Selfish “Christianity” 31

John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.

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.

John 7:7 “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.

John 15:24 “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.

Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

And when, in addition to these measures, the general strain of what is said to sinners is adapted to work upon their selfish feelings and animal passions, as most of what I have heard has been, and some of it extremely well adapted to work up those feelings to a high pitch, it would be strange if some affections were not excited which they might readily mistake for true religion. When God is represented as desiring their salvation, without the least qualification, and that his desire for it is infinitely strong, what impenitent sinner, that has the least seriousness of mind, is not prepared to be pleased? If “sinners love those that love them,” as our Lord assures us, they can love such a being as God is represented to be, without any change of heart. A God of all mercy, is just such a God as sinners desire. Will it be said that his justice is also brought into view, and that the terrors of hell are exhibited? True; but in what light are they exhibited? Is it not commonly in a light to which the selfish heart will as readily accord?       WILLIAM R. WEEKS.

The selfish heart is revealed by the name it truly seeks to be honored. The selfish heart is so blinded by pride and love of self that it will do many religious things and think that it is doing it for God when in fact it is doing all for the glory of self and the honor of the name of self. The selfish heart seeks the glory of self rather than the glory of God thought in the deception of a selfish heart it will deceive itself into thinking it is seeking the glory of God when it is doing nothing of the kind.

John 5:44 “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?

If we simply think of the selfish heart as being unable to do anything but seek self, we can easily see that the self can do nothing but seek self and cannot seek the glory of God. The third commandment stands forth and shows us how God seeks His own glory and the honor of His own name and that His people must do the same out of love for the true God. However, the selfish heart cannot even begin to seek God and His glory other than as a farce. Once again, we can see this regarding ministers. A minister can preach with the tongues of angels and with all the gifts that a man can have, but when that minister seeks glory from other men and not the glory of God that minister is an idol to himself and in all he does he is taking the name of God in vain. Every time that minister (in name) uses the name of God in a sermon that man is using the name of God in vain. Every time that minister uses the name of God in prayer that man is using the name of God in vain. Indeed, every outward righteous act that man does is nothing more than used menstrual cloths. He is unclean in a high manner.

The selfish heart is its own god, its own idol, and it seeks the honor and glory of self in worldly things and in religious things. It is no wonder that Scripture speaks so clearly of the need of the heart to be broken and humbled. Until self is taken off of the throne by divine grace, it does nothing but serve self in full enmity to God. Until the heart is broken from self and humbled from its pride it does nothing but seek self in the presence of God and it tries to use God for the gain of self before others. While the unregenerate worldling goes on in wickedness and sin, the unregenerate religious person uses God for the purposes of self and that is far worse.

We must be quite clear at this point. It is impossible for an unregenerate person to use the name of God in a non-vain way. The unregenerate heart loves self and seeks self as its chief end in all it does. In that the unregenerate person abuses the name of God in that each person bears the image of God and living in sin and the idolatry of a selfish heart is an abuse of the name of God. However, using the true things of God as religious people do to seek self and seek honor from others is an even higher sin. The unregenerate person is a proud person by definition, but the unregenerate religious person is attempting to use God for selfish reasons and that is an even greater sin. This was the sin of the Pharisees in that they tried to use religious things for the sake of the honor of self. They prayed in order to be seen by men rather than God. This was a horrible sin and abuse of God, but it still is. It is also taking His name in vain. How people must be awakened to see their selfish hearts and the utter wickedness of what it really is and what it is leading them to.

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