Obedience to the Law vs Obedience to the Faith (Part 2)

by Creflo Dollar | 11 Jun 2017

SUMMARY

As Christians we want to obey God, but there is a difference between obedience under the law and obedience to the faith. Because both the dispensation of Adam and the dispensation of Mosaic law failed, God established a third agreement between Himself and Jesus, the current dispensation of grace. If we obey any other dispensation than this one, we will see no results in our lives. The law was based on mankind’s ability to obey, first, to influence what God could do for the people, but grace is based on what Jesus has already done for all of us. Under the law, the people could never keep all of God’s commandments because their self-efforts made them the root; under grace, Jesus has become the root and we bear the fruit. God shows us mercy by not giving us the bad that we deserve, and He shows us grace by giving us the good that we do not deserve. We are now the beneficiaries of this grace covenant which empowers us to be obedient to Jesus’ faith.

  1. THE LAW REQUIRED PEOPLE TO DO GOOD TO GET GOOD, BUT IT WAS TOO PERFECT TO KEEP.
    1. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19).
      1. This was true under the dispensation of the law, but it is no longer valid under the covenant of grace.
    2. We are not under the law any more. We are delivered from it.
      1. When God speaks of a new [covenant or agreement], He makes the first one obsolete (out of use). And what is obsolete (out of use and annulled because of age) is ripe for disappearance and to be dispensed with altogether (Hebrews 8:13, AMPC).
      2. So a previous physical regulation and command is cancelled because of its weakness and ineffectiveness and uselessness—For the Law never made anything perfect—but instead a better hope is introduced through which we [now] come close to God (Hebrews 7:18, 19, AMPC).
      3. For sin shall not [any longer] exert dominion over you, since now you are not under Law [as slaves], but under grace [as subjects of God’s favor and mercy] (Romans 6:14, AMPC).
    3. 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. If we subscribe to an “If you, first, then God, second” type of mentality, this indicates that we are operating under the law. Religion is patterned after this way of thinking.
      2. Under the law, not only was the blessing based on what man did, the curse was also (Deuteronomy 28:14-68).
    4. 4. 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 3:13, 14).
      1. We still get all the blessings of the law, but none of the curses.
      2. We are blessed because of Jesus’ obedience, not ours.
      3. When we understand the truth about the Word of God, the devil is limited in what he can do to us. Greater is he who is in you, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
      4. As he is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17).
  2. WHATEVER AGREEMENT WE LIVE UNDER BECOMES OUR MASTER, WHETHER IT IS THE LAW OR GRACE.
    1. What we are not conscious of is something in which we are not able to walk. We must be aware of the victory we have in Jesus.
      1. Jesus stripped Satan of his power (Colossians 2:15).
      2. God will not allow us to go through trials and temptations beyond our ability to handle them and overcome them (1 Corinthians 10:13).
      3. We do not need to be discouraged by problems; when we live right they are bound to come our way. All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12).
      4. We have a supernatural ability to overcome the enemy. We are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).
    2. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous (Romans 5:19).
      1. Because of Jesus’ obedience, we can truthfully say we are the righteousness of God. Bad behavior does not make us unrighteous.
      2. We confess our faults one to another (James 5:16). We confess them to someone who will remind us that we are still the righteousness of God.
    3. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you (Romans 6:16, 17).
      1. Paul was referring to sin unto death and obedience unto righteousness as teachings or doctrines.
      2. The dictionary definition of the word “obey” is out of biblical context. Translated from Greek, this word means to hearken, pay attention to, or listen.
      3. Paul was not writing about compliance to a certain set of rules or regulations. He was actually asking the Romans what teaching they were listening to.
      4. The doctrine of sin unto death came from Adam; the doctrine of obedience unto righteousness came from Jesus.
      5. Listening to the wrong doctrine will shape our consciousness and we will have an evil conscience (Hebrews 10:22). Listening to the correct doctrine produces a righteous conscience and enables us to receive from God.
  3. GRACE ONLY REQUIRES FAITH IN WHAT JESUS DID, INSTEAD OF ADHERENCE TO STRICT RULES.
    1. Under God’s grace, we are asked to be obedient to the faith. This requires obeying what Jesus has made available and being obedient to believe it.
      1. By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name (Romans 1:5).
      2. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith (Acts 6:7).
    2. The new covenant of grace focuses on our belief in what Jesus did so that we can bear fruit.
      1. He is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5).
    3. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5).
      1. Spiritual warfare is maintaining by faith the victory that Jesus died to obtain.
      2. The only way the devil can attack us is by suggestion. Therefore, all thoughts that pass through our minds that are contrary to the Word of God are thoughts we must deliberately capture and consciously reject.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES

Isaiah 1:19 Romans 8:37
Hebrews 8:13, AMPC Romans 5:19
Hebrews 7:18, 19, AMPC James 5:16
Romans 6:14, AMPC Deuteronomy 28:1, 2, 14-68
Galatians 3:13, 14 1 John 4:4, 17
Colossians 2:15 1 Corinthians 10:13
2 Timothy 3:12 Romans 6:16, 17
Hebrews 10:22 Romans 1:5
Acts 6:7 John 15:5
2 Corinthians 10:4, 5