Creflo Dollar - What Does It Mean to Be Free From the Law - Part 1
If you have your Bibles, go with me to Romans 6:14, Romans 6:14 and Romans chapter 10 and verse 4. Now, I'm gonna do my best not to get excited early and, you know, go all over the place, so I need to stay calm. I am excited about this, and I need to stay calm, so here's what we're gonna talk about. We're gonna deal with the question, What does it mean to be free from the law? What does it mean to be free from the law? Now, I'm gonna answer that question at the very beginning of the sermon and then spend the rest of the time, kind of, backing up and then show you how I arrived at that point.
What does it mean to be free from the law? Because, you know, we say, "Well, you're free from the law". We tell people that they're free from the law. In fact, look at Romans chapter 6:14, and verse 14 says, "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you're not under the law, but under grace". What does it mean to not be under the law? I mean, think with me for a moment. Does it mean that we disregard the Ten Commandments? Does it mean that, since we're not under the law, we can go kill, we can go steal, we can go commit adultery since we're not under the law? Is that what it means? Well, you know by the Spirit of God in you that that couldn't be right, but here it says you're not under the law, but under grace. Well, what does it mean to not be under the law? What does it mean to be under grace?
And then look at Romans chapter 10:4. Romans chapter 10 and verse 4, he says, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth". So what am I supposed to think when I read a Scripture that says, you know, "Now that Jesus has come, the law has ended"? And we know that the Ten Commandments is a part of the Mosaic Law. I'll show you later on that the Mosaic Law consists of moral law, which is the Ten Commandments, ceremonial law, and civil law. But you know, does it mean that we're supposed to just not fulfill any of the Ten Commandments? So I wanna answer that right away: What does it mean to be free from the law? Here's what it means to be free from the law: It means that I am no longer under the process of trying to keep a bunch of rules to be able to have morality or good behavior. It means that I am free from failing to keep all of the rules in order to keep the law.
So do we keep the Ten Commandments? Yes and no. We are obligated to fulfill the Ten Commandments, but not to do it through rule keeping. We are obligated to fulfill the Ten Commandments, but we do it through the Holy Spirit. We are obligated to fulfill the Ten Commandments, but we're going to allow the Holy Spirit to administer the morality of the Ten Commandments through our lives versus allowing rule keeping and self-effort to be the administrator of morality in our lives. You see, the Ten Commandments, those Ten Commandments, those were the moral law of God, and the moral law of God was not... it was very difficult to achieve the moral law of God in a person's life through rule keeping.
So there are 613 laws in the Mosaic Law, there are Ten Commandments, and 603 rules you have to keep in order to see the Ten Commandments manifest in your behavior and in your life. And the problem is that they couldn't keep all 603 of the rules in order to see the Ten Commandments, or the morality of the Ten Commandments, birth through their life. We're free from that. We're free from having to keep all of these laws in order to try to produce morality in our lives. We're free from the condemnation of trying to keep all of these rules in order to get the Ten Commandments, or the ten moral laws, to manifest in our life. We're free from the condemnation, free from the failure, free from rule keeping to try to obtain morality in our lives. We're free from that. We are now under the administration of the Holy Spirit.
And the administration of the Holy Spirit, he is now, glory to God, through grace, going to manifest the moral law, the Ten Commandments, the morality of the Ten Commandments. The Holy Spirit is gonna be working in us to manifest that through our life, through our behavior. So are we obligated? Are we going to see the fulfillment of the Ten Commandments in our lives as New Testament Christians? Yes. How? Through the administration of the Holy Ghost through grace. Did they see morality in their lives by trying to keep all the rules to make it happen? No, they didn't. We are free from the law, or from trying to manifest moral law, through rule keeping without the Holy Ghost. We are now delivered unto the administration of the Holy Spirit who will now change our hearts and produce morality of the Ten Commandments in our lives. I hope you got that. Does that make sense? Did you get it?
Now, here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna back up because there were months ago I wrote this in a little book, trying to figure out why God wanted me to write it down, and here's what I wrote: "Being free from the law of Moses does not mean that you are without morals. It means that instead of trying to achieve morality through the law, or rule keeping, you will now achieve morality by the administration of the Holy Spirit through grace, who changes you from the inside out. The Holy Spirit is the agent that changes bad behavior and gives you the desire to do what pleases God".
And so, in the Old Testament, we were trying to change behavior through our own efforts. We were trying to modify our behavior and character through rule keeping and our own effort, and we were trying to do this through the Holy Ghost, and God was trying to show you, "No, that can't be done". But what happens now, the Holy Spirit, in the New Testament, is the agent that changes bad behavior and gives you the desire to do what pleases God. In fact, look at Philippians chapter 2:13 in the NLT, Philippians chapter 2:13. See, you cannot modify your behavior without the Holy Spirit. You were a fallen man. Remember the Ten Commandments are perfect. They are flawless, but they were given to people who were fallen beings, and so you're trying to keep something that's perfect, and you're not perfect. And the only way you're ever gonna do that is you're gonna have the Holy Spirit. You're gonna need help, and the Holy Spirit was sent to be your help.
Look what he says in Philippians 2:13, "For God is working in you", doing what? "Giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him". So the Holy Spirit works in us to give us the desire. See, if you're going to produce morality in your life, and if you're gonna produce good character, and if you're gonna produce holiness in your life, you can't do that without the Holy Ghost. You need help. You read all through the Old Testament of people trying their best to achieve that and they failed and they were condemned and they were guilty over and over and over again 'cause God says, "I'm gonna give you something perfect with your imperfect self to prove to you that your imperfect self won't be able to keep this that, which is perfect. But I have a plan on sending you some help, and his name is the Holy Spirit, and he's gonna get on the inside of you, and he's gonna change your desire and give you the ability to do what pleases God without rule keeping, and you'll find yourself producing morality by the Holy Spirit instead of producing morality by your self-effort, trying to keep the rules to try to make it happen", wow.
Now, that's the answer. That's the answer that I gave you in maybe five, ten minutes. Now, I wanna back up. You've seen those movies, and the movie starts with this big action, and all of these things happen, and then it says, you know, "Twenty days before this", all right? So I'm backing up, and we're gonna walk through this whole process to show you how I arrived at that point. You know, some of us, since we've heard of grace, we believe the Scriptures that says, "We're no longer under law, but we're under grace," but we didn't quite know how to explain it, and you can't throw that away, 'cause it's in the Bible, and yet it's proof of it in the Bible, but how do you explain that to somebody? How do you explain that you're not obligated to fulfill the moral law of God?
And I'm gonna show you today how even the apostle Paul would repeat what was in the Ten Commandments because it was the moral law of God. You know what the moral law of God was? It was God's nature and God's character and it was eternal and it did not just go away, but it was who was administrating. So what's the difference? The administration under rule keeping versus the administration under the Holy Spirit. Administration through rule keeping failed. Nobody could ever achieve morality. Administration through the Holy Spirit was successful because he worked on the inside of you, giving you a desire to do what's right, amen? Now, I'm going to repeat myself in different ways and different perspectives. My objective this morning is to drive this in and to show you how this is going to change your life forever. Well, let's start off with the obvious.
Let's look at the history of the Mosaic Law: Saint John chapter 1 and verse 17, the history of the Mosaic Law. Well, why is it called the Mosaic Law? Because it came from Moses. John chapter 1:17, says, "For the law was given by Moses. The law was given by Moses". So this was referring to the laws that it showed up in Exodus 20 when God gave the law to Israel, and then Moses wrote four books that were considered the Book of the Laws. It started in Exodus to Deuteronomy. Somebody said, "What about Genesis"? Genesis, the law did not appear in Genesis. Genesis, although written by Moses, did not talk about the law. It talked about the generation and the generation of consciousness is what Genesis was about.
So the law was given by Moses. It included the Books of the Laws of Moses, from Exodus to Deuteronomy. Genesis was written by Moses but was not a part of the law that was given by God to Moses, to Israel. Now, God gave the Mosaic Law to Israel through Moses on Mount Sinai. You see that in Exodus chapter 20. You actually see that happening. The Mosaic Law was divided or made up of three parts. The Mosaic Law was moral law, which is the Ten Commandments, ceremonial law, which was all of the stuff you had to do to bring an offering to the priest in order to get your sins covered, and then the civil law, which talked about the dos and don'ts of everyday living. This was the Mosaic Law, divided up in three parts, that was used by Jewish people to govern their daily lives.
Now, the Ten Commandments, it's important, I wrote this down. I thought it was important to go through. The Ten Commandments was a part of the Mosaic Law. The Ten Commandments were also referred to as Decalogue: "deca-," ten, Decalogue. And so it's also referred to as "moral law," but Jewish people are not gonna divide the Mosaic Law up into moral, ceremonial, or civil. They consider the whole thing the Mosaic Law. But it's important for us to look at this, and so the Ten Commandments, or the Decalogue, are essential because they are a part of the 613 laws. Now, let's break it up and show you what this is like. The first four commandments in the Decalogue, or the Ten Commandments, the first four dealt with the relationship with God. The first four dealt with the relationship of God. "You shall have no other gods before me". "You shall not make for yourself an idol". "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God". "Remember the Sabbath Day and to keep it holy".
So, the first four, they deal with our relationship with God. Now, the last six deal with our relationship with one another. That's interesting. Our relationship with one another: "Honor your father and your mother". "You shall not murder". "You shall not commit adultery". "You shall not steal". "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor". "You shall not covet". So it's important to know this is God's moral law, and certainly, when you talk about being free from the law, he's not saying, "You know what? Forget about the law. Dishonor your father and your mother. Go ahead and kill somebody. Commit adultery all day long. Steal, and be a false witness all the"... You know that's not, so right here, this is what the Mosaic Law was trying to achieve.
How can we get Jewish people to produce morality throughout their life? Aha, we'll take 603 rules and tell them, if you keep the rules, then you'll achieve the Ten Commandments. You'll achieve your successful relationship with God. You will achieve successful relationships with one another. If you understand that, say "amen". And so the Ten Commandments express God's moral law, but moral law existed long before Moses's encounter that he had with God on Mount Sinai. Moral law reflects the nature of God. It reflects the character of God, and it is eternal. So God put moral law, or he put morality, what is "morality"? It's the character, the behavior, and the conduct. God put the character, the behavior, the conduct, moral law, within the Mosaic Law.
So God took moral law and says, "Let me stick this and make it a part of the Mosaic Law, and they're gonna now try to use self-effort to try to achieve it because they think they can do this without me. And so they gonna have 603 laws, 'Don't work on Sundays,' 'Don't pick up stick on Sundays,' 'Don't do this'", a lot of people died 'cause they could not keep them, the moral law. The objective was they could not keep these 603 rules and regulations to try to get moral law. They were trying to achieve morality, but they were trying to do it through their own self-effort and power. Now, before the Mosaic Law, morality was written in a person's heart.
Now, think about this now. Before the Mosaic Law showed up, God put morality on the inside of a person. Well, when did he do it? Look at Genesis 2:17, and then Genesis 3:4 through 5, and then verse 7. And while you're turning there, you know, by the way, you remember Joseph, who was the servant to Potiphar? You remember Potiphar's wife... let me bring it up to date. Potiphar's wife started hitting on Joseph and trying to get sweet with him. You know what I'm saying? And Joseph knew. He says, "I cannot do this sin against my master". How did Joseph know that was wrong? There was no Ten Commandments. There was no Mosaic Law to tell him that was wrong, why? How did he know it? It was in his heart. He knew it. It was written in his conscience. He just knew that was wrong. He knew that was a wrong thing to do, and he ran away from her without any rules or regulations that says, "It's wrong to have sex with another man's wife". He had that in his heart. It was there. Moral morality was on the inside of people before the Mosaic Law was ever given.
Well, when did God put morality on the inside of people? Well, look at Genesis chapter 2:17, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil", so the tree gave, well, actually, it was a tree of morality, to be honest with you. It was a tree so that you would know what was good and what was evil, a'ight? Up until this time, Adam and Eve were just fellowshipping with God, and they didn't need to know good and evil. Their total focus was God. Their trust was God. But the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he said, "Don't eat of it". He said, "Thou shalt not eat of it," why? "The day that thou eateth thereof you shall surely die". That relationship and that life that man had with God and could only see God and that would separate. That would be over with because now you know the difference between good and evil.
Now you've got that morality conscience on the inside of you, and watch what he said. Look at Genesis chapter 3 after they ate of it, verse 4, 5, and 7. Verse 4 says, "And the serpent said unto the woman, 'You shall not surely die.'" So he's contradicting. "You're not gonna die", and look what verse 5 says, "for God doth know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods", watch this, "knowing the difference between good and evil". There was no Mosaic Law. When they ate of the fruit of the tree, on the inside, they knew the difference between what was good and what was wrong, without any rules, a'ight? Look at verse 7. And it says, "The eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and they made themselves aprons".
So what happened? Their eyes was opened, and they knew there was something wrong with being naked. Before, they were walking around the garden, butt-naked. Ain't nobody got no problem with nothing because they didn't need morality on the inside. They had God. They were totally focused on God. Now, I wonder what would happen today, in this period of grace, if we can get back totally focused on God, where we just look at God? But our attention is so divided up, and it's so crazy in the world. You know the difference between good and evil. You don't need nobody to write it down. It's already in your heart. Sometimes people use rules to try to justify, or you know, like a lawyer trying to find a little crack in there when they can get away with something instead of just being focused on God. Like, somebody came to me one time and they said, "Well, you know, Pastor Dollar, is it wrong to drink liquor"?
You know, your conscience will tell you, first of all, the issue is not, "Is it wrong to drink liquor"? The issue is, "Am I giving drinking more attention than I am God? Have I become a slave to this bottle, and it's taking me away from God, and I've committed idolatry, and I've replaced what pleases me with what I need to be doing to please God"? That's the issue. It's not if smoking reef is wrong. Or have you become a slave to smoking weed? I don't care if it's legal or not. He doesn't want you to be enslaved to anything, because when you allow your life to be enslaved in any area, you've replaced him with that area. Are y'all hearing what I'm saying? Let me get back to what we're dealing with here.
Now look at Romans chapter 2, verse 14 and 15. Romans 2:14-15: "Before the Mosaic Law, morality was written on the heart". So it was written inside. It was the law of God. It was written inside, man, when love was the operator. And notice what's happened here. He says, "For when the Gentiles", watch this carefully, "which have not the Mosaic Law", that's what he's referring to. When the Gentiles, which have not the Mosaic Law, the Gentles did not have the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law was given only to Jewish people. "For when the Gentiles, which have not the Mosaic Law, do by nature the things contained in the law", ah, what's contained in the Mosaic Law? Morality. And he said, isn't it amazing that Gentiles that don't have the Mosaic Law still do, by nature, morality, or the moral law. The moral law, he said, "Do by nature the things contained in the law".
Moral law, the Ten Commandments, the Decalogue, was contained in the Mosaic Law, and he said, "Gentiles", and without it being in writing, knew on the inside what was moral, what was right and what was wrong. "These having not the Mosaic Law, they said they're a law unto themselves," because of what they have written on the inside of them. What does it do in a man's conscience when he does the four things, and he fails all the time? What does it do? He's trying to achieve morality, but he keeps falling. What does it do? It makes him sin conscious. It condemns him. It makes him feel guilty. It messes him up on the inside. It destroys him. Jesus came and says, "I'm gonna set you free from failure, from condemnation, from guilt, and I'mma set you free from the penalty of not being able to do, and I'm going to give you now help so you will be able to achieve and accomplish what you could not achieve or accomplish under the Mosaic Law".