Looking through the Lens of Grace (Part 3)

Apr. 28, 2019 | By Creflo Dollar

Summary

If we are to live Christian lives, we need to do so accurately and with precision. We must base our lives according to truth, not according to religion. It can be challenging to discover that something we believed all our lives was simply tradition that contradicts God’s Word. Man’s tradition makes the Word of God of no effect; we must not be the fulfillment of this. Religion still teaches the Law of Moses, which made constant demands of the people before they could be blessed. However, Jesus has delivered us from the law and moved us under grace, which is all about supply and not demand. Because of His love for us, we are now free from useless self-effort and enabled to do what we could never do on our own.

  1. We need to know the truth of grace in operation today, not the truth of the expired law.
    1. We must base our lives on truth, not on religion. The Latin translation of “religion” is “a return to bondage.” Tradition cannot make the truth into a lie simply because it contradicts God’s Word.
      1. Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye (Mark 7:13).
    2. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth…For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:14, 17).
      1. Jesus is the Word made flesh. He is the embodiment of grace.
      2. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).
      3. Grace is the truth that makes us free from the law.
      4. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31, 32).
      5. We must pay attention to the contrast evident throughout the entire Bible. There is a difference between the Law of Moses and the grace of Jesus.
      6. The Bible does not contradict itself; we simply must know how to rightly divide it.
    3. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).
      1. If we are born again, we are living under the grace that came by Jesus.
      2. If we are dominated by sin, it is a sign that in some area of our lives, we are still living under the law.
      3. The law was holy and perfect; it was too perfect for imperfect man to keep.
  1. The law demanded obedience to every law; failure to obey brought multiple curses.
    1. And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep (Deuteronomy 28:1-4).
      1. “If thou” is a tipoff that this covenant is based on performance.
    2. Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse (Deuteronomy 11:26).
      1. The law stated that the people could not be blessed unless they perfectly obeyed all six hundred-plus commandments.
      2. God knew that no one could keep all the law; this is why He instituted the animal blood sacrificial system so that the people could be blessed. This was God’s mercy at work, until Jesus could come.
  1. The law traps us in sin-consciousness; grace frees us to focus on our righteousness.
    1. Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet (Romans 7:1-7).
      1. If we operate in love, we fulfill the spirit of the law. We cannot fulfill it through our own religious efforts.
      2. The devil is not as interested in tempting us to sin as he is in tempting us to live by the law. If we live by the law, eventually we will sin.
      3. When Jesus died on the cross, all of that died with Him. When He arose, a new and living way arose with Him.
      4. Under the law, we end up performing to try and gain the promise.
      5. Grace is not a license to keep sinning. God will still love us when we sin, but sin has consequences. Those consequences are in the physical realm; losing our salvation is not one of them.
    2. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I (Romans 7:8-15).
      1. Without the law, sin is dead. However, living by the law brings sin back to life and makes us conscious of it. Sin will kill us.
      2. The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law (1 Corinthians 15:56).
      3. Preaching the law only results in more sinning.
      4. The law is perfect, good, and flawless. We sin when we try to live by it, but the law, itself, is not sin.
      5. With a sinful nature, we sin even when we do not want to, because that is our nature. Until Jesus came, no one could get their sinful nature removed and receive a new nature.
      6. When we are born again, we have a choice, and we are no longer forced to sin; if we do sin, it is because we want to.
  1. Jesus replaced hundreds of requirements with one simple law: the law of love.
    1. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree (Galatians 3:13).
      1. Christ paid the price to redeem us. We have been delivered from the Law of Moses, which was impossible to obey.
      2. Because we are delivered from the law, we are also delivered from its curse.
    2. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law (Romans 13:8-10).
      1. Jesus delivered us from more than six hundred Old-Testament laws; we now have only one law to obey. By believing in Him and loving others, we fulfill the spirit of all the laws.
      2. We fulfill the law of love when we believe that Jesus loved us first, allowing us to love others.
      3. …Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Romans 5:5).
      4. This allows us to do things we could never do before.
      5. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13).

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