Creflo Dollar - Should A Christian Be Dying To Sin? Part 2
The question I know that's in your head, "Well, if I've been delivered from that nature of sin, why am I still sinning"? Well, let's go to Romans chapter 7, Romans chapter 7 and verse 5. "Why am I still sinning if I have been set free from the sinful nature," okay? Listen, if you're born again, you're dead to that sin-man. "But why am I still sinning"? See, you thought, "Well, now that I'm born again, I will cease from sinning". That can be possible once you understand and know that "I am free from the root that produced that". But why is it that Christian people who have been set free and who are dead to the sin-man keep operating in the fruit of that sin-man? All right, watch this. This is an amazing Scripture. He says, "For when we were in the flesh"...
Now, let's talk about that for a moment. You see the word "flesh" sometime referring to your physical body, and sometimes he uses the word "flesh" in the Bible to refer to the physical body of a bird, a physical body of an animal, but sometimes that word "flesh" is used to refer to a mind that has been infiltrated with the residue of that old man. I like to put it like this: that the flesh is the software, the residue that was left behind from that old man. See, you have a new man, and there are lots of Christians who are born again who have a new man, but they've never dealt with the old software. You have a new man, a new creation, but you're still walking around with that old thinking, that old software, all right? Now watch this. He says, "For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law".
Now this is interesting. He says when you operate by the Law of Moses, the Law of Moses put sin in action, or in motion. The Law of Moses, when you try to do the Law of Moses through your own self-effort and you try to do the Law of Moses through, you know, self-righteousness, and it's all about self-righteousness, it's all about performance-based, it's all about you, when you do that, that's gonna stir up the motion of sin. And what happens is... oh my goodness. When you understand that you are dead to the sin-man, the next thing you gotta do is renew your mind from the old software. The old software says, "It's under the law that I live". The old software says, "You know, I gotta do this in order for God to do that". The old software says, "You know, if I can do this, then God will do that. If I can do that, then God will do that".
That's the old software. He says if you don't renew your mind away from that old software that's under the law, then you will continue to activate the desires and the motions of sin. Sinning will continue to be activated in your life through the software that you wear. Now listen to this. I thought at one time it's just renewing your mind with the Word, but you gotta renew your mind in the grace of God. You gotta renew your mind in the gospel of grace. You gotta renew your mind in what Jesus has already done. One of the things we look at today, Jesus has set us free from the sin-man. We are dead to sin. I gotta renew my mind to that.
All right, now, if you don't renew your mind to that, you will continue to tell yourself that "sin is a verb, and I can't help but to keep on doing it". And you won't think the grace of God. You won't think the gospel of grace. You're under the law and under the law he says you're gonna be in the flesh. The motions of sin is gonna take place because you've not renewed your mind to this new way of living, this new way of living. I'm telling you right now right thinking is gonna produce right living. And if you're still not living right, it's 'cause you're not thinking right. You're still trying to overcome something that's been overcome. Oh, I'm telling you the Bible says that the grace of God will teach you how to be righteous, and it will teach you how to behave right. You've got to have obedience to the faith, which means I am going to obey according to this new way of living.
And the reason why people still so grossly sin is because that religion, self-righteousness under the Law of Moses, under your own self-effort, under your own performance, you are doing all of those things which very plainly states, "I don't believe in this new way of living. I don't believe that I'm free from that sin-man. I don't believe that I have the new creation. I don't believe that I am dead to sin". And you know what happens? The old software stays in motion. The old software, even though the hardware, the sin-man, is gone, the old software still governs your actions in your body and in this physical world. And that's the thing the devil does not want you to know, and that's the years that it's taken for me to come to this place of saying that, you know, the renewing of your mind is so important. The Bible says don't be conformed to the world but be transformed.
See, the change comes, being transformed by the renewing of your mind, why? So you can prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. See, you've been trying to prove the good, acceptable, perfect will of God through your own actions and your own efforts. And all you need is Jesus, but we don't believe it. We have a whole world who will celebrate the birth of Jesus, celebrate Christmas, sing Christmas carols but don't believe in what Jesus came to do: to set us free from that sin nature! We don't believe it, and we don't know about it, and we won't study it. And we think we know God, and we think we understand the Bible, and we've been reading it wrong for generations! And when finally God puts people in the earth to bring clarity to it, then your traditions have made the Word of God of no effect. And you keep being used as a puppet. You keep being used as a puppet 'cause you just can't believe it.
Notice what it says in verse 5, "For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sin", and here's where the flesh is: right here, right here, in your mind, in your thinking. "The motions of sins, which were by the law," which were by the law, "did work in our members," right up here, "to bring forth the fruit unto death". That's what it's working to do, so you can keep producing fruit that will produce death. And you have a new creation that wants to produce the fruit of the Spirit that wants to produce the fruit of life, and it won't happen 'cause you can't simply believe what's already been done by Jesus Christ the Savior. I don't know how many times I'm gonna have to teach this, but I'm willing to teach it until somebody gets it. I pray you can listen to this over and over and over again, and then you can finally see that the way you believe is determining your actions. You can see that if you don't believe that you are a new creation, then your actions will now line up with that.
If you don't believe that you're the righteousness of God, then your behavior now will line up with that, and then what you'll do is try to go and correct your behavior, when you need to be correcting what you believe. You need to correct the fact that "I still don't believe that this is my identity". And you're still allowing your bad behavior to determine your identity, and as long as you do that, then, you know, you're walking around as a Christian with all of these benefits, and you keep sinning and wondering why you keep sinning. And then, eventually, I heard people say, "I'm tired of fighting this demon. I'm just gonna yield. I'm just gonna yield. I'm tired of living a lie. I'm just gonna yield".
See how deceived you have gotten? You're calling something that's deception truth. Isn't that something? You're taking something that's deception, and you're calling deception a lie. And that's what a lie is, but you're taking the lie and turning it into the truth. And that's exactly what Jesus said was gonna happen in these last days.
Now let's look at Romans chapter 6, verse 12 and 13; Romans chapter 6, verse 12 and 13. Now, verse 12 says, "Let not", now, that's very important, 'cause he's, like, you have this right. You have the authority to do this. He's putting it on you, not God, you. "You let not the sin-man, the body of sin, therefore rule in your mortal body". You let not the sin-man, you let not the body of sin rule in your mortal body, "that you should obey it in the lust thereof. Neither yield ye yourselves members as instruments of unrighteousness unto that sin nature: but yield yourself unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God".
Now let's read verse 12 and 13 in the New Living Translation, verse 12 and 13 in the New Living Translation. Now watch what he's saying here. He's saying, "Do not let sin control", don't let the sin-man that you're dead to, don't let it control the way you live. How is the sin-man that you're dead to controlling the way you live? Software, software that's still up there that hadn't been renewed, lack of belief in the fact that you're dead to that old man. He says, "Do not", see, he is saying you now have authority over all this. He's like, "I can't make you believe a certain way. I can't make you believe a certain way". He said, "Do not let sin control the way you live". He's not talking about do not let sinning control the way... Don't let that sin nature control the way you live. How crazy is this? He's saying you're letting something that you no longer have control the way you live by not renewing your mind to the truth of what's already been done.
"Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to the sinful desires," that comes from you still living under the law and not renewing your mind to what Jesus has done. Verse 13, "Do not let", again, it's on you, "Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve that sin man," or in this case, the flesh, or that residue, that way of thinking that lines up with the law. He says don't allow any parts of your body, which means your brain. Don't allow any parts of your body to serve the residue of that sin-man that you're dead to. He said, "Instead, give yourselves completely to God". That means spirit, soul, and body. Give yourself completely to God.
How do I give myself to God? By giving myself, I'm gonna show you in a moment the Bible tells you by giving myself completely over to the doctrine and teaching of God. "Instead, give yourself completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your body," your whole body, "as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God". And he says you can do that because you now have a root in you, the new creation, that can produce that in your life, amen?
Now, let's go to verse 14. He says, "For sin", he's talking about the man sin, the sin nature, sin-man, the body of sin, noun. "For sin shall not have dominion over you". He says the sin-man can't dominate you like it used to, when? Before you got saved, you had the sin-man on the inside. He could dominate you. I mean, if you have the nature of sin and the rule of sin in you, you're gonna sin. You're gonna sin. I don't care how hard you do to try to resist it. You're not born again and you've got that old man in you, you're gonna sin. You might not do it this time, but you're gonna eventually do it because you've got that old man in you. He says, "For sin," that body of sin, "shall not have dominion over you," why? Why shall that old man not have dominion over you who are born again? He says, "For you're not under the law".
Oh, so there it is again. If I'm under the law, I give that old man dominion over my life, because the law is what the old man operates by. The old man operates by the law. And when you continue to operate in selfishness, self-preservation, self-righteousness, your own self-performance, continue to operate like that, he said sin will have dominion over you, and he says the only way it doesn't have dominion over you is that you are not under the law but you're under grace. And so, you have to renew your mind to life under grace, instead of your mind to life under the law. And it is so sad to say, but most people have learned about the law in church, because a lot of our churches are under the law. And we don't understand that the law was given to increase sin. Can you see that? The law was given to increase sin. Sinning takes place 'cause you're under a doctrine that produces it.
"Well, that ain't in the Bible". Oh, I'm getting ready to show it to you. Look at this, verse 15. He says, "What then? shall we", he said, "What then"? Now, this is the only place that this word "sin" is a verb. He says, "What then? shall we sin", behave, behavior, action, "Shall we sin because we're not under the law"? He said, "Shall we sin because we're not under the law"? In other words, under the law you sin. He says, "All right, shall we sin, then, 'cause we're not under the law"? Today, we call it grace being a license to sin, when we know grace doesn't give you a license to sin. He says, "What then? shall we sin, because we're not under the law, but under grace"? And of course, he said, "God forbid". He said absolutely not.
Go to verse 16. He says, "Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or obedience unto righteousness"? Now go back to the beginning of verse 16, and I'll show you the problem, all right? "Know you not", so, the question was, Shall we continue to sin because we're not under the law? And here's what he said. He said, "Don't you know that to whom you yield", you yield. You have to decide. You yield. "To whom you yield yourselves servants to obey". Underline the word "obey". This word "obey," it does not mean, in the verse of Scripture it does not mean comply. This word "obey," let me me give it to you. It means to hearken or to pay attention to. It means to listen to. It means to hearken. It means to pay attention to. It means to listen to. What he said was, "Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to listen to," or to obey.
Now, he's talking about to whom, so a person. Who you gonna listen to? He says whoever you are listening to, watch this, 'cause he's talking about whom, whom. Are you gonna listen to sin unto death? That comes from Adam, so are you gonna listen to Adam's teaching of sin unto death, or are you gonna listen to obedience unto righteousness, which comes from Jesus? So, he says now you gotta decide: Are you gonna yield to listen and to hearken to what Adam says, or are you gonna yield or hearken to what Jesus says? O God Almighty. Go back to the beginning of verse 16. You'll see this. "Know you not, that to whom," to whom, "you yield yourselves servants to listen to," to hearken to, to pay attention to.
Who are you listening to? Are you listening to the doctrine of Adam, sin unto death, or are you listening to the doctrine of Jesus? And I'll show you in the next verse its doctrine. Doctrine is teaching. What teaching are you listening to? Are you yielding yourself to listen and to hearken to his servants? He says you're gonna be a servant. Whoever you listen to, whatever doctrine you hear, whatever doctrine you believe, and whatever doctrine you hearken to, whether it is the doctrine of sin unto death, which cames by Adam or our obedience unto righteousness, which came by Jesus Christ. Now look at verse 17. "But God be thanked, that you were servants of that sin nature, but you have listened to and hearkened from your heart that form of doctrine"...
What is a doctrine? Teaching. He says thanks be to God that, you know, you were servants of the old man, but now because you have been listening and hearkening and paying attention to that form of doctrine, which was delivered you, glory to God. Come on, next verse. Let's go through it. "Being then made free from that old man, you became a servant of this doctrine of obedience to righteousness," which came by Jesus Christ. Come on. "I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmities of their flesh," for the weaknesses of their flesh, "as you have yielded your members servants". Remember, "When you yield your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness," how? It's gonna be based on what teaching you listen to.
If you keep listening to the teaching of death, if you keep listening to the teaching of Adam, sin unto death, he says you're gonna stay locked into that old-man software. But if you will start paying attention to that doctrine, which came by Jesus Christ, which showed up by Jesus, that doctrine of grace, the gospel of grace, which makes you free from the law, then he says that you will have your members eventually yield to righteousness and unto holiness. Verse 20, "For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness". Yeah, when you were the servants to the old man, because that old man was there, you couldn't do what was right, because that was the route to your life. He says you were free from righteousness, next verse. "What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed"?
Oh, the shame that some of you have to deal with, and you're trying to figure out, "Why did I do that stupid thing"? And have to wake up in shame. I can't think of anything worse than to wake up in shame, to wake up in guilt, to wake up in condemnation, trying to figure out, "Why did I go that way"? That there was a part of you that said, "Don't do that," but you still had that old man pushing you into that behavior, or failed to renew your mind, or kept listening to that wrong teaching or that wrong doctrine. He said, "What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death". The end of those things is death. And I put it out to everybody who decided to replace God with something else. The end of those things is death.
See, here's one thing. You can think you're so smart and so awesome and you know better than everybody, and you hate Jesus, and you hate God, and you don't believe in nothing no more because of some church hurt you had. "I don't wanna have nothing to do with God. I don't wanna have nothing to do with Jesus. I don't wanna have nothing to do with the church". You cuss God. You curse Jesus. You do all that kind of stuff. You can do all of that, and then you still can't get away from this one thing, this one piece of evidence, that's gonna prove it all, and that is you're gonna die one day. And when you die that day all shall be revealed.
And he's already prophesied what's gonna happen. He says every knee is gonna bow and every tongue is gonna confess that Jesus is Lord. You might not do it now, but you will when the evidence will be plainly rolled out. You still gotta die. And so, you convince yourself, "Well, when I die I'm just gonna go into nothingness". You ain't never been dead before. That's your little smart, brilliant self trying to tell you, you ain't never been dead before, but you're gonna die one day. And the thing that I know of, the thing that I am assured of is that all is tomfoolery, you talking, one day, you're gonna die, but then it's gonna be too late, because this whole thing is based on faith. It's gonna be too late.
I will not allow myself to be led in this life by a fool. I won't do it. I won't do it. I go to God. I'm gonna stick with God. I'm not gonna base right and wrong based on what everybody else is doing, 'cause people crazy. People doing all kind of stupid stuff now. I can't base my life on what everybody else doing. I can't base my life on the norms and values of society. I can't base my life on what that person said and what they said and what they did. I can't do that. The only thing that has remained through the dark ages and through every age that the earth has thrown at it is the power that comes through his Word, and I'm gonna stick with that.