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Welcome to study notes

Select the topic or date of your choice to view a detailed outline of the teachings. Each time you study the Word, you position yourself to receive divine direction from God. When you spend time researching the Scriptures, you acquire wisdom for every situation in life. As you study, expect to find answers to your questions and solutions to your problems!

Freedom from Performance-Based Christianity

By Creflo Dollar

Summary

Many Christians struggling with self-effort are still focused on their performance, rather than on their belief. There is a difference between performing to try to do what Jesus has already done, and performing as a result of faith in what we have received by grace. Some of us may have trouble understanding that we could actually receive something from God without doing anything to deserve it. If we have been taught that God’s blessings are dependent on our works, grace will challenge this mindset. Grace is all about believing and receiving, not about working and deserving. The Law of Moses locked the people into continual self-effort; grace frees us from it. We receive this freedom only when we accept it by faith.

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The Contrast: Self-Effort vs. Rest (Part 2)

By Creflo Dollar

Summary

The comparison between the old and new covenants takes on significance when we understand where we have been. At one time, man was under the constrictive, condemning Law of Moses; Jesus freed us from it and offered us grace instead. We must ask ourselves whether we are living our lives by the law or by grace. Christianity did not exist before Jesus Christ came; therefore, Christians who are trying to follow Old-Testament law are living by the wrong standards. We must be careful to rightly divide not only the old and new testaments, but also what we read in the New Testament. Since Jesus was perfectly fulfilling all of the law during His ministry, some of what He said was law-based. If we are looking for true peace and real rest, we must let go of our self-efforts and look to Jesus. Good things we could never take credit for will begin showing up in our lives when we start believing in God’s works instead of our own.

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The Contrast: Self-Effort vs. Rest

By Creflo Dollar

Summary

Just as there is a contrast between the law that Moses gave and the grace that Jesus brought, there is also a contrast between self-effort and rest. God only works on our behalf if we are resting; therefore, we must rightly divide what it means to be at rest on a spiritual level. Knowing the difference between working to get God to do something and having faith in what He has already done allows us to enter into the place of rest where He wants us to be, and to stay there. We are not made righteous in God’s eyes by our performance, but by our belief in Jesus Christ. We are the righteousness of God by faith, even when we sin, but many Christians do not understand this. We must move beyond the mindset that makes it difficult for us to believe that we could actually receive something from God without doing anything to deserve it. Stress and worry are signs that we are still in self-effort; the peace of mind from believing that we already have everything Jesus made available for us is the acid test that proves we are truly at rest.

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Law-Based Prayer vs. Grace-Based Prayer

By Creflo Dollar

Summary

There are multiple contrasts between the old covenant of the law and the new covenant of grace; one of the most significant differences is in our prayer lives. Under the law, the people had to pray to get God to do something for them. Under grace, our prayers reflect our thanks and praise for what Jesus did for us on the cross. Grace-based prayer is based on the finished works of Jesus Christ. Many of the prayers we have become accustomed to—even the Lord’s Prayer—technically fall under the law. By comparison, New-Testament prayer is basically saying back to God what Christ has already accomplished under the new covenant. Religious, law-based prayer accomplishes nothing; we see results only through prayers uttered in faith, according to what was finished two thousand years ago.

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The Contrast: The Authority of the Believer

By Creflo Dollar

Summary

The covenant of grace frees us from having to believe in what we do, and teaches us the power of believing in what Jesus has already done. Knowledge of this important distinction allows us to perform the necessary acts of faith to activate the spiritual authority God has given us. We will not see results in our lives if we ask God to do something He already did, or to do something He told us to do. We have been given the right to command and the right to use God’s power; we received these rights not because we earned them, but because of His unmerited favor toward us. The devil’s mission is to destroy us, but as born-again Christians, we must not be ignorant of the enormous power we possess. There is no reason to tolerate anything Satan throws at us because our ability greatly exceeds his; we defeat him by accessing our God-given authority. When believers start believing, the devil and all his strategies are defeated.

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Performing the Law vs. Performing Spiritual Authority

By Creflo Dollar

Summary

There is a difference between performing through our own self-effort and performing in faith, to activate the power the finished works of Jesus has made available to us. God supplies the power; our belief flips the switch and puts it to use. The top reason behind unanswered prayer is because we ask God to do something that He has already given us the authority to do ourselves. The average Christian approaches Him as if they are powerless; under the covenant of grace, this approach is wrong. We have been authorized to execute spiritual laws, and we must stand on that authority. The power of God gives us the ability to get the job done and see results by speaking His Word over any situation that arises. As believers, we must never be afraid to walk in our authority.

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