Monday, November 19, 2007

Self-Love Pride Over God = Sin

A high school pastor conducted the service at our church yesterday. It was the first time that I have heard him preach. He did a really good job. It was presented at a level that appealed to both teens and adults.

The key message was to recognize how prideful self-love over our love for God keeps us in sin. Thus, he reiterated the extreme importance that preachers and teachers continue to use sound Biblical doctrine while sharing the gospel message. He even labeled the concept as "old school is cool."

The following is a general outline with Bible verse references that reiterate the points being made. After the list are some discussion notes and a link to a fellow Christian blogger who wrote an excellent essay about the radical victory of Christ's cross.

1. The pride of self-love over God is the deadly sin that is the foundation which leads to all others. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

This does not mean that we are not to love ourselves. What it is saying, though, is that the pride of self-love over and above our love for God is the deadly sin.

See Genesis 2:16-17. Notice how the desires in Adam and Eve caused them to sin rather than listen to God's admonition to avoid that certain tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

2. God wants ________ (fill in your name) to obey His Word because He loves you and wants to protect you.

3. This country was built on Godly principles because they work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17

We often hear non-believers claim that the Bible is "irrelevant" today. However, when we look around at the sinful conditions wreaking havoc upon us in our nation today, the truth is that the Bible is more relevant now than ever! One definition of "relevant" means, "having some bearing on current state of society."

4. God and the Bible is what keeps order in the world.
One analogy is our traffic laws. We have speed limit laws to protect us and help us feel and be safe. What if a sign on the freeway said, "Speed limit - go for it." Would you feel safe?

There are rules in God's Word because He loves us.

5. What in your life confirms that you are madly in love with Jesus Christ? 2 Timothy 4:1

This is a personal reflection question that each of us needs to answer.

6. To prevent further decline of Christianity we must prepare ourselves by doing the work of the Lord, through studying and obeying the Word.
2 Timothy 4:2-4

There is no doubt that Christianity is under attack today. What will you do to counter this?

7. As true followers of Christ _______ (fill in your name) must be willing to do whatever it takes to spread the gospel to a lost and deceived world. 2 Timothy 4:2-4

Also see Matthew 5:10-12

The last question is:

Are you madly in love with Jesus Christ?

Do you realize that sin could care less about you? Think about that for a moment. Then, compare it to what God thinks about us and has done for our sakes through Jesus Christ at the cross.

Going back to the traffic analogy. We have signs on the road that say "STOP!" We also may encounter signs that say, "take this detour." Why are they there? For our protection. What happens when we don't obey traffic laws? We end up suffering the consequences.

It is the same with God's Word. There are consequences for disobedience of God's laws in the Word of God just like there are consequences in traffic laws.


Remember the point that "sin doesn't care about you?"

It doesn't.

But the person who is trapped in sin is saying that satan's plan is better than God's plan. It's the attitude of "as long as it pleases me" rather than having the proper attitude of desiring to please God.

The Ten Commandments show us what's wrong with our lives. The Old Testament is like a mirror of reflection that identifies our sinful nature. However, like a mirror, it doesn't show you how to fix it.

The purpose of the New Testament is to show us how to fix it.

Jesus mentioned that a man shouldn't even look at a woman with lust. He warned us that we are to guard ourselves against greed.

The sad part is, we don't have the ability and/or desire to keep the Law. That is why Jesus came to save us. When he rescues us, it is the power of the indwelled Holy Spirit that helps us strive towards holiness and righteousness.

Why would we want to strive for holiness and righteousness?

Because we love our Lord!

Jesus told us that we are not to think that he came to abolish the Law and the Prophets. He came to fulfill them. He also told us that if we love him, we will keep his commandments. The Holy Spirit of God guides us to do just that!

[Please see The Cross is a Radical Thing over at Camp On This. It is an excellent essay! Steve Camp's blog has become a daily visit for me.]

Imagine yourself going to the dentist. He points out your problem. He finds that you have a deep cavity that needs to be fixed with a root canal and filling. However, he stops there, lets you get up from the chair and says, "good luck with that."

Would he be considered a good dentist if he just let you go on in your suffering without providing the remedy? Of course not!

It is the same with God. God has provided the remedy for our sin and it is Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Again, the Old Testament provides the reasons why we know right and wrong. It is the absolute standard of truth. God disciplines those whom he loves! This is why He gives us parameters in our lives. He wants to save us from the consequences of sin; both in this life and in eternity.

Excerpt from Steve Camp's essay:

Compare the cost of the cross with the cost of sin

A life of sin can leave you naked - stripped of friends, family, dignity, wealth, and reputation. A life of sin can leave you lonely - separated from fellowship with God and other believers, left in despair without much hope. A life of sin can leave you in utter humiliation - waking up in the "pigpen" of your rebellion as the prodigal son sorrowfully discovered (Luke 15:14-16). And last, a life of sin can never bring glory, but only shame on all who embraces it, cover it, and hold it dear (Philippians 3:18-19; Psalm 66:18).

Like the rich young ruler (Mark 10:17-22) who wanted heaven on his own terms, people today, are trying to find their own way to God, but Jesus says, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me (John 14:6 emphasis added)." The cross is truly a radical thing.

Recall that last question in the outline above.

Question: Are you madly in love with Jesus Christ?

Think about what many men are "madly in love with." Take, for example, fanatical football fans. On any given Sunday, we could find fans with their faces painted, no shirts, jumping up and down, screaming, cheering and yelling for their favorite team in 30 degree weather.

For what?

This is something that really has no true relevance in their lives. It's just a game. Yet, they are madly in love with their team and they want them to win!

Why not be madly in love with the Person throughout all eternity who loves you so much that he gave his life for you at the cross?

Excerpt from Steve Camp's essay:

Our Lord, having conquered sin and death now gives life-everlasting, the forgiveness of sin, newness of life, securing us with His precious Holy Spirit as the guarantee of our redemption to all those that the Father has drawn and chosen from all eternity to be His own (John 3:16-18; Hebrews 2:14; 2 Corinthians 5:17,21; Ephesians 1:13-14; Galatians 2:20; Romans 5:1-10). What tremendous victories that cause us to glory in our Lord. (Titus 3:4-6).

HT: Camp On This

1 comment:

Christinewjc said...

Great verse that fits here:

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me" -Galatians 2:20.