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Watch 2022 online sermons » Creflo Dollar » Creflo Dollar - The Spirit of Grace - Part 5

Creflo Dollar - The Spirit of Grace - Part 5


Creflo Dollar - The Spirit of Grace - Part 5
TOPICS: Grace

If you have your Bibles, go again to the book of Hebrews chapter 10, verse 29. I'm gonna read it in the Amplified. This is part 3, we're talking about "The Spirit of Grace," and one of the things that I've come to understand is that under the law we were being led by the law. And the law's not bad. The law is not evil. The law came from God, and it was good for what God sent it to do. It was sent to increase... first of all, it was sent because there was no law at the time, and when people were sinning there was no way to show them that what they were doing was wrong. And so, the law was sent to act like a mirror, to show you what was wrong, okay? And so, not only that, but the law was sent to bring about guilt and condemnation and shame.

As you see that now, that was wrong. And the law was sent to bring you to an end of your self-effort and your performance, and so the law was good for what it was sent to do, to bring people to a place where they would begin to recognize sin as sin. They began to recognize transgression. They began to recognize the harm of it and so forth and so on. And so, for the most part, when you don't understand what Jesus has brought to the picture, you continue to accept the cheaper when the deeper has come. And so, what has happened now the law that came by Moses and was used to lead and to guide us, but now Jesus has given us grace and truth that is now here to lead us and guide us.

So, what is the difference between the law that came by Moses and grace and truth that came by Jesus? Well, the law, like I said, it acts like a mirror. It'll show you what's wrong with you, but it won't do anything to change it. And so now what Jesus did, he says, "Now lemme bring some grace in, and, unlike the law, we're gonna do something to help change you". So, under grace we're not just gonna show you what's wrong with you, but under grace we're gonna show you how Jesus and believing in him can change you. And then, here's the third part of this, it's the Spirit of grace that has been sent to administer and to be the administration of that change in your life.

See, you always wonder, "Well, how can my behavior change just by believing in Jesus"? Well, this is how, by believing and trusting in Jesus, Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit, and through that belief the Holy Spirit begins to work on the inside of you, changing your desires, because everything you do right now, you do it as a result of a inward motivation. Well, it's the Holy Spirit who will change your heart and reshape your heart and reshape your desires until you wake up one day, all this believing in him, and realize, "I don't want to do what I used to do". And it is the work of the Holy Spirit and the finished works of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is the one that administers this grace. He administers this unmerited favor, but everything starts with you believing in Jesus, believing that in him you are righteous. In him you are redeemed.

Don't look at your behavior. Don't let your behavior define you, let Jesus define you. You're defined by your position in Jesus Christ, and as you do that, nobody is condoning sin, but what we're saying is you gotta be careful because your behavior and your sin may start telling you that if you do wrong, then you are wrong. And, yeah, nobody is condoning sin, but he's saying, "In order for me to make the change in your life, you cannot allow your present bad behavior to try to dictate your identity". Your identity is found in Christ Jesus. You are righteous right now. You are redeemed right now. You're not righteous until you misbehave. You're righteous beyond your misbehavior, because your righteousness is based in Jesus and not based in your misbehaving. Your misbehaving will change if you hold on to who you are in Jesus and what you believe about Jesus. Does everybody understand that?

And so, that's important for us to understand so we can make a distinction between what used to guide us and what now guides us. You see, the Bible says in the book of Galatians, he says if you are led by the Spirit, then you're no longer under the law. Under the law you have no choice but to sin. You gonna sin. Under the law you gonna sin. It's gonna be no different than I say, "Don't look at that pink elephant, don't look at that pink elephant, don't look at that pink elephant". What will you eventually do? Look at that pink elephant, okay? Under the law you'll continue to sin, so Satan's objective is not to try to tempt you to sin, but to tempt you to continue to live by the law. And if you are now under the grace of God and you go back to performing and self-effort because you're trying to fulfill the requirements of the law, the Bible says you have fallen from grace because you've fallen back into the law.

The law is not for a righteous man. It is for the man who still won't believe. It is for the sinner who still won't believe. But you who believe and you're the righteousness of God, you no longer need to be led by the law. You already know what your issue is. Nobody gotta tell you how bad you are. You already know that. You've now graduated to the deeper and say, "All right, Holy Ghost, I receive this grace. Now help me to change so I don't have to be what I keep seeing and what the law keeps revealing to me," praise God. And the Holy Spirit has a big part of that. He's the one who is gonna help you to reach the place where you know you should be. He will help you to do that. He's gonna change you from the inside out.

The message of grace is not a message that tells people it's all right to sin. It's a message that tells people there is a way out of it, and Jesus is the way out of that. There is no way I am going to preach you condoning sin when Jesus died on the cross for that sin, so please don't ever misunderstand any of our pastors as saying to you it's okay to sin. We say to you that you may sin in the midst of this transformation, but the sin in the midst of this transformation won't stop the transformation. The only thing that will stop the transformation is when you cease to believe in what Jesus has done in his finished works, okay? Now do like we did last week. You got it? Can I go on?

All right, now, Hebrews 10:29. The Amplified says, "How much worse (sterner and heavier) punishment do you suppose he will judge to deserve who has spurned and [thus] 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"? So, you know, basically what he's saying here is the blood of Jesus has been shed for you to wipe away your sins, and you don't believe in it, and you just trample it underfoot in unbelief, like it's just common and it didn't do anything. He says, you know, and how that will outrage the Holy Spirit, but I want you to see the description of the Holy Spirit, how it outraging the Holy Spirit, "The [Holy] Spirit [Who imparts] grace (the unmerited favor and blessing of God)".

The Holy Spirit imparts grace. The Holy Spirit imparts this unearned, undeserved favor of God. Now, looking at that, I don't know how a Christian is supposed to live a successful Christian life ignoring the Holy Spirit, not knowing the Holy Spirit, not having fellowship with the Holy Spirit, not having intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. Intimacy, come into me and see. He has come into you, so he know you. And he wants you to come into him so you can know him. Oh, y'all gonna help me. He has come into you. He knows you. Nobody knows you like the Holy Spirit knows you, but there's an invitation, an outstanding invitation that we have yet to take, and that is the invitation to come in. There are some things he wants you to see. There are some things that he wants you to know. In fact, the Holy Spirit's main job is to reveal some things to you that have been hidden for you and not from you, amen?

Now let's go to Hebrews chapter 9:28. Now, here's the Holy Spirit who's wanting to impart grace into your life. He's wanting you to see this unmerited, undeserved favor so that you can be free from condemnation, from the shame, so he can get his job done. It's like how difficult it is... is it for the Holy Spirit to execute in your life when you're constantly dealing with shame and condemnation and guilt? When you're constantly dealing with those things, man, it's just like, you know, when you take on those things, you're making it difficult to receive from the Holy Spirit, because, again, that's probably evidence that you're, you know, going to be close to falling back into the dictates of the law because that condemnation and that shame and that guilt is there. And it's moving you, and it's leading you, and it is directing you.

And so, I wanna pick up this morning with the same question we left off with a couple weeks ago and last week. Should sin be the central issue of life? Should sin be the central issue of a Christian's life? And the danger of making sin your focus, the danger of making your past sins your focus... see, you gotta make a decision here. Either you're gonna know the importance of going forward, or you gonna keep going back. Everybody has a past. Say this with me. Say, "Everybody has a past. We just choose not to live there anymore". So, the question is have you made that choice? Everybody has a past, but you've gotta choose not to live there anymore. And how many people you know who spend most of their day reflecting and living in their past? You've got to understand what's on the line. What's on the line is there's a transformation going on in your life, that transformation being led by the Holy Spirit in your life. And how much of the time is that being blocked through you revisiting the law and the condemnation it brings and the guilt that it brings because you are focused on your behavior?

What you should do is if something's going on with your behavior and you end up not behaving right, just thank God, "The Holy Spirit's working on me. I am being transformed". Now, you're around a bunch of judgment people who wanna hold your past against you, and you gotta take this attitude, "Okay, didn't have a good day today, but the Holy Spirit's working on me". And somebody say, "Yeah, and I saw it". And you just need to remind them, "He working on you too. You need some work too. You need some work too. You are not there. You need some work too. We might not need work in the same area". But what the Scripture say? It is God, Philippians, who is working in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. That literally means that it is the Holy Spirit that is working the proper desires in you. And somebody says, "Well, what is the will of God? What is God's will"? We gotta accomplish and understand God's will. God's will is for you to what? Believe. His will is for you to believe. You've got to understand the power of you believing, because when you can understand the power of you believing, then you can understand what the Holy Spirit is trying to accomplish in your life when you do that.

I wanna show you this in Philippians chapter 2, verse 13 in the NLT, the New Living Translation. I didn't mean to go here, but it came up. This is very important. It is so very important that you understand what's on the line, you got to stop focusing on sin. Sin should not be the central issue in your life. It should not be the central issue, but everything, listen, not in a judgmental way, but I wanted to test this theory. So, I got up this morning and I just switched channels, and every channel I went to the preachers were talking about sin. Every one one of 'em, they was talking about, "You need to just keep repenting of sin". And when I said, "Lord," he says, "You see why this message is so important? Because if the focus is on sin instead of the focus being on Jesus, how can I ever help them to transform out of it"?

Now some of you looking at me like, "Well, who said I want to get out"? Well, that's what I'm saying, you gotta come to a point where you believe and see this, because sin is dangerous. Sin hurts you, and it hurts other people. Sin wants to try to kill you. Life's not good. You think it is, but it's not. At the end of the day and at the end of the process and at the end of the journey, you gonna be by yourself, okay? Let's go to verse 12. I want you to see this. This is important, "Dear friend, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear". Now, lemme look at verse 12 in the King James. Sometimes these translators get so deep they miss the whole point.

Philippians chapter 2:12, "Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation". Work out of you your own salvation. Work out of you. Now go to verse 11. Just stay in the King James. I know I'm reading backwards, but it's good. "And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father". Verse 12, "Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling". Now, you have to be careful 'cause that will make you feel like it's something you doing, okay?

Now watch this verse, next verse he says, "For it is God which worketh in you," come on now. Somebody say, "Well, that say God. That didn't say the Holy Ghost". Listen, God is the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is God. Jesus is the Holy Ghost. Jesus is God, Jesus is... they're all one. Don't be splitting them up. There ain't no three people here. It's one God revealing his self three different ways. Revealing himself three different ways and here with us he will reveal his self as the Holy Spirit. It is God the Holy Ghost which is working in you. And what is he doing in you? Both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Now look at verse 13 in the Living Translation. He's working in you. Say out loud, "The Holy Spirit's working in me". He's working in you right now. Now, you gotta believe that.

Now look what it says, "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him". That's awesome. What is the Holy Spirit doing? He's working in you, shaping your desires now from where they were to where they need to be, and he's working in you giving you the desires so you can do what pleases him, that's powerful. So, I'm not gonna take any credit for my doing, because my doing is gonna be a result of his work. And I'm not gonna do what I used to do because I don't have the desire to do what I used to do because he been working on my desire to get it to do what pleases him. See, what we've been doing is we've been working trying to change our desires. We've taken more of a psychological approach to try to change our desires, and you have not been very successful. You achieve a little success, but you always kinda go back and forth. But what if you start trusting the Holy Spirit who is shaping your desires, working in you so you can do what pleases him?

Oh, I have to trust that, and I have to trust that when I do something that doesn't please him, I have to immediately look on the inside and say, "Lord, I still believe that you're working on the inside, giving me the desire to do what pleases you". Ah, that's the work of the Holy Spirit. That's the work of the Holy Spirit, but if we keep, you know, trying to come up with little ways of things that we do... ah, man, this is tough to say. But, dear God, I've been working on trying to say this for the last ten years, so I think I'm gonna go ahead and release it right now. You trust more in your discipline than you do with the discipline of the Holy Spirit. Discipline has its place, but not ultimately in changing your desires so that you can do what pleases God.

"If I can make confessions ten times a day, if I can discipline myself to pray an hour a day, if I can discipline myself to do these different things," but then you're never trusting in the Holy Spirit's work in you, you follow what I'm saying? You may achieve some actions from that, but I've not known people to be able to keep it all their lives. Eventually, when something stronger than what they've worked on shows up, they're back in the same place again, but I'm talking about the Holy Spirit. That when he changes your desire, old things are gone. New things are here, and it's not like your... Holy Spirit can change your desire to a point where you don't even want it no more, and it's not even a temptation no more. The Holy Spirit can bring you to a point where it's not a temptation no more. I trust him. I trust him. Work, Holy Ghost. My job, what am I to do? What did he say? Believe. I believe, Lord. Say it. "I believe". Say, "I believe". Say, "Work, Holy Ghost. I'm gonna rest in what I believe in, a new desire to do what pleases you".

So, even though grace has been made available, unmerited favor has been made available, nobody is saying it's okay to sin. And we shouldn't make sin the central idea to our lives. There's something else we could be focusing on, and if you don't change your focus you're not gonna change your life. So, look at Hebrews chapter 9:28 and let's look at that in the Living Translation. So, all of our lives we've heard things like, "Well, you know, the Rapture is gonna come and when the Rapture has come we're gonna all be judged for our sins".

That's true partly, but not for those of you who've already been judged of your sins. Do you know judgment day has already come for those who made Jesus the Lord of their lives? You waiting on a judgment day that's not yours. Your judgment day has already come. Your judgment day was the day that you made Jesus the Lord of your life, and he judged your sins and accounted you righteous. And we think Jesus is gonna come back to deal with sin. In verse 28 in the New Living Translation, read this, man, read it with me, he says, "So also Christ died once for all times as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him". Should sin be the central issue of our lives? Well, all of our sins have been paid for.

Now, here's something that's so interesting. Go to 1 John chapter 2:2. All of our sins have been paid for. Who's included in an all? Well, I know it's you, but all of our sins have been paid for. Lemme say this, every person that's entered into the earth's atmosphere through the womb of a woman entered in with this debt paid for. No man or woman, as a result of what Jesus has done, is born with a debt of sin. In fact, I'll say something a little deeper. Every person that was born, when they put your name on a birth certificate, God put your name on the roll. "But you have to be born again in order to get your name on the roll". No, no, no, no, no, your name was on the roll the day you became a human on this planet.

"Well now, wait a minute, my Bible tells me that he blots your name off," exactly right. You can't blot out something that wasn't there first. But why would the Bible even talk about blotting your name out of the Lamb's Book of Life? 'Cause obviously you died never responding to the payment plan. You died, you had a whole life to sign up for Jesus Insurance, and you were deceived all your life about being born again, and you died rejecting Jesus. And when you were dead and you died without Christ, they said, "Man, that's bad. Gotta blot his name out".
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