The Spirit of Grace (Part 3) NY

by Creflo Dollar | 21 Apr 2018

Summary

We may have the best of intentions when we try to change for the better, but we will never be able to change by ourselves. Change requires the Holy Spirit’s help. When we are in Christ and He is in us, the Spirit begins to transform us from the inside out. He takes away our interest in the things that appealed to us before we were saved, and gives us new intentions to do the things that line up with God’s will. Without the Holy Spirit’s assistance, we see no real or lasting change, only temporary behavior modification. We end up only dealing with the fruit of any problems we see in ourselves because we are not equipped to deal with the root issue. The Spirit is well able to give us a new root and mold us into new beings, but we must not only give Him permission to do this but also acknowledge that He is real. Whereas the Law of Moses only tells us what is wrong with us, the Spirit of Grace gives us the ability to change it.
  1. The Spirit knows us better than we know ourselves. He can transform us.
    1. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:9, 10).
      1. We will never be successful in accomplishing God’s will in our lives until we recognize that the Holy Spirit is the one who counsels, teaches, reveals secrets to us, and changes us.
      2. Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart (Psalm 37:4). This Scripture does not mean God will give us our Christmas wish list. It means He will give us a new will that lines up with His will.
      3. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:7). Being in Christ will shape our asking so that it eventually aligns with His will.
    2. But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed]. Yet to us God has unveiled and revealed them by  and through His Spirit, for the [Holy] Spirit searches diligently, exploring and examining everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God [the divine counsels and things hidden and beyond man’s scrutiny] (1 Corinthians 2:9, 10, AMPC).
      1. There are things we do not, and will not, ever know about ourselves until the Holy Spirit reveals them to us.
      2. Now is the time to trust the Spirit as our unseen partner.
      3. Peace is security in the midst of turmoil; no matter what we go through, we must not let situations rob us of our peace. This peace is what allows the Holy Spirit to give us revelation.
    3. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law (Galatians 5:18).
      1. We must be willing to be led by the Spirit and give Him credit for the good things that happen in our lives.
      2. Religion, and many churches, have spent much time teaching us how to be led by the law.
      3. The law does not make us righteous; it simply increases sin. It tells us what is wrong with us without giving us the means to change it.
      4. Now that Jesus has come, grace gives us the means to correct the problem.
  1. Believers do not have to live under the law because they are under grace.
    1. Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:9, 10).
      1. We are the righteousness of God because of our faith in Jesus Christ and what He did, not because of anything we did.
      2. We do not need the law anymore for guidance. We now have the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit.
      3. The law has expired for those who are born again.
    2. 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 under the law, sin still has dominion over us. Satan knows this, which is why he tries to get us to live under the law.
    3. 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).
      1. Human nature dictates that the more we are told not to do something, the greater the likelihood we will do that very thing. The more the law tells us not to sin, the more we will sin.
  1. The Holy Spirit wants to teach us, guide us, and lead us deeper into grace.
    1. 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. “The Descendent” and “the Heir” refer to Jesus.
      2. Today, many Christians are more aware of sin than of righteousness.
    2. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth (Romans 10:4).
      1. The law is still valid for unbelievers, but not for those declared righteous through Jesus.
    3. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged (John 16:8-11).
      1. The Holy Spirit’s job is to convince us that all of our sinning is a result of our unbelief. The Spirit was sent to convict us of the sin of unbelief.
      2. We are righteous because of our belief in Christ.
      3. Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Galatians 3:6).
      4. Satan is the prince of this world. Jesus stripped him of his authority and gave it to us.
      5. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 18:18).
      6. We now have the authority to execute spiritual laws.
      7. The idea that God is in complete control is not entirely accurate. He gave much of His authority to mankind in the garden of Eden.
      8. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth…And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (Genesis 1:26, 28).
      9. As born-again believers, we are clothed with immense power.
  1. We no longer have to focus on sin. We can now focus on righteousness.
    1. So also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him (Hebrews 9:28, NLT).
      1. We keep making sin the central issue in our lives. This is what is keeping us from being led by the Spirit.
      2. Sin is a non-issue with God. Jesus dealt with it on the cross.
      3. Jesus paid the price for the sins of everyone on earth, but not everyone is saved. This is because some people do not respond in faith.
    2. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God (Romans 4:25, NLT).
      1. Jesus accepted the responsibility of making us right with God.
      2. Whatever the sin is, the answer is to turn our focus from the sin onto Jesus.
      3. The Holy Spirit can, and will, change us if we let Him. On our own, we can only change our behavior for a little while, but what we do is based on who we are. The Spirit will change our identity so that our actions will change permanently.
    3. Think straight. Awaken to the holiness of life. No more playing fast and loose with resurrection facts. Ignorance of God is a luxury you can’t afford in times like these. Aren’t you embarrassed that you’ve let this kind of thing go on as long as you have? (1 Corinthians 15:34, MSG).
      1. We are missing the mark if we only show love toward people who look or act the way we think they should.
    4. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-21, NLT).
      1. If a believer is struggling with sin, the best thing to do is to remind them of who they are in Christ Jesus.
      2. A mind preoccupied with sin will cause the heart to become callous toward God, but it will never change the way God feels about us. He will always love us.

Scripture References

1 Corinthians 2:9, 10

Psalm 37:4

John 15:7

1 Corinthians 2:9, 10, AMPC

Galatians 5:18

1 Timothy 1:9, 10

Romans 6:14

Romans 5:20, AMPC

Galatians 3:19, AMPC

Romans 10:4

John 16:8-11

Galatians 3:6

Matthew 18:18

Genesis 1:26, 28

Hebrews 9:28, NLT

Romans 4:25, NLT

1 Corinthians 15:34, MSG

2 Corinthians 5:17-21, NLT