Selfish “Christianity” 34

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 God of all glory is the God that loves Himself within the Trinity and does all out of love for Himself and His own glory. It is that love for His own name and glory that a believer can find solid rest in. When God in His great mercy and grace takes a sinner and breaks the heart of that sinner from his selfish heart and grants that sinner life in Christ, God has given Himself to a sinner in Christ. It is God acting for the sake of His own name and glory that is the bedrock of confidence for the true believer. While a selfish heart wants things to be done for self for the sake of self, which is nothing but idolatry. The true believer who longs for God to be glorified and is learning to pray in accordance with the glory of God now has the confidence to come to the throne of grace. The heart that has learned from God knows that prayer is not just asking for things, it is asking for a heart to be changed so that it will be changed to be like God and so it will pray for the sake of His name rather than self.

The sixth commandment taught the Israelites not to kill other human beings for selfish reasons, though there were legal reasons that the death of others was permissible. The sixth commandment teaches us to love others based on love for Christ. This is a dramatic change in outlook. Christ gave His disciples a new commandment and it was to love others as He had loved them. This is quite powerful. The standard for love is not how we love ourselves, but how Christ has loved His people.

John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

If we think of the sixth commandment as meaning only not to kill others for selfish reasons, then the commandment only appeals to our selfish hearts. But when we begin to understand that we are not only to refrain from killing others but that we are to love them as Christ loved them, the concept of murder and killing takes on a different idea. This commandment teaches us to love the souls of others as well as not kill them. This commandment teaches us to give ourselves for the well-being of others regarding their bodies and souls.
This commandment, then, takes direct aim at the selfish heart which wants to kill others for selfish reasons and yet will not kill others for selfish reasons. This commandment (as found in Christ) teaches us to love the souls of others for the sake of Christ and the name of God. The selfish heart only wants to do anything out of love for self and its own honor. We should not kill others because of the life of Christ in us working true love in our hearts. We should want the best for others spiritually out of love for God and His glory. The selfish heart is guilty of murder when it hates and it hates all people all the time because that is what a fallen human with a selfish heart does. When the selfish heart only loves others for the sake of self, it is trying to be God to itself and to others. When the selfish heart finds out that it may be more useful for self not to do something for others, it will not do it. The selfish heart, then, violates this commandment virtually every moment of every day as it does all for its own selfish honor and pleasure. Only Christ and His grace can change such a wicked heart.

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