Creflo Dollar - The Spirit of Grace - Part 2
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 shouting the 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've all been ignorant, '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. Now, let's look at 1 Corinthians chapter 2, and verse 9 and 10, 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, we'll look at this in the King James and the Amplified. "Oh, why are we doing this"? Because I have some really radical stuff to say. It is really, really radical. It's radical. You know, up until now people hadn't dealt with homosexuality in the church. I'm gonna deal with it a little today. It's radical. It's radical, all you church folks, it's radical. You ready to kill everybody. You ready to kill everybody and condemn everybody to hell. It's radical.
How many of you believe that all sin is sin? Let me say that this way. How many of you believe that all sin is sin? That there is no greater sin than the other? All sin is sin. You remember this? A horse... well, some of you will. Mr. Ed. A horse is a horse, of course, of course. Same things. A sin is a sin, a sin, a sin. But somehow we think, "Nah, ah, ah, lying ain't as bad as adultery". Who wants to be the best sinner in hell? But that's what we do in church. You'll sit back and be gossiping about somebody and think you any better than the guy that's struggling with his sexuality. For real? You gossiper, lying, stuck on pornography and act like you meditating on the Scriptures? You really think that what you're doing is not on the same level as what somebody else is doing? Watch this, what the Scripture says. "Who has bewitched you"? It's on the same level.
The only reason that there's a problem with this teaching on grace is 'cause somehow self-righteousness (and that's what it is) has convinced you that your sin is less than somebody else's sin. And it's not. Your sin of jealousy, your sin of strife, you're at church mad at somebody and want to condemn somebody else to hell. You, too. You, too. Fornication and your strife, both of them qualify for hell. How do you think you're greater? And it just flips me out when I see on television that we're condemning one person's sin, and the very reporter got some sin in they own life. They reporting on somebody else's. That's why don't nobody want to run for public office 'cause everybody know they got something, so the best leaders don't run because they don't have time to be going through the scrutiny of a bunch of hypocrites who have the same problems.
So, the only people you get running for office are self-righteous people who think they're better than somebody else. Y'all ain't gonna like me here. That's why I wore my tie and vest this morning. Y'all ain't gonna like me. I've got to like myself this morning. That's the issue. I don't know how we got there, thinking that. "Well, at least I didn't do that". It don't matter. Both of it qualifies for hell. Jesus went a little farther. Jesus said, "Have you committed adultery"? And self-righteousness said, "No! I've not been with any other woman or man except my own spouse". Jesus said, "Have you ever looked at a woman or a man and admired a little bit too much 'til you got into lust"? "Well". He said, "You sinned. You committed adultery". He said, "That's still adultery". Jesus was trying to bring it on the level where nobody could ever make an excuse to say that you haven't sinned. He says, "Have you committed murder"? "No, I haven't committed murder. I've never killed anybody". He says, "Have you hated your brother"? "Well, I still got some hate for some of these folks". He said, "You committed murder".
What was he trying to say? He was trying to say it's the same, it's sin. And any person in this room today that wants to stand up in your perfection and say that "Through my discipline, I don't smoke, I've never committed fornication, I have never even said a cussing word. Not even damn has come out of my mouth. I've not done any of those things. I've never smoked marijuana. I've never even drank a cup of coffee. I pray three times a day, never missed a week giving my tithes. I pray in tongues an hour and a half every day. Come outside and tie my tie in a Honda. I am holy. I don't wear these tight jeans. I don't wear straight-legged jeans. I still wear elephant... I don't do any of those things. My eye has never viewed naked pictures. I don't even look at myself. I am not like these Christians here in College Park. Surely, the Lord will anoint me higher than all men". And the Lord comes to him and say, "Hey, Bubba, there's one problem". "What, Lord, is that problem"? I'm really gonna have a hard time realizing I did this today, when I go home. He said, "The one problem is you're now self-righteous, and self-righteousness is unrighteous".
See, if the only thing you can do is tell people how wonderful you are, and you did it your way, and you did it by yourself, and you didn't need God, but you were so disciplined that you did it, and you were so awesome that you did it, then the only thing you have proved is that you are righteous by your own efforts, and Jesus didn't have anything to do with it. And Jesus in the Bible was harder on self-righteous people than he was on unrighteous people who committed sin. What's the point? The point is you don't get in unless you go through Jesus. You don't get in because of all of your goody-goody things and all the things you think that you could earn your way in. And that's what grace is all about. So, how does the Holy Spirit help us to navigate through this almost too good to be true news? How is a man gonna ever reconcile that "I'm still righteous even if I sin"?
So, the problem is, is you think that once you get righteous, you don't sin. See, there's a problem there. You don't know that the Spirit of grace is gonna teach you how to be righteous. Only thing you're thinking about is "I'm gonna sin some more". That's the only thing you think. You're only thinking about, "Well, I'm gonna sin some more". Not if you believe and not if you allow Jesus to work in your life. He's gonna change your desires. You're not gonna want to do what you used to do. You think that you gonna still have the same desires after you get a revelation of God's grace. You won't. Once you get a revelation of God's grace, it's gonna blow your mind so that you're gonna say, "I don't want to do this no more. I am not interested". And old slick-head salmon, old slick-head salmon, old slick-head Sammy, that Sammy keeps trying to call you every night. "Let me come by every night". And Sammy's everything. You just, "Oh, Sammy, baby. Oh, Sammy. Ooh, I love me some Sammy".
When the Holy Ghost get ahold of you, all the desires for old slick-head adultery Sammy is gonna be moved, and you gonna be looking for somebody that you can spend the rest of your life with legally. You gonna be looking, you gonna be looking for John or Joshua after while. 'Cause the Holy Spirit's gonna change you. This is not just reading a Scripture. This is not a fairytale. This is truth, that the Holy Ghost is gonna back up, and it is truth that the Holy Spirit will stand in front of any demon and say, "I dare you to try to change what I'll do 'cause I'm gonna make 'em, I'm gonna mold 'em. I might have to break 'em, but I'm gonna make 'em, I'm gonna mold 'em, I'm gonna shape 'em, I'm gonna put 'em back together again". And you gonna look at something you ain't never seen before, because I have a doctorate degree, and taking a mess and making a masterpiece out of a mess. And I prophesy that God's getting ready to take your mess and make a masterpiece out of your mess, by the Holy Ghost. Excuse me for getting excited. I just... and let me back up. He's not gonna break you. God don't break you. God needs you.
"The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy. I've come that you might have life and have it more abundantly". So, if you're broken, he's the one that can mend your brokenness. And the Holy Spirit will be with you in the midst of your brokenness. How many have ever experienced brokenness in your life before? God said, "I'll never leave you". How many of you have gone through any addiction before? God is with you. Isn't that amazing? I said broken. Everybody... sound better... they're raising their hand. I said addiction. "I ain't gonna raise my hand". You're not there yet, man. God will be with you. God will be with you in the middle of your addiction. He doesn't leave you when you're going through. He's there. Right there with you in the middle of the stupidest thing you've ever done, he's been right there. While you were so focused on yourself, he's been right there waiting for you to get tired of it and finally turn your head and say, "Lord, I need you". And he said, "I've got you. I've been having you. I never turned you loose. Even when you tried to turn me loose, I held on. You pried me away from your wrist, and I grabbed on to your ankle. You shook me off the ankle, and I grabbed your big toe". He said, "I'll never leave you".
Whew. Whew, that's awesome, that's awesome. That's the God I want. I want a God that's more committed to me than I am to him, and eventually I become committed to him like he is to me. But he knows I'm not there yet, and he still won't let me go. Hebrews chapter 13, verse 5, in the Amplified. Hebrews 13:5. This sermon's all jacked up, as far as notes are concerned, but it's probably right, now that the Holy Spirit has taken it. He's committed to you. That's what this grace is all about. It's about a God who's committed to you, and you thought when you shook him off that he left. He's always holding on to something 'cause he's committed to you. He loves you.
The day you made him the Lord of your life, Hebrews 13:5, the day you made him the Lord of your life, that was the day he was determined to fight for you. Verse 5 says, "Let your character and moral disposition be free from the love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. (I will) not, (I will) not, (I will) not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake you nor let (you) down, nor (relax) My hold on you! [Assuredly not!]" And you think your little motel visit got rid of God. You think your little sin thing got rid of God. He ain't gonna let you go. He ain't never gonna let you go. He ain't never gonna let you go.
So, go act a fool, he gonna be there with you. And as soon as you get tired of acting a fool, he'll be there, ready to take you down another path. But this thing about you can do something to run God away, you ain't never gonna get rid of him. You ain't never gonna get rid of him. He's stuck on you. He ain't never gonna let go of you. You might try your best to get rid of him, but he's not gonna go nowhere. He's gonna be there. And when you finally get into a place where maybe you're depressed, and you feel lonely, and ain't nobody around, and in the midst of that quietness there will still be a still small voice that will just whisper in your ear, "I'm here, and I still love you". It's only when you think the opposite that you open the door for the devil to come and just clean up. "Well, why did God put this sickness on me"? Or "Why did God put me out of my house"? Or "Why did God cause me to lose this job"? Quit blaming God for something he's not responsible for. There's a devil loose, and he wants to kill, steal, and destroy. Are you listening to me? Hallelujah.
Now, go over to wherever I told you to go before we went there. 1 Corinthians chapter 2. Now, what's the purpose? What's the Holy Spirit going to do? Verse 9 says, "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him". So, God's prepared some things for them that love him, that your eye hasn't seen, and your ear hasn't heard, and it hasn't been able to enter into your heart. I'm gonna tell you why. 'Cause you were under the law. But look what it says, next verse, 10, "But God hath revealed them," them things, "unto us, by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God".
So, there is something that you've not been able to perceive through your eyes, your ears. There's something you've not been able to perceive through your heart. I am saying to you, before I show you that something is grace. There was a time you couldn't receive this God who would love you no matter what you did. There was a time that you couldn't receive this information that you're the righteousness of God, and you can't sin away your righteousness. You couldn't get that. He says, "But it's gonna take the Holy Spirit to reveal it unto you". So, one of the major jobs of the Holy Spirit is to reveal and to impart into you the truth of God's grace. When Jesus ascended, the Holy Spirit came, and one of his major works in our lives is to remove the veil that has obstructed our eyes so we can't see, our ears and our heart that we can't perceive it and comprehend it, so that we'll be able to see the specifics, the special plans that God has meticulously prepared for each of us. Number one work: show you grace.