Do We Really Need God, or Can We Live Without Him? (Part 6)

by Creflo Dollar | 27 Jan 2019

Summary

Most people do not know what God is like because they perceive Him in light of the Old Testament, when the Law of Moses was in effect. During that time, the children of Israel knew Him as a God of wrath, punishment, and judgment. However, this is an incomplete picture of His nature. God does not rain down fire from the sky anymore like He did during the time of Elijah; to see God as He is now, we must put Him in the context of the New Testament. Under the new covenant of grace, we must no longer live according to the old mindset of the law. Instead of having to depend on what we do, we are now free to have faith in what Jesus, who is the perfect expression of God’s nature, already did. Our faith in Jesus not only makes us righteous, but also shows us what God is like in these end times.

  1. Seeing God under the old agreement gives us an incomplete picture of His true nature.
    1. God’s nature as depicted in the Old Testament is dramatically different than in the New Testament. We must know Him under the new agreement.
      1. Under the law, God rained down fire from heaven at Elijah’s bidding (2 Kings 1:10-14).
      2. Jesus’ disciples made the mistake of perceiving God’s nature according to Old Testament law. Jesus told them they did not know what spirit they were of (Luke 9:51-55).
      3. We mix the law with grace when we see God in an old, outdated context. It is like trying to put new wine into old wineskins (Mark 2:22).
    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 (Galatians 3:9, 10).
      1. Anyone operating under the law is operating under a curse. The law was not given to bless us, but to curse us.
    3. But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.” So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.” But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree” (Galatians 3:10-13, NLT).
      1. We now live in the way of faith, which is completely different from the way of the law.
      2. The law called for strict obedience. Obedience is still important under grace, but the focus now is obedience to the faith. This is also called right-believing.
      3. Jesus took all our sins; therefore, sin is no longer an issue. We must believe this. If we continue sinning, it is because we continue working not to sin (which is performance).
  1. Under the new covenant, faith is critical. We must believe that God forgave all our sins.
    1. 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. Falling from grace is not falling into sin; it is falling back into self-effort. When we fall into sin, we actually encounter God’s grace.
      2. It is a mistake to think that if we are under grace, we will sin more. Grace is the answer to sin; grace teaches us to live right.
      3. Sin is not the issue; Jesus was able to heal entire villages of people who were still sinners, who had not been born again. They were healed because they believed.
      4. The only time Jesus could do no mighty work was when the people did not believe Him.
      5. And he marvelled because of their unbelief... (Mark 6:6).
    2. 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. We have been delivered for all eternity. No more annual sin sacrifices are necessary.
      2. “Dead works” are our efforts to try to do something to deserve what God offers us through grace.
      3. Performance is still necessary under the law, but believers are no longer under the law.
      4. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).
  1. Our righteousness comes not through what we do, but through faith in what Jesus did.
    1. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth (Romans 10:3, 4).
      1. There is nothing wrong with feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and helping the poor, but we must not think these acts are what make us righteous. Righteousness only comes through submission to Jesus.
    2. Brothers, listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. Everyone who believes in him is made right in God’s sight—something the law of Moses could never do (Acts 13:38, 39, NLT).
      1. We deceive ourselves if we think we have never sinned.
      2. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin (James 4:17).
      3. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).
      4. Operating in fear is sinful. Thinking murderous thoughts toward someone else, even if we do not carry them out, is sin.
    3. For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12).
      1. Comparing ourselves with each other produces self-righteousness. This mindset deceives us into thinking we are better than we actually are.
      2. Although we may not have committed the same sin as someone else did, we all have our own issues. We all need a Savior.