Creflo Dollar - The Spirit of Grace - Part 1
This morning, as we pick back up with this series, it is, oh, my goodness, it's something we've got to get it. It's something we've got to get a hold of. I'm going to really direct your attention, and I'm going to begin to teach on the Spirit of grace, the Spirit of grace. I want you to go with me to the book of St. John chapter 1, St. John chapter 1, verse 14. I've got to say, for the most part, the church had it all wrong. We've been so busy trying to get people rules and regulations to keep, and I'm telling you, when you get saved, here's the advice I give you: fall in love with Jesus. Just spend your time growing in love with Jesus, focusing in on who he is. And a lot of things you find yourself dealing with, Jesus has already dealt with, but we're just not focusing on Jesus enough. We're focusing on all the dos and the don'ts, and you miss out on God like that.
So, follow us carefully here, and let's begin in St. John chapter 1 and verse 14. Let's read verse 14 out loud together; ready, read. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace". And truth. Now, who is he referring to, "the only begotten of the Father," he's referring to Jesus, right? And what did he say about Jesus? He said, Jesus full of what? And what? And truth; now notice, it's not grace that's one thing and then truth the other thing. Grace is the truth, grace is the truth. And so, when he said, "Jesus, full of grace and truth," we've got to understand that grace is more than a curriculum. Grace is more than, you know, principles. Grace is a person. His name is Jesus. Jesus, full of grace and truth.
If you find yourself getting too involved in the principle, remind yourself that's Jesus, amen. Jesus, full of grace and truth. And so, we begin to understand that Jesus is full of grace and truth. And then look at verse 17. Verse 17 says, let's read it out loud together; ready, read. "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth"... Okay, the law was given by who? Grace and truth was given by who? Jesus Christ, so, there you have to know that there's a distinction here between the law of Moses, which involves the Ten Commandments. There were over 600 laws, not just the Ten Commandments. Those are the ones we are familiar with. And I can't tell you, the movie by Cecil B. DeMilles, for Christian people to take that movie and to live by line by line, a lot of that movie was wrong. A lot of it wasn't accurate.
For example, when they left Egypt, and you look at the movie, and they were blind, and they were crippled, the Bible says he bought them out with silver and gold, and there was not one feeble one. So, everybody was healed that day. There were so many things that were not accurate. For example, Moses, when he killed the man, and then, you know, that movie got him going out into the wilderness before he discovered what he was supposed to do. Moses knew what he was supposed to do when he killed that man. If you look at Acts 7, Moses said that the people supposed that he was their deliverer. He knew it right then. He knew the will of God for his life, but he had problems following the will of God for his life. Oh, that's a lot of people in here. You know the will of God, but you have problems following the will of God. You want to be usable, but you don't want to prepare to be usable. Yeah, I want you to kind of like me this morning. I put a tie on for you this morning. Praise the Lord.
So, there's this distinction between all of the rules and regulations and the laws that came from Moses, but then something else happened that came by Jesus Christ, and we are still living life as if we're just completely subject to what came by Moses and ignoring what came by Jesus Christ, all right? Look at John... oh, help me, Lord. Romans 6:14, Romans 6:14 real quick before I proceed on. Now, for us today, this is very important. Romans 6:14, and look at what it says here. Let's read it out loud together. Ready, read. "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law"... Sin shall not have dominion over you, why? Because you're not under the law. So, what did he just say? Under the law, sin has dominion over you. If sin is dominating your life, it is because you are continuing to live your life governed by the law that came by Moses. "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law".
What is he saying? Those of you who are born again are no longer born again unto the law. You are no longer under the law, but you're under what? You're under what? You're under what? But if you don't believe you're under the grace of God but believe you're under the law of God, your belief has determined where you are. You've gotta decide if you're gonna believe God's Word. Now, I'm gonna show you the Holy Spirit's part in this life of grace. I'm gonna tell you something. It's impossible to live a Christian life, it's impossible to live the Christian life on your own. It is. Some of you have tried it. You've tried to be a Christian through your own efforts, through your own management system. You tried to be a Christian based on your discipline.
You know, discipline used to be a big word in the body of Christ, and when you sin, people just say, "Well, you ain't disciplined enough". Well, how disciplined do you have to be in order to be disciplined enough? And they'll tell you, "Well, you discipline yourself so you don't sin no more". Well, that ain't never happened to nobody. 'Cause I'm gonna turn on the lightbulb for a lot of you. Let me turn the lightbulb on. You may not have violated the Ten Commandments, but you sure are guilty of some of them 600 and something. So, you haven't made it yet. I don't know why there's this notion that in the church, when I tell people you're no longer under the law but under grace, and I'm not telling you that. You just read it for yourself.
Somehow you just get this attitude of, "Well, my Bible tells me", No, no, no, no, you have not, and you have not, and you have not been successful in living a sinless life through your discipline. 'Cause if we evaluate your life good enough, we gonna find some dirt somewhere. It might not be Ten Commandment dirt. It might be eating pork dirt 'cause that's under the law. And if you say you keep the law, and you cook pork ribs on the 4th of July, bam, you done messed the thing up 'cause the Bible says in the book of James, "If you have violated the law in any area, then you're guilty of the whole thing". A pork sandwich, that was part of the law. That's part of the law. And the thing I'm trying to get you to see is that church is not a gathering of perfect people. I know this messes with your self-righteousness, but it's not a gathering of perfect people.
This is a hospital for folks who say, "I need Jesus". This is a hospital that says, "I have an appointment this Sunday with the doctor". Jesus, I need him. But somehow religion and the law... see, the devil doesn't have to try to... oh, that's good. The devil does not have to try to get you to sin. All he has to do is to get you to keep the law. And if you keep the law, you will sin 'cause the law was designed to increase sin. Oh, y'all looking at me like something wrong with me. Go to Romans chapter 3. Everybody got computers now. I was trying to see if I can find somebody's Bible. Got dog, everybody got computers. I've gotta catch up. But I don't know. Still something about smelling these pages. Romans chapter 5. See, I needed to see this. In verse 20 and 21, Romans 5:20-21, he says, "Moreover the law entered," why? "That the offense might abound". The word abound means to increase. "But where sin abounded," or increased, "grace did much more abound".
Now, put it on the screen, the Amplified Bible here. The law of Moses was given to increase sin. Isn't that amazing? In the Amplified, "But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased", isn't that something? The law that Moses got on stone was designed to increase sin. "I'm gonna put a law on you, and you think you can keep it through your discipline and your own ability, and what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna put the law on you, and you're not gonna ever be able to perfectly keep the law. So, I gave it to increase sin in your life". So, Satan says, "I'm not trying to tempt you to sin. I just want to tempt you to keep the law. I want the preacher to preach on Moses' law and the Ten Commandments, and I want him to tell you, you've gotta keep the law or God ain't gonna bless you. I want him to tell you, you've gotta keep the law or you ain't never gonna get nothing from God. God ain't gonna be pleased if you don't keep the law". He says, "I ain't got to tempt you to sin 'cause the law was designed to increase sin". You still my friend? He says, "But where sin increased and abounded," he says, "I gave God's grace (his unmerited favor). It has surpassed it, and it has increased the more and superabounded".
So, what it says here is sin will never be greater than grace. So, wherever you can find some sin, God's grace is gonna be greater than the sin. But you think that the law is greater than grace, or sin is greater than grace, and so you spend so much time dealing with sin, because you think it's greater than grace, and there is no sin that'll ever outdo God's grace. For where sin abound, grace did much more superabounded. Whatever sin you can come up with, it ain't gonna ever outdo God's grace, if you believe it. If you believe you're no longer under the law, but you're under the grace of God, it ain't nothing you can do that's gonna be stronger and more potent than God's grace. Hallelujah, glory be to God. This grace covenant is fool, F-O-O-L proof. Not even a fool can make this up. He can't mess it up. You can act as crazy as you want to; and as crazy as you want to act, his grace is still gonna be greater than your crazy. How you gonna turn that down? And yet, the church still chooses the law over grace.
So, we have to now enter into another place, a level now where we have to show you that it's not gonna be through your might and through your power. It's gonna be through the Spirit of God. You've wondered, "Lord, how can I be under grace and keep sinning"? See, that's the notion, that you're under grace and keep sinning. No, what you don't understand is the Spirit of grace is gonna change you from the inside out, and what you used to want to do, you ain't gonna want to do it no more, and you're gonna be glad that you were under the grace of God, because the stupid you used to do didn't condemn you forever, because God's grace showed up and rescued you from your stupid and also delivered you from your stupid doings. But you have to have the Holy Spirit; life without the Holy Spirit is impossible. Excuse me. Let me put more to that. Living the Christian life... see, 'cause people live life without the Holy Spirit, and it's just a miserable existence. But living the Christian life is impossible without the Holy Spirit.
Now, some of you say, "What's the Holy Spirit"? Because you grew up in churches, and people said the Holy Spirit was when that lady, you know, flipped and turned around and made all that noise. No, that's not the Holy Spirit. So, you reject the Holy Spirit because you have seen the wrong definition of the Holy Spirit. Now, I ain't got no problems with people don't... but the Holy Spirit is not a sum total of an emotional outburst, screaming, running, doing cartwheels, you know, screaming your wig off, slobbering. And it sounds like demon coming out to me, but that's not the sum total, that's not the Holy Spirit. Religion has been trying to put fables in our thinking where the Holy Spirit is concerned. You have to understand that you cannot live this grace life without the Giver of grace.
The Holy Spirit is the one that imparts grace. And for so long, we've only related the Holy Spirit with an emotional outburst, a scream, a run, a jump. I ain't got no problem with none of that, except that is not the sum total of the Holy Spirit. Now, what happens is the Holy Spirit might be so good to you, reveals something to you, and you choose to react emotionally that way, but that's not always, "Well, that's the Holy Spirit". "You see her running right there, that's the Holy Ghost". "What was that"? "That's the Holy Ghost", stop. "What's that"? "That's the Holy Ghost". And so what happens, people are like, "Well, if I get the Holy Ghost, am I gonna look like that"? They say, "You sure will". "I don't think I'm interested in the Holy Ghost". You see why I'm having to talk like this? I know I'm going a little overboard, but I want you to back up a little bit. I need you to hear what I'm saying. Living the grace life is not a matter of you just understanding grace. Because if you try to even understand and get this grace teaching without the Holy Spirit, it takes a revelation to understand when I say you can't sin away your righteousness.
See, if you try to comprehend that through a educated, religious mind, you gonna bump into things. You need a revelation of grace from the Giver of grace, the Holy Spirit. And without that revelation, you'll always be bumping into things and not really understanding things. Are y'all ready to do this? You sure you're ready to do this? 'Cause your life is never gonna be the same. Now, let's look at Hebrews chapter 10 and verse 29. We will have a time when we'll do the entire chapter of Hebrews again. But in Hebrews chapter 10, there was a distinction being made between dealing with sin by the blood of animals versus dealing with sin by the blood of Jesus. And the writer of Hebrews made it very clear that Jesus now, through one offering of his body, has dealt with your sins, past, present, and future, once and for all times; therefore, there is no need for you to depend on the blood of animals anymore because that has been omitted. That has passed away. That doesn't exist anymore. That's been deleted.
And he said, "But you're gonna have to choose to believe in the one sacrifice that Jesus made with his blood. And if you don't believe that, you then will be guilty of rejecting what Jesus has done, which means there's no way out of the mess that you're in because you're rejecting the only way out. There's no way out of the brokenness that you're in. There's no way out of the addiction that you're in. There's no way out of the pain that you're in except you thinking that through a disciplined process that you, through your own self-effort, can get yourself out, and that may give you some results for a minute, but it's gonna always come back. That's what addiction does is always come back. One more time equals one more time, and it always comes back. And you'll really never know real deliverance if you reject what Jesus has done through his blood". If you understand that, say amen.
So, now we're gonna read in Hebrews chapter 10:29, and he says, "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite unto the Spirit of grace"? Now look at this in the Amplified. It's important that we see these things. You know, I love getting excited about Jesus and grace and, man, get up here, and whoop and holler, and get the organ behind me, and all that other kind of stuff, and get you just jumping up and just shouting your wig off your head, and just running around the place, and then walk out and say, "We sure had church today". But I cannot deal with the fact that I let you go out of this church without understanding. 'Cause if you don't understand a thing, then the thief comes, and he steals even what you thought you got, and you never get benefit.
You see, we've been shouted at, moaned at, groaned at, hollered at, sung at, and we're still as ignorant today as we were 20 years ago, still don't know. Now, that may offend some of you. "How you gonna call us ignorant"? Because we all been ign'ant, 'cause we all fell into that same trap of "If I keep the law and discipline myself enough to keep the law, then I'm gonna be all right with God". And so, you did one of two things. You either worked real hard to try to keep the laws, or you worked real hard to try to redefine sin. And either way, you are demonstrating you don't believe what Jesus has done. Now look at this in the Amplified. He says, "How much worse, how much (sterner and heavier) punishment do you suppose he will be judged to deserve who has spurned and [thus] trampled underfoot the Son of God".
Now, what does that mean? It's trampling under his foot with unbelief. "I don't believe that his body sacrifice was enough to forgive me of my sins, and I don't believe what the blood was able to do. I don't believe any of that". He said, "You've trampled underfoot the Son of God, and who has considered the covenant blood by which he was consecrated common and unhallowed, thus profaning it and insulting and outraging the (Holy) Spirit [Who imparts grace] (the unmerited favor and blessings of God)"? So, the Holy Spirit is the one credited with imparting grace. Oh, my God. So, we're trying to live the grace life without the Spirit of grace, who imparts grace unto us. Now, so we conclude that the Holy Spirit is the one who imparts grace. Think of that now. If the Holy Spirit is the one who imparts grace, how are we trying to live the grace life without the Holy Spirit? You can't, can you? He's the one that imparts grace and truth.