Selfishness as Sin 57

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.

Philippians 2:19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

The weight of these passages should bear mightily upon our souls and especially so if the Spirit teaches us the heart and weight of them. We should see the very selfishness of our hearts the whole of our lives. When we look back at our childhood, we see that we were selfish toward our parents, our siblings, and all those around us. If we attended church meetings, we were selfish then as well. Our hearts were given over to the things of self and whatever we did we did them out of self-interest and self-love. The heart of a child is full of foolishness, yes, but it is filled with self. We can direct children in the ways of self or point them to the God who can deliver them from self. The self can be directed to where it can be outwardly moral and good, but it is still full of self.

When we look at our teenage years what do we see but bundles of self? Once again we see ourselves learning and doing and interacting with nothing but self in mind. We only had ourselves in mind when we did what we did and in the people we interacted with and the people we did not have much to do with. We acted the way we did because we wanted to impress people rather than love God. Teenagers are said to act the way they do because of peer pressure, but what is that but living out of self-love wanting the attention and approval of others? Teenagers want to be liked and honored or have the attention of those around them.

As adults, we are not so open about our desire to be honored and recognized by others, but our selfish hearts still desire those things. Apart from regeneration, the whole world runs on the basis of self and the things and interests of self. Businesses operate that way. Advertising operates that way. Politicians operate that way regardless of party affiliation. Sadly enough, it would appear that the vast majority of professing churches operate that way as well. It is now all about what we can offer people to get them in the door and give money. If we were honest and advertised the churches according to the biblical pattern, we would say people should come to our church because we are promised that those who are godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution and we will help you learn to submit to God as you suffer. It is true that this honesty would cut down on the numbers of people attending, but it would also cut down on the numbers of those who were deceived.

As we look at the passages above and take them to heart, down deep we know what the modern professing Church is doing. It is operating and functioning in accordance with the principles of self-love. If even Paul had trouble finding men to send to churches who were not genuine in their concern for the people but instead were concerned with the things and interests of self and not the things and interests of Christ, then we can know that it is far worse in our day. The “ministry” appears concerned with how to do ministry in order to get more people in the door and down the aisle to say a prayer and be baptized. The ministry appears to be concerned with giving lessons on how nice God is and how we should be nice and moral rather than the truth of God and our wicked and sinful hearts. The ministry appears to be concerned with avoiding offending anyone about anything rather than preaching the truth of how sinful men are and of their need of free-grace. This is true of both conservative and liberal circles and appears to have penetrated all theological orientations. We should live to please God, not men.

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One Response to “Selfishness as Sin 57”

  1. paul Says:

    If Bellamy believed that most of the religion in his day was defective, and I don’t at all question his assessment, what would he think looking at the situation in our time! How hard it is to seek the truth, as it is presented here, about God and about ourselves. I find it almost impossible to talk (not evangelize, just talk, fellowship?)with anyone about such things…within my own family, around what few other people I know, almost certainly to any Christian church goers I come across..”Getting saved is as easy as falling off a log!”..”I can talk to you for 5 minutes and you can get saved!” Having been invited to watch a very successful, fast growing, “full gospel”, non-denominational church’s services online, it is more disturbing than I even thought. Nothing at all negative is said in the church services as a whole, not in the music or the sermons, or to the unsaved when inviting them to “accept Christ”..Romans 10:9 is all the Scripture that is presented and that usually from a paraphrased rendering. All I think as I watch is, “who is there that would not accept such an invitation!”

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