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WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY

WATERBURY BIBLE CHURCH

FEBRUARY 24, 1994

CHRISTIAN SELFISM

Why the concern? Why is it important to examine the popular theories of Christian Selfism being taught in our Community, on our Radio, in Our Magazines and by some whom we may consider our heroes? Why the the CONCERN?

IT IS PERILIOUS TIMES WHEN MEN SHALL BE LOVERS OF THEIR OWN SELVES!

II Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

As men have always been lovers of themselves in so much as EVE ate the fruit for the benefit she saw it may give to her ownself:

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Ephesians 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

Philippians 2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.

(continued from above) In the last days men will much more be lovers of their ownselves. It is perhaps true that we now live in these LAST of the LAST days. If not, we know this to be true: MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN EVERYWHERE ARE BEING TAUGHT THAT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THEY CAN DO IS TO BE LOVERS OF THEIR OWNSELVES. This is true even in fundamental evangelical churches. The experts we look up to are espousing a new gospel, of self-esteem, self-worth, self-acceptance, self-love, positive self-image. They are such men as Dr. James Dobson, Pastor Chuck Swindol, Preacher Josh McDowell, and seminar leader Bill Gothard.

Did you know that:

"The basis of conforming to the image of Jesus Christ and glorifying God is Self-Acceptance?"

That with the fall came not pride but inferiority? That Jesus Christ died on the cross so that YOU may be restored to a sense of self-worth?

That you cannot love others until you first love yourself?

That you cannot love God until you first love yourself?

That you cannot be rightly married to your wife until you are first married to yourself?

That sexual immorality, drug abuse, crime, rape, murder is the product of low self-esteem?

That President John Kennedy was killed by a man who was a victim of low self-esteem?

You may say yes, I knew this. For these are a brief listing of the conclusions made by todays fundamental, evangelical, christian expositors who support the CHRISTIAN SELFism's of Self-Esteem, Self- Image, Self-Worth, Self-love, and Self-Acceptance. The purpose of this study is to open your eyes to a different view of self. A view of self supported in scripture. A view of self that includes the CROSS. A humble view of SELF. A view of self that will cause you to reject loving self, esteeming self, seeking self-worth for one that will bring you to die to self.

THIS IS THE DAY IN WHICH WE ARE TAUGHT TO LOVE OURSELVES. Never has the church made such an effort to exhort men to LOVE THEMSELVES, ACCEPT THEMSELVES, look to themselves, find worth in themselves. Please, we should learn rather to be sick of ourselves; To be crucified to ourselves. SELF-INFATUATION is our downfall not our salvation.

A NEW GOSPEL IS BEING PREACHED. A GOSPEL THAT HAS A NEW CONCEPT OF WHO MAN IS, WHY HE DOES WHAT HE DOES, AND HOW HE CAN CHANGE HIS BEHAVIOUR. THIS CONCEPT WILL PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING DESCRIPTIONS AND SOLUTIONS:

Who is man? A Victim. Why does he do the evil he does? Because he is a victim of low self-esteem, low self- worth, and he lacks self-acceptance. And how may he change his behaviour? By discovering twenty secrets to self- acceptance. By learning how to love himself. By finding in himself a true sense of worth. By looking at those things God has given him and taking credit for them. This credit will then elevate his self-esteem, self-acceptance, and self- worth. When he comes to this point his evil behaviour will be corrected.

Man is no longer viewed as a sinner, who does what he does because of sin. No longer can he be instructed to change his behaviour by repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

 The number one SCRIPTURE USED TO Teach a "principal" of Self-Love, Self-Esteem, and Self-Acceptance:

Matthew 22:36 Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

We are told by many that the principal here is that before we can ever love God we must first learn to love ourselves. Before we can ever love our neighbor we must first learn to love ourselves. Are there three commandments? No, On these two said our Lord Jesus Christ.

Love of Self is a FACT not a command.

READ PSALM 10 AND SEE IF THE INABILITY OF THE WICKED IS ASCRIBED TO FEELINGS OF LOW SELF-ESTEEM AND A LACK OF SELF-ACCEPTANCE AND SELF- WORTH.

READ ROMANS 1:18-32 AND SEE if we are not a race of beings bursting with self-love and self-worth.

Another scripture which is used to teach a "principal" of self- acceptance:

Psalms 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvelous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well.

But what are we instructed here? Let us say, "I will praise thee" not OH, goody now I can praise me!

Another verse:

Psalms 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Again, why are we so stubborn? We are plainly instructed to KNOW the LORD - HE MADE US, NOT to exalt ourselves.

The following are a few scriptures that do not teach us principals of self-worth, self-acceptance, self-love, and self-esteem:

Proverbs 11:2 [When] pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly [is] wisdom.

Proverbs 3:34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.

Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD [is] the instruction of wisdom; and before honour [is] humility.

Proverbs 16:18 Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:19 Better [it is to be] of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified [rather] than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Psalms 138:6 Though the LORD [be] high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.

Psalms 147:6 The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.

Psalms 149:4 For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.

Proverbs 22:4 By humility [and] the fear of the LORD [are] riches, and honour, and life.

Proverbs 27:2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.

Proverbs 29:23 A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

Isaiah 51:1 Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock [whence] ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit [whence] ye are digged.

Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name [is] Holy; I dwell in the high and holy [place], with him also [that is] of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Isaiah 66:2 For all those [things] hath mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, saith the LORD: but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

Matthew 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Romans 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Romans 12:10 [Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

I Corinthians 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

I Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which [was bestowed] upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

II Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency [is] of God;

II Corinthians 12:5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but [now] I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me [to be], or [that] he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

Ephesians 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Philippians 2:3 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

I Timothy 1:15 This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

I Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Please forgive me for being far too brief. Many avenues refuting Christian Selfism yet remain for us. IN the last days men shall be lovers of their ownselves. Are you one of these? Are you teaching others to do just this? Let us strive to return to the biblical view of self.

SELF CANNOT OVERCOME SELF. The answers to our problems with living, marriage and behavior modification do not lie in elevating our view of self. We must come to reject ourselves, renounce claim to our self- will, our desires, our goals, and embrace the LORD JESUS CHRIST. We must take up our cross and DIE TO SELF. Yes, in the cross there is victory over the self. I must decrease that he can increase. Without Jesus Christ I can do nothing. If this is true where is there any room for SELF. But alas, there is too much of self yet alive in me. Self must go, self must be mortified. Self and Flesh are much of one and the same.

Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Matthew 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Philippians 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, [that they are] the enemies of the cross of Christ:

 LOOK UNTO JESUS AND NOT TO YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!!! Don't be deceived by SELF-LOVE theories, be freed by the cross, be freed from a failing self-solution to the life-giving WORD OF GOD, the indwelling Holy Spirit, Promises and grace abounding to such sinners as ourselves. GRACE that will change the heart and equip you for living.