Are You of the Works of the Law, or Are You of Faith? (Part 2)

by Creflo Dollar | 8 Sep 2019

Summary

God has made many promises to us, but unless we understand the difference between works of the law and works of faith, we will never be able to receive those promises. In light of the finished works of Jesus, it is useless to try to get God to do what He has already done. Religion has conditioned us to think according to Mosaic Law, which says that if we do good, we get good, and if we do bad, we get bad. However, if we want to be righteous in God’s sight, we must put self-effort to death. We get to heaven not by our own efforts, but by faith in Jesus and what He did on our behalf. Trying to keep the law always results in curses; abandoning our efforts to do this, and instead believing what has already been done, causes manifestations of God’s blessings. Steadfastly maintaining our faith during every situation, good or bad, brings the promises to pass.

  1. Under the law, God’s blessings depend on our performance. Religion still teaches this.
    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 (Deuteronomy 28:1, 2).
      1. The law was conditional; the condition was doing, first, before God acted.
      2. Under the covenant of the law, everything that happens in our lives is based on what we do. Most churches still teach this.
      3. Out of the “do good, get good; do bad, get bad” mentality arose performance-based Christianity, which says we must do something for God instead of allowing God to do something for us.
    2. And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me (Mark 10:17-21).
      1. The rich young ruler was only focused on what he had to do. He was operating under the works of the law.
      2. We err when we trust what we can do more than what Jesus already did.
    3. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4).
      1. If we think our actions make us righteous, Christ cannot have any effect in our lives.
  1. Under grace, God’s blessings depend on our belief in what Jesus did for us.
    1. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:12-14).
      1. The blood sacrifices for sin made under the law had to be repeated annually, but could not completely get rid of sin; therefore, the people remained sin-conscious. By comparison, Jesus’ one-time blood sacrifice removed sin forever.
      2. “Dead works” are efforts to do something to try to deserve something from God.
      3. Our faith is more important than our doing. If we believe right, we will do right.
      4. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth (Mark 9:23).
    2. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 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: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Galatians 3:9-14).
      1. We must get our minds off works of the law, which emphasizes a “demand” mentality. We must instead focus on faith in Jesus; grace emphasizes a “supply” mentality. This type of thinking allows us to receive from God.
      2. We are now part of the covenant of promise; Jesus is that promise.
      3. We have available to us every blessing that Abraham had.
      4. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out (Deuteronomy 28:6).
      5. And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath… (Deuteronomy 28:13).
      6. We are also prosperous, wealthy, healed, delivered, and favored.
      7. There was no law during Abraham’s time. He was made righteous by faith, not by following the law.
      8. Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Galatians 3:6).
      9. The law curses us if we fail to keep all of it.
      10. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10).
      11. “The just” are the people who have been born again.
  1. No matter what we say or do, it could never be strong enough to undo what Jesus did.
    1. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect (Romans 4:14).
      1. Something that is void is empty and ineffectual; Mosaic Law voids faith.
      2. In our relationship with God, faith and rule-keeping cancel each other out.
    2. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof (Proverbs 18:21).
      1. If we look at this through the perspective of the law, we will think our words are more powerful than what Christ has already done.
    3. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak (2 Corinthians 4:13).
      1. We must not exalt principle over the person of Jesus Christ. We desperately need a relationship with Him.
      2. Jesus has delivered us from curses into blessings; we must believe this first before we can confess it.
      3. Having faith in our own faith simply means that we trust in ourselves. We need faith in God, not in our faith.
      4. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God (Mark 11:22).
    4. Some Christians believe the only work that counts is their toil and self-effort. Work is important, but it must be based on faith in Christ.
      1. Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent (John 6:29).
      2. Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:29, NLT).