The following text is a near direct transcription of the sermon. We hope you enjoy it and share it with others! You can also listen to the audio above, download the episode, or subscribe to the podcast.
Dr. John Hollar is the Director at CFNI, Christ for the Nations Institute, in Dallas. He has served there for many years as a teacher of Homiletics and the Holy Spirit in the Bible among other subjects.
Dr. Hollar has pastored many churches and is the overseer of many of them still today. He and his wife lead the 5 Conference, a meeting of the leadership of those connected churches.
Pastor Ann Hollar is the pastor of The River in Durant, OK and Dr. Hollar speaks here almost every Sunday! You can hear many of his sermons on our podcast page or come by on a Sunday service.
Galatians chapter 3. Galatians chapter 3.
This service has already been on the theme and tone of the message God has given me for you today. I want to talk to you about righteousness, and I may be talking about righteousness for a while, like 'til November, because this one of the biggest subjects in the Bible - the most important subject when it comes to our relationship with God.
How is a person made righteous? Most people still don't know. How is a person made righteous and how does he keep that righteousness once he has it? That's a big question. You think you get it. How do you hold on to it? It's slippery like a greased pig, you know. It's hard to hold on to. Like nailing Jell-O to a tree, it just won't stay up there.
But the truth is, righteousness is not a thing you hold on to. Righteousness is a condition that happens to you. Oh, Glory! Righteousness is a condition that happens to you. It's not about you living a certain way to please God. Like religion has told us forever, "You got to live a certain way to please God. You got to do a certain thing to please God." All that's man-made religion. The quicker you get that out of your heart and out of your mind the better off you'll be.
Galatians chapter 3, verse 6 says, "Even as Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness." This comes from Genesis 15:6, "Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness." You all have heard me talk about this. If you've been here three times, you've heard me talk about this. About every third time, we run this wheel again, because I know you and I know me.
I was talking to Curtis just the other day. He and I do what we always do. We talk about the Scriptures. We talk about them. We just go at it. He gets new ideas and I give him my ideas and we go back and forth on it.
I shared that... Some of you were here Wednesday night, I shared the revelation I got in Israel. It had almost nothing to do with Israel, but a little bit. I shared... How many of you were here Wednesday night? Praise God! The Real Christians. Just kidding. I put on the board all the books of the Bible - all the books of the Old Covenant. Anybody know how many there are? There are thirty-nine. That's how many stripes you get in the Old Testament if you do something worthy of personal punishment that doesn't deserve stoning or death - you get thirty-nine stripes. Isn't that amazing? The law has the same number of books as punishments delivered to the people. You look at what the law is really all about...
I'm big on Biblical interpretation. It's one of my fortes to teach. It's strong in my education, understanding how to exegete the Scriptures. I teach a course called Homiletics, which is after Hermeneutics. You 'hermeneutic' a passage and then 'homiletic' it for preaching. The hermeneutics is just the study of how to interpret the Scriptures. What are they really saying? What does it really mean? There are so many denominations in the world because people don't really understand how to interpret the Scriptures.
I've come to understand that first mention things are really important and last mention things are really important.
Let me give you this little tidbit. The first word of the Old Testament is "in". The last word of the Old Testament is "curse". You want to stay in that curse, you just stay right there, but I'm not there, because I got over in the New Covenant. The New Covenant's first word is "the" and its last word is "Amen". Hallelujah!
The Book of Revelation tells us that Jesus is the Amen, the so-be-it god. Not the you-can't-have-it god or the I'm-gonna-kill-you god. He's the so-be-it God. The It-Is-Finished God. Hallelujah. The Old Covenant is "In Curse", but the New Covenant is "The Amen". It's all about Jesus. It's not about how you perform, it's about how He performed. Hallelujah.
Our righteousness comes as a result of a reckoning that says God accounted it to him for righteousness.
One of the things I liked about the movie Tombstone, when it comes toward the end, when Wyatt Earp is gonna have to face Johnny Ringo, Doc Holiday says, "It's a reckoning." It's a reckoning. That means it's getting even. Do you understand? A reckoning is how somebody gets even. God reckoned Abraham righteous. That is, God got even with Abraham!
Not by punishing him, but by elevating him. God made him even with Himself. He reckoned him righteous. Glory to God! He got even! He got on the same level. When a reckoning takes place, it means that we're even. That righteousness has been imputed by Almighty God.
Ultimately, righteousness can only come by one who is supremely right. No one can determine his own righteousness, only his own satisfaction. And that's what most people do. They don't understand God. They get angry with God. They believe what the nominal church has told them about God and they just give up on knowing Him. They just give up on knowing Him! And they find some way of scratching that itch that's inside them, you understand? They find some way of scratching that itch that's inside them and just get satisfied. They're never really right, and they know they're not right. Listen, being satisfied and being righteous are two different things. You can be satisfied and not be righteous, but you can't be righteous and not be satisfied. It's in the deal. When you know that you are righteous with God - when you know you have righteousness and you've been made righteous - When you understand, all your fear goes away, and you're not in control of your circumstances, you're OVER your circumstances.
Most of us are trying to get in control of our circumstances. You need to see that you're in authority over your circumstances, Glory to God! Your circumstances are under your authority.
Ultimately, righteousness can only come from the one who is supremely right.
Just because you're satisfied, doesn't mean you're right, but when you are right, you are satisfied.
Now, listen, verse 7, look at verse 7 in chapter 3, "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham." Those who are of faith, those are the ones who are the children of Abraham. Not all the children of Abraham are the children of God, but all the children of God are definitely the children of Abraham.
Mark Twain said the two most important days of your life are the day you're born and the day you find out why. Most of the world is full of people who just know about that one day and never really find out about why they're born. Why. There must be a reason why you're here, and everyone asks the question. Even atheists ask themselves this question, "Why am I here? What's it all about?" It has to have meaning. Everyone knows it has to have meaning or I wouldn't wonder. If it didn't have to have meaning, I wouldn't say it had to have meaning. If it didn't have to have meaning, we wouldn't ask that question. Evolution would not have created us to ask that question. Are you hearing me? It's stupid to say so!
The very fact that we ask, "What does it all mean," means that it must mean something. Snakes don't ask, "Why am I here?" Dogs don't ask, "Why am I here?" That horse that won that race yesterday - ah he's impressive - but do you know what he was thinking at the end of that race? "Get my oat bag now. Get my oat bag now. Get my oat bag now." He wasn't thinking, "I won a big race! Look at me!" He was saying, "When you getting off? When you getting off? When you getting off and giving me my oat bag?" He didn't even know he'd won a race. All he knew was his owner was in a hurry. "We gotta get there now!" Can you imagine his disappointment when he wound up where he started? "Hey! This is where we were! Why didn't we just stop right here?" 'Cause he doesn't know.
The owner knows there's something to it. Those of a greater mind know there's a reason. There has to be something more.
The two greatest days of your life are the day you're born and the day you find out why.
The scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham saying in him... in thee shall all nations be blessed.
Now, I've shared this with you before, but this is a stand out moment in the Bible if you ask me. It says, "foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham..." The Scriptures preached unto Abraham. Do you see it? The scriptures, that is the subject of this sentence, preached to Abraham. For you Bible School students, or you Bible Students, you got a little chronological problem with this, don't you? Because Genesis wasn't written until 400 years after Abraham had died. Why does it say that the Scriptures preached to Abraham? Is this a flaw in the Holy Text? Of course not! All it's saying is, the Scriptures were written in a place, because you can't use the Word 'Graphe' and not mean written down. The Scriptures must have been written in a place - some place in the Spirit - where they could be seen. Is this real? Is this really true? That the Bible was written in an invisible realm before and Abraham got a glimpse of it? Let's see!
Let's look at Genesis 15. I'm going to show you something astounding. An Okie found it. For all you Texans, an Okie found this one.
Verse 1 says, "After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram..." how? In an auditory word? In a VISION! The Word came, not through his ears, but through his eyes! Did you ever slow down and see what it actually said? God showed him the scroll of the scriptures and he read it for himself. The Word came in a vision. That's what Galatians 3 said, "The Scriptures preached to Abraham."
Oh, This is powerful! That makes you want to go home and read your Bible, doesn't it? It should! Rather than most people standing around, "Oh God, I need a word. I want a word. Please, give me a word!" I said, "Oh, shut up! You don't need a word. You don't even want one! You haven't read your Bible in a month." You want a word, just open that book! Shove your face in it! You'll get a word!
The Word came to Abram in a vision. The Scriptures forseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham saying, "In thee shall all nations be blessed."
Galatians 3:9 "So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." Blessed how? We have greater than Abraham in the Spirit! We have Jesus! All Abraham's faith did was keep him from going to hell. It did not take him to Heaven. It took him to that place where they could still see hell over there. Remember? He just escaped the judgement of hell. Made him righteous, but he didn't get to go to heaven because his righteousness did not rebirth him yet. He had not been born again yet, been made right completely, thoroughly, reborn - until Jesus went in to hell and when he came up out of the grave that time, that's when Abraham got born again - praise God - the same day Jesus got born all over again - birthed from hell, birthed from death, hell and the grave, a second birth. Praise God! That's why Jesus said if you want to enter the kingdom you must be born again.
You put your faith in Jesus You identify with what He did. You become crucified with Him. The moment you believe on Jesus, you become crucified with Him - dead, buried, and resurrected, all in one miraculous moment. Just like that!
If you're here in this place and you haven't had that experience, I have some good news for you. That can happen to you before you walk out of the building.
We have one greater than Abraham in the Spirit.
4 Things We Have that Abraham Did Not
1. Holy Spirit Baptism
2. Direct Entrance into Heaven
For a believer, the Bible promises that to be absent from the body... The moment you close your eyes in what we know as death, Jesus just called it sleep, your spirit will instantly arrive in glory. You won't know any difference. All your loved ones, whose bodies are out there in the graveyard, they don't think about that body being in the grave. WE think about their bodies being in the graveyard. They don't even know what we're crying about. They blinked their eyes, if they were saved, and they woke up in glory. One moment to the next. That's all it is. He took the sting out of death. Praise God! He took the sting out of death.
The older I get, the more forward to it I'm looking, praise God! I'm not afraid of it. Somebody was saying, "Now, you be careful over there in Israel." I ain't gonna be careful. If I see a guy with a gun, I'm gonna run over there and say, "Shoot me!"
I told my kids, I said, "You guys listen to me. Listen to me." I heard about this Billionaire that went into outer space because he could afford it. I said, "You know when the first digital watches were like $100... Now you can buy them at Wal-Mart for $2... If they ever make that affordable enough for a guy like me to go into outer space, I'm going. I'm going. If they say it's dangerous, I'm still going. If they say I've got a fifty/fifty chance, I'm still going. If they say there's a ninety percent chance you won't return, I'm still going.
I want my grandkids to be able to say, when they're standing around at a party, "How'd your grandpa die?"
This one's gonna say, "Well, he died coughing up blood in a hospital bed." Another one's gonna say, "Well, he died with Alzheimer’s, you know. He was about ninety-five and the last ten years of his life, he didn't even know who we were. We were so glad that he finally went on to be with the Lord."
They get around to asking my kids, "How'd your grandpa die?"
"HE BLEW UP IN OUTER SPACE! GLORY TO GOD! He got to tinkering with the machinery and blew the thing up. He thought he could run it.
Direct Entrance to Heaven.
3. Jesus, Your High Priest
I don't know how people live without being able to use Jesus' name, say His name and instantly feel the power of the Holy Ghost in your life, the comfort of the Spirit just saying His name. Man, there's something powerful about Him - Him, sitting at the right hand of the throne of God our apostle and high priest of our profession. Whatever you're saying, He's saying right now before Almighty God. You may not know how to say it, but He knows how to say it the right way.
You've got an elder brother working on your behalf, praise God! Y'all heard me tell the story about my older brother getting my first guitar. When you got somebody on your side, you got an elder brother who knows how to talk to the Father like you don't know how to talk to the Father. He's known Him a lot longer. He knows Him a lot better. All you got to do is use His name and He knows how to get your message through to the Father. You have a High Priest that Abraham just didn't have.
4. You have God as Your Father
You have the Almighty Himself, the Creator of the universe as your Father. Think about that. Think about your Father. Now think about the Creator of the universe in his place.
What makes you not want to go get it? What makes you not want to go have what He wants you to have? Because He owns everything. He doesn't just own the cattle on a thousand hills. He owns the oil under the hills. He owns all the gold under the hills. He owns it all, and if that's not enough, they found a diamond planet out there, a while back when the Hubble Space Station went out. It's Mrs. Ann's favorite planet. They say it's crusted in diamonds. They've known it's been there for a long time. They thought it was a little sun of some kind because of the way it sparkled. You can look it up on the internet. When the camera got close enough to it, they realized it didn't have its own fire source. It was just made of diamonds. Somebody said, "You reckon that's the diamond that Jesus is gonna use when He marries the bride?" I don't know. Could be. A solitaire for a whole planet.
What are some of the blessings? Some of the blessings you have are long life, wealth, land, victory over your enemies. These things are all spoken in Abraham's covenant. Miracles - the miracle of Isaac. Favor with kings and civil authorities. I believe it's the will of God for you to be involved in this community, to make this community understand that we're here as the church of the living God and we're never gonna go back.
I think it's also wonderful that Jesus' first and last miracles were amazing miracles. Jesus' first and last miracles were miracles... Because of His righteous standing, He doesn't have to have a reason to perform a miracle. We tend to think God only performs miracles for those who are desperately in need of them. "Oh, God only works miracles for those who really need 'em - all those who are suffering." That's just not true, that could not possibly be true. No one suffers more than little children on the streets of India, starving to death in Calcutta. If need was what drove God to work miracles, He'd spend all of His time there and He never even would say "hi" to us.
Need is not what drives God. Need is not what moves God. Need is not what compels God or pleases God. There's just one thing that pleases God and that's faith. There's just one thing that pleases God.
The problem in India and these places like that around the world is not that they have too many people. That's just silly. If having too many people causes nations to go down, then tell me why it is that all the farm kids go to the city where all the jobs are, where it's really crowded, to find money. People have always brought prosperity. Abundances of people have brought prosperity.
The largest cities in this country are the cities that prosper the most, that pay the most in wage. The young people are trying to get to these big cities all the time. Because, where crowds of people are, that's where prosperity is.
India doesn't have an over-crowding problem. They have a god problem. They worship cows. They have a god problem. They'd rather worship the cows than take care of the children on the street. Every nation that worships the state or worships something other than their true God has that problem.
We have enough problems here, and we supposedly worship the true God. You understand? That's because the numbers in America are getting fewer and fewer and fewer. As the number of those that worship the true God goes down, the problems go up. You can mark them in our history. They're parallel things.
Jesus' last miracle was a miracle of catching too many fish. He helped them catch so many fish, they broke the nets and couldn't get them all in. They didn't need that. These guys weren't starving. They weren't suffering. They weren't begging, "Oh, Jesus, we're going bankrupt! If you don't help us catch some fish..." No. None of that. They were good fishermen and knew what they were doing.
I've been on that Sea of Galilee, now. I ate the fish out of the Sea of Galilee. I've got to be honest with you. I'd rather have Texoma catfish any day. Red River catfish any day! But it was alright! It was good.
Jesus worked this wonderful miracle of prosperity and abundance just to say that He could. His last miracle was that!
Ah, yeah! But He healed a lot of people that were in desperate need. Yes, He did. He did do that, but He didn't start His ministry that way.
He started His ministry by a miracle that most of the preachers in my realm have a real difficult problem with. "When they had already drunk their full..." Jesus made them POTS of WINE! Explain it! You can't explain it if you think that God only works miracles for those who have need. Amen. Come on! He's a prosperity God! Amen!
Galatians 3:10 "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse..."
What did I say the law was about? First word, "In". Last word, "Curse".
"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." You start there, you got to finish there.
Laws intrinsically, you gotta here this, carry consequences or they are of no effect and therefore are not actually laws. Just because it's on the books, if there are no consequences to it, it's not a law at all. Anti-sodomy laws have been on our books for ages, but nobody's enforcing it, so they just went away.
It is the nature of a broken law to curse. It is the nature of a broken law to curse.
That's why the law can't help but have the curse in it.
Jesus did something that none of us could do, because if you have to die for your sins, that's all you get to do is die for them. There's no living beyond it. There's no help beyond.
Galatians 3:11 "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith."
Life comes from faith and no other way. Life comes from just believing God and no other way. Until you step into the unseen realm, you're not really living. You need to understand this, your life is not about what you see, what you can taste, touch, and smell. Everything that you lean on, everything that you trust in, is going away. It is fading as we speak. Fading as we speak.
That's why homes that are built that aren't lived in just crumble fast. They just crumble so fast. You build a brand new home, a nice home, keep it locked up, it'll just crumble, because they're not made for that.
You were not made to live your life without the presence of God in you. That's why death is everywhere, because there's no life in you. As a believer, life comes in the moment you believe. When the life of Almighty God comes in, you come back to life. Everything about you changes.
Everything about you changes. Oh, you still might not like spinach. If you didn't like spinach the day before you got saved, you're probably not gonna like it the day after. You know what I mean?
But everything about your attitude changes. Everything about who you think you are changes.
And then you go to church and then they change you back.
That's why you got here as quick as you could. Praise God.
Religion is just death. It's just death with another name.
Galatians 3:12 "The law is not of faith..."
Is the law of faith? No. It is not. The law God wrote was not of faith. That's the one he's talking about. The law of God is not of faith. You need to hear this in your heart. If you don't hear this in your heart, you'll always misunderstand what the Bible's saying.
The law that God wrote through Moses was not a faith law.
I didn't say it, and I didn't write this. I just found it.
The law is not of faith.
"But we want the ten commandments!" Oh, listen to me. Listen to me. Hold on. The Ten Commandments are good if they're used lawfully. The law is good if it's used lawfully, but the lawful way to use the law is not to try to get people to behave so they can go to heaven. That's the unlawful way to use the law.
You use the law lawfully by building a society with it. Society's laws are built on the law of God, but just because you always stop at the stop sign, my Mormon friend, doesn't make you righteous. Right? I'm helping you today.
The law is not of faith. It won't do anything for your heart. It will do something for society. I'm in on building our society's laws on the law of God. I'm all for that, but I still say you're never gonna be made righteous because of the way you perform the law.
"But the man that does them shall live in them..."
Now, look here what it says in Romans 14:23, "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin."
So, the law is not of faith, and Romans 14:23 says whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Hmmm... Again, I didn't write this. I'm just telling you what the Bible actually says. Whatever is not of faith is sin, and it says the law is not of faith. Draw your own conclusions.
Too many of us are not living our dreams because we're living our fears.
This word that Frank brought was so shocking to me. That's why I told Mrs. Ann you go to have him give this word, because I knew where this message was going. "You will never experience the joy and the peace and the love and the prosperity and all the good things that God has for you, even your health, until you dominate your fears. And there's no way to dominate your fears without just doing something by faith to cause those fears to subside.
I was staying in an old house one time years ago, and nobody else was there. The wind started blowing, and the old house started creaking. I started hearing noises, and voices, and stuff.
Anybody been in that old house? You know what I'm talking about? Just name a street, they all have one. The old two story house - creepy place. I'm sitting there and I can feel demons swarming as my fear level rises.
I was young in the Lord and I thought, what am I gonna do here? "Get away from me devil. Shut up!" Well, that just let him know I was really afraid.
What am I gonna do? You know what I did? I stood up - and I didn't know the house very well. It was in Marietta, OK. I stood up and I walked out of the living room down the hallway to the back bedroom that I'd never been in. And I could barely see inside the room, because it had pull string lights like that, you know. I didn't know where that was. I could just barely make out any images inside that room.
I walked in and I could almost feel stuff on my skin. The fear was tangible - taste it in my mouth. I just kept walking in the darkest part of that room. I walked back there and there was a door, and I just opened that door. It was a closet, I think. I just stuck my body into that closet and put my hand up on the shelf and shoved my hand back as far as I could on that shelf.
I just stood there and just dared something to eat me.
I didn't know what was big enough to eat me in there, but there had to be something, because I was terrified. I was terrified by something. Do you understand what I'm saying?
Even you big guys know what I'm talking about? Fear is not reasonable.
I just stood there until it went away. I just stood there. Stood there trembling. Finally, after a little while, "I beat you devil!" Turned around and walked out.
You gotta do it afraid sometimes, but you do it by faith. You have to operate in the faith that's in your heart. Any kind of fears can be overcome, and there unreasonable fears. Most of the things you worry about make no sense at all! If you sat down and wrote it out on paper, you'd say, "Well, I'm a lunatic! I must be a lunatic to be afraid of that!"
Faith will bring you out of it. Faith just brings you out of it.
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law being made a curse for us. For it is written, 'cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.'" He was redeemed. Has redeemed us. That redeemed us is the gospel part of this passage. Redeemed us. That's the gospel part of this passage.
I'm gonna stop right there for the day.
The Gospel is not that Christ died. He was buried, and He was born again. That's what the creed makes us recite, but that's not the Gospel. That's just the history. The mystery part is Christ died FOR OUR SINS. It was all done for us! Don't leave off the mystery when you're reciting the history. Christ died FOR OUR SINS! It had a purpose! He knew His purpose. He knew His purpose. He had those two great days in His life, the day He was born and the day He found out why.
He had a purpose, and His purpose was to save humanity.
Listen, you're here alive on planet earth. You're here hearing these messages not to just come and hear them and be made whole, even though you are being made whole. Just sitting under the Word like this makes you whole. It makes you whole!
We don't have an altar call or prayer line culture. Although, we have prayer lines and we give altar calls and we lay hands on people. That's not our culture. Our culture is a culture of teaching and living it.
If we develop a prayer line culture and an altar call culture, you'll think you have to have me to have any kind of relationship with God. And you don't.
You don't have to be so enthusiastic about it, Parish. You could have said something like, "Well, yeah, it's true, Pastor, but we still want you." You could have come up with something like that.
Will you bow your heads with me for a minute?
Father, dear, thank You for Your kindness. Thank you for the revelation of the Word today. I ask you to bless this congregation today.
Let the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation and the Knowledge of Christ manifest here so their hearts can be enriched with this word, and that it will bring forth some thrity, some sixty, some hundred fold. First the blade. Then the ear. Then the full corn in the ear. Little by little, and on and on, we learn as the Word grows in our hearts. In Jesus' name, amen.
If you're reading this today, and you know but you don't really know Jesus... You've never made a commitment to Him, never asked Him to come into your life... This is a good day for you, because He loves you. You saying anything you want to say, be as satisfied as you want to be, but without Christ in your life, you'll always be empty.
When the friends are gone, the lights are turned off, and the music is shut off, it's just you in the darkness. You know you're empty. You know you have questions. You know you need God. I'm giving you an opportunity to make all that emptiness go away today. All those questions. All that pain. All that resentment. All the fear... Can just go away today. If you'll open your heart to Christ, Who loves you. If He had to do it over again just to get you, He would do it again, just to get you.
This is the greatest invitation any church can give, to invite you into our family, to become part of this family, to come to know Christ, because Christ died for your sins. We'll never talk to you about your sins again. We'll never mention them again, because He forgets them. If you sin against us, we'll keep trying to forgive you until it's real. We'll work at it, 'til it's real. We'll do it by faith 'til it's real.
If God loves you like you are, this family of believers will love you just like you are. We'll take you just like you are.
If that's for you... if you need Jesus in your life today... You've run long enough. You've denied Him long enough. Today is your day. We'll pray for you today that you would be right with God. Pray this prayer or call us so we can pray with you.
Dear God in Heaven, I come to you in Jesus' name. I believe the Gospel I heard today - that Christ died for my sins, that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day just like the Bible says. I believe this. Jesus, come into my heart. Make me new. I'll do what I can, because You've done what You could. I believe in You! I believe in You! I believe I'll never be the same! I believe I'm a new creature now, and I receive you with gladness. Thank you, now, for making God my Father and You being my elder brother. Thank You, Lord! And in Jesus' name, AMEN!