Creflo Dollar - What Does It Mean to Be Free From the Law - Part 2
The law incites and encourages sin. So with all of the things I got to do to try to do the Ten Commandments, all of that now becomes, all of it together, even the Ten Commandments there, it's so condemning, because I can't do it. I can't keep it. I keep falling and failing when I look at, you know, the goal of what I'm trying to achieve. I end up coveting because I'm doing this, this, this, this, this. And by the time I get to the moral law, I feel bad 'cause I'm like, "O God, I missed the mark again". You know, that's what inferiority is about. Inferiority is about missing the mark. And if people in the church today don't rightly divide what I'm teaching, we got a bunch of inferior people coming to church. Because they feel like, you know, "I've sinned and come short of the glory of God. I have missed the mark".
All right, look at this, Romans 5:20 in the NLT, "God's law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were," bam. God gave you the law and then they chose to try to accomplish it through their own self effort and all that stuff. He says, "No, I gave you the law, which is perfect, flawless, and now you're trying to achieve it through your own self effort. I gave you something flawless and perfect so you can see how sinful you. I see what he's doing now. Yeah, it's perfect, it's holy, it's flawless, but you can't do this without me". The whole purpose of what God did was to get everybody to see "I need help," to get everybody to see "I tried everything, and I still can't do this," to get everybody to see "I need a Savior. I can't do this, why"? "Because every time I try, I end up missing the mark".
That's what sin is. "Every time I do these, I end up missing the mark. I miss the mark of the Ten Commandments. I miss the mark of not having no gods before me. I miss the mark of idolatry. I missed the mark of murder". And look at, you had Paul, who murdered, you had Moses, who murdered, you had David, who murdered. Everybody's trying to do all this stuff without God. He says, "I gave it to you so I could show you how sinful you are". "But as people sinned more, as people sinned more and more," he said, "God's wonderful grace became more and more abundant". The answer to the sin is grace. Grace is not the license to sin. Grace is the answer to the sin.
Glory to God, Romans 7:5, 8-9; Romans 7:5, 8-9. I gotta teach this way because after I finish today, I'm hoping that you will go and look at the Scriptures and pray over it and allow God to speak to you. Romans chapter 7, verse 5, "For when we were in the flesh," you will find out that when you were under the law, you were in the flesh. When you were under the law, you'll find out that being in the flesh is being subject to the law. Watch this, "For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law", in the flesh: by the law. "Did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death". Verse 8-9, "But sin, taking occasion by commandments", oh, sin by commandments, "wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law, sin was dead".
Watch this, verse 9, "For I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died". Again, if you're not careful, you'll think throw away the Ten Commandments. You'll throw away the moral law. No, he's talking about throwing away the administrator, or the administration, of the moral law, which made it like that. It wasn't that the moral order that was wrong. It was the method in which they were trying to achieve morality. That was the problem. That revived sin. Moral law was perfect. The way you were trying to achieve it was not. And that was the sin that brought about guilt and condemnation and all those other things.
Look at 1 Corinthians 15:56, "The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law". So are you telling me that the Ten Commandments is what causes you to sin? You know that ain't right. "Thou shalt not murder". It is not causing you to sin? No. "Thou shalt not steal". Is not causing you to sin? No. What's causing you to sin? What's causing you to sin is the method. I'm going to try to administrate morality through the rules to do it, and he says, "Every time I try to give the rule to try to accomplish the objective, it strengthens sin. Just like alcohol prohibition, every time I try to stop people from drinking liquor and making liquor, the more stills came up in the wood and they made more". And you don't understand. When you try to get people, as a pastor, if I get up every Sunday and say "Don't do this; don't do that. Don't, don't, don't, don't, don't". You know what's gonna happen? They going to do exactly what you been talking about, don't, don't, don't, don't.
If there's a pink elephant outside and I tell you walk outside your house. "Go outside. On the left-hand side, there's a pink elephant but don't you look at it"! What percentage of people that walk outside the house will absolutely turn and look at it? See, it's the method, and what God is saying, "Well, I got something better. I need you to go back to the garden. Trust me, see me, focus on me". And God comes in and he does something so miraculous on the inside of you. And you trying to stop.
'Cause I remember, man, as a teenager, I say, "I'mma stop cussing. I'mma stop cussing. I'mma stop cussing". And the more I said I'll stop cussing, I cussed the more. I started inventing cussing words, using compound cussing words. Because I'm just like, you know, "Oh my god, How you going to stop doing this"? But now, there's a new and a perfect way, through the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ, through his finished works, that I trust him. And I say, "God, I can't do this without you". And he comes in and he does something so amazing. He gives me the desire to not steal, to not kill. He gives me the desire to not covet. And from the inside out, I'm achieving the character, the nature of God without any of the works of the flesh or the law. But it's my trust and my communion and my faith in the Holy Spirit, which is showing me how to walk.
And sometimes, I can't even explain it. Sometimes I can't even explain why I don't walk where I used to walk, why I don't do what I used to do. I can't explain why, why I treat my wife this way versus what I treated before, how did I get out the circle, and how did all that happen? And it was a simple decision to say, "God, I trust you. God, I need you. I need your help. I need you, Lord; I done tried all of this. I done fasted for five days, hungry, about to fall out. I done prayed for two, three hours. Cottonmouth like I've been smoking weed all day. I done did all of everything I know to do, and I somehow still end up in that same place of failure".
And then, when I got a hold of the gospel of grace, something changed. Something changed on the inside and I know it wasn't my effort. I knew it wasn't everything I did. I knew it wasn't my five days of fasting. I knew it wasn't my three days of conference. I know it was him on the inside and I found myself talking to him, and he talking back to me. There is no relationship without communication. A lot of people say they have a relationship with God. There's no relationship without communication. And the more and more, that same thing in your marriage. You ain't got no relationship in your marriage if not communication. There's no relationship without communication.
And I found my communication turned into Communion, and instead of me planning out how I was going to win, I said unto him, "My Lord, help me win. Lord help me. Help me win. Help me succeed. Show me how to walk. Show me how to talk. Show me how to love my wife. Show me how to walk in peace and love with my kids. Show me how to be the pastor you want me to be. Show me. Show me". And then when it happens, I had no choice but to give him praise, 'cause I know it wasn't me. I know it wasn't me. And I can't brag about it, 'cause I know it wasn't me. And Ephesians talks about that. He says, you know, you're saved by grace. It's not of your own. It says and you can't boast about it, 'cause you didn't have nothing to do with it. It was the grace and the favor and the love of God.
But religion wants to take you back to the methods of trying to keep the law so you can pat yourself on the back...and say, "I achieved the morality of the Decalogue and the Ten Commandments through what I was able to accomplish," and not Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, through the grace of God, through his power to change your heart, his power to put a desire in you and to take away the old desire and give you a new desire that accompanies that new creation and that new way of living, whoo. Why most Christians think the church is under the Mosaic law is hard for me to understand.
Why most Christians today think that we are under the Mosaic law is hard for me to understand. "Oh, why is that hard for you to understand"? Well, read this in Hebrews 7:18 to 19 in the Amplified, Hebrews 7:18 to 19. When I read this, it's hard for me, I can't understand why most, if not the majority of Christians people, and that's what wrong with our doctrine. If we don't rightly divide that stuff, not just on the law side but also on the grace side, you can't give people this idea of under grace, you can go and just sin, and "Now that I'm not under the law, I can commit adultery when the law talks about that". That's morality. Grace is not a license to sin. Grace is the answer for sin. Grace is not compromising holiness. Grace is the strength that leads you to holiness.
Here's why I can't understand why Christians do this. He says, "So a previous physical regulation and command is cancelled because of its weakness and ineffectiveness and uselessness". The previous, he's talking about the law. "For the law never made anything perfect". Why does most of the church want to stay there? "The law never made anything perfect". What is he talking about the law? Is he talking about the Ten Commandments? Yes, in a way, he's talking about the process by which you're trying to achieve the fulfillment of the Ten Commandments never made anything perfect. "But instead a better hope is introduced through which we now come close to God," that hope in which we now come close to God.
I don't understand it, but I know what my job is in these last days and I'm gonna keep on doing it until Jesus comes. Christians are to fulfill the moral law. I'm gonna go ahead and say it: Christians are to fulfill the moral law. Christians are to fulfill the Ten Commandments. Christians are to fulfill the Decalogue. Christians are to fulfill the moral law, but they should do it apart from the administration of the Mosaic law through rule keeping. Christians are not to be under the administration of the Mosaic law, because we have a far better overseer: the Holy Spirit. Instead of operating under the Mosaic law, the believer operates under the administration of the Holy Spirit, who engenders love.
So will the Holy Spirit lead one to sin? No. Will love lead one to sin? No. Paul wrote, "If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law". He wrote that. "If you're led by the Spirit, you are not under the law". Look at that, Galatians 5:18. If you're led by the Spirit, you're not under the law. God's trying to convince us through this message of grace, we are not led by the law, and people wanna be led by the law. And God said, "No, that's not good. I'm delivering you. You're no longer under that system where you're being led by the law". But if you are led of the Spirit, you are not under the law. If you are led by the law, you are not under the Spirit. Paul made it clear that Christians are under grace and not subject to the Mosaic law. He made that very clear.
How did he make it clear? Well, number one, he says, "Christians are under grace and not the law". Romans 6:14, what did he say? He said, "For", go there. I'mma call these Scriptures out. I'm tempted to just go through 'em but you need to hear this. If I don't finish it all, we'll pick it up next week. Romans 6:14, "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law where sin has dominion but you're under grace". You're not under the law and the process by which you're trying to achieve morality. You're under grace and the administration of the Holy Spirit to achieve morality. Look at Galatians 4:4 through 5. This is the whole purpose for Jesus's coming: Galatians 4:4 through 5. He says, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law", watch this: Why? "to redeem them that were under the law".
So notice, he came to deliver them that were under the law, or the process of rule keeping, to try to achieve moral law to deliver you, why? Why did he want to deliver you from that process under the law? "That we might receive," what? "The adoptions of sons". Look at Philippians chapter 3:9; Philippians 3:9. Christians are under grace and not under that process of the law. Philippians 3:9, "And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law". So my righteousness is not of the law. "But that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith". I am righteous because Jesus is righteous, and I believe it and I say, "Lord, I believe you," and as soon as I do that, I'm made righteous without any rule keeping or anything. It's my trust and faith in him.
Look at Romans chapter 8:3; Romans chapter 8:3. God wants to deliver you from condemnation. He wants to deliver you from guilt. He wants to deliver you, not so you can go and find new and inventive ways to sin but so you can trust him to come in and do what you have not been able to do. And you know what we've done? When we find out that we're not able to do it, we accept it as who we are. That's what you do. "Oh, I'm not able to do it so I just, that's just"... And the world does that. The world says, "That's just where you are. Go ahead and accept it. You can't do anything about it. You've tried so go ahead and accept that as your identity". And you don't give the Holy Spirit an opportunity to come in to do what you can't do. And you get deceived because you think all your life that's who you are because that's how you're behaving. And your behavior should not be the defining point of your identity. Your identity is defined by God and he can help you to walk in that identity, amen.
Look at verse 3, "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of the sinful flesh, for sin, condemned sin in the", he says, let me read that again. I'm excited. Slow down. "For what the law could not do". So there were some things the law couldn't do. Why would you wanna stay in that process? He says that there was some things the law couldn't do. "It was weak," he said. He said, "God had to send his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin". God sent his Son for sin. And he sent his Son to condemn sin in the flesh, wow, wow.
Could you see that in the Amplified? Flip over that in the Amplified. Go to Hebrews 8:13 in the Amplified. Hebrews 8:13, look at this. This is pretty convincing here, this one Scripture here. But again, you get to see what I'm saying. He says, "When God speaks of a new covenant, or agreement, he makes the first one obsolete and out of use". So the agreement he had with the Jewish people has been made obsolete and out of use. What argument? The agreement of through law keeping, through rule keeping, you can achieve morality. He says, "It's obsolete. It's out of use. And what is obsolete and out of use and annulled because of age is ripe for disappearing and to be dispensed with altogether".
So Paul taught that Christians are under grace and not the law. Second thing Paul taught, he taught that Christians are saved apart from the law. Look at Romans 4:13 and 14 in the NLT; Romans 4:13 through 14 in the NLT. Christians are saved apart from the law, apart from the law. So a Christian can be saved apart from the law. You follow what I'm saying? You don't need this process. "Clearly, God's promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God's law, but on the right relationship with God that comes by faith". The promise was based on "the right relationship with God that comes by faith".
The church is ever so busy trying to keep the rules, they don't have a relationship with God. Don't wear makeup. Don't wear pants, but no relationship with God. And you're not praying, you're not communicating with God, no relationship with God. You come, you shout, you scream, you act saved, you wear "I'm a Christian" on a T-shirt, but no relationship with God. He said, "If God's promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary". All you gotta do is obey the law, and it happens. But they tried that, and it did happen. "If God's promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary, and the promise is pointless," pfoo.
Third one, Christians are sanctified by grace apart from the law. We're sanctified, or set aside, by grace without that process: gotta keep the rules in order to achieve the Ten Commandments and moral law. Look at Romans 2:19 through the NLT; Romans 2:19 through the NLT; oh my goodness, Romans 2:19 through the NLT. I know it's a lot of Scripture, but I gotta teach this 100 times. I gotta teach it 100 times; I've got to break it down in all kinds of different ways. You gotta see it, you gotta see it, you gotta see it. He says, "You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness". Romans 2:19, "You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness". You're not. You're not that. You think you are. You're convinced you are. That's the Holy Spirit's job. Are you kidding me? That's his job.
You know what true freedom is? When you're free from something? True freedom is the ability and the power to do what is right. God didn't give you freedom from the law so you could do what is wrong. True freedom is the ability and the power of God to do what is right, henceforth, the work of the Holy Spirit. True freedom is the ability and the power of God to do what's right. That's why he sets you free from the law: to give you the ability and the power of God to do what is right, henceforth, the Holy Spirit. So why does Paul make reference to the Ten Commandments throughout his writings? Well, probably have to wait until next week to do that.
So Paul kept making reference to the Ten Commandments. You know, the Ten Commandments talks about children obey, honor your mother and your father. You can't come on and say, "Well, God delivered us from that". No, Paul said it is still right for children to obey your parents and honor your mother and your father. And he said there's a promise with that, that your days may be long. Oh my goodness, Paul repeated all of the Ten Commandments except the one on the Sabbath. He didn't refer to the Sabbath as a day. He talked about the Sabbath as a person. Jesus is our Sabbath, but everyplace else, I'm gonna show you in the New Testament where Paul bought up every one of those ten, those commandments, and he taught it under grace. And what he was saying is now, children it's still good to obey your parents, just trust the Holy Spirit to help you do that.
Hey, it is still right to not commit fornication and adultery, but you need to praise God that you now have him living on the inside of you. You need to thank God for that new and living way. So Paul was not repeating the systematic process of the law, saying do these things by rule keeping. Paul was saying all these things were right in the Ten Commandments. It was the character and the nature of God. And they're perfect, and flawless and right, but now I'm gonna show you a new and a living way. I'm gonna show you a way to achieve morality through this grace that has been given to us.