Creflo Dollar - What Does It Mean to Be Free From the Law - Part 3
If you have your Bibles this morning, go with me to the book of Romans chapter 6 and verse 14. Last week we began to deal with the subject, What does it mean to be free from the law? What is it mean to be free from the law? And we established that it certainly does not mean that because I'm free from the Mosaic law that I'm free to kill. It doesn't mean that I'm free to lie. It doesn't mean that I'm free to commit adultery. It doesn't mean that I'm free to operate in bad behavior. So if it doesn't mean that, what does it mean to be free from the law, the Mosaic law? Well, you know, I told you before and I'll show you again. The fact that under the Mosaic law, the Mosaic law was administered by rule keeping.
In other words, if it said, "Thou shall not commit adultery," it would also have maybe 10 or 20 other things you had to do. Hopefully, you could achieve, you know, that moral behavior of not committing adultery, and then there was a penalty because, you know, God knew no man could keep it perfectly. And so, to be free from the Mosaic law means that you are free from the penalty of not being able to successfully keep it through rule keeping, amen. To be free from the Mosaic law means that Jesus has given you another path to take: a path where you're not gonna be condemned, a path where you're not gonna be shamed, a path where you're not gonna walk in guilt and have a guilty sin conscience all of your life, because the difference is now you are free from the Mosaic law through rule keeping but now you are under the administration of the Holy Spirit.
So what we've got to decide is, Does that mean that we don't fulfill the Ten Commandments? Does that mean that we can just go and behave any way we wanna behave? The only difference is rule keeping versus the Holy Spirit direction, rule keeping versus Holy Spirit direction. Under the new covenant, it's about the Holy Spirit directing you to do what's right. Under the old covenant, it is all about what you can do and your efforts to keep the rules that will, hopefully, manifest morality in your life. We're talking about behavior today. And we're saying to you that the gospel of grace... grace is not a license to misbehave. Grace is the solution for misbehaving, yeah.
A lot of people think, "Well, under grace that gives me the excuse to misbehave," and you got a lot of church folks misbehaving and saying that grace gives them the license to do it. No, grace is not the license to sin. Grace is the answer to sin. And so we've got to understand that grace is still heading towards holiness; it's still headed towards righteousness and doing the things that would please God. And so, while Christ has freed us from the Mosaic law by rule keeping, the Apostle Paul, Paul referenced the moral law evidence in the Ten Commandments throughout his writings. So what I'm about to say is, in the Old Testament, you see these Ten Commandments were given, but then over in the New Testament, you see Paul making reference to those Ten Commandments. So the question is, "Are we free from it or not? And if we're free from the Ten Commandments through rule keeping, why is the Apostle Paul continuing to repeat it"?
Well, first of all, let's show you the anatomy of the Mosaic law, show you the structure of it so you'll understand what comes up here. Romans chapter 2, verses 14 through 15, these Scriptures I'm giving you are so important. It's the proof when you start explaining it Mom and them, Pook and them, and Shaquida and them, now, Romans 2 verse 14, look at this carefully, "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law". So the Mosaic law that came by Moses was not extended to Gentile people. It was only for Jewish people. "So for when the Gentiles, which have not the Mosaic law, do by nature the things contained in the law", now, there was something contained in the Mosaic law. The Mosaic law is divided up into three parts. It is divided up into the civil law. It's divided up, it's the ceremonial law and it's the moral law.
Remember again, the Mosaic law divided up into civil law, ceremonial law, that's where the rules pertaining to bringing an offering, or animal sacrifice, to get your sins covered for a year, and it's the moral law. Now, the moral law in the Mosaic law were the Ten Commandments. The moral law existed before Moses's experience on Mount Sinai. The moral law existed in Joseph when Potiphar's wife tried to go after him, and he knew that was wrong. There were no Ten Commandments telling him it was wrong. He knew it was wrong because God put it on the inside of him. Moral law was put on the inside of man. Once Adam and Eve ate of the garden, they knew the difference between good and evil. They knew what was right or wrong, not based on a list of commandments but based on what was in their heart. It was moral law that God put on the inside of everybody's heart the day after, you know, as soon as Adam and Eve sinned.
Now, "For when the Gentiles", back to the Scripture, "which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law", what was contained in the Mosaic law? Moral law. What was contained in the Mosaic law? Those Ten Commandments. Those Ten Commandments, they go by two other names. I want you to know. We have the Ten Commandments and they're also called moral law, but it's also referred to, by theologians, as the Decalogue: the Decalogue, moral law, and the Ten Commandments. Now, the Ten Commandments were built within the Mosaic law. And the objective was "Let's see if we can achieve morality through rule keeping. Let's see if we can get people to behave right through rule keeping".
So the more rules you keep, hopefully, it will produce good behavior. It didn't work. It failed miserably. In fact, it failed to the point where men became sin conscious and even bringing the animal sacrifice to the priest, it didn't work. It didn't get rid of sin consciousness. They left there and had sin consciousness, waiting on the next year so get another animal sacrifice to cover their sins. So the moral law, or the Ten Commandments, was built into the Mosaic law. It was the Mosaic law, which is moral law, ceremonial law and then civil law that Jewish people lived by. So we said, "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law", so they did by nature, they did out of their conscience, they did out of their heart what was moral. They knew what was right and wrong. People knew.
You know, before you got born again, and before ever heard of the Ten Commandments, you knew what was right and wrong, why? Because it was on the inside of you. It was on the inside of you. When you mistreated somebody, it was on the inside of you. When you stole something, it was on the inside of you. When you were disobedient to your parents, it was on the inside of you. When you were fooling around in your marriage, you didn't need to have to go to church, nothing, it was on the inside of you. He says, "They do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves". And so, one of the things I want you to understand here is that God put moral law, or God put morality, within the Mosaic law. Moral law, please listen to me, reflects the nature and the character of God and it is eternal.
So think about it, you're talking about being free from the law. Are we talking about getting rid of the nature and the character of God? "Oh, I'm free from the law". So that means ignore the nature and the character of God? You know, the Ten Commandments is holy. The Ten Commandment is righteous. Somebody said, "Well, how come people couldn't keep it through rule keeping"? Because it was perfect, and man was fallen. It was flawless and man had flaws. It was not going to work. God knew that. God never intended. God did not give the Mosaic law because he thought men could keep it. He gave the Mosaic law so people could understand that they would never be able to keep it. The objective was to cause you to fail so miserably that you would scream out for help, that you would know, "I need Jesus. I need a Savior. I need somebody to help me. I keep failing year, after year, after year". And so, verse 15 says, "Which shows the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the means while accusing or else excusing one another".
And so, I'm about to show you that, because we're under grace, doesn't mean that God said you're not gonna fulfill morality. It doesn't mean, "Now, that I'm under grace, I'm not gonna have good behavior". It doesn't mean, "Now, that I'm under grace that I won't see the very heartbeat of those Ten Commandments showing up in my life". Now that I'm under grace, it just simply means I've got some help by the Holy Spirit to help me to produce morality in my life. And when I miss it, the Holy God has already forgiven me and taken care of that. It's like a two-year-old trying to learn how to walk. You know, they start off walking and when they fall, you just go and pick 'em up and encourage them to keep coming, and they'll walk. You know, you remember that. And then they fall, and you'll pick 'em up and you'll laugh because they took two or three more steps, and you know, keep on coming.
You know, and it's the same thing that God wants to do with us in the New Testament. We're trying to get to this place where we could produce good behavior and morality. But as we're learning how to walk, and the Holy Spirit is the one that's guiding us, you see, most people say the Ten Commandments is our moral compass. No, the Holy Spirit is your moral compass. The Holy Spirit is the one that's gonna direct you and help you and show you where you need to go. The Ten Commandments, or moral law, is your destination, but your moral compass is the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is like that parent that keeps picking you up and encouraging you, and saying, "Come on. Oh, you took two steps the last time. Oh, you did four". And he's clapping, four. And that's what he's doing. But the church, because they don't understand this, they treat the little two-year-old when they fall, "You're going to hell. You're no good". No. God's a heavenly Father. When you fall, he says, "I'll place all of your failures on Jesus Christ so don't stay down. Get up, because your victory has already been taken care of by Jesus Christ". "Come on, come on, you took three steps. You can make five. Come on, you can make ten. Keep coming". That's what this is about.
There's so much condemnation in the body of Christ that when the two-year-olds fall in the body of Christ, we beat 'em up; we kick 'em. We give 'em every reason to stay down and don't get up and walk anymore. That's what being free from the law is: "I'm free from being beat up. I'm free from being kicked. I'm free from all the reasons to stay down there". Under the New Testament, I have the love of God and the Spirit of God, who keeps encouraging me. "Come on, baby. Come on, walk". "Yeah, but I fell". No, no, no, you don't have to worry about it. Jesus took all your failures upon himself and he gave you every reason to get up and to keep walking. Amen, church. Amen, praise God. And that's good preaching even if I can't hear you in your house saying, "Amen, praise God". That's what it means to be free from the law.
Now, I wanna show you something now. Let me go over something, just real quick, and I'll get started. Somebody says, "Sound like you got started". Nah, I ain't got started yet. "What you talking about here"? Well, we fitting to whack the devil. You understand what I'm saying? You know what a whack is? Remember how your mama used to whack you in the mouth when you said something wrong? And now, we fitting to whack the devil, amen? Now, Christians, here's a question, it's huge. Christians are to fulfill the moral law, the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments, apart from the administration of the Mosaic law through rule keeping. We are to fulfill it but we're gonna fulfill it apart from rule keeping. We're gonna fulfill it apart from all of those 603 rules, or regulations, trying to produce morality.
Christians, and I know that makes even some grace people mad, because it's kind of like, "Wait a minute, this is our license to sin every now and then, to act a fool every now and then, to slip up every now and then". Listen, nobody's perfect and you're gonna fall, but you don't go at it like, "I'm gonna go ahead and not have no resistance". "I'm just gonna, you know, if I feel like doing it, I'mma do it". That's not what this is. That's not what this is. See, understand something: Christians are not to be under the administration of the Mosaic law, because we have a far better overseer. We have the Holy Spirit. We have the Holy Spirit. We don't need to operate under the Mosaic law by trying to keep rules. We have the writer of all the rules. We have the author of everything. And so, he's agreed to take care of us. Now, instead of operating under the Mosaic law, the believer operates under the administration of the Holy Spirit, who engenders love.
Now, watch this. I'm a believer. I don't operate and have to be so conscious about keeping all of these 603 laws in order to do the 10. He says, "I am under the administration of the Holy Spirit, and under his administration, he is going to give me love. He's going to engender love. He's gonna oversee me and give me love". Somebody says, "What's that about"? Well, understand something, when you can understand how to walk in love, you gonna fulfill all the law. He's going to engender love on the inside of each one of you. And so, you ask yourself this question, "Will the Holy Spirit lead somebody to sin? Will the Holy Spirit be the one"? you know, the Bible said, "He was sent to convict the world," and that means people who are not saved too, "to convict the world of their sins".
Will, the Holy Spirit lead people to sin? No, no, he leads people to love. Will love lead people to sin? No, no, love won't do that. Thus Paul wrote in Galatians 5:18, remember what that says? He says, "If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law". If you indeed are led by the Spirit and if you're indeed led by the love of God, then you are not under the administration of the law, because you have left the administration of the law, with all of its rules, and you are now under the administration of the Holy Spirit, with all of his love, that he poured his love on the inside of you.
So what does it mean to be free? When you think about freedom, people have all kinds of definitions for freedom. I like to define it like this: true freedom is the ability and the power to do what is right. True freedom is the ability and the power to do what's right. Most of us think that true freedom is the freedom to do what's wrong. And I don't know why we go there. We go there immediately. "I'm free. I'm free to do what's wrong. I'm free to be selfish and I'm free to slap you and I'm free", no, no, true freedom is the ability and the power to do what's right, henceforth, the work of the Holy Spirit; henceforth, the work of the Holy Spirit.
So, here's the deal, so why does Paul continue to make reference to the Ten Commandments throughout his writings? Because what's some teachers do, they say. "Yeah, you're still under the Mosaic law, even Paul said it". No, no, no, no, no, Paul was repeating the morality of the Mosaic law, but he was repeating it trying to get us to understand that we are still going to fulfill this, but we're gonna fulfill it under the administration of the Holy Spirit, and that's the difference.
And I've heard it over and over again. People are totally convinced. "Well, we're still under the law". You're right, we're still on that the moral part of the Mosaic law. You see what I'm saying? Make that distinction. "No, we're still under the law because of what Paul said". You're right. We're still under the moral part of the Mosaic law, under the administration of the Holy Spirit. I think that needs to be said because the more and more I preach it, the more and more I'm trying to figure out, "How come people can't get this"? And it's because, you know, there needs to be some precision. You need to slice that thing so people can really see just what's going on. It's like we're saying the same thing, but one person means one thing and another person means the other thing.
So yes, are we to fulfill the Ten Commandments, or the 10 moral laws, that are a part of the Mosaic law? Yes, are we to fulfill it like Jewish people fulfilled it back in the Old Testament? No. How then are we to fulfill it? We are to fulfill it under the administration of the Holy Spirit as he ministers and works in our heart to cause us to do the things that we need to do. So, here's something that I've never had a chance to deal with that I've always wanted to deal with and so today I'm gonna deal with it.
I wanna show you Paul repeating the heart of the Ten Commandments, each one of them he repeated, except the Sabbath day, because in the New Testament, it's no longer the Sabbath day. It is now the fulfillment of the Sabbath day, which is Jesus. Jesus is our Sabbath. So there are lots of Scriptures but I'm just gonna use, like, one or two per commandment. So I'm gonna read to you the commandment. In fact, let me give you the Scriptures. A lot of people don't know where it is in the Bible, but Exodus 20; Exodus 20, verses 1 through 17, you will see God giving the Ten Commandments: Exodus 20, verses 1 through 17. And for sake of time, I gonna let you go ahead and read those, and I'm gonna go ahead and do this, okay?
All right, so here's the first commandment, "You shall have no other god before me". All right, so how did Paul repeat it? So, you know, this is what the morality, or the Ten Commandments, was, "Thou shall have no other god before me". So how was Paul talking about this? Look at Galatians chapter 4:8. Now, remember that the first four commandments deals with our relationship with God. The first four deal with our relationship with God. The last six deal with our relationship with one another, how we treat one another.
Now, here's how Paul repeated that. "Howbeit then, when you knew not God, you did service unto them which by nature are no gods". Paul is still encouraging in the New Testament, "Listen, dude, don't even try to make something else your God. You shall have no other gods before you". He says, "When you didn't know God, you did service to them by nature which are no gods". He says, "Don't do that. There's only one God that was able to save you. There was only one God that's been able to deliver you. There's only one God whose been able to lift you up". Paul is still preaching that.
That's what he meant when he says, "You shall have no other god before me". He is like, "What else in your life are you trying to make your God"? I mean, I used to run some of these, you know, drug groups and emotion groups. And they started off talking about, "That chair is my God or that tree is my God". And they said, "Well, you can just choose anything to be your God". No, you can't. He says, "Now how can you ever think about replacing God after he has done so much in your life"? That's what Paul was preaching. And Paul is saying the Holy Spirit is gonna help you to come to a place on the inside of you, for you to understand that that is God working in you.