anything Satan tries to loose against you. "I condemn it". I was walking through the house the other day and the television was on. They came up talking about, "Next news: the coronavirus is hitting people house". I said, "It will never come to this house in the name of Jesus". Just by pure fact I heard it. Just 'cause I heard it. Just when I hear it, I condemn it. When you hear it, you condemn it. Oh, they had a plane crash. "That will never happen to me, not in the name of Jesus. I'll never die in a plane crash". Somebody said, "Now, wait a minute, Brother Dollar. You say that, you know, I don't know. If you say that, the devil might do something 'cause you said it".
See, that is so wrong. That is so wrong. Do you know hell respects you enough that they have to bow down to what you say? And don't come to 'em talking in tongues. They don't want you to talk in tongues, 'cause when you talk in tongues, oh, my God. Now the Holy Ghost is working at the same time, praise the Lord? And you don't know what you just said in tongues, but you know it's good. You ought to threaten him sometime and say, "Look, look, look, I don't wanna hear nothing from you today. I don't wanna hear no more from you. You understand what I'm saying"? Say, "What you talking about"? "Reh-boh-sha-kah. Watch out now. Don't let me get them machine-gun tongues. Rah-bah. Rah-bah". Hallelujah. Glory be to God.
I gotta remind you tonight that you have authority, praise God? You're not the one that sits back and just gets beat up. You open your mouth up, and you're the redeemed of the Lord, and whatever you bind on the earth is bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on the earth is already loosed in heaven. You have the keys of authority. Hallelujah. I apologize. I didn't mean to holler now. It is Bible study now, and I ain't gotta be hollering and stuff like that. Supposed to be teaching and talk about the Greek and the Hebrew with you. Now, let's go to John 16:10. John 16:10 and let's move into this next arena.
John 16:10. He says, "Now, of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you see me no more". Righteousness. Righteousness. Look at this in the NLT. You are the righteousness of God. "Of righteousness, because I go to my Father". "Righteousness is available because I go to my Father". "Righteousness is available because I go to my Father". "Righteousness is available because I go to my Father". All right, righteousness is available, so what do we do when something's been made available for us? You take it, right? And when you got born again, you took your righteousness. Righteousness is available because Jesus has gone to the Father. Now, you are the righteousness of God. Now, the day you got born again and made him the Lord of your life, you also received a gift of righteousness. You didn't have to earn it or work for it. It is a free gift of righteousness that was given to you by the grace of God, so say out loud, "I am the righteousness of God".
All right. Now, go to Luke chapter 18:10. You are the righteousness of God, and that's big, because those who know who they are, glory to God, you are the righteousness of God, you know you're the righteousness of God, boy, you walk in a strong authority. Now, I'm gonna show you this story about these two guys, one a Pharisee and one a publican. Verse 10 says, "Two men went up into the temple to pray; one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. And the Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself". Watch this. Self-righteousness. Watch this. He said, "God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are. They're extortioners, they're unjust, they're adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in a week. I give tithes of all that I possess". Somebody say, "Self-righteous". So, I mean, he went before God in self-righteousness.
Now, watch this publican. "And the publican, standing afar off, would not even lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but he smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner". All right. Now watch what Jesus said on this. He says, "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; but he that humbleth himself is the one that's gonna be exalted".
Now let's go back and check this out in the New Living Translation, because you and I are the righteousness of God not by all the works that we have done, but because of what Jesus has done and our belief in what he has done. "Two men went to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: 'I thank you, God, that I'm not a sinner like everyone else. For I don't cheat, and I don't sin, and I don't commit adultery'". Twelve, "I'm certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income". What is he trying to do? He's trying to justify his righteousness, right? He's trying to justify his righteousness based on what he does, all right?
"But the tax collector stood at the distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, 'O God, be merciful to me'". In other words, "I don't deserve nothing". "Be merciful for me", he says, "for I am a sinner". And Jesus commented and said, "I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God". Did you see what happened? The sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. "For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted". We are the righteousness of God, and we are righteous right now.
Now, some people, you know, have this thing about, you know, you can never be righteous in the sight of God through your own righteousness, and that's absolutely the truth. In fact, lemme show you these two Scriptures real quick. Romans 3:10 and 23. Romans 3:10, and then verse 23. You can never be righteous in the sight of God through your own righteousness. I wrote a book years ago called, I think it was "Self-Righteousness Versus Righteousness", something like that, you choose, and it was taken from that previous Scripture about how we try to impress God through our own doings, our own self-righteous doings. And he's not impressed at all.
Verse 10 says, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one". Now, this, of course, was before the grace of God came. He said there was none righteous. No, not one. And then, verse 20, whatever the other one I just said. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God". So, back then, if you take those two Scriptures together, how can anyone dare go around and declare they're righteous? He says there is none righteous and all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Even in that last illustration the guy said, "I have not sinned", okay?
And so, that was true about us until Jesus showed up and we had an opportunity to receive his righteousness, and his righteousness is what made us righteous. I'm righteous because of what Jesus has done and not because of what I do, so our actions benefit us in relationships with people, and my actions have consequences, so this is hard to say. No, it's not hard to say. My actions around you will benefit me negatively or positive, not him. Not him, and I know that's so radical to hear.
Now, that doesn't mean act stupid, but I'm talking about you trying to act right to achieve right. That not gonna benefit you. He ain't doing nothing for you because of your actions. He's doing everything for you because you believe. Not 'cause of your actions, but because you believe. And all of my actions will have consequences, of course, while I'm on this planet, but I'm not doing something so awesome, and then he turns around and makes me right because of what I did. Remember the Scripture I shared, I think it was Galatians 2:16 in the NLT. It shocked so many preachers when I was in this ministers' conference, and I showed this Scripture.
Turn there, Galatians chapter 2:16, and they freaked out. They were like, "What"? They thought I had, "You know, you got another kinda Bible". I had 'em read it out of their own Bible. He said, "Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ and not by obeying the law". And the church has taught us that we had to do something, obey the law, in order to be made right with Jesus Christ. He says, "We know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ". Question tonight: how are you made right with God? By your faith, or believing in Jesus Christ, and not by obeying the law. "And we have believed in Jesus Christ". And we have believed in Jesus Christ. Why? "So that we might be made right with God".
So, I believe in Jesus Christ, I'm made right with God. So, what does a person have to do to be made right with God? Believe in Jesus Christ, and he's made right with God, because of our faith in Christ Jesus. So, it's my faith in Christ Jesus. It's a believing issue. It's not a doing issue. The doing issue is going to line up with the believing issue. Your behavior issues are going to line up with the believing issues. That's why you have the Holy Spirit to help you in the believing issues, okay? He says it's not because we've obeyed the Law of Moses. "For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the Law of Moses".
And what has your traditional church taught you, taught us in times past? You got to obey the Ten Commandments, or you're not gonna be right with God. You got to obey the Law of Moses, or you're not gonna be all right with God. Nobody ever took the time to say, "No, you have to believe in Jesus". You believe in Jesus, you're made right with God. Watch this. You believe in Jesus, you're made right with God. You're made right with God, you'll do right. You know what we've done? I don't know if I believe in Jesus, I don't know if I'm right with God, and I still do wrong trying to do right. I'm trying to get you off of, "Yeah, but what about what I did"? Or, "What about what that person did? What about"... Ah, ah, ah, ah. What about your belief? Do you believe Jesus? Do you have faith in him? You're made right with God. Okay, now you believe you're the righteousness of God. Now you can do right 'cause you got your identity.
See, we've been allowing our behavior to determine who we are. Jesus now determines who I am. I am righteous because Jesus said I'm righteous. My acceptance of my identity, righteous, moves me to dealing with my behavior, acting right. You won't act right as long as you can let something happen, and then it changes your mind about who you believe you are. You do wrong. Now you think you're wrong. You do bad. Now you think you're bad. And then, you come to church, and they say, "What do I do"? "Well, you gotta do good, and God will be good to you". That is so wrong. God's not good to you 'cause you're good. God's not good to you 'cause you're good. Think of that. All a lie.
We've been doing good 'cause we thought doing good made God do good to us. It don't work, and I used to get frustrated 'cause sometimes I was doing good and then nothing happened. And I sit up, and I realized the time that I might've wasted trying to do religious activities, and the only thing he asked for me to do is to believe in the one that he sent. What's that? John 6:29. John 6:29, "Believe, the only work I want from you". He says, "Jesus told them, 'This is the only work God wants for you: believe in the one he has sent'", so my focus is on believing him.
Most people think it's just a mental ascent. No, believing God, man, what you believe is going to move down into the action realm. You see a plane that's smoking and you're supposed to get on that plane, you're gonna do what you believe. I ain't getting on that plane. Uh-uh. Your belief will work its way. Your believing will affect your doing. It will determine what you do and what you don't do, but now we got to learn the difference between believing right under grace versus believing wrong under the law that came by Moses. When you believe right, you're gonna what? Live right. But you gotta believe right, and the right belief is Jesus. The only work I want you to do is to believe in the one that he sent, and that one is Jesus Christ. If everybody understand that, say amen.
So, good actions equal good consequences. Bad actions, bad consequences. That's while you're on the earth, in this horizontal plane. So, somebody says, "Well, can I act the way I wanna act"? See, here is the deal: your actions, sin is offensive, all right? So, you can go around talking about, "Well, praise God. I believe in Jesus. I'm good to go". Yeah, you are, but down here you're gonna cause problems how you act and behave, how you act and behave in the horizontal. It's a relationship world and what you do is gonna affect somebody else.
And so, you say, "Well, I don't have to be good for God to be good to me". Yeah, but God's gonna be good to you so you can be good to somebody down here, so it's that vertical relationship that hopefully will influence your horizontal relationship, because the Holy Spirit is grieved based on how we treat each other. So, if you treat each other in bitterness, you treat each other bad in the horizontal, that can always go back to the vertical. I can always go back and say if you're acting like that, then I need to check out what you're believing vertically, believing who you are, all of that.
It's the vertical relationship that will give us clear clarity on your horizontal relationship. Vertical relationship. Right in the horizontal you're broken, you're mean, you're mad, you're lustful, you're tempted 'cause you don't have no horizontal, and that's the problem there: too many people living a horizontal life with no vertical. Too many people are living a horizontal life. No vertical. They work on the physical, and they work on the mental and have a good attitude, but have no vertical relationship.