TD Jakes - One Liberating Idea
When you start talking about the importance of Paul, whose name was also Saul. Saul, his name Saul represented the fact that he was a Hebrew, that he was of Hebrewistic descent, that he was of the Pharisees, that he was significant, historically, to the development of Judaism, that he was zealous concerning the law, that he was of the tribe of Benjamin. He was a part of royalty, his name was Saul. But when we call him Paul, his name Paul represents the fact that he is a citizen of Rome. So, while he is Jewish in his descent, he is a citizen of Rome, and Paul is coming home different from how he left.
At one time, he'd left there committed to killing Christians, and now he comes back as a Christian to project an idea that all of his friends would have scoffed at. As long as he was hating Christians, he was respected as a theologian, and a scholar, and a thinker, but now he has become infected, or affected by this Christianity through something that happened to him on a Damascus road that had so revolutionized his life that it compromised the respect of other scholars of his era that Paul would buy into such foolishness and thought it was considered ridiculous. And whenever he started preaching it amongst the intellectuals, they laughed at him, but he preached it anyway. Some places they stoned him, but he preached it anyway. Other places, they beat him, but he preached it anyway.
And he preached it on his way back to Rome, and Paul went through the greatest test on his way to Rome, because until faith comes home, it doesn't matter where it travels. I'm gonna say that again. Until faith comes home, it doesn't matter where it travels. The enemy doesn't mind you being a Christian at The Potter's House, you get your praise on at The Potter's House, get your dance in at The Potter's House. He doesn't want the faith that you have here to go back home, to be a part of your life, to be a part of your character, to be a part of your business, your affairs, your thinking, and how you interact with people. He doesn't mind you playing church for an hour or two once a week, dancing, and shouting, and hooping, and hollering, as long as you go home fussin', and cussin', and fighting, and stressed out, and nervous, and full of anxiety. It's when you try to bring your faith home that all hell breaks loose.
On his way home, he has to fight off storms and hurricanes, enemies, seen and unseen. Snakes, serpents, destitution and death. The closer he got to Rome, the greater the test became. The test often becomes greatest when you are closest. The test has become great and has become overwhelming because Paul has come to Rome to deliver a revolutionary idea that would be life-changing, that would be mesmerizing, that would be absolutely awesome, that would change the face of the faith of an entire city, a world, a generation, and generations to come. Paul comes to Rome to talk to them about faith, and you get to listen at his writings to Rome in this text today, when he begins to argue that Christ is more than some guy who got crucified. That he came to deliver something that would set us free before God, and he says that the way to access God is by faith. It's not by baptism, it's not by abstaining from eating meats, it's not by observing certain days, it's not by doing nice things for poor people, he said all of that is good, but what really accesses this grace is faith.
The enemy doesn't mind you dancing, and leaping, and hooping, and hollering, and running, as long as you don't believe. I don't have to worry is God mad at me. I don't have to worry is God trying to kill me. I don't have to worry is God trying to destroy me. I don't have to worry is God my enemy. No, I have peace with God not because I'm holy, I have peace because I believe, by faith. "Therefore being justified by faith," not by dance, not by shout, not by running, not by hollering, not by beating a tambourine, by faith! "Woman, if you believe me as the Scriptures have said, then out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water". Paul is preaching the power of faith. Before we were called Baptists, and Presbyterian, and Pentecostal, and Church of God, and Church of God in Christ, before we were called Christians, we were called believers, because of two of them got in a city, they would turn the city upside down!
Here he teaches that faith gives me access. Faith gives me access to the grace I'm standing in right now. Faith gives me access. Faith is the door that gives me access to the grace that I'm standing in right now. How you gonna get there, by? Yeah, how you gonna get healed, by? How are you gonna survive, by? How are you gonna prosper? How you gonna preach? How you gonna live? How you gonna deal with your issues? By faith, and Paul teaches us some important principles that we need to understand, and so the enemy is trying to stop the important man from coming to an important place. And what we are seeing is the detonation of the right person in the right place at the right time changes everything. The right person in the right place at the right time changes everything. I'm gonna say it again. The right person in the right place at the right time changes everything.
That's why the enemy wants you to be late, because if he can't stop you from being the right person, and he can't stop you from going to the right place, he doesn't want you to be there at the right time. He has done everything he could to delay Paul from being the right person at the right place at the right time. All you gotta do, baby, is show up. When you are the right person and you are in the right place, all you gotta do is say, "I'm here". Touch your neighbor and say, "Show up for the fight". You might be scared but show up for the fight. You may be broke but show up for the fight. They may be talking about you but show up for the fight. They may not like you but show up for the fight. They may have threatened you but show up for the fight. They may try and intimidate you, but show up for the fight, I'm here. God can't bless you if you're not there, show up.
Can I go deeper in this Word? I want you to get this. I want you to get this. God gave me this for you. He said, "By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God". He said we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Now, this is easy, we rejoice in hope of the glory of God, we rejoice. When I say I've got a feeling everything is gonna be all right, we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. When I start saying you are more than a conquer through him that love you, we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. When I say your latter days shall be greater than your former days, we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. When I say the Lord is your Shepherd, you shall not want, we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. When I saw weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning, we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
We do good rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God. We have survived because we rejoice in hope. When all hell is around us, we rejoice in hope. That's why we are hard to kill. You can put us in the desert and we can survive in the desert. You can put us in the jungle and we can survive in the jungle, 'cause we rejoice not in where I'm at, but in the hope of where I'm going.
But here Paul argues, he says that we must do more than rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, he says that we must also learn, and this is hard, to rejoice in tribulation. That you can't just rejoice over how you want your story to end, the real test of faith is to rejoice in trouble. All of you folk who were dancing this morning 'cause you got a new car, God don't care. All of you folks who were dancing this morning 'cause you got a new job, God don't care. All of these people who were shouting this morning 'cause you just got engaged, God don't care. You know who God really wants to hear praise? The person who's in trouble, and all hell is breaking loose, and the devil is coming in for a kill. I dare somebody to rejoice in tribulation.
When God gets through with you, you gonna love people. I know you hateful right now, and moody right now, you don't wanna be bothered, and I know you blame everybody, but it's really you that got that nasty attitude that drives people away. And I know you say you're saved up, but when the Holy Ghost gets through taking you through tribulation, and through experience, and teaching you places, all of a sudden, you'll have love for people you never had love for before, because everybody you talkin' about, you gonna go through something like what you criticize. Everybody you're talking about, you gonna go through something similar to what you criticize, so that you'll have enough experience to shut your mouth.
I don't say nothing about nobody about nothing, 'cause the moment you say what you wouldn't take, and what you wouldn't have, and how you would do that, "I wish that was my child," and then God give you one, and you sittin' there saying, "Lord Jesus, here I come, Lord. I don't know what to do with this Jesus. It ain't goin' like I raised him. Lord, Lord, have mercy, Jesus". Just remember all that stuff you said about other people's kids. Remember what you said about other people's marriages. Oh, y'all ain't gonna talk to me. "Now the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost". I gotta hurry up, I'm running out of time. Shout hallelujah, somebody.
"For when we were yet without strength in due time, Christ died for the ungodly". When we were yet, when we were yet without strength. When we were yet without strength. Have you ever tried to open up a bottle and you couldn't open it up? You knew what you wanted but you didn't have enough strength. It's not that we're without vision, but we were without strength. I knew what right was but I couldn't do it because I was without strength. I knew I should have been a better husband, but I couldn't be it 'cause I was without strength. I know what a good wife looks like, but I couldn't do it because I was without strength. I knew I was staying too late for lunch. I knew that it wasn't gonna be cool for me to take a two-hour lunch break. I knew that I should have a certain class about me, and a finesse when I went to work. I knew I shouldn't have slapped the woman on the elevator at JC Penney's, but I was yet without strength. I know my temper got out of control, but I was without strength.
The Bible says when we were yet without strength. When we had a couldn't help it. Now, I know you don't want nobody to know that you got a couldn't help it, but everybody in here got a couldn't help it. You don't testify about it, you don't talk about it, you don't want people to know about it unless they got the same couldn't help it, so y'all can't help it together. Other than that, we don't talk to people about what we can't help. But while we had a couldn't help it, couldn't fix it, couldn't stop it, couldn't break it, Christ died for us. Christ died for weak, broken, confused, afflicted, hurting, limited people. He did not die for people who had it all together, he died for brother can't help it, for sister can't get it together, for elder hot head, for missionary talk too much. When we were yet without strength, Christ died for us.
Let me tell you why the church is weak today. The church is weak today because the church is carnal today. It used to be I thought carnal churches were churches that didn't praise the Lord, but that's not it, that's not it, that's not it. No, no, no, no, no, that's not it. It is what you are praising him for. We are so carnal today that our relationship with God fluctuates based on our circumstances. When we need something done, we get real spiritual. Soon as we get out of trouble, we go back to what we were doing before. Carnal, carnal, carnal relationships with God based on circumstances and people, who's in your life, and who walked out of your life, and now you comin' to church 'cause she goin' to church. What happen when she leave you, cheat on you? God say, "How you like me now"? I wanna see were you serving me, or were you serving her?
Can I come on up with this? I wanna explain to you why you lose some stuff. You lose some stuff 'cause you worship some stuff. You lose it because God is jealous and he said I will have no other god before me, and I will take you through some stuff to see if you are praising me because of him or because of me, because of her or because of me. Are you praising me for the house or are you praising me for me? I'm gonna put you out of the house and say, "How you like me now"? The reason we don't have no power is that all we want from God is stuff.
Do you remember, you're about my age. You remember when we used to have prayer lines, and we called people up, and there would be a big line of people we'd be praying for? And people would be in the prayer line, and you'd say, "What do you want from the Lord"? And you'd get stuff like, "I just wanna see my son saved". "Oh, I'm standing in proxy for my daughter". "She's a drug addict, but I'm believing God to break that stronghold of addiction off of her life. That she'll end up saved and sanctified, praising God's name and lifting him up". What do you want prayer for? "I want a double anointing," that's what they used to want, a double anointing. I want a double portion of your Spirit. I'm believing God for the gift of prophesy. I want the gift of healing. I want the gift of revelation.
Now, when you call the prayer line, "I'm believing God for a car". "I'm believing God for my house payment". Now you don't see anybody praying for souls to be saved, let the kids go to hell, give me the house. That's why we don't have no power. That's why we don't have no power. We're not praying for our children. We're not praying for our marriages. We're so busy telling each other off that we stop praying for our marriages. We don't have power. Until we go back to our roots, until we go back to anointing our house with oil, 'til we go back to pleading the blood, until we go back to laying hands on our children, 'til we go back to joining hands around the dinner table and say, "Sickness, you can't come in this family, the blood of Jesus is against you, I command you to loose your hold," until we come out of the closet and say, "I'm a blood-washed, born-again, Holy-Ghost filled child of the King".
When was the last time you saw the Holy Ghost take over a service? 'Til nobody got to sing, nobody got to preach, the power of God took over the room. When was the last time you praised God 'til you messed up your makeup, messed up your hair? When was the last time you praised God 'til something broke in your soul? When was the last time you praised God 'til you was in the car and you were still talking about? Bring back the glory. I want it back. I want it in my house. I want it in my life. I want it in my body. I'm tired of being a Sunday-morning Christian, I want the power of the Holy Ghost to break out in my house.
Everything moves when you unite. Everything changes when you unite. Everything is broken when you unite. God comes down and sits when you unite. Mountains move when you unite. You don't hear what I'm sayin'. Yokes are broken when you unite. E pluribus unum, whenever we are many, but we become one, we become fruitful. My wife doesn't have to be me. I don't have to be her. Pluribus, we are different, but when we unite, we become fruitful. What I could not produce without her and she could not produce without me, it is our unity is the point that creates new life and new birth. So, if I was the enemy, and I didn't want you to be fruitful, I would stop you from unity, because there are some things And I'm gonna tell ya right now, you've gone as far as you can go by yourself.
Some of you have done amazing things as a one-man band. You can play the fiddle and the harp at the same time, and dance, and click your ankles together, and hit the symbols. And you're a good one-man band, but nobody buys the ticket to go hear a one-man band. They buy tickets to hear orchestras. E pluribus unum, many become one. Now, I wanna touch on this a little bit. I'm not talkin' about this candy-cake Christian unity that I hear people talkin' about today, stuff that denies that we are pluribus and says we're all one. Dumb statements like, "God is colorblind". No, he's not. It's not that he has to look over my difference and go blind to accept me. He painted me like this. He likes this.
Why would you paint me like this and then have to look over it? "I can't see it". He painted you like he painted you. He made you the gender he made you, the race he made you, the height he made you, the IQ he made you. He meant for you to be different, but just because you're different doesn't mean This fake unity that only comes when we wash feet and have Communion is not love at all. Don't show me your unity because we wash each other's feet. I wanna know, who do you go to the mall with? Who plays with your kids? Who comes over to your house? You can't have reconciliation on Sunday mornin'. I'm tired of staged love, staged love. We not really lovin' one another, we just wanna look like God isn't gonna bless what we pretend to be. He's gonna bless what we are, and we have to work it out and work through it and wrestle with it, because if there's one thing that the enemy doesn't want, it's for us to be united.
Whenever we get together, hell gets nervous, because there is a power that's released in our togetherness that the devil would never have to deal with any other way. While you're sore from that, I'm gonna make you mad about somethin' else. That's why it's hard to hold a marriage together. The enemy doesn't mind you shoutin' all over the church, long as you're not speakin' to He don't mind you visitin' the sick and preachin' till power comes down, long as you can't get along with your husband. Because Jesus prayed that we might be one. E pluribus unum: "I know you are many. I know you are different, but the goal is for you to be one".
In order to be one, you can't be You can't be the one that's Unity becomes the goal, and in order to have unity, both of us got to give up a little ground in order for us to stay together Because when couples come in to see me, all they do is come to see me so that I can validate what they have decided. And it's just a contest for me to break the tie between the opposing votes, and they just want me to side with one of them. And whoever I don't side with That's why I don't like to do it. They don't come till they're ten minutes from divorce court anyway. When it was just a little pimple and you could've fixed it, they don't come. They wait until it has turned into full-fledged infection, and then they come to you and want you to work a miracle. And a miracle depends on which one you're talkin' to. A miracle for her is, "Change him". A miracle for him is to change her. It's that kind of polarity that he's dealing with.
By chapter 4, Paul says to this religious community, "All of y'all are wrong". He concluded them all in unbelief, and it sounds bad, but it was good because once you give up on your rightness, you Once you give up on your opinion, you can be corrected. Once you give up on what you had in mind, you can live the God life. You cannot live the God life if you are living the you life. I know I'm not gonna get much. That's okay, that's okay. I can preach to quiet folks. I'm used to it. I've preached in graveyards. I'll make it through this. Once you give up on what you have in mind - because most of us say we worship God, but we really don't worship God. We worship our opinion. We worship what we had in mind. And whenever God shows up in a way that we had in mind, we accept him. And whenever He doesn't show up in a way we had in mind, we condemn him.
And even the disciples did that. That's why they didn't recognize Jesus when he was walkin' on the water, because he showed up in a way they didn't have in mind. And the people who were waitin' on him didn't even recognize him and said, "Oh, there's a ghost". But Peter said, "Lord, if it's you, bid me to come". Oh, somebody in this room is gettin' ready to step away. You're gettin' ready to step off the boat with all the deadbeat people who are too stubborn to change, and you're getting' ready to have an encounter with Nudge your neighbor and say, "Take a step". Get off the boat with the deadbeats, and the murmurers, and the complainers, and the fussers, and the yellers, and the people who are scared to move and scared to go, and they don't recognize God, save he Could you accept me if I preached in dreadlocks? Could you accept me if I showed up in a form other than what you had in mind?
People don't even wanna accept me in the grocery store. "What are you doin' in the grocery store"? "Tryin' to get some food". "What you doin' at the movies"? "I'm tryin' to watch a movie, go away". See, Jesus was so ordinary, he was despised. Because people wanna put you in a religious box and hold you hostage while they do whatever I ain't thinking about you. Whenever God showed up in an unusual way, they failed to recognize him, and he's tryin' to break through these ideas so that you could step out in have an encounter with God. Every time the disciples didn't recognize Jesus, it was because he didn't look like what they expected. And I wanna challenge you today that sometimes God will show up Sometimes your greatest blessing will come dressed up as your And you busy tryin' to rebuke somethin', I wish I had a witness, that God is gonna use to bless you. You never know how God is gonna show up.
Sometimes God will not use your best friend to bless you. Sometimes God will use who hated... And when you shut the door on them, you shut the door on your blessing. Oh, if I had time, I'd prove it to you. Hagar shut the door on Sarah 'cause she was jealous and mad. Sarah didn't start that fight, Hagar did. And God said, "You better go back home. The one you're mad at is feeding you". My mama would call it cuttin' off your nose to spite your face. Any time God doesn't show up the way you expect him to show up, you have an issue. Paul concludes them all in unbelief. So that they may be eligible to receive from God. I wanna dig into this. Can I go a little bit deeper into this?
See, religious people have a tendency to respond to a challenge with arrogance. But what really brings the challenge to fruition is humility. Paul says, "Neither one of you are right in your thinking, bow down". When they bowed down in chapter 4, it opened up chapter 5. Chapter 5 is, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God". So, to the Orthodox view, you're not gonna be justified because of the meats you don't eat and the hands you wash and the days that you observe. That's not gonna take you in. And you're not gonna be justified worshippin' Diana and havin' orgies. And you're not gonna be justified by doin' your thing. And you're not gonna be justified by doin' your thing. All of you, throw down your weapons, drop down on your knees, humble yourself. Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. If you throw down your weapons and drop down on your knees, God has a better idea than the idea you had for yourself, and that idea was, "Therefore being justified by..". Faith. He said, "If you believe God, you can have peace with God".
"Got one thing goin' for me. Lord, I believe you. I got one thing goin' for me. I believe you. I got one thing goin' for me. I believe you. I'm crazy, I believe you. I'm stupid, I believe you. I'm backwards, but I believe you. I'm weak, but I believe you. I'm wicked, but I believe you". God said, "That's all right. I'll wash all of that stuff away, and I'll justify you". "Therefore being justified by faith". Let me bring it home 'cause I know you gonna fight me. So let me dig into it. "Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him as righteousness". It wasn't that he was right. No, that liar wasn't right, lyin' about his wife, sleepin' with his maid. It wasn't that he was right. "He believed God, and it was counted unto him as righteousness".
You know, don't sit there with them big brown eyes, lookin' at me like you don't understand that God didn't bless you Don't you sit there and act you like you didn't understand the words that are comin' out of my mouth. You know God knows your business. You can fool these church people, but you can't fool God. You know you're not sittin' there because you was right. It's just that every now and Oh, I'm gonna preach it till I break it down. I'm gonna preach it till I break it down. I'm gonna preach it till you stop lookin' down your nose at other people. I'm gonna preach it till you stop gossipin' about people. I'm gonna preach it till you stop thinkin' you better than anybody else. You are not here because you're holy. You're here because you believe God. If you can believe God, the person you're talkin' about can believe God. And God said, "I will count it as righteousness".
Oh, I feel his presence in this place right now. "Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him as righteousness". The word "counted" in the original language is an accounting term. It means "he marked the ledger as if it were righteous". You didn't have the money, but I'm just gonna write it off the books. You really weren't righteous, but if you have faith, I'm gonna mark the account as "paid". I'm gonna settle the account just because you believed me. Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God. "If I live, it's Christ. If I die, it's gain". I can't lose either way. I'm cool with God. If I'm absent in the body, I'm present with the Lord". Because I believe God, that's the Word of God. That's the Word.
Now, y'all, forgive me. I might lose members over this, but I refuse to pastor an A biblically illiterate church I will not pastor. It is my responsibility that you know what you're shoutin' about, that you're not shoutin' because you got on a brand-name tie or a big car or a big house, but you're shoutin' because you got a big God who washed you in the blood and delivered you from your sin and set you free. Let me tell you why God let faith be the door. Faith made it possible for everybody to have access. Had it been intelligence, God wouldn't be just, because all of us don't have the same IQ. Then the smart people would go to heaven, and the rest of us, those of us who flunked trigonometry, we would be in the other place. So God didn't let it be by knowledge. He let it be by faith because faith is somethin' that even children have. In fact, "Save you believe as a child, you cannot inherit the kingdom of God". "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God".
This idea that faith would count for righteousness... This idea that faith would be the currency of heaven, the currency, the currency. Faith is the currency of heaven. It's the currency. I was tryin' to find some currency. Yeah, here's some currency. This currency, I got a dollar. This dollar, it can't do nothin' I need. I can't drive it. I can't eat it. I can't wear it. But it says, "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private". It is a medium of exchange. I can't eat it, but if I got it, I can trade it for somethin' to eat. I can't wear it, but if I got it, I could trade it for somethin' to wear. I can't live in it, but if I got it, I can trade it for a house. What this dollar is in the natural, faith is in the spiritual. Faith is not healing, but if I got it, I can get some healing. Oh, y'all don't hear what I'm saying. Faith is not deliverance, but if I got it, I can get deliverance. "Whatsoever you desire, when you pray," what? "Believe you have received it, The next you time you go after somethin' and all them haters tell you, you can't afford it, you can't get it, you don't have it, you can't go back to school, you not smart enough, you can't get above your feet, just look at 'em and say, "By faith" Faith makes me righteous.
God says, "If you believe me, Abraham, it is counted, or I know you're not right, but I'll count it as righteousness". Your faith makes up the difference between where you are and where you wanna be. This was the big idea. This idea was too big to remain confined in Catholicism. That's why Martin Luther started reading what we are reading now and said, "Wait a minute, it doesn't say, 'By priests.'" It doesn't say, "By Communions". Wait a minute, Pentecostal people, it don't say, "By baptism". It don't say, "By long dresses or short dresses". It doesn't say, "By keepin' a I don't care what your doctrine is. It's not by your doctrine. By faith. Now, the thing about faith is, you cannot lock it up. You can't put it behind the walls of your building and say, "We got it and you can't have it".
Because faith will break out of every jail you try to put it in. Faith will go over and get off the mother's board and jump in a It'll grab a hooker named Rahab. I wish you would fight me. You can't lock up faith. You can't lock up faith. Faith will reach out and get the ungodly, the unconverted, the unnatural, the perverted, if you Tell your neighbor, say, "Neighbor, I got one thing goin' for me. I believe God". If that's true, give him a crazy "I believe him for my house. I believe him for my children. I believe him for my future. I believe him for my deliverance. I believe him". Tell every devil, tell every witch, "I believe God. You can't hex me. You can't curse me. You can't block me.