Selfishness as Sin 55

Luke 6:31 Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 “If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 “If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

All other sins flow out of that cursed self-love which is in all men by nature. All men seek their own. Their own honor and advancement; not the honor of Christ, but their own honor, their own private gain and advantage; not the profit of religion, but their own profit; their own delights, pleasures, and recreations; their own ease, safety, and security, not the safety of the Gospel, but their own safety; their own wills, lusts, and carnal contentments. Not to please Christ and do his will, but to do their own wills, and to please themselves. And to speak according to the language of our times, their own private, carnal, and creature interest. (The Monster of Self-Seeking Anatomized, Edmund Calamy)

They do not seek the things of God except in subordination to their own self-interest.

Man naturally has no other principle to direct and govern him in his actions but only self-love. (Jonathan Edwards)

The law requires us to love God supremely, but the native bent of our hearts is to love ourselves supremely. (Joseph Bellamy)

Natural unconverted men seek their own particular, private self-interest in all that they do. This encompasses every aspect of their lives. All decisions made by the unconverted man relate to his own self-interest; what helps or benefits them (in an earthly sense) the most, what honors them the most, what pleases them the most. This is true in every area including their religious service.

This shows why what seems to be the vast majority of preaching and evangelism is not biblical because the appeals are made to the sinful self rather than exposing the sinful self. That sinful self does not need to be coddled, but it needs to be humbled and broken for sin. Within the professing Church today the focus is on the self as something good and positive and it is appealed to as a motive rather than what it really is. It is really the sink and spring of sin which must be denied and repented of daily rather than appealed to. What is called the gospel today is really nothing more than an appeal to self-love. That which must be repented of is what people are appealing to as a motive for people to be saved, but what people must be saved from is a heart that loves self and does all out of selfishness. It is simply appalling how deceitful this is and yet it is deceit straight from the pit.

All over the world people are encouraged to turn from sinful actions because of motives of self-love and selfish considerations in this life. The deceptive nature of that, however, is that when people turn from a principle based on selfishness all that is doing is to strengthen sinful self. The Pharisees were lovers of self and sought the honor of men in their “good works” as they thought, but in fact those things were done from a selfish heart and were exceedingly sinful. They were willing to be very religious but not be turned from their proud and selfish hearts. They did what they did out of self-love rather than love for God. In our day it seems as if the professing churches are going down that same route. Some professing churches are libertines and they feed the selfishness of men by not calling them to true holiness. Others are legalists and call men to an external holiness based on selfishness and pride which is as bad as the other if not worse. Where are the preachers of free-grace? Where are those who understand the nature of sin as selfishness and as such the need for sovereign grace to deliver men from self and sin? Where are those who understand that there is nothing a person can do to move God to save him or her? Where are those who are taught to look to God to break them and bring them by grace rather than look to self?

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