Creflo Dollar - Sinning After Being Born Again, Part 1
Last week I laid a foundation for you that, hopefully, will help you to understand what I'm gonna talk about today. This is a radical message. It is one of those messages that I don't know, it just seems to take people in weird directions. It's the truth and I'm gonna continue to preach it until people begin to recognize the truth of the gospel. And so today, we're gonna pick up. This is Part 2 from last week, but I wanna call this specifically "Sinning After Being Born Again". What happens, what's the deal, when a person who has been saved, born again, filled with the Holy Spirit, and they sin after they're born again? Because I was always taught that, you know, if I do that then, you know, I've thrown away everything that I had before.
And so I'm gonna put some questions to you. I'm gonna put some things out there for you to think about before we even read our first Scripture, and I wanna go through this to make sure that you see what I'm saying. Let's start off with this statement: "All people who are born again are 100% righteous". Let me say that again: "All people who are born again are 100% righteous". Now, in light of that statement, and somebody says, "Well, how do you know that"? Well, how do I know anything I'm talking to you about? I got it from the Word, and I'll show you that in a moment, but I wanna make these statements so it can deal with your way of thinking. You know, renewing the mind is changing your opinions and your way about thinking about things. And lining up with what God says. Our job is not to, when we get into the Word, and we find something that we don't agree with, or most likely, don't understand, then we don't try to change the Word, but we allow the Word to change our thinking.
So this is what we're starting with: "All people who are born again are 100% righteous". Now here's the deal. Can we lose our righteousness as easily as we received it? If we commit a sin after being born again? If we commit a sin after being born again, can we lose our righteousness as easily as we received it? Or maybe, maybe the thought is, maybe we're still righteous but we're not 100% righteous and we need to cleanse ourselves from unrighteousness. Maybe that's the thought. That's the thing that I've heard people say: "Well, you know, you're no longer 100% righteous because you sinned after you got born again". These are issues we have to deal with. These are things we've got to talk about because that's the big elephant in the room.
And so, for some, it's hard to believe that a person who committed a sin, it's hard for them to believe that that person could still be righteous. There are some of you who are listening to me right now, you know, it's very complicated because of your tradition and your religion and things that have been taught wrong. It's very difficult for you to even conceive that a person who committed a sin could still be righteous because we've been taught, you know, when you commit a sin you're no longer righteous.
Now, let me say this. I am not in any way attempting today to try to give you a license to sin. Sinning has consequences and God's objective through grace is to make you holy and if you'll allow the Holy Spirit in your life, he will take the old desires away from you and give you new desires, but he's headed towards holiness. But if we don't get rid of the condemnation and the guilt and the wrong way of thinking, then you'll think every time you sin as a born again believer, that you lost your righteousness. And some people with that mindset have left God, left their relationship, and said, "Well, what's the use"?
Now, committing a sin doesn't make you unrighteous again. Now, I'm gonna prove all this in the Scripture but I wanna put all this out so you can think. Committing a sin does not mean or it doesn't make you unrighteous again. And just try to think about that. To even say that is for you to say that you don't commit sin anymore. And, you know, religion's taught you there's the big sin and then there's a little sin, and then there's the little white lie and then there's the black lie. The Bible never said anything about that. Let's stop doing that. Sin is sin, period. And so, you know, being rude to the waitress at the restaurant is just as bad as committing adultery, but the church somehow tells you it's not. And so for you to even say that committing a sin makes you unrighteous again, is for you to also say you don't have any problem in that area or that doesn't occur, when the Bible makes it clear: "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God".
As long as we are alive, we're going to miss the mark somewhere because we're not perfect. And we won't achieve perfection until we see Jesus. So why do we condemn people who do something that everybody said that everybody does, and listen to me, I know this is so hard for people to hear, but, you know, when you find yourself judging somebody because they did what you call "the big sin," be careful that you don't neglect the sin in your own life. The Bible says, "to know to do good and to do it not is sin". So, I mean, that's crazy. The Bible says: "Whatever's done not of faith is sin". So that's you. That's you who sit in church every Sunday, you who are tuned in to the stream right now, there's no way you can go to judging other people and not recognize you've got sin in your life.
When you were mean, when you spoke unforgiveness, when you walked in doubt, when you walked in fear, when you were to know to do good and you didn't do it because you lived in selfishness and here is the number one sin from heaven's perspective: self-righteousness. It's when you decided to do things on your own without God, it's when you decided to replace God with something else. And we're living in a whole society that's decided, "You know, God doesn't work anymore. So I'm gonna choose something else. I'm gonna work with something else. When I don't have peace, I'm gonna choose something else instead of God. When I need to be healed, I'm gonna choose something else instead of God. When I need to be delivered, I'm gonna choose something else instead of God".
And when you choose to put something else in place of God, God wants to give you that peace, God wants to heal you, God wants to deliver you. But it's like, "No, that's not working. I'm gonna, through my own righteousness and my own self-preservation, come up with something to replace God". That's sin. It's missing the mark. So I'll say it again: committing a sin doesn't make you unrighteous again. Well, here's the next question I want to put in your thinking before I start preaching: "How did we become righteous"? How did we become righteous in the first place? Well, by faith. We became righteous by faith. You know, righteousness is not about what we do. It's about what Jesus did. It's his righteousness. And so we receive Jesus and, by faith, we believe we were righteous 'cause he said it.
So are we then going to lose our righteousness by works or lifestyle? Here's what I'm trying to show you. If I became righteous by faith, do I now lose righteousness by works and lifestyle? If I became righteous by faith, then all of a sudden, you know, I am no longer righteous because of my works. You didn't become righteous because of your works. You didn't come righteous because your lifestyle was so goody-goody. You became righteous because you had faith in Jesus Christ, and you believed Jesus Christ and you were made righteous. The same thing happened to Abraham. Abraham became righteous because he believed God. Genesis 15, the Bible says: "Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness".
So what did Abraham do to become righteous? He believed God. He believed God. It wasn't because Abraham was flawless, Abraham was perfect. No, he was not. Abraham did all kinds of stuff including walking in fear and was a coward when it came to his wife and all of these things, and lied, and all these things. Those were not righteous things. But he was righteous because he had faith in God, and the Bible says: "Abraham's righteous because he believed". That's why, and that's how you became righteous. So if we think this way, then we still have a self-righteousness attitude. If we think that somehow we can only be righteous by our works and our lifestyle, when we think this way, we still have a mindset of self-righteousness. And self-righteousness is unrighteousness. Self-righteousness is sin. Please understand. Anything you accomplish and try to accomplish on your own and anything you do where you give yourself credit for, it's self-righteousness. And self-righteousness is sin.
Think of that. Think of that. While you're going around and trying to check out what everybody has done and judge them on their sin, self-righteousness, love to compare yourself with what somebody else has done. Self-righteousness says, you know, I know I'm not perfect but at least I didn't do that. Self-righteousness is this guy who does what he does and gives himself credit for it and he gives his self credit for anything that happened in his life, self-righteousness. And so if we think this way, then we have a mindset of self-righteousness.
Now, I'm not trying to give a license to sin or to defend sin in any way. I've just gotta show you how you gotta start thinking. If you're gonna see victory, you're gonna have to change the way you think. To know that we have received the gift of righteousness and that's what it is. By faith I receive a gift. A gift is something I didn't earn. A gift is something that I didn't work for. A gift is something that I didn't deserve. To know that we have received the gift of righteousness and know that we are brand new creations, I received the gift of righteousness by faith, I know that, and number two, I know that when I received that gift of righteousness, and I received Jesus, I am now a brand new creation.
To know those two things is the key to getting free from the bondage of sin. To know those two things. To know that I have a new identity, I'm a new creation in Christ, and to know secondly, that I have the gift of righteousness, something I didn't work for and earn, those are the two keys of how to be free from the bondage of sin. And freedom by itself, freedom is all about being free to do what's right. Freedom is not being free to do stupid stuff, no, you know, you can be free from the bondage of sin and just that statement, a lot of people don't even understand what that means, which I'm gonna talk to you about today.
Number one, I have the gift of righteousness. I am not righteous because of what I've done and what I do. I am righteous because of what Jesus has done and what Jesus does, and I believe Jesus. And number two, I know I'm a new creation. I know I'm a new creation. I know I'm a new creation, and that's not even gonna be based on what I do, as much as it being based on my faith in Jesus Christ. I am a new creation. All right, couple more things and I wanna get into the Scripture. Let's look at 1 Corinthians chapter 15 because there are two kinds of people on this earth today. There are two types of people on the earth today, only two types. Number one, those who are in Adam.
Number two, those who are in Christ. There are two types of people on the earth: those who are in Adam and those who are in Christ. Now, I wanna make a distinction here. I wanna show you what the difference is: those who are in Christ, those who are in Adam. See, if you're not born again, if you have not received the gift of righteousness, you are in Adam. What does it mean to be in Adam? If you have received this gift of righteousness and you believe, you are in Christ, because when you're in Christ, you believe you have a new creation. So I wanna spend the next ten minutes making a distinction and comparing and contrast between those who are in Adam and those who are in Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:22 says this: "For as in Adam," notice in Adam, "all died, even so in Christ shall all be made alive".
So in Adam their experience was spiritual death. Spiritually dead people are separated from God. But those who are in Christ are made live. Those who are alive in Christ they are connected with God. They are new creations of God. Look at verse 45, same chapter: "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit". And so God made your spirit alive. And so you don't live a carnal life based on your physical senses. Look at verse 47: "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is of the Lord, from heaven". The distinction between Adam, just earthy, and those from heaven, spiritually speaking.
All right, now, watch this. Look at 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and 17, and this really, really puts it together. He says in verse 17: "Therefore if any man be in Christ," watch what happens to those who are in Christ, "he's a new creature". The question is are you in Christ? Has somebody convinced you that this is a bunch of malarkey and just leave it alone? "Go choose something else. This doesn't work for me," 'cause you don't know how to work it. "If any man be in Christ, he's a new creature". "Well, what do you mean 'in Christ'"? I've accepted Jesus, I believe in Jesus, by faith I received and I'm righteous because of him. I'm a new creature. And you know what he says for those who are in Christ? "Old things are passed away," and he says, "behold, all things have become new". I'm in Christ. I'm a new creature. Old things have passed away; all things have become new.
We are either in Adam, having a sinful nature, or we are in Christ, being the new creation. So where are you? If you're in Adam, you have a sinful nature. That old man is still there in you, and you can't help but to have sinful behavior because you're in Adam, you got that sinful nature and you don't believe God, you don't believe Christ. And I tell you, the number of people around in the world who are evangelizing folks away from the kingdom, away from God, away from Christ, is astounding. We still have some laborers in the earth, though. And I'm gonna tell you, this one laborer, I'm gonna preach this gospel as fast as I can around the world. I'm ready for the fight, I'm ready to stand up, do what needs to be done. We are in Christ. We are a new creation. In our old nature, that old nature before we believed Jesus, we had that old self, we were sinners. We were sinners. But in that new nature, the new creation, the new self, we are righteous. We are righteous. Let me show you what I'm saying.
Let's take some time, look at Romans chapter 5:12 through 21 in the New Living Translation. Now, let's really break this down. "When Adam sinned, sin entered into the world," okay? Adam and Eve were perfect. When they sinned, sin entered into the world. Adam's sin brought death. Man was not created to ever die. Man was created immortal, which means to never die. But because of Adam's sin, man died. Sin brought death. He says, "Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned," all right? Now, watch this. Next verse. "Yes, people sinned even before the law was given". Absolutely, people sinned.
See, Adam and Eve, when they did what they did, that sin spread and then death spread. He said, "Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break". So he says, "Even though people sinned before the law was given," he said, "it wasn't accounted as sin because there was no law to break". So, for example, if I'm driving my car and I'm going fast but there's no speed limit, even though I'm going fast, I didn't really break the law 'cause there was no law to break. So he said people still did crazy stuff before there was a law, because where there is no law to break, you know, how can it be counted as sin?
Next verse: "Still," he said, "everyone died". Because of what Adam did, everyone died, still. "From the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even those who did not disobey an explicit command of God, they died as Adam did. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come," all right? They called him the last Adam. The first Adam and the last Adam. Now watch this. Go ahead. "But there's a great difference between Adam's sin and God's gracious gift". Adam's sin and God's gracious gift. "For the sin of this one man, Adam," check it out now, "brought death to many. But even greater is God's wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man," c'mon, and that other man, of course, is talking about Jesus Christ.
Next verse: "And the result of God's gracious gift is very different from the result of the one man's sin. For Adam's sin led to condemnation". Adam's sin led you to feel like you're no longer useful, that you are condemned. "But God's free gift leads to our being made right with God". You see the difference? "Even though we are guilty of many sins," he says, "God's free gift leads us to being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins". So I'm still right with God, even though I'm guilty of many sins. Watch this, c'mon. "For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God's wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness". Notice, "his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph," or victory, "over sin and death". Check it out. He says, "You'll receive the gift of righteousness. You will live in triumph and victory over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ".
So basically, he was saying, if you will receive that identity, I'm a new creation, I receive the gift of righteousness, you will be set free from the bondage of sin. "Yes, Adam's one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ's one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone". So he's got a choice. You can choose what you get in Adam or you can choose what you get in Christ. Verse 19: "Because one person disobeyed God, many people became sinners". Check it out. One person, Adam, disobeyed God and now you're born into sin and shaped into iniquity. He says, "But because of one other person," who's Jesus Christ. "Because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous".
See, you see the contrast here? Be in Adam or be in Christ. If you're in Christ, you're gonna be made something different than what you were made when you were in Adam. Next verse: "God's law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were". So the law of Moses was given because, you know, before there was no law and so they feel, well, we're not bad people 'cause we're not breaking any law. So the law showed up so that people can see how sinful they were. Check that out.
The Mosaic law was given so people could see how sinful they were. "But as people sinned more and more," watch this, "God's wonderful grace became more abundant". So when sin increased more and more, God's grace became more abundant. His grace is abundance, praise God. There's nothing that you have done that God doesn't have grace for. You're not doomed. It's not over. You don't condemn yourself to hell because of what you've done. You turn to Jesus and receive his grace.