Creflo Dollar - The Holy Spirit: The Administrator of the New Testament - Part 1
If you have your Bibles this morning go with me to the book of Acts chapter 16 and verse 7. We're still talking about the Holy Spirit as the administrator of the New Testament. I'm gonna say something right now, and I want you to just tuck it away as we begin to develop this. But when you really get a revelation of the relationship between you and the Holy Spirit and the place the Holy Spirit plays in your life, hopefully you'll come to the place of understanding that the Holy Spirit is the source for the will in your life. In other words, your will, will spring forth from the Holy Spirit. And because you're saved and Spirit-filled, you're gonna find yourself making a lotta decisions because you have yielded to the Holy Spirit, and he becomes the source of your will.
Now, just write that down. It will make a lotta sense as we start, but here's what I wanna talk to you about today. The New Testament is under the administration of the Holy Spirit. The New Testament is not administered to you because you do a great job of keeping all the rules. The New Testament is under the administration of the Holy Spirit, so to be ignorant of the Holy Spirit may put you in a position where there's just a lotta things that are not happening. You're not getting ahold of the promises because you still have the mindset of the Mosaic Law, where you're thinking, "I've got to do these things in order to get these things".
And I can tell you he's the most ignored personality in the Bible, the Holy Spirit, because, again, we're limiting him for, you know, to jumping and screaming and hollering, and we're not really understanding who he is. He is the God on the inside of you. He's the Father on the inside of you. He's the one that has been sent to administer these wonderful promises of the New Testament that Jesus has made available to us. And I think what happen sometimes is we try to operate the New Testament without a revelation of the Holy Spirit, and so that is so important today for us to look at.
So, I wanna say this, and I want you to think about it. The Holy Spirit is permanently called closely alongside of each of us, his calling, his calling for everybody that gets born again. He has a calling, and that calling is to live alongside of each of us to do what? To do what? To give us chill bumps? To get us to jump, jiggle, and shake, rattle and roll? No, his job, the reason why the Holy Spirit is abiding and called close to us in the New Testament, here's what he's gonna do: he's gonna be coaching, he's gonna be directing, he's gonna be instructing, and he's gonna be counseling us in this life journey.
So, we have this life journey. All of us, you know, we're living this life. This is a journey, and the Holy Spirit has been called to, if you will, assist us through this journey, and he will assist us by providing the coaching, the directions, the instructions, the counseling throughout the journey. So, think about a person who they don't know that, and they're trying to live life without the coach. They're trying to live life without the counselor. They're trying to live life without the instructions of the Holy Spirit. And so, if you're not getting the directions and the instructions and the coaching and the counseling from the Holy Spirit, where are you getting them from? Most likely you're gonna be getting them from the world. Most likely you're gonna be getting them from the norms and the values of the world.
You're gonna pay attention to the coaching that comes from the world. You're gonna pay attention to the instructions that come from the world. You're gonna pay attention to the directions that come from the world, and you miss out on something so greater than what the world can offer you because we're not understanding the vitalness... and I don't use that word lightly, how vital it is for you to get a revelation of the presence of the Holy Spirit and what he has been sent to do: coach, direct, instruct, counsel, to guide you throughout your life journey.
Now, I want you to think about it. There is a difference between people who know that and submit to that and people who have no idea, and you know what? There are lots of people who don't believe in the Holy Spirit, they don't understand him. There's not many people that teach about the Holy Spirit. We kinda just kinda, you know, say the Holy Spirit, but we have to teach so people can understand what to submit to. "So, Pastor Dollar, are you telling me that if I'm on my way to a certain place and I'm not supposed to go to that certain place 'cause it could be some danger there, that the Holy Spirit will have something to do to stop me"? Yeah, that's exactly what I'm telling you.
In fact, I wanna show you the Scripture of this very thing happening. If you look in Acts chapter 6, verse 7, in verse 7 he says, "After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia," they wanted to go to Bithynia, "but the Spirit suffered them not to go". Now, look at this in the New Living Translation. You're talking about the Holy Spirit being a part of a journey. In the New Living Translation he says, "Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there".
The Spirit, see, they had decided they were gonna go to this certain place, but the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, intervened and did not allow them to go there. You know, sometimes we complain about not being able to go here or something coming up to stop that or that. You've got to understand that the guide that you've been given for life will intervene and knows how to not allow you to go to certain places. I can remember in my own life I was on my way to a meeting overseas, and the Spirit of God prevented me from going there. I was not supposed to be there. Later on, I found out the very people who were coming to pick me up were robbed and one of them was killed, but the Holy Spirit would not allow me to go there. I'm telling you, I need him in this life today.
As crazy as this life is, I need a guide to show me where I'm supposed to be and where I'm not supposed to be. The Holy Spirit knows how to tug at your heart. And you may go somewhere that you've gone a thousand times, but this particular time he's like, "I don't think I want you there". Allow the Holy Spirit to be that guide. Now, sometimes, there are people who disregard the instructions of the Holy Spirit, and they work real hard to even make something that's pretty obvious for you not to do, they work hard to make it happen anyway, and then they end up dead or something bad ends up happening. And so, the Holy Spirit's been given to guide us through life and to help us on this particular journey, but now here's the issue. In order for you to enjoy and to benefit from his coaching, from his instructions, from his counsel, you have to give him permission and authorization to operate in your life.
Now, I wanna ask you a question. I want you to think about it. Have you given the Holy Spirit permission and authorization to operate in your life? Every Christian needs to be able to recall the time that you gave the Holy Spirit permission and authorization to operate in your life. He's a gentleman. He's not going to override your decisions or do something, you know, that you haven't, you know, given him the permission and the authority to do. I want you to do that right now. If you cannot recall a day where you have given the Holy Spirit permission and authorization to operate in your life, do it right now, do it right now. Say this out loud with me, "Holy Spirit, I give you permission and authorization to operate in my life, to be a coach in my life, to be the directions in my life, to be instruction in my life, and to be the counsel throughout my life's journey. You have my permission and my authorization, amen".
Now, as a result of you doing that what do you do next? Now you spend time in the Word. You spend time in prayer, tuning your ears to the voice of the Spirit, and watch how he begins to operate in your life. And he is the difference maker. People, Christian people, who understand and have given him permission to operate in his life, it's a game changer. It's a life changer. Things happen in your life that probably won't end up happening in somebody else's life.
Now, I wanna take some time to go through 2 Corinthians chapter 3. I wanna look at verse 17 first of all. 2 Corinthian 3:17, and then I wanna back up and teach the entire chapter, because I wanna show you the Holy Spirit as the one who will administer the changes that have been made by Jesus Christ. You gotta know how important this is. I keep seeing people who wear the Christian t-shirt, they know the Scriptures, they read through the Bible, but they are not allowing a Spirit-led life to show up in their journey. The question is, is the Spirit leading your life, or are you leading your life? The question is also are you living life to please God? The Holy Spirit knows how to lead you to that place where you're living life to please God. Or are you living a life to please yourself?
If you're living a life to please yourself versus living life to please God... there are a lotta things as a Christian that you're believing for. You just won't see it, because everything is about you. And it's got to be about him, and the Holy Spirit knows how to lead your life. He knows how to lead your journey into a place where you are pleasing God. Now, here's where we're starting here. 2 Corinthians 3:17. He says, "For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom". Go to the King James and read that for me right quick. 2 Corinthians chapter 3:17. It says similar, but I wanna read it in a way that most people have really misinterpreted it. 2 Corinthians 3, King James, he says, "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there liberty".
Now, when I first heard that Scripture people were saying, well, yeah, most of the time I heard that Scriptures being used in church service, and they said, "You know, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there's liberty to shout. There is liberty to praise the Lord. There's liberty to run. There's liberty to jump". And then, so, when you had churches that were not doing that, people were saying, "No, no, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty to shout hallelujah". And I'm thinking, is that really all that means, you know, where the Spirit of the Lord is, you can, "Oh, glory to God"...
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, you can... Where the Spirit of the Lord, and then, when things kinda, you know, they don't go like they're supposed to, then, you know, are you gonna blame that on the Spirit of the Lord? First of all, that's not what that means. You know, remember context is king, so what does it mean here? Because he's talking about the... wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. And you know when you got born again the Spirit of the Lord lives on the inside of you. We're talking about the Spirit of the Lord being the guide throughout your life, and he says that "wherever the Spirit of Lord is, there is liberty," so what does it mean? Does it mean liberty to cuss somebody out? Does it mean liberty...
See, first of all real freedom will lead you to do what's right. Think about it. Real freedom is not doing something that's wrong. Real freedom is not doing something that's negatively impacting somebody's life. Real freedom is doing what's right, free to do what's right, free to accomplish the will of God for your life, so I wanna back up and I want to look at this whole chapter. And I want to go all the way down to here, and I wanna study it in the NLT. 2 Corinthians chapter 3 in the New Living Translation, and I wanna see exactly what this means in context, in context. You just can't lift verse 16, 17 outta context and not understand what's happening here. Starts off in verse 1, and he says, "Are we beginning to praise ourselves again"? What a question. "Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf"?
Can't you see people who are more interested in building their own image? Can't you see people here who are more interested in pleasing themselves and not pleasing God? He answered. He said certainly not. Verse 2, "The only letter of recommendation we need is yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts," wow. A living epistle goes a longer way, a much longer way down the road than a written epistle. People will do what they see you living a whole lot quicker than what is written in the Bible, a living epistle. "The only letter of recommendation we need is yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you".
How are people reading your life? You know, that's why it's important for us to, you know, take hold of the Scripture and live it. And not to say that you're perfect, but that's why we need the Holy Spirit, 'cause there's a lotta things that we can't do by ourselves. I tell you what, living your life and people learning from your life doesn't necessarily mean you gotta do everything perfect, but how do you respond to when you don't do it perfect? How do you respond when you miss it, how do you respond? People are looking at that, as well, and it gives them hope. It gives them hope that when they see you went through a hard time, then how you came out and praised God doing it and Holy Spirit helps you with that, it becomes something that people can look at.
See, we have this idea that as a Christian you should be flawless, and when you're not flawless we're gonna jump on you and try to shame you. That's not what he's talking about. He's saying as a Christian we wanna see how you live the life. And we know that life is filled with ups and downs, and life is filled with hard times and good times. And people wanna read your epistle to see how you handle life, and see how you apply the promises of God to life, and to see how you rely on the Holy Spirit for life. And then, they can look and say, "Wow. I went through the same thing, but I certainly didn't do it that way". And it becomes a letter. It become something that ministers to them.
And then, he says here, "Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the results of our ministry among you. This 'letter' is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tables of stone," wow. He's referring to the Ten Commandments that were governed by the law, or rule keeping. He says no, no, no, no, no. This is something written in your heart, but on our human heart. Go back to the top of verse 3. Let's read that again. "Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the results of our ministry among you. This 'letter' is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God". But with the Spirit of the living God. "It is carved not on tables of stone". This is not carved on tables of stone. He said, "But it's on the human heart," so the Holy Spirit is writing on your heart. He's writing on your heart.
Now watch this. Verse 4, "We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ Jesus". 5, "It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own". There are some people who think they're qualified to do things on their own, and that's where they mess up. They think they're qualified to live life on their own. They think they're qualified to do ministry on their own. He says, "No, it's not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God".
Boy, that's powerful. My qualification comes from God. Your qualification comes from God. That's what we should come to the point of recognizing, "I'm qualified because of God. I'm not gonna go around, tell people how wonderful I am and how awesome I am, and here are the five things you need to do in order to be successful". I'm gonna go tell people, "God qualified me". And that's why God can call anybody. God can call people who you don't think should be qualified. God calls people, then he qualifies people. God called David, a murderer. God called Moses, a murderer. God called Paul, who was a murderer, and he qualified murderers, hallelujah, to be used for the Master's use and to be used to change people's life.
And I'm telling you, ladies and gentlemen, quit looking at your past mistakes, because God is the one that qualifies you. Hallelujah. God qualifies you. Now look at verse 6. "He has enabled us to be ministers of the new covenant". Now, watch carefully now. God has enabled and qualified us to be ministers of the new covenant. "This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit". So, the new covenant is not the Mosaic Law that's administered by rule keeping. He says that this covenant is one of the Spirit, one of the Spirit. He said, "The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life". So, under this new covenant we have an opportunity to have life because of our trust in the Spirit of God. Under the old covenant, it's gonna end in death because of trusting yourself.
Let's go to the next verse. "The old way, with laws etched in stone," so, he's now getting ready to talk about the Mosaic Law governed by rule keeping, how they tried to keep morality through rule keeping. "The old way, with laws etched in stone," he said, "that led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses's face," because of the glory that came on him because he was in the presence of the Lord when this was being etched on stone. He says, "For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away". He said but it was fading away. He said it was fading away.
Next verse. "Shouldn't we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life"? So, there are people who still wanna live under the old way, and he says there is greater glory under the new way because the Holy Spirit is giving life. He said under the old way you had to depend on what you could do, and you thought that if you could do this then you could earn, you know, the results. But he says the Holy Spirit now is the one that's giving life. It's not gonna be based on you. It's gonna be based on Holy Spirit. Under the law, you had to trust your ability. You had to trust your self-effort, but under this new covenant we trust the Holy Spirit, who's the giver of life. Praise God.
Verse 9, "If the old way, which brings condemnation", notice, the old way, under the law, under the law, it brings condemnation. It brings condemnation, and he says, you know, that was glorious. Now please let me say this to you. The Mosaic Law was given to bring condemnation. The purpose of the Mosaic Law was to bring you to the end of yourself, to bring you condemnation, to condemn you so that you could recognize that you can't do this by yourself. The whole purpose of the old covenant, of the law, was to bring you to the point where you say, "I need a Savior. I keep failing. I keep missing it. I may go five months and do it right, but I keep falling. I can't do this by myself. And when I fall, I feel so bad. I feel so full of shame. I feel so condemned. I feel so hopeless". He says, "If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glory is the new way, which makes us right with God"!
The new way by the Holy Spirit makes you right with God because of what you believe. Lemme say this to you, and please don't forget this. Lord, just bring it outta my spirit. God doesn't judge us based on how we behave. He judges us based on what we believe. God does not judge us based on how we behave. He judges us based on how we believe. My God. God doesn't judge us based on how we behave. He judges us based on how we believe, 'cause under this new covenant, if we believe right, that's gonna change how we behave, under the new covenant. But under that old covenant everything is based on how we behave.