2018 Grace Life Conference (Session 8)

by Creflo Dollar | 10 Jul 2018


God deals with us through agreements. The old agreements of the Abrahamic covenant and the Law of Moses have given way to the present covenant of grace. A covenant is an irrevocable promise between two or more parties to carry out the terms agreed upon. The covenant between God and Abraham was based solely on bloodline; the covenant of the law was conditional, and based on man’s performance. The covenant of grace differs in that it is unconditional, and based on our love for God and our belief in what Jesus did for us. A thorough understanding in this area is necessary because, as believers, we must be sure that we are living under the correct covenant. Most churches still preach the law, which keeps many of us stuck in that type of mindset. If we are struggling but not seeing any results, we must examine what we have been taught and throw out anything that contradicts the covenant of grace.

  1. Christ is our only hope of salvation. We are saved by faith in Him, not by our actions.
    1. Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world (Ephesians 2:11, 12).
      1. When we are strangers to God’s covenant, we have no hope.
      2. As believers, we must be covenant-minded. This helps us remember the promises God made to us.
      3. Every covenant has a benefactor, beneficiaries, and benefits. God is the benefactor, we are the beneficiaries, and the blessings are the benefits.
    2. There are major differences between the old and new covenants.
      1. The law was an exclusive agreement between God and the Jews; no one else was involved. Grace is an agreement between God and Jesus; and we are the beneficiaries.
      2. The first covenant kills; the new covenant gives life.
      3. The old covenant was about man’s lack of faithfulness; the new covenant is about Jesus’ faithfulness.
      4. The first covenant shines the light on sin; the second covenant shines the light on Jesus’ perfection.
      5. The first covenant was designed to bring out man’s sin; the second covenant was designed to make man holy.
      6. The first covenant condemns; the second covenant justifies.
      7. The first covenant brings sin-consciounsess; the second covenant brings the consciousness of Jesus.
      8. The first covenant temporarily covered sin with animal blood; the second covenant permanently takes it away with Jesus’ blood.
    3. 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. Grace is Jesus, Himself.
      2. Grace is the truth that makes men free.
  1. God knew man could never keep all the law, so He sent Jesus to replace it with grace.
    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…But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:  Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field (Deuteronomy 28:1-3, 15, 16).
      1. The law was based on the “if, then” concept. Man had to perform perfectly and follow all the commandments, first, before being blessed.
      2. No one, except Jesus, could keep all the law. He flawlessly kept all 600-plus commandments.
      3. The old covenant focused on what people had to do; the new covenant focuses on what people want to do. Under the new covenant, the Holy Spirit works on people to change them from the inside.
    2. The law was given for the purpose of revealing sin. The law is responsible for sin-consciousness, which brings condemnation, guilt, and shame.
      1. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:20, 21)
      2. But then Law came in, [only] to expand  and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favor) has surpassed it  and increased the more  and superabounded (Romans 5:20, AMPC).
    3. What then was the purpose of the Law? It was added [later on, after the promise, to disclose and expose to men their guilt] because of transgressions  and [to make men more conscious of the sinfulness] of sin; and it was intended to be in effect until the Seed (the Descendant, the Heir) should come, to  and concerning Whom the promise had been made. And it [the Law] was arranged  and ordained  and appointed through the instrumentality of angels [and was given] by the hand (in the person) of a go-between [Moses, an intermediary person between God and man](Galatians 3:19, AMPC).
      1. Because of what most churches teach, we make sin the focus of our entire lives.
      2. “The Seed” is Jesus. The law was only temporary; it is now expired for born-again believers.
  1. Grace removes the temptation to sin and the condemnation that the law brings.
    1. The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law (1 Corinthians 15:56).
      1. The devil’s strategy is not to get us to sin, but to get us to follow the law. He knows that will eventually cause us to sin.
      2. Satan did not tempt Eve to murder Adam, because at that time, there was no law against murder. Instead, he chose to tempt her with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We cannot be tempted by something if there is no law against it.
      3. The law tells us to do things only Jesus could do. Grace empowers us to do those things through faith in Him.
      4. We love him, because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).
    2. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin(Romans 3:20).
      1. The law triggers a never-ending cycle of sin.
      2. The law is like a mirror; it shows us our issues but does not repair them.
    3. We revere and respect the law because, without it, we would have never come to Jesus. The law shows us we need a Savior.
      1. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law (Romans 3:31).
      2. Do we then by [this] faith make the Law of no effect, overthrow it  or make it a dead letter? Certainly not! On the contrary, we confirm and establish and uphold the Law(Romans 3:31, AMPC).
      3. But by shifting our focus from what  we do to what  God does, don’t we cancel out all our careful keeping of the rules and ways God commanded? Not at all. What happens, in fact, is that by putting that entire way of life in its proper place, we confirm it (Romans 3:31, MSG).
  1. The law cannot justify us before God; its purpose was to point us toward Jesus.
    1. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified… I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain(Galatians 2:16, 21).
      1. The law can never make us righteous, but church teaches us that doing the right things according to the law makes us righteous. We spend too much time doing right, and not enough time believing right.
      2. Our righteousness comes from what Jesus already did.
    2. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled (Matthew 5:17, 18).
      1. We cannot keep all the commandments by ourselves. Jesus perfectly fulfilled the law so that when we are in Him, we then successfully fulfill it.
    3. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:18, 19).
      1. “The former things” refers to the law. When we consider something, we ponder it and give it attention.
      2. Whatever we think about and give our attention to is the thing we are most likely to do. Therefore, we must think on the right things.
      3. The “new thing” is the new covenant of grace. If we spend time thinking about contradictions to the new covenant, our hearts will become hardened to it.
  1. The only problem with the law was that it was impossible for the people to keep.
    1. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord (Hebrews 8:6-9).
      1. “The first covenant” refers to Mosaic Law. The law was too perfect to keep.
    2. However, He finds fault with them [showing its inadequacy] when He says, Behold, the days will come, says the Lord, when I will make  and ratify a new covenant  or agreement with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day when I grasped them by the hand to help  and relieve them  and to lead them out from the land of Egypt, for they did not abide in My agreement with them, and so I withdrew My favor  and disregarded them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their minds, even upon their innermost thoughts  and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And it will nevermore be necessary for each one to teach his neighbor and his fellow citizen or each one his brother, saying, Know (perceive, have knowledge of, and get acquainted by experience with) the Lord, for all will know Me, from the smallest to the greatest of them (Hebrews 8:8-11, AMPC).
      1. God was not talking about re-writing the Ten Commandments on our hearts. He meant that He would replace them with the royal law of love, and write it on our hearts.
      2. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another (John 13:34).
      3. We fulfill the entire law when we walk in love.
      4. Hebrews 8:11 refers to the Holy Spirit leading and guiding us, transforming us in ways the law cannot.

Scripture References

Ephesians 2:11, 12

John 1:14, 17

Deuteronomy 28:1-3, 15, 16

Romans 5:20, 21

Romans 5:20, AMPC

Galatians 3:19, AMPC

1 Corinthians 15:56

1 John 4:19

Romans 3:20

Romans 3:31

Romans 3:31, AMPC

Romans 3:31, MSG

Galatians 2:16, 21

Matthew 5:17, 18

Isaiah 43:18, 19

Hebrews 8:6-9

Hebrews 8:8-11, AMPC

John 13:34